Dealership Marketing

Don’t BLOW your First Impression, 5 Tips to Stand Out!

It’s a proven FACT, the first impression will make you OR break you. So don’t blow it!

In the world of online video, the first impression…IS your first frame image.

If you’re an avid DealerRefresh reader, then I don’t need to tell you how a personalized video is one, if not the best, way to introduce yourself and your dealership to a potential customer while distinguishing yourself from your competitors.

It’s THE opportunity that must be taken advantage of.  Nearly everyone is watching videos on their mobile devices and using videos to make purchasing decisions. But if you don’t pay attention to your first frame image and thumbnail display, you are missing a huge opportunity!

Don’t blow that opportunity by sending them a video with an unappealing first frame image.

The right first frame image is crucial!
The right first frame image is crucial!

If you’re new to sending personalized videos to your prospects, you may not have paid much attention to the first frame. The first frame is the “movie still” that displays in online video player before your prospect clicks the PLAY button to watch the video – or doesn’t.

Not sure how to improve that first frame? Here are 5 tips to to help prevent you from BLOWING your first impression. See them in action…


The first frame captures a snapshot of your video about two seconds in. To get a good first frame, smile, and keep smiling for a couple seconds before you speak:

Start With the Vehicle’s Logo

Let’s say the customer has his heart set on a 2015 Lexus GX 460. Start your video with a close-up of the classic logo, and stay focused there for about three seconds before you zoom out to show the entire vehicle. You can begin speaking as soon as the video starts.

Start With the Dealership Sign

Because you always want customers to know where to find you (and the vehicles they are interested in), it’s often a good idea to fill the first frame with your dealership sign.

Spotlight the Vehicle Itself

This is your safest bet, make the car the star! Frame the vehicle up nicely in your camera, and film for the first few seconds, before zooming out or in and walking around.

Show the Dashboard

When a customer indicates an interest in a particular vehicle’s features, they will be likely to click on a video that shows that feature in the first frame. Start your video by filming that feature for about three seconds.

These are just a couple of ways to ensure that your video will have a compelling first frame. I think my next post will be a “First Frame Fails” blog since there are so many of them!

What are you doing to be sure you have a compelling first frame image?

What else are you doing to make your walk-around personalized videos stand out?

Sound off in the comments!

John is the Operations Manager at Authntk Walkaround Videos and has been with the company since its inception. He loves working with auto dealerships ...