Carwow’s Mat Watson on how car dealers should use video

1 year ago

Video is going to become an even more important tool for car dealerships when they return to work as customers become more conscious of unnecessary contact.

Editorial director of Carwow Mat Watson, who stars in the company’s YouTube videos where they have 3.8 million subscribers and more than one billion views, had some advice on Car Dealer Live for firms looking to connect with their customers from far away.

Here’s what he had to say:


1. Send videos to keep them excited

‘Send customers video reviews, it keeps the excitement in that car they’re looking at,’ Watson said. 

‘If you’ve got in stock cars you can do quick little videos so people can look round it. I do quite a lot of stuff on Instagram and I will do a one-minute real-time video walk-around of a car to let my Instagram followers take a look, and it’s a very concise overview. It takes a minute to film it and about three minutes to post it.’

2. Practise during lockdown


Watson suggested that now could be the perfect time to hone your presenting skills and speed up the process to save you time when you’re back at the dealership.

‘Obviously I’ve practised at it, but if you are a car dealer you can practise doing that with your own car at home so when you’re back at the dealership and we’re still social distancing you’re on it, you know what you’re doing,’ he said.

3. Get some simple kit to improve the quality

A little kit can go a long way and Watson made some suggestions on the show to quickly improve the quality of your videos.

‘Most people will film it on their phone, and that’s great but the sound will be a bit rubbish through the phone’s microphone. Buy a little mic that you can plug into your phone and you can get a really good one for £40,’ he explained.

‘Then you’re going to be a bit shaky. You can buy a gimbal for £60. If you’re a big dealership you might not want to have one for all your salespeople but once that’s set up it can be shared. It will make the video look so much better. 

‘Then there’s simple editing software. I use Video Editor, it’s a free app and you can change the aspect ratio so it’s portrait or landscape.’

4. Use video chat to stay connected

‘We’re chatting now, we could be in a room together but we’re not, we’re online. I wouldn’t suggest using Zoom, my mum wouldn’t want to be faffing around with Zoom but she knows how to use WhatsApp,’ he said.

If I’m trying to explain something to her and we can’t talk face to face I’ll use WhatsApp to show her. You can do that at your dealership if you need to talk someone around a car very easily.

‘I think there’s going to be a lot more of that because people will want to buy cars but they won’t want to be coming into dealerships. Especially older people.’

5. Be authentic

‘The key is to be authentic,’ was Watson’s final words of wisdom.

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‘Keep it simple, explain this is the car, these are the features and have a look round it. Almost as if you’re showing your friend around the car rather than trying to sell them something. Let me see around the car, that’s it. 

‘You can make errors sometimes, leave them in because it looks natural. Act natural, that’s it.’

Watch the full Car Dealer Live with the Carwow team below

Rebecca Chaplin

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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