Enjoying what you’re reading? Sign up now.


Tactics to Trend: Creating Viral-Worthy Dealership Videos

Illustrated video icons in blue.
Article Highlights:

  • People are twice as likely to share videos than any other type of content.
  • Viral videos can give you a huge increase in brand awareness and buzz.

Buying a car takes a lot of time, research, and consideration. And in the eyes of a consumer, all the ads, emails, and webpages thrown their way in this process can start to make it all blend together (or at least not be very memorable). If you were the customer, wouldn’t you want to see some creativity and movement in marketing—something to catch your eye and keep you intrigued? Any dynamic way of advertising your dealership’s offerings is the way to go. (Especially important to lighten the mood of purchasing a very expensive vehicle.)

Every dealership wants to be noticed—and even more so when it comes to your advertisements. And nothing makes your dealership more noticeable than viral content, or content that gets spread around the internet like wildfire, sent from friend to friend. These viral videos can give your dealership a huge increase in brand awareness and buzz, and help generate some website traffic (which could even lead to some subscribers or sales).

Viral videos can do great things for your dealership’s profitability and brand awareness, but the question always remains— how do you get your dealership’s videos to generate that “buzz” we’re talking about?

Make it Trendy

People are twice as likely to share videos than any other type of content, including social posts, blog articles, or even web pages. That said, in order to capture the eyes of potential and existing customers, it’s important to at least be familiar with what’s trending in video. Joining in on a trend or popular type of featured content can help your dealership build and maintain brand awareness in a fun, unique way.

There’s never a secret recipe on how to make one of your videos capture widespread attention or be traditionally “on trend”, but there are guidelines to follow if you want to stand a chance:

  • Your dealership should strategize to capture attention within seconds.  No one is going to pass something on to their friends if it isn’t funny, surprising, or engaging within the first few seconds.  You’ll lose their attention, point blank.
  • Your video has to tie to your dealership’s brand somehow. If you make a video that goes viral, yet has no tie or mention of your dealership or your brand, then all that marketing buzz and exposure will be lost. Sure, everyone might be talking about the video itself, but if they don’t truly connect that video to your dealership, then you’ve lost a huge opportunity.

Quick Tip: One of the best ways to connect with buyers is by offering 360 virtual tour of the cars in your dealership’s inventory. These innovative and dynamic tours allow customers to take a detailed look at your vehicles, and all the gadgets and gizmos they have to offer. You can share these videos anywhere – social media, email, and any marketing channel – but at a minimum you need them on your VDPs. They increase transparency in the buying process, and help create early emotional attachment for the shopper.

Bonus Tip: Video is supposed to be a fun medium, and you can play into that in a variety of ways—from your sales team wanting to try a TikTok dance, to promoting your service drive using a trending audio clip or hashtag. Don’t focus on how your video is going to make you sales, focus on generating fun, entertaining content—and if it relates back to your brand then sales will follow.

Make it Memorable

Buying a car shouldn’t end with, well, buying a car. If you make their experience memorable enough, your customers will want to use your dealership for their service needs, and ultimately buy from you again in years to come. It’s important to remember that you aren’t just “in it” for the initial signature. Your interaction with the customer will be remembered well after the purchase, too. That’s exactly why it’s important to create videos that showcase content that will stick with customers. Here’s how:

  • Keep it simple. When it comes to building an audience, keeping your video content under the two to three-minute mark is a smart move (because who wants to watch the 20-minute video on oil changes when you could watch the 2 minute one). Understand that people who have never seen your dealership’s content before may not be willing to invest a lot of time and sit through a lengthy, boring video.
  • Be relatable. Relatability=memorability in the customer’s mind. Keep customers engaged by generating familiarity with what they’re seeing on screen. If you’re trying to sell a used car to a young adult in their 20s with no kids—what do you think will stick with them? Maybe a trendy, fast-paced test drive video with music playing in the background would work well here. What about a family looking to buy a van for their next road trip? Maybe a walkthrough of all the safety features of the vehicle would bode well for this scenario.
  • Pack a punch. Most people will decide in the first few seconds of a video if they want to stick around for more, making it essential that you establish a solid first impression with viewers. To hook their audience, dealerships and other retailers often synthesize the most interesting bits of the video in the beginning to capture the viewer’s attention. This is something definitely worth playing around with. And, more importantly, optimization plays a big role in the overall effectiveness of your video.

Quick Tip: Any dealership can take a camera and film a ‘behind the scenes’ video, yet they rarely ever do. You can actually capitalize on this. Make your viewers feel like they personally know the faces they’ll see when they come into your dealership. You can do this by making videos of the things you’re likely already doing on a daily basis—changing tires in service, assisting with test drives, or helping shoppers customize their vehicle to make it exactly what they dreamed of. The key here is these videos should feel natural and unscripted.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to add some flare. Test out using different trending sounds, different green screen backgrounds, cool transitions, anything (like we said) to stick in that customer’s mind later.

Make it Personable

Customers don’t constantly stalk your socials for information on upcoming events or the latest uploads of your blog articles. But they do check their emails regularly. And one of the best touchpoints between you and your customers should be that inbox.

Buying a car is not an impulse purchase. It requires building trust. And what builds trust better than sharing updates on the newest trends, helpful tips, or meaningful dealership stories through video (all delivered straight to your customer’s inbox). Your dealership’s monthly newsletter and videos go hand in hand in this regard. By incorporating video into your eNewsletter, you effortlessly increase engagement, improve message retention, increase conversion rates and unsubscribe rates, and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Think of your favorite frozen yogurt shop. What makes it your favorite? They may greet you kindly by name when you walk in, and know your order by heart. Now, you go to another shop ten minutes away from your work one day and they don’t greet you when you walk in—in fact they don’t even turn their head to smile or wave. When you go to pay, the worker rolls his eyes at your mere presence. You probably won’t be returning to this froyo shop. You didn’t feel comfortable while you were making that purchase (who would?). They don’t have that friendly face and attitude that you value. The same can be said for your dealership’s marketing. A lot of customers’ “favorites” are those short, personalized, fun videos they get in their Newsletter every month, or see in one of your dealership’s paid ads.

Quick tip: Add even more personalization to your videos by introducing your service or sales teams. By introducing your team, you are making yourself seem more familiar to prospects and existing customers alike. After watching these introduction clips, customers feel like they know who will be handling their vehicle or dealing with their transaction, which will make their buying journey that much more seamless.

Bonus Tip: Everyone loves a good testimonial. Talk about trust—this is one of the best ways to get prospective customers to take that leap of faith. Including an enduring testimonial video can make a world of difference in the minds of those who may be on the fence about purchasing from you.


With increasing access to the proper technology and tools, creating engaging videos has become more and more of the ‘norm’ in the marketing world. Dynamic, creative videos make it easier for dealerships of all sizes to produce compelling content (with the potential for major buzz, of course). When it comes to using video content to support your dealership’s specific goals, the possibilities are limitless. Whether you are creating custom content on your own or looking for the help of a dedicated production team, utilizing video creation can help your dealership increase overall brand awareness and engagement.

Share this Article

Anna Perry is a marketing communications professional at Reynolds and Reynolds. She is an expert on Reynolds’ suite of cutting-edge marketing products, their functionalities, and how they can be utilized to improve dealership success. Anna received her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Marketing from Miami University, as well as her Associate’s Degree in Business Management Technology with a concentration in global and social computing.

Related Articles:

Woman holding mobile phone

Texting Tips: 5 Steps to Better Messaging

Fine tune your texting skills to send an impactful message every time.

Maximizing Your Marketing Potential with QR Codes

Nearly 89 million US smartphone users scanned a QR code with their mobile devices in 2022 – a number predicted to reach more than 100

ipad with Google displayed on screen

Build a (Google) Profile You Can Be Proud Of

Your customer is searching for a trustworthy mechanic. If your dealership doesn’t appear, how could they possibly choose you? That’s where your Google Business Profile

Robotic hand reaching out to touch human hand.

From Bots to Buyers: How AI is Changing Dealerships

Learn how to navigate the exciting landscape of Artificial Intelligence, and how it can help your dealership thrive in this new age of technology.