Why Online Video?

Videos are taking over the internet. A steadily increasing percentage of internet traffic is going to streaming videos, and online video traffic accounts for nearly half of the consumer traffic. YouTube receives 1 billion unique users every month, and 50% of mobile traffic is devoted to online video.

Your potential customers are on the internet, and they love watching videos. In fact, they would much rather watch a video on your website than read the text on your website. While only 20% of internet visitors will read a page of plain text, 80% will watch a video with the exact same information.

You’ve probably heard statistics like this before, and most likely have experienced this to be true in your own interactions with company websites, social media posts, and email marketing. Video marketing is engaging and can help your online marketing efforts stand out from your competitors.

What happens when you stand out from your competitors with engaging content? You begin the process of building relationships with new customers, generate new leads, and increase your revenue.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough just to make a video. The explosion of internet video content is a double-edged sword – if you don’t know how to effectively promote and optimize your video, it will get swallowed up by the 300 hours of video that are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

More than a million advertisers are using Google ads on YouTube, with the majority of those being small businesses, and competing in that kind of environment takes much more than simply uploading your video online. You need to show up prepared, with knowledge of how to get your videos in front of new customers.

Below, I’ll talk about optimizing your videos for organic search, promoting your videos through Google AdWords, and using your videos on your website, in email marketing, and social media. But the first question is, “What kinds of videos are useful for marketing body shops?”

What Topics Work Well for Collision Industry Videos?

The “Shop Tour” or Company Overview Video

One very popular video amongst body shops is the Shop Tour or Company Overview. This type of video can be a great place to start. Consumers enjoy watching videos online to learn more about you and your business, and a video that does a good job at presenting your company will help you build trust and confidence in those viewers. A shop tour can help people to imagine what it will be like coming to your shop, and let them know what they can expect. An overview of your capabilities and qualifications can also go a long way towards convincing them you’re the best place for them to bring their vehicle.

Interested in doing a video for your shop? Give us a call at (800) 968-7981 or contact us online !
Although a Shop Tour can build trust in your viewers, it isn’t the only topic worth investing in, and may not be the approach that’s going to get you the biggest return on investment. Sometimes, Shop Tours can tend to try to cover too much ground and end up too long and too boring. Try not to get too technical when you make this type of video, and make sure you’re focused on communicating the “spirit” or “mission statement” of your company.

Keep it Short and Sweet

If your video goes beyond 60 seconds, you risk losing your audience before you’re able to get your point across. Ensuring that people understand what your main message is within the first 10 seconds is vital in holding the attention of your audience. If you can’t communicate your main message within 30 seconds, a third of your audience is likely to miss it completely. Also, take the opportunity to advertise your contact info early on; make sure your company name, phone number, website, and even address is displayed very early in the video and is clear enough to read.

Keep it Visually Interesting

Another great tactic that can make your videos more engaging is to make sure you get a variety of shots to illustrate the message you’re trying to depict. In this type of company overview video, spend the least amount of time necessary on a shot of someone being interviewed or talking to the camera, whether it’s the business owner or a professional host. If possible, use a second camera to break up the shots of the person talking.

Don’t Make Them Take Your Word For It

In 60 seconds, you may only have time to tell people “We’re the best!” and “We care!” without much specific information to back it up. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem, and it isn’t to bog the video down with technical details about your tools and equipment. The solution is the customer testimonial interview.

Customer Testimonials

When you incorporate a customer testimonial interview into your marketing videos, people are more likely to believe the superlative things you’re saying about your own company. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and video testimonials bring those online reviews to life.

In fact, customer testimonial interviews are so powerful and effective, they should be incorporated into every type of internet video. Sometimes, the customer testimonial is all you need to make a great video that engages the audience.

A testimonial video should be kept between 60 and 90 seconds, like other marketing videos. In these videos, you can show a little bit more of the person talking, but make sure that you break the interview up with plenty of shots illustrating what they’re talking about. Ideally, you can have the customer reenact some of the situations they’re talking about. Even if you can’t get enough time with them to stage those shots, make sure to have footage of your shop to cut to, so you can make sure your video is as visually appealing as possible. This will keep viewers around longer.

As much as consumers like to hear feedback from real customers, they also like to be assured that you know what you’re doing. A great way to portray that your shop is trained, certified, and has the right equipment to finish the job properly is to invest in a differentiator video.

Differentiator Videos

Do you have manufacturer certifications? A video showcasing the fact that you have specialized training and equipment that makes you particularly well-suited to repairing a specific brand of vehicles can be a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition. After all, that’s one of the reasons you made the investment in the certification in the first place – to set yourself apart and receive recognition for your capabilities.

Maybe you have an aluminum certification for Ford or a European manufacturer. Potential customers who own those types of vehicles should know about it. But don’t get too bogged down in the technical details of the certification – make sure you focus on how your capabilities benefit them as consumers. If possible, add a testimonial from a customer that drives one of the brands you’re certified for.

Do you have rental cars on-site? Are you an I-Car Gold Class shop? Are you family owned and operated? All of these things differentiate your shop from the competition, and can all make great topics for videos.

Tutorial or How To Videos

Tutorial videos can be great for engaging your audience and keeping them coming back for more content. Although this type of video might have a lower ROI in terms of directly converting new visitors to leads, they can be great for building relationships with an audience and boosting your website’s SEO rankings by embedding them on your website.

Email Marketing

Video marketing is great for email marketing campaigns, in which you’re building relationships with existing customers. One of the best ways to make your email marketing feel less like “spam” is to offer useful, interesting content. Using the word “video” in an email subject line has been shown to boost open rates by 19%, increase click-through rates by 65%, and reduce unsubscribes by 26%.

You may ask, “What kind of How To videos would an auto body shop make? Our customers only need us when they have an unexpected accident.” And that would be a great question. Just keep in mind that just because you’re a collision repair facility doesn’t mean every video you make has to be about collision repair. Why not make a video about vehicle maintenance? Any useful automotive content can be great for your audience.

How and Where to Promote Your Videos

So, you’ve completed your video. Now what? Upload it to YouTube and hope for the best? Unfortunately, this isn’t enough. In order to see the most success with your video, you need to put time and effort into distributing it to your target audience. You put a lot of time and thought into actually producing your video; give it some wheels with a proper online strategy.

Optimize Your Video for “Organic” Search

The first step in positioning your video to be discovered online is to optimize it for organic search engine optimization (which refers to the optimization of natural, unpaid search engine rankings). YouTube is owned by Google, so YouTube brings a lot of value for organic S.E.O.

When you upload your video, make sure to optimize the title, description, and tags for specific keywords. Think about the page you’re going to embed your video on, and the search term you’d like that keyword to rank for. A video that’s optimized for the same keywords as the page you’ve embedded it on will help that page rank for those keywords in organic search. For example, if you make a video about your paint department, embed that video on your website’s paint services page.

All of your videos should be embedded on your website. Not only do they help with search engine optimization, but they also improve the user experience for visitors by making your website more engaging. In fact, websites that include embedded videos have on average an extra two minute dwell time compared to sites which don’t.

Google AdWords

In addition to optimizing your video for unpaid search, it’s also important to promote your video through paid internet advertising. A very powerful way to create targeted promotions for your YouTube videos is to connect your YouTube channel with Google AdWords. Google AdWords include the paid results on search engine results pages, but that’s only one part of what AdWords can do.

Google AdWords, when connected to your YouTube channel, can be used to create video ads that appear on other YouTube videos and on websites that run Google ads (known as the Google Display Network). The Google Display Network has the potential to reach over 90% of all internet users worldwide and consists of over 2 million websites.

Of course, you won’t need to reach 90% of worldwide internet users; you only need to reach potential customers in your market. Google AdWords video advertising allows you to get extremely specific about the people you’re targeting with your video. You can target users by geographical location (down to the neighborhood) and by demographics, but that’s just the start of targeting customers with Google AdWords. You can target people who search for certain keywords, browse specific websites, and express interest in specific topics.

Social Media

Video marketing is also great for promotion through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Facebook paid promotions have proven to be very effective for the shops I’ve worked with, allowing specific targeting by location, demographics, and interests.

I recommend uploading your video to both YouTube and Facebook. Videos uploaded directly to Facebook can often get more views than those shared from YouTube, as Facebook videos will often auto-play as soon as they show up in your target audience’s news feed.

Get Out There and Get Started!

To be truly effective, video production requires a significant investment. However, when compared to the broad stroke approach of advertising on television, the highly targeted approach one can follow online can be extremely cost-effective.

Online video will make your website more engaging and can grow your brand in your service area when promoted effectively. So get out there and get started with video production, and take your online marketing to the next level.