How to harness the power of online video

When was the last time you watched a video online?

Based on recent stats, the answer is likely within the last 24 hours. Over 500 million hours of video is watched on YouTube every day, with another 100 million hours on Facebook.  

So, how can you turn those views into revenue for your boat business. 

A client of mine with a single location, family-owned boat dealership had been putting a lot of effort into their video marketing strategy. They received a few leads and reached just over 5,000 video views in their best month.  

After working with our team, their views jumped to 50,000 a month, and leads came pouring in.

They recently had a client purchase a $95,000 tri-toon, that came to him specifically because of a video. The client said it was one of the easiest sales they made all season.

So, how can you get those types of results?

I’ve covered the simple steps in previous columns, so let me hit on the mistakes and how to avoid them here.

Mistake No. 1: Focusing on creating a cinematographic masterpiece, instead of a video that will create sales.

The reality is, videos you shoot on your phone with the right message, call to action and authentic talent (that’s the owner or sales person) will deliver more high-margin boat sales than a $25,000 professionally produced video.

Mistake No. 2: Trying to create one perfect video and thinking you’re done.

Our most successful clients follow a very simple rule: Always look for a reason to shoot a new video and add to your YouTube channel. Being consistent and persistent with your videos will boost you to the top of your local search engine faster than almost any other tactic. This is largely due to the fact that Google owns YouTube and favors video content.

Get a new boat in, shoot a video. Talk with a happy client, shoot a video. See a common issue in your service department, shoot a video. When you have this mindset, you’ll see opportunity to shoot a video almost daily.

Mistake No. 3: Thinking someone will watch your video just because you put it on your YouTube channel.

After consistently adding videos to your YouTube channel, using the right title, description and meta tags on your videos is the next important step.  

Use a prospect-centric title and description as opposed to a dealership-centric one. Figure this simple piece out for your market area and you will be on your way to selling more boats because of your video marketing strategy.

Mistake No. 4: Not having a plan for each video you create after uploading to your YouTube channel.

We work with our clients to produce several types of video; sales videos, boat walk-arounds, testimonials, educational videos and more. All have a specific reason for being created and most are then leveraged to use during various steps of the client relationship.

Ask yourself, “Where else can I leverage this video to get the exact right prospects to watch it at the right time that will help us sell another boat?” This single idea can transform your approach to sales and marketing.

Last, but not least, the largest mistake dealerships make when it comes to video marketing:

Mistake No. 5: Not getting started.

So many dealers don’t get started, because they are scared or overwhelmed with the idea of doing video. They focus on the equipment, or having the absolute perfect background, or they don’t like how they look and sound on video, or any number of stalls and excuses.

Just remember, anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly at first. Remember when you docked a boat for the first time, backed a trailer down, or tried almost anything for the first time that you do well now?

I can tell you from experience, the first video I did was embarrassing (Email me at and I’ll send you the link to see for yourself). But, the more you do it, the better and more comfortable you get. Just get started and know it will soon be like backing a trailer or docking a boat, and that doing video will make you more money, when done the right way.

Your challenge:  Block out one hour of time this week to shoot a video walk-around on six boats you have available for sale. Get them added to your YouTube channel and email me a link to one of the videos. Commit one hour a week to do the same for the next 12 months. 

Now, go shoot some videos and get ready for more boat sales.  

Matt Sellhorst is the founder of Boat Dealer Profits Marketing Agency and author of the only business building book for the retail boating industry, “Boat Dealer Profits; How the SPLASH System can help you sell more boats, make more money and have more fun.” Claim your free copy at 



  1. Thanks Great article. I will consider using this concept on my website. this is valuable information. thanks again. Ja

  2. Jay, thanks for the feedback. Love to see people taking action on the insights and see them getting results!

    You may also want to visitt for a free report 11 Ways to Sell More Boats.

    Matt Sellhorst

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