Online Videos as Promotional ToolsEvery major brand today seems to be creating original video as a marketing and branding tool. Should automotive aftermarket businesses use online videos to promote products and services?

The answer is: It depends.

It depends on your strengths, your level of commitment, and your marketing budget. Videos posted online rarely attract many viewers without some sort of promotion.

Basing your video marketing strategy on "going viral" is akin to basing your investment strategy on winning the lottery. Instead, use a comprehensive promotions plan and focus on multipurpose content that will be valuable to you even if it does not take off on the Web.

Basics of Creating Online Videos

Online videos do not require expensive equipment, but your video should be clear and steady. Most handheld digital camcorders are sufficient, if paired with a tripod to prevent shaking. If your video requires too much motion to shoot with a tripod, hire a videographer.

Start with videos less than 90 seconds in length. If your audience appears to want more in-depth material, you can create longer pieces later.

You will also need a YouTube account and simple video editing software. Adequate software comes with most new computers, but complex editing may require the purchase of additional tools.

Ideas for Automotive Aftermarket Industry Promotional Videos

The most important component of any marketing video is its concept. Professional production cannot save a weak idea. Conversely, an incredible visual spectacle or a hilarious script can overcome superficial deficiencies.

Consider any of the following ideas:

  • Basic auto maintenance tutorials. Can you teach drivers to maintain their vehicles using short, accessible snippets of video? Many young people are interested in learning automotive maintenance skills in order to save money, but auto shop classes are becoming a rarity.
  • Something amazing your product can do. Do you stress test your products in an unusual way? Can they be used for a unique secondary purpose? Can buyers modify them to create a funny or surprising effect?
  • Your products in use at the track. Do you make popular performance parts for racing enthusiasts? Head down to the track and seek permission to videotape the runs of drivers using your products. A video showing win after win by your customers may not be the most viral, but it will certainly be effective marketing for the enthusiasts who do see it.
  • Cute mascots. Animals are always popular online. Can you teach a parrot to repeat your slogan? Show a dog turning on custom headlights? Pretend to install an aftermarket sound system on a horse and carriage?

Dual-Purpose Online Videos

Ensure your investment is not wasted by creating videos with multiple uses. In addition to trying to attract attention on YouTube and social sites, use videos in marketing presentations, all-hands meetings, and at conferences.

If you host promotional events, set up a television playing your videos. If you make auto maintenance or auto safety tutorials, superimpose your logo and offer their use free to local safe driving education programs.