The power of YouTube as a primary social channel should not be underestimated. Videos serve to boost your website’s organic search ranking, build your dealership brand and sell more bikes — which is enough reason to dive in.
The best aspect of YouTube is you don’t need to invest thousands of dollars on sophisticated video equipment and professional editors to jumpstart your efforts. Got a smartphone? You’re ready to shoot. Webcam on your computer, or even better, a GoPro camera? Now, you’ve got no excuse!
Here’s is a step-by-step guide to setting up a YouTube account:
Sign-in to YouTube with your Gmail account from Google — if you don’t have one, YouTube will walk you through the process (remember Google owns YouTube that’s why publishing content here helps your organic search rankings).
Go To All My Channels.
Here, you’ve got the option to create a YouTube channel for a Google+ page that you manage. Select this option, as you’ll want to associate your YouTube account with your dealership’s Google+ page. If you don’t have a Google+ page established, a new one will be created when you click, “Create a new channel.”
Fill out the details to create your new channel, and you’re ready to roll film … well, almost.
Planning Your Content Strategy
While going “viral” may sound appealing, the chances that your dealership’s new video will compete with adorable kittens and viral sensations like the Harlem Shake are slim-to-none. Instead, your goal should be to create videos that connect with your niche customer base. As a rule of thumb, if you can blog about it, you can create a video about it. Your video content could include new unit walk-arounds, service department how-tos, local racer interviews or an over-the-handlebars perspective of your newest unit in action.
Here are just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:
Woods Cycle Country Dealership Tour: http://youtu.be/PHSSpu819Gg
In this video, Woods Cycle Country based out of New Braunfels, Texas, takes advantage of video to give its prospective customers an aerial tour of its dealership.
Road, Track and Trail Virtual Test Ride Series: http://youtu.be/NQeGYxc-PDo
Just one of a series, Road, Track and Trail’s Virtual Test Ride is an opinion-based video that compares two similar motorcycles head-to-head.
Harlem Shake Motorcycle Dealership Original Calgary: http://youtu.be/NPj7UIXrjLg
Blackfoot Motorsports in Calgary, Alberta, took advantage of one of 2013’s most viral videos by doing its own spoof on the Harlem Shake.
Optimizing Your Videos for SEO
Just like on Google, keywords drive the discovery of your YouTube videos. You can use YouTube’s Keyword Tool (https://www.youtube.com/keyword_tool) to generate a list of keywords to work into your videos. Here are the key places to use your keywords in each video:
Title: Just like your blog posts, make sure the title of your video includes your keywords.
Description: At the very least, you should write a one-sentence description, but you don’t have to stop there. You can write a blog-post length description, working in your keyword phrase(s) multiple times. This section is an ideal place to plug in a secondary call to action which clicks through to a landing page on your website (insider tip: there is no character limit on this field, so include all the detail you would like).
Tags: Make sure you use your keywords and related terms in the tags section.
Script: YouTube takes the audio from your video and creates an automatic transcript, so working your keywords into your script will help your video’s SEO.
Annotations: The ultimate goal of all of your videos should be to drive traffic to your website. Utilize annotations to place words on the screen with a call to action, such as, “For more information on all of our 2014 new unit inventory, visit us at xyzmotorcycles.com.”
One video doesn’t cut it. Forget about coming up with the world’s most creative viral video. Instead, focus on creating a steady, consistent stream of videos that address your target customer’s biggest needs. Sit down with your entire team and create an executable schedule of video content to ensure your YouTube channel stays current.
It’s also important to remember that YouTube is just one channel in your overall social media marketing strategy. When you’re coming up with video ideas, be sure to think about how your video fits into your dealership’s overall social media and digital marketing strategy.
If you remember anything from this article, remember this: the key to digital marketing success is to publish relevant content on a regular basis to establish authority.
Heather Blessington is a nationally-renowned speaker on social media strategy and a digital marketing veteran with more than 20 years experience. As MPN columnist for Web Savvy and CMO at ARI Network Services, Blessington is dedicated to educating powersports dealers digital marketing best practices.