Guest Post: Should My Dealership Invest In WalkAround Videos?

walk around videos car dealersWalk around videos have been around for a few years and are incredibly effective, but the process of creating these videos has been cumbersome, arduous and time-consuming…until now.

We’ve all heard that the Internet has changed everything. And it has, but not in the way you may think. Pretty much every dealership now has a dedicated Internet Sales Department or BDC who’s responsible for either selling vehicles through the Internet or driving those prospects into the dealership.

But just as everyone now believes in the power of the Internet to sell cars, the Internet has actually made it more difficult for dealers to distinguish themselves. From a buyer’s perspective, another dealership is just a click away. Dealers need a way to immediately capture the customer’s attention and differentiate themselves from their competition. Video does that, especially when everyone else is sending the same text-based auto-response emails.

Be different! With more people consuming video, dealers can use this ‘zero moment of truth’ to show each prospect how much they want their business by creating a personalized Walkaround Video just for them. There is no better way for a prospect to feel connected to the vehicle they inquired about than to have a personalized video of it in their inbox.

DealerFire’s new Iphone App for Car Dealers

DealerFire iPhone App for Dealerships

There’s a brand awareness opportunity spreading through the current mobile craze.  With smart phone applications being used at an incredible rate, DealerFire is proud to announce we have developed the platform for your dealership to have its own app.  A dealership iPhone app will enable your dealership to have constant contact with potential and current customers—furthering your brand’s exposure and ensuring current customers stay in the know.

Your dealership’s app will have our entire award-winning mobile site features and will be updated regularly.  Today’s consumers do an incredible amount of vehicle research before heading to a local dealer’s lot to take an actual look around.  A dealership app will enable them to stay with your brand from research to sale.

Take a look at this video.  It’s filled with mobile stats that won’t bore you and all the information you’ll need about DealerFire’s app for your dealership.

DealerFire prides itself on serving the needs of the automotive marketing world.  We are the only website design firm in the industry that designs websites from the ground up, never using templates.  We provide customization and optimization, never forcing our clients to make a choice between the two.  If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by websites, automotive marketing or mobile, we’re here to help.

Jessica Ruth is a Digital Marketing Ace @dealerfire who has a mild infatuation with Twitter and tries to hide her Midwest accent while writing.




Pump up your Pay Per Click with Haystack


I read a great thread a while back titled “Best Practices for SEM” on DealerRefresh and I had to find out more about this Haystack product from Automotive Marketing experts Moore and Scarry.  The idea of an inventory based engine to create dynamic PPC ads needed to be explored.   I reached out to the Moore and Scarry  crew, and Kara Crider put together this amazing article:

Most auto dealerships face the challenge of effectively marketing via online search engines.  Manually creating and managing search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns could be a full-time job for many dealers, yet most dealerships do not have the internal resources to accomplish this.  Marketing used vehicles on search engines is a huge opportunity for dealerships because automotive consumers nation-wide seek pre-owned cars on search engines every day.  Historically, the majority of dealers have missed these shoppers because there was no effective method to showcase used inventory via SEM.

DealerFire websites now serving Canadian Dealers

Moving attention north from the award winning success in the States was a natural move for our team at DealerFire, an established custom automotive Web design and Internet marketing firm.  We didn’t have to go too far, we’re located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (you ever been there, er no?)   We understand that every website is different because every car dealership is different.  DealerFire has created some great Canadian car dealership sites, but it didn’t happen overnight. Our team hit the challenge of these sites head on—first things first, we didn’t forget about the metric system.

From the very beginning these sites were custom built specific to the dealership and maximized for search engine optimization.  We can do that no matter what the country because we are keenly aware of the many factors driving the automotive industry and strive to bring our lineup to your lineup.

Creative, Competent Canadian Localization Efforts:

  • Home page to back end.  On the front end you’ll see our(flawless) use of the metric system when checking out a vehicle, but what you don’t see is how our production team (technology ninjas we like to call them) worked with modifying the data imported from Canadian automotive data providers.  Our production team and programmers stayed on top of all the differences associated with building Canadian sites.
    • Finance forms, and other calls to action, on sites needed to accommodate Canadian standards, which meant changing from our usual city and state forms to Provinces, Territories and Postal Codes.
    • We also had to accommodate the difference in VINs and inventories.  We busted through that by connecting locally with Canadian data providers to gain the proper information for each dealership.
    • For Truro Toyota, we worked side by side with Toyota Canada for OEM compliance requirements.
    • We also added a new module to power Car Proof, the Canadian vehicle reporting system.  We learned that even the manufacturer’s slogans were different in Canada.

CarChat 24 wins Top Rated Dealer Satisfaction Award 2010 – Driving Sales

car chat 24 wins dealer satisfaction award

2010 Top Rated Chat Company - DrivingSales

Woo Hoo! I’m proud to announce that CarChat 24 was awarded the Top Rated Dealer Satisfaction Chat company by DrivingSales for 2010.  I know there were some Canadian car dealers that helped bring the award to the North, and I truly thank you for that.

The DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards measure dealer satisfaction by allowing dealers to rate and review their vendors here at We verify each review to ensure a dealership employee submitted it. The validated reviews are published (online at and in the print publication, the Dealership Innovation Guide) for dealers to use in their decision-making.

Vendors who achieved the highest dealer satisfaction rankings received “Highest Rated” or “Top Rated” awards. The awards were presented at a special ceremony at the 2011 NADA Convention and Expo in San Francisco.

Thanks to DrivingSales for continuing to offer dealers a one stop shop to educate themselves on digital marketing and find the best tools of the trade.  You can read some of our DrivingSales Reviews Here.


Ryan Thompson

How to add a call to action with video – Animoto

I’ve been using Animoto for some time, but up until recently I was unaware of their Call To Action Feature.  By upgrading to the Pro version you can add this awesome Call To Action button at the end of the video which will drive your visitors to your page of choice.  You must be aware that uploading these vids to YouTube will cancel out this feature.  Animoto give you an embedded code like the one above.  This is a great resource to add to your dealership blogs or even your main website!!.  I wrote a full article on DealerRefresh that will explain this in depth.

The purpose of the above video was to demonstrate the Call To Action feature at the very end of the video.  You could also use these branded videos to use for Video SEO.