Former media pair come together for dealer video

Former media pair come together for dealer video

Armstrong Motor Group’s newest marketing manager is putting his experience in the media to good use – launching a video blog that appears to be one of the closest things New Zealand currently has to a motoring show.

Former motoring writer Steve Vermuelen came up with the idea of a video blog for the Armstrong Motor Group, and has produced it with his former Top Gear New Zealand editor, now contract communications provider, Cameron Officer.

The episodes, two so far, are near the length of a half hour tv show, and discuss motoring news and road test vehicles sold by the group. Filming so far has been held in Fiat Chrysler New Zealand’s Mount Wellington warehouse, as well as out on the road.

The first episode has had 100 views on Youtube, the second nearly 200.

“I primarily manage the marketing of Rick’s Auckland City Toyota operations, but given my background and the number of brands within the group I saw that developing the Group’s video blog or podcast as an opportunity I could help with,” Vermuelen says.

“Purely a trial initiative – we want to be sure we’re producing something of real value to a viewer, talk about news, showcase the cars and have some fun.”

Vermuelen notes there are case studies that show consumers are more likely to purchase after viewing online video content.

“We all know more people are researching vehicles online and with a motor group that represents as many brands as Armstrong’s there is no shortage of great content.”

“There’s some business rationale behind it naturally, but it is equally a creative release for us personally and providing something people see value in,” he explains.

Production is distinctly number 8-wire.

“It’s all in house, my house actually,” he says. “I’ve got a lot of experience playing around with video editing and effects software from my time in the media and operating my own digital strategy agency.

“We don’t have lighting and our mic failed on episode one, so there’s teething issues, but I basically shoot on a Nikon SLR camera, edit it myself using Adobe Premiere and After Effects – usually on weekends or at night.”

Armstrong Motor Group are providing the basic funding, but Vermuelen notes that if the project develops they may look at selling paid slots to appropriate luxury or household brands.

What does the group itself hope to achieve?

“Initially our primary objective is to just keep producing the content – there is a lot of work that goes into even a fairly basic production,” Vermuelen explains. “But if we can build an audience of regular watchers it helps build trust of the Armstrong brand, exposes them to our products, services and values so it’ll generate advocacy.

“More directly, it’ll create social media engagement, unique and regular content to improve site traffic and time on spent on site and just another channel to promote specials our locations and brands and build enquiry.”

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