By Desiree Homer
Part 2: Creating the Digital Walkaround and Other Key Messaging Strategies
In yesterday’s Daily Drive topic, we shared some of the video marketing tools available to dealers right now. Engaging with customers, whether they be potential car buyers or service drive customers, is making a transition to the digital video landscape. Even when the social distancing requirements are lifted, dealers should be prepared to embrace a virtual customer engagement strategy. Concepts become reality with the use of video marketing. It may become the new normal for everyone. Devising the right messaging strategy now can help you keep your lifeline to customers and prepare you for the new marketplace, post-COVID-19.
Understanding the Customer Need in Video Messaging
What your customers may need right now is the reassurance of safety. Many may be feeling uneasy about buying a car or renewing a lease. Videos you create today should respond directly to those sentiments by offering peace of mind, safety-focused service options, and virtual engagement availability. Over the next few weeks, as parts of the country may start lifting the shelter in place regulations, customers will need something different. While there will be some customers eager for in-person experiences, many experts are suggesting some of the social distancing practices will continue to be a new normal. Video messaging should continue to reflect the options available for both types of buyers. Tune in to a Dealer News Today podcast with Boch Enterprises CEO and president, Ernie Boch Jr., and Dave Cantin discuss the importance of being adaptable for those changing customer preferences.
The Virtual Vehicle Walkaround
When evaluating what part of the customer process can transition to digital video engagement, don’t forget about the virtual walkaround. Some dealers even take their customers with them on a virtual test drive. These steps are typically reserved for in-person engagements, but can now be made possible with simple, smartphone videos. Showcasing available vehicles for sale now can funnel future buyers into your showroom later. Using videos to sell the cars with remote delivery and signing processes can help those dealers who are permitted to sell, do so in the current virus mitigation reality.
Creating the Digital Follow Up Strategy
Consider carving out two platforms for using video as a follow-up strategy. Right now, following up with potential customers is more about checking in, being available, and maintaining connections. As you prepare for the future, however, follow up videos can be a critical tool in the marketing toolbox. Sales teams can offer virtual walkaround reminder videos to those customers not yet ready to buy, but who have expressed interest in a particular vehicle. Interested buyers might appreciate a negotiation conversation via virtual video as well.
Internet car shopping and buying were trending before COVID-19. Dealers leveraging the virtual and video-based engagement strategies now will be ready for the more permanent shifts in customer preferences. Whatever you decide to carve into your video marketing strategy, remember to keep it customized and always provide value in each message. Start small if you must. But using this downtime to build, can ensure you’re prepared for the emerging new market to come.