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Lights, camera, action: Your playbook for high-quality professional walkaround videos

You’ve seen the stats – customers are increasingly turning to video content to make informed decisions when purchasing a car. In a recent Think With Google report, Google found that creator-produced videos received a whopping 93% of monthly views for all U.S. auto content on YouTube.

With walkaround videos becoming a powerful sales tool for auto dealerships, showcasing vehicle features and offering a personalized experience for potential buyers is crucial. Other studies say a well-executed walkaround video can increase customer engagement by nearly 50 percent and drive sales like never before.

So, to help your dealership create the perfect walkaround video, we’ve put together this easy-to-follow, step-by-step playbook.

Plan Your Video Like a Pro

Before hitting the record button, plan the content of your walkaround video. First, figure out which key features you want to highlight – exterior design, interior amenities, tech, or performance capabilities. Then, make a shot list of these features and create a script or outline to ensure a smooth, coherent presentation. And remember, practice makes perfect.

Gear Up for Success

High-quality video content needs the right equipment. Invest in a mirrorless camera or use the latest smartphone with a 4k 60fps high-resolution camera. Pair it with a tripod or gimbal stabilizer for steady footage and an external microphone for crystal-clear audio. Consider using a wide-angle lens to capture more of the vehicle in your shots. And don’t forget – landscape mode for YouTube and portrait for social media like Instagram and TikTok.

Dress the Part

Yes, you’ll need to be on camera. Although many dealers are taking the lazy way out and do videos of the car with music and no explanation of what customers are viewing, studies show people still like seeing people. So, your appearance plays a massive role in your walkaround video’s overall presentation. As a result, choose clothing that’s professional and reflects your dealership’s image.

Steer clear of busy patterns or logos that can be distracting on camera. Instead, opt for solid colors and ensure your outfit is clean and wrinkle-free. You can find some rules here on what to wear, but the most straightforward direction is that your appearance should complement the vehicle without stealing the spotlight —just as if the customer was with you in person.

Set the Perfect Scene

Pick a clean, well-lit location for filming your walkaround video. Ensure the area is free from distractions, like other vehicles or clutter, so that viewers can focus solely on the car. Natural light works wonders, so try to film during the early morning or late afternoon golden hour to take advantage of that soft, flattering light that romances your car.

Kick Off with a Bang

Start your video with a 30-second or less friendly introduction – share your name, dealership, and the vehicle you’ll showcase. And highlight three things you like about the car because these will set the stage for the rest of the video.

Show Off the Exterior

As you stroll around the vehicle, highlight its exterior benefits. Talk about design elements, paint color, and any unique aspects like LED headlights, alloy wheels, or chrome accents. How will these features make the buyer’s life better? Features are good but sell what they can do for your customer. Keep the camera steady and smoothly transition between shots for a polished look.

Get Up Close with the Interior

After showcasing the exterior, delve into the vehicle’s interior. Discuss the benefits of the seating materials, dashboard layout, infotainment system, and other noteworthy features. Remember to demonstrate how certain features work, like adjusting the seats or using the touchscreen display.

Rev Up the Performance Talk

Be mindful of the car and its primary market, but in general, don’t hide the vehicle’s performance capabilities. People still care about performance, regardless of the car. However, discuss the benefits of efficiency in correlation with the engine, horsepower, and other performance-related features that potential buyers will love.

Also, consider including a brief test-drive segment to give viewers a sense of how the car handles on the road. To assist you, here’s a study from 2021 on the most important factors consumers desire when looking for a vehicle.

Seal the Deal with a Call-to-Action

Wrap up your walkaround video with a strong call-to-action. Encourage viewers to visit your dealership for a test drive, reach out for more information, or explore financing options. This final push can help convert interested viewers into customers.

Put the Finishing Touches

After filming, edit your video – cut out any mistakes or unnecessary footage. Add captions, graphics, or background music to enhance the viewing experience. Finally, optimize your video for various platforms, such as your dealership’s website, YouTube, or social media channels.

Spread the Word and Analyze

Share your walkaround video across your dealership’s online platforms and keep an eye on its performance. Analyze views, engagement, and other metrics to understand what resonates with your audience and make improvements for future videos. Don’t get caught up in perfection at first. As you can see here, an acceptable video can be made with a phone and little else.

Following these practical tips, your dealership can create high-quality, professional walkaround videos showcasing your inventory and engaging potential customers like never before. So, grab your camera, and let’s start filming!

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Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He earned bachelor's degrees in Marketing and Television from the University of Texas in Austin and a Masters of Theology study from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas. His passion for automobiles lead him to become a creative director for automotive marketing ad agency. Most recently, he was the manager of interactive marketing for Mitsubishi Motors, NA.

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