Case Study – ACV Auctions
ACV Auctions is a tech company that is intent on disrupting the wholesale car market by connecting buying and selling dealers directly and cutting out the traditional, physical auction. The company has seen explosive growth in the past few years and caught the eye of investors and business interests. In 2015 ACV Auctions won the $1M prize in the 43North business competition and has gone on to raise over $20M in funding since. The footprint of ACV Auctions has grown from Western New York to the entire East Coast in just a few years.
ACV Auctions is a great example of our ability to supplement the in-house marketing department of a business. Video makes up part of the marketing plan that has helped get the word out about this new and exciting technology and working primarily with the company’s co-founder we have been able to produce videos that are weaved into their overall marketing efforts. They seem to like what we are doing.
Some industries have a strong resistance to change. New products, technologies and techniques have a hard time breaking into the mainstream. The used car industry is one of them. New technology for buying and selling wholesale vehicles is met with a lot of speculation. While dealers are focused on and very aware of their bottom line, promises of better deals, or making more money fall flat. Dealers often have a ‘I know what works and I’m sticking to it’ mentality and that makes it difficult for new products to get a foothold. In instances like these, testimonial videos can be remarkably powerful. Never underestimate the power of delivering your message to a potential client by ‘someone like them’ and perhaps more importantly, directly addressing the benefits that are important to them.
Testimonial videos by other car dealers that tried and found success with ACV Auctions have become a cornerstone of the video content that we created for ACV Auctions. They are used in sales, have been optimized to be easily found via search and utilize our Guaranteed Views service to target used and new car dealers in the wholesale car business.
To date we have produced nearly fifty testimonial videos for ACV Auctions, interviewing dealers from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida and Texas. We set up our traveling studio in a dealer’s showroom or conference room and simply ask them about their experience with ACV Auctions. Two cameras, a few studio lights, a digital audio recording and a real person that works in the wholesale car industry. The results have been great.
When you are talking about a new technology it is easy to fall into a common trap. The product is just too difficult to explain in words alone. In these cases a video that shows how that technology works can be key. In the space of 90 seconds you can convey a lot of information with the assistance of text, graphics and screen captures, and that is what we did here a 90 second demo of how the ACV Auctions app works.
This video is a combination of screen capture elements, animated graphics and live action footage. It features one of the ACV Auction’s founders, Joe Neiman and has generated nearly 126,000 views. A portion of these are generated from our Guaranteed Views service, but the majority are from organic and referral traffic. Along with this project we developed the YouTube channel for ACV Auctions, which has already generated over 200,000 views.
In 2019, we were tasked with creating a “sizzle reel” video to be displayed at NADA in San Francisco. This video was to tie in the various video elements we have created for ACV Auctions into an easy-to-consume video package. It not only highlights what ACV Auctions is able to do, but it showcases some of the various testimonials we have created.
Recently, some of our projects with ACV Auctions have shifted to training videos. After ACV Auctions got a taste for how well video could communicate with potential customers and decided to use it internally. Once again, founder, Joe Neiman is featured in these videos explaining the finer points of ACV Auctions operations and strategy. While we can’t link to the videos (they are not for public consumption), screenshots are included below.
Setup and technique-wise, these videos are fairly simple. The first set consists of a wide shot with Joe and a whiteboard.
The second features a roaming handheld camera and a stationary wide shot cut together to make a set of comprehensive walkthrough videos giving ACV Auction’s VCIs (vehicle condition inspectors) a step-by-step video guide on how to condition report a car. There was a bit more production involved in this set of videos, that included shooting in 4K with our roaming camera to achieve the detail necessary to show some of Joe’s finer points. Like showing a paint drip, a small area of overspray or a tiny chip in a car’s paint.
Employee Bio Videos
Something we recently have been creating for ACV Auctions are a set of employee bio videos. While ACV is headquartered in Buffalo, NY, they have employees all across the country. While expanding into new territories in the United States, not everyone has the luxury of being close to home base. That’s where these bio videos come into play.
Similar to our testimonial videos, Territory Managers have the chance to sit down in front of the camera and introduce themselves. Not only does this help humanize the ACV brand, but it helps car dealers in new markets to meet their TMs before meeting in person. This helps to establish ACV as a leader in their space and introduces various people in a growing company. These videos also serve as a piece for people who are interested in working for ACV Auctions.
The latest addition to our service offering with ACV Auctions comes in the form of internal podcasts. These podcasts involved our usualy two camera set up, an audio mixer and set of XLR microphones. Joe Neiman sits down with various employees from ACV who are out in the field and simply has a conversation.
The goal of each podcast is to highlight what employees in various regions/markets are doing that makes them successful within the company. Then, these get released in both video and audio form. Employees at ACV are encouraged to listen and have conversations with the people interviewed. It helps to foster an environment of creativity and shared success.
These podcasts also give ACV the chance to sit down with some of their most successful users on the platform and talk about what helps make their buying or selling experience so great.
We chose to write up ACV Auctions as one of our case studies for a few reasons. They are a great example of a direct client. We started working with the founder and are now working with their Marketing Manager. Our video work supplements their existing marketing efforts and our abilities are flexible enough to grow and shift with the changes in the company.
Second, this client shows some of our range of services. The bulk of our production for them has been interview-style videos, but we have also produced a demo video, training videos and does some digital promotion via Google Video AdWords.
Last, ACV Auctions is a success story. They have exploded onto the wholesale auto auction scene, raised a lot of money and attention and expanding rapidly, and if we have played some small part in that success, we are proud to done so.