If you read our article earlier this year – “Why Use Video in Your Unit Ads” – then you already know that video is a powerful tool that can help you sell your RVs and trailers on your website. (If you still need convincing, go read that article, then come back here!) But maybe you don’t have the budget to hire a professional, or your dealership doesn’t have a YouTube account… Read our quick guide below to get your year started right with video!

Part 1 – Set Up Your Dealership’s YouTube Account

You’ve already got a Google+ or Google Local/Places account and listing, right? Great! (If not, you REALLY should. We can help you out.) YouTube is owned by Google, so there are many benefits to using the same Google account for both your Google+ and YouTube account, not least of which are automatic video updates to your Google+ page.

Using your Google account, Log in to YouTube. Find and click on the “My channel” link on the left-hand menu.

Hiding right below the "Home" link

Hiding right below the “Home” link

This will bring up a pop-up message asking you to confirm that you want to create a channel using the Google account you logged in with.

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Click the “Create Channel” button… and you’re done! This is all you need to do to get started. You can add some channel art and a description, even customize the layout of your channel (click on the buttons indicated by arrows below).

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Part 2 – Make Some Videos!

If you’ve got a smart phone with a camera, you can start shooting videos. While quality is important (never post a video with bad audio or bad lighting… your viewers need to be able to see and hear!), concentrate your efforts on “branding” and “voice.” How friendly and helpful you are, how authentic and knowledgeable, will go a long way toward convincing a potential customer to give your dealership a call.

With that in mind, here are some tips:

  • Make sure someone is on camera. Don’t just talk while you walk through an RV with your camera pointed in front of you. Don’t miss an opportunity to make a personal connection just because you’re camera shy. Unless you want to invest in a selfie stick, this means recruiting a “camera” operator.
  • Have a cheat sheet handy. Write out all of the important things you want to make sure you mention during your video walk-thru. You don’t need to write a full script, but a bulleted list can go a long way toward helping you organize your thoughts beforehand and keeping you on-topic.
  • Then do a practice run. Your practice run can be at your desk, if you like. What you want to test for is length. 3-5 minutes should be the tops for an RV walk-through. If you have more things to say than you can fit in a short video, then consider shooting more than one video for that unit – interior, exterior, test drive, etc.
  • Do a quick lighting and audio test. Instead of filming your whole planned walk-through right off the bat, shoot a 10-20 second test. When you play the video back on your phone, are details clear or muddy/dark? Can you be heard and understood, or was there background noise you didn’t notice? Were you talking too fast? Bring in extra lighting and make other adjustments through quick tests until you’ve got the perfect setup.
  • Don’t forget to smile!

Part 3 – Upload Your Videos

The easiest way to upload your videos to YouTube will be directly via your phone. Log on to your YouTube account via the YouTube app, then look for the video icon (see below). The app may ask for permission to access your Photos, Videos and Microphone… be sure to allow it.

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Now just pick the video that you want to upload!

It is easiest simply to title your video and upload via phone. Then complete your details and other settings on your computer. When you are ready, go to the Video Manager, and click the Edit button next to your new video. This is where you can add a full Description and Tags (searchable keywords). You can also do some advanced editing, including quick auto-brightness and stabilizing, adding Audio, Sub-titles, and more! You can even organize your videos into Playlists, once you start uploading videos on a regular basis.

Part 4 – Share Your Videos with the World!

Now that your videos are on YouTube, you can share them with existing and potential customers in a variety of ways. Not only will this help you sell the unit featured, but this activity can yield great SEO (search engine optimization) benefits too!

  • Make sure you’ve added a link on your website to your YouTube channel.
  • Share your video (from YouTube) on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other other social media platforms you use. Be sure to embed or share directly from YouTube, so you can keep all of your visits and stats in one place. Also, running up the views on YouTube will help you show up more frequently on searches on YouTube as well as Google search!
  • Add your video from YouTube to the applicable inventory listings via your MMC (Member Management Console).
  • If you have a SiteSource website, you can also create a featured Video Gallery on your website, to showcase your units to visitors.

YouTube can be great for your dealership and should be a part of your online and social marketing strategy for the upcoming year. Let us know if we can help you with getting started, or if you have any questions!

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