August '18

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62 • RV PRO • August 2018 rv-pro.com D E A L E R S F or dealers and other retailers looking for an inexpensive way to add video to their RV website – complete with analytics – YouTube has an enticing offer: The company will do it for free. In a move to remain the defacto platform for video on the Internet, the company has rolled out a series of free tools that essentially enable any business to edit, post, and analyze viewership of a promo- tional video at absolutely no cost. "Conversion rates (increased sales) tend to improve when websites include video," says David Coyne, owner of David Coyne Communications, a copy- writing and marketing consulting firm based in Langley, B.C., Canada. "A video, when done properly, will facilitate a sale for an interested cus- tomer and take a lot of the 'sale' away from the process, since the customer has already 'seen' the unit on YouTube," adds David R. Chamberlin, general manager of Great Escapes RV SuperCenter in Gassville, Ark. "It makes an Internet sale much simpler and faster." Video RV Walk-Arounds Popular Moreover, some of the most successful dealer videos on YouTube are those made with consumer-grade video equipment and shot by everyday dealers or their staff – RV salespeople who are simply looking to offer consumers a glimpse of what its like to do business with the dealership, according to Rusty Eckstein, owner/gen- eral manager at Mount Comfort RV in Greenfield, Ind. "We went out and bought an HD Sony camcorder and a lavalier mic and started making video walk-arounds of our inven- tory – starring our salespeople," he says. After making some quick edits of the footage with Windows Live Movie Maker (topwin-movie-maker.com/), a free program from Microsoft, Eckstein says he was taken aback at how popular the walk-around became. "Our first fifth wheel walk-around received nearly 8,000 views," Eckstein says. "Clearly, the walk-arounds were something the public were interested in seeing. In less than a year, we had videos with 19,000 views, 34,000 views, 29,000 views – and even one with 338,000 views." In fact, YouTube videos have since become so integral to Mount Comfort RV's marketing that Eckstein brought on a full-time Internet and social media manager to create a steady stream of pro- motional video content for the dealership. "Today, we have over 30 videos on YouTube with 9,720,452 views on our YouTube Page and 17,494 subscribers," Eckstein says. "These subscribers are all people who have stated they want to receive our videos and get email notifi- cations each time we post a new video." Chris Reeder, Internet sales manager at Lerch RV in Milroy, Pa., is another big believer in YouTube video, and also a big believer in going with video that's easy to create and view. "Keep it simple," Reeder advises. "We have experimented with short videos, long videos, simple slide shows, to full-blown, walk-through reviews. It seems most viewers will stay interested for about three minutes and then they tune out on longer videos. "YouTube has brought new business to the dealership at a very low, next-to- nothing cost," he adds. "A customer will usually inquire through our website, and mention they saw a particular model on our YouTube channel, and would like more information. Or the customer asks if we have that particular model still in stock." Jeremy Heberer, owner of The Great Outdoors RV in Evans, Colo., also has had great success with videos on You- Tube, but he advises fellow dealers to be ready to interact with all the people YouTube for RV Retailers Video for websites, complete with analytics, is available for dealers on the cheap. By Joe Dysart

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