YouTube is a powerful marketing tool for dealerships. As an owner, you can use YouTube to show off your inventory, introduce your staff and give advice on upkeep. Having a robust YouTube page is another way to build trust with customers and establish yourself as an authority on RVs.
Here are some tips on setting up a YouTube page and creating content:
- Learn to shoot/edit from your phone
Not everyone can afford a full-time videographer who can shoot and edit content, nor can many people pay to outsource the responsibility to a 3rd party. Shooting and editing may seem daunting, but in today’s world, you do not have to have a lot of training. Few of your customers will judge your YouTube videos against modern television advertisements.
There are many apps and free training videos that can help you get started with basic techniques to help get you started. You can refine these techniques as time goes one.
- Invest in a microphone
Few things are worse than trying to listen to someone talk on video, but the audio is bad. This is often because they are using a camera (or phone) microphone. The result is a subject who is not only hard to hear but at the mercy of the noise going around them.
There are hundreds of microphones on the market for both cameras and phones. A lavalier microphone is an ideal choice. This is the type of microphone you clip to your clothes, like an anchor doing the evening news. You can expect to pay at least $100 for a quality microphone, though they run as cheap as around $20 and can go as high as $600.
Here’s a pro tip: In my years working in television news, I saw countless microphones break due to mismanagement. Once you buy your microphone, particularly if it is a lavalier, make sure to keep it somewhere safe and avoid doing any type of damage to it. Treat it like a fine glass vase in an art museum.
- Create playlists
YouTube viewers respond well to organized playlists that go along with their interests. If a viewer comes to your page wanting to see tours of the latest RVs on your tour, you will keep them around longer if you stack those videos uninterrupted. So, create a playlist for each category of video you produce.
Some ideas for playlists might be inventory tours, staff bios, Do-It-Yourself projects or webinars on maintenance.
- Be concise
There’s a time and place for longer videos, but you hardly ever need to make a video longer than 3-5 minutes. That is ample time to get your point across without boring the viewer.
If you find you’re having a hard time cutting the time of your video down, think of unnecessary video or script. Consider the subject of your video is too broad and try to make it more specific or break it into a separate video. As you learn more about using graphics, you can insert a graphic to help emphasize a point instead of having to explain it in detail.
Here’s a pro tip: Make sure to shoot enough b-roll, or separate video to go along with the narration. You never want to reuse shots, and you may find it hard to find the amount of quality b-roll to fill your video.
- Be mindful of copyrighted material
It’s a good idea to use music or graphics in your video. However, be very careful that whatever you include in your video is not going to get you in copyright trouble. Not only can the copyright holder charge you hundreds of dollars, but your video may also be permanently deleted and even your account can be suspended. Another negative is copyright violations may hurt your SEO, meaning fewer people will be able to find you.
There are plenty of websites that provide royalty-free content. Some are completely free while others require a subscription. If it’s a cheap subscription, it may be worth the investment just so you will have the tools for better quality content you need without the worry of getting in trouble.
- Involve your whole team
No one on your team has to be “good on camera” to be a YouTube star. You’re not trying to create one of the ultra-professional pages. Your team, with all their quirkiness and energy, is an asset to you. Never force someone to be on camera but encourage them to participate in some way if they want.
No matter who is in front of the camera, make sure they act naturally. If they are doing a tour of an RV, it is perfectly fine if they use filler words like “uh” or “um.” They are probably going to use those words during a normal tour. Just make sure they speak clearly so the audience can understand them.
- Keep the good gags
When I worked in news, every so often, a reporter or anchor would post a fun little mistake on social media. Sometimes, these videos would bring in way more viewers than the story they were on that day. I encourage you to do the same and have a few videos for a gag reel. They help humanize you and your staff, make the viewer laugh and can increase your reach on social media.
If you decide to do a gag reel, make sure all mistakes are PG. Do not put in videos of people cursing or losing their cool. Also, do not film a gag reel. People know when you are faking mistakes, and then your gag reel makes you look like you’re trying too hard. Let the mistakes happen naturally, then save them in a folder, where you can edit them together at a later date.
- Be creative and have fun
If you don’t have a YouTube page, you are creating an entirely new responsibility for your dealership. Your YouTube will take time and effort to build. However, that does not mean you need to make it stressful.
You can scroll through YouTube and discover content creators who truly have fun with it and who only do it as part of the job. My advice is to be creative in how you present your videos and then enjoy making them. If you don’t enjoy it, find someone on your staff who might enjoy the responsibility. YouTube is a great way to make a first impression. Let everyone who watches a video see your passion.
YouTube is one of the best tools to market yourself at your disposal. A rather small investment can give you a pretty large reward. The more effort you put into it, the better chance you have at growing your page. A strong YouTube page can result in a larger customer reach and greater trust between you and your customers.