Video killed the radio star. I’m dating myself by referencing the pop song made famous for being the first video ever played on MTV (12:01 a.m., Aug. 1, 1981). The lyrics reference video’s impact on radio. The band, The Buggles, may have been more prophetic than it ever knew — video usage has exploded recently, dramatically impacting marketing, sales, operations and entire social media (and many other) operating systems.
Video: A Necessity
While once relegated largely to creative types, video is quickly becoming a necessity for all organizations that want to remain relevant. Due to the ability to consume and produce content easily (iPhone, Android), the power of video cannot be underestimated:
- Video is the No. 1 source of information for 66% of people.
- Video drives search engine optimization (SEO).
- 39% of businesses gain new customers as a result of branded video content.
- Video is increasingly being utilized in platforms other than social media.
Another factor in the proliferation of video content is the availability of software as a service (SaaS) apps that quickly and easily produce professional-grade video content. What used to be expensive and cumbersome to create is now intuitive and efficient.
If you aren’t incorporating video into your marketing, sales and operational strategy at the repair facility, now would be a good time to consider doing so.
DCR Systems of Mentor, Ohio, has been utilizing video in various ways for several years. Arynne Giarrizzo, store support specialist, creates much of the video content.
“We feel it is important to talk about why DCR is fundamentally different, and video is the perfect tool,” said Giarrizzo. “We stress the importance of OE certifications and repairing vehicles per original manufacturers’ guidelines. In addition, we use video in social media to advertise the career path DCR offers. When we launched our Crash Course videos in late 2018, we didn’t have much of a following. Today, our Facebook page has over 4,100 followers. The majority of the feedback is very positive.”
Video can be leveraged on many platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, etc., and in tools like Constant Contact and MailChimp as well as, of course, YouTube, where about 300 hours of video per minute are being uploaded 24-7.
So, how can a repair facility easily leverage video? Let’s take a look at four to five specific-use cases that can have quick impact.
Video testimonials. Video testimonials present a real opportunity because most companies have not realized how easy it is to post video to Google My Business and other platforms. We’ve all probably been frustrated by poor — and possibly unfair — reviews. But these can be overcome by powerful video customer testimonials. A solid video creation platform will have an app that allows you to directly harvest customer testimonials. Set a goal of harvesting one to three video testimonials per month and leveraging them in Google and all social media platforms. And remember, Google loves video for SEO. Bonus for posting to YouTube — Google owns it.
Expert tip videos. Thought leadership influences buying decisions. Remember, most vehicle owners are entering unknown territory after an accident. Demonstrate empathy and understanding, and then seek to educate. A video placed prominently on your website landing page can assist in making a great first impression. Thought leadership also strengthens your standing with other important stakeholders that affect the collision repair process, such as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), insurance companies, insurance agencies, and paint and parts suppliers. Ideas for expert tip videos include: explanation of equipment and paint; differences in OE and aftermarket parts; explaining what a supplement is; and the repair process. When your OE and paint partners are visiting your facility, capture them on video. PRO TIP: Many videos can be leveraged for extended periods of time (several years), but consistent updates are always a best practice. I recently had an in-person meeting where I was told, “You actually look like your LinkedIn profile picture!” — reinforcing the point that many don’t. Of course, videos posted on platforms like YouTube last indefinitely and, over time, create an interesting look-back on the evolution of your business.
In progress videos. While digital images are now common, video can add context when needed. Video adds credibility and a more personal human element to the communication. Giarrizzo commented on how DCR utilizes video from an operational standpoint. “We rely on videos throughout our process,” she said. “We’ve created a series of training videos, and we use videos to document repairs for insurance companies. We video the customer concerns at check in, before the vehicle is disassembled, and explain methodologies and OE guidelines.” In repairs where supplements are involved, in complex repairs and in situations where there are approvals needed, leverage video with vehicle owners, OEMs and insurers, as it helps position you as the expert.
Video in email. Industry statistics say the average driver only has an accident once every seven years. However, it’s also true that, per household, that number goes down to around three to four years, depending on the number of household drivers. More importantly, due to pent-up demand from COVID, government stimulus checks and other factors, it’s a good time to keep your brand top-of-mind. According to some estimates, up to 40% of all vehicles on the road have repairable damage. Create a standard operating procedure (SOP) to follow up with all customers three months after vehicle delivery. Create an email template with embedded video that you can use repeatedly. Keep your brand top-of-mind for additional work. Be aware of opt-in marketing regulations for any direct marketing-type communications. If you have monthly communication that goes to a list (customers, insurance agents, etc.), use at least one video per send. PRO TIP: To most effectively utilize video in email, look for a provider that has the capability to both send video email directly out of the tool and also convert the video content into a URL, which can then be inserted into an email or many other platforms.
Video may not be killing other forms of content like it did the radio star, but it is dominating them. If it’s not already impacting your marketing and operations, there is a good chance it will be well before Buggles produces another hit single.