Last Modified: November 9, 2023

Written By:Olivia Barickman

|Published Date: November 9, 2023|2 min read

Podcast with Margaret Henney: Dealers Can Increase Engagement Rates By Rethinking Their Video Strategy

A blue background with a blonde woman in a black shirt smiling next to the words "Podcast with: Margaret Henney, Director of Marketing and Video Specialist"
Brian Pasch took his typically audio-only podcast onto video for the first time to talk with our own Covideo Marketing Director Margaret Henney about the power of video at dealerships. Brian, an automotive industry expert and prolific author, helps dealerships across the country level up their strategies through training and mentoring. We were thrilled he was willing to bring his popular podcast onto video for this important discussion.Watch the podcast below or listen in wherever you get your podcasts!
Margaret will also be speaking at the Modern Retailing Conference, hosted by the Pasch Group. The conference is in Palm Beach, Florida from November 12-14. If you’re attending, be sure to catch Margaret at 9 a.m. on the panel, “Modern Communication Strategies: Reimagine Your Customer Conversations.” Join us for a discussion on improving your customer experience through better communication!

How do you get your dealership on board with video?

Dealerships are not always enthusiastic about video communication, but times are changing! Dealers are often on live video calls every day, and video technology is an expectation from both sellers and buyers.Still, salespeople can be reluctant to use video. As Margaret explains, the reluctance to use video may only be partially due to self-consciousness about how they look and sound. Typically, salespeople are reluctant to use video because they’re thinking of commercials. And commercials take a lot of effort—perfect editing, specific soundtracks, and a whole crew of professionals. What we are creating is a different kind of video, designed to spark real human connection and accept the imperfections that make you, you.We recommend is thinking of personalized videos as a “video voicemail.” You would say all the things you usually do on a voicemail, just with the camera rolling. That means no scripts, perfect backgrounds, or editing experience required.

The message doesn’t change, just the medium

We always say: the message doesn’t change—the medium changes. You don’t need to develop a new set of communication skills to show up on video!Often when people say they don’t want to be on camera, we ask, how do you do with communication in person? Typically, salespeople see in-person communication as the gold standard. Email and text messages are still important parts of the communication mix, and video is the bridge between in-person meetings and texts/emails. It allows you to show your personality before officially meeting.Brian also noted that people tend to be lonelier and more isolated in recent years, which means video makes even more of an impact when you see there is another person on the other side of the screen.

Where dealerships should start with video strategy

Where do dealerships start? The lowest-hanging fruit is your lead response.As Margaret says on the podcast, don’t make video your last-ditch effort! You should use your best and most impactful tool right up front. That’s why we recommend incorporating video into your lead response. Send an inbound lead a video as quickly as possible, and don’t overcomplicate it. Even a short video that says, “Hello, I got your message. I’m in the middle of a couple things at the dealership, but you can expect a call from me in an hour,” is poised to make an impact.When crafting your lead response, keep in mind people don’t always buy the car they were initially interested in. Brian estimates that more than half of buyers end up purchasing a different car. They may want a different trim or colors, learn more about a different model, or find they have more equity in their trade in than expected, so they price up. Therefore, your initial communication should not be fully focused on a specific vehicle. This first interaction should focus heavily on establishing the relationship.Of course, video is a great way to conduct a vehicle walkaround of a specific vehicle or just show off your inventory in the background. At max, pick two areas where you’re seeing challenges in your dealership and how video can address them. For example, if you’re responding well to leads but having trouble getting customers to show up for appointments, video appointment reminders could help.

The tools you need to make video communication work

It’s important not to fill your customers’ inboxes with a massive file. First off, most videos do not need to be very long. A 30-35 second video is perfect. Secondly, you want to avoid sending videos as an attachment. Instead, share hosted videos as a link to ensure better deliverability and customization.That’s why Covideo Dealer Services designed an interface where you can embed a gif of your video into texts and emails, which open on a custom, branded landing page for your dealership. It looks highly professional with no extra work or editing necessary from the dealership. You just have to press record.
“It’s not about deliverability, it’s about creativity.” -Brian Pasch
We find most dealers are not recording videos that are too long. As we have mentioned before, the fear of not making a “perfect” video is what holds most people back. But don’t give up! The first four or five videos may feel awkward, but once you have gotten used to it, the words will flow more freely.

The return on investment for dealership videos

We know that dealers run their business by the numbers! If you can’t quantify the value of a new tool, we wouldn’t expect you to try it out. We know dealerships have been burned by the promises of new technology in the past.In this podcast, Margaret explains that adding videos to email:
  • Can increase open rates by 19% (Pro tip: Add “video” to your subject line so your recipient knows what to expect!”
  • Can increase engagement rates up to 65% (consuming the message and not just noticing it)
When someone opens an email, that tells you the person received it. Covideo tracks how much of a video a person has watched, how many times they watched it, and when they watched it. That's a lot more data!So, video can obviously lead to improved engagement, but as Margaret explains, the biggest issue for adopting a new tool is if there is a clear, actionable plan in place. There are so many ways to use video that it could be overwhelming. Sales leaders should evaluate where video will make the biggest impact and set up a process for the team.Some examples of what this might look like:
  • When an inbound lead comes through the internet, call and leave a voicemail first, and then send an introduction email in half an hour.
  • 24 hours before a scheduled appointment, send an appointment reminder video.
  • One month after a sale, send a video asking if the customer has any questions or concerns and request referrals.
And don’t underestimate the impact of a short video! In the podcast, Brian describes how, before an appointment, you can remind customers of the time and request a heads up if they’re going to be more than 15 minutes late. This approach shows you are diligent about respecting their time but also gives that last push to remind them you’re a real person who needs to stay on schedule.

Incorporate video strategy into your dealership

Here are some key takeaways from the podcast:
  • Use a video tool like Covideo that can allow you to easily send links to videos, create custom landing pages, and track your success.
  • Identify one or two areas to implement video strategy to start and have a clear process for the team to follow.
  • If you’re not sure where to start, lead response is one of the easiest and most impactful places to implement video.
  • Think of videos as “video voicemails” and not like produced commercials—keep it simple!
We hope you enjoyed this conversation with Brian Pasch! If you’re ready to take the leap and add a simple but powerful video tool to your dealership resources, talk to our experts today about Covideo Dealer Services.
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