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Drones have granted car lovers and businesses the ability to take new and stylish footage of vehicles. For auto dealerships, including used car dealers, drones offer an exciting, new opportunity to improve auto sales. Drones can take creative, high quality photos, walk-arounds, and videos that will engage and attract buyers.
The footage can be used to help your auto dealership get vehicle advertisements ready for Autotrader, Kijiji, Cargurus and others. Dealerpull Inventory Management can feed or syndicate your inventory to these platforms, including descriptions, information, and photos. If you want to include video, that’s not automatic, but it can be done through YouTube URLs, for example.
Drone footage can also be used to spice up the top banner area of your dealership’s website and social media presence. Car dealers with an engaging and exciting presence on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook rise above the rest of the competition.
Like any art form, taking good footage with a drone takes a lot of preparation and careful planning.¹ The first thing to access is patience. It takes a lot of practice to use a drone well.
Before attempting to fly – or pilot – the drone, take time to learn the camera and apps or software you can use to edit footage.
Once you feel ready, learn to pilot the drone. Be gentle, smooth, and slow.¹ Footage is always better – and your drone, your car, and the people around you will be safer – if you remember, always, to be gentle, smooth, and slow. There is plenty of time to adjust the speed of your footage during editing.
At this point, share your experiments with your automotive team, with friends, and even with repeat customers. Ask questions to discover which shots grab attention most and which shots create excitement. Patience, practice, and gathering information about how people react to drone footage will help you to be more effective using that footage to increase automotive sales.
Finally, watch videos made using drones³ – watch a lot of them.⁴ You will gather ideas about the types of shots you want to take. Don’t worry about being original at first – your creativity is increased, not decreased, by getting inspiration from others who practice the same arts.
As drones have become more popular, various names for drone-style camera shots have been created. Some of the names are borrowed from traditional cinematography, while others are entirely new.
The Lower Push In and Reveal Shot⁵ – also known as The Unveiling² or Low-to-the-Ground-Tilt-Up⁶ shot. For this shot, start really low to the ground with the camera facing the ground, then as you move in – or push in – tilt up to reveal the car, slowing down as you get nearer.⁵ Remember - slow and steady!
This shot is great for a special trim of a vehicle, a vehicle in high demand, or a model new to your auto dealership’s inventory.
The Orbit¹ – also called the Lower Orbit.⁵ Begin with the drone low down by the vehicle, then move the drone, slowly and steadily around the vehicle, turning the camera to keep the vehicle in the shot. Play around with distance, angle, and speed.
The Orbit is an effective shot for showing off the fine lines and design features of your best looking vehicles.
The Fly-by¹ and Fly-through² shots. A Fly-by can be done in a variety of ways, just keep the car in the shot and keep it in focus. Like a Fly-by shot, a Fly-through shot can be dangerous, depending on conditions and what you are flying the drone near or through. For either shot, keep the drone as slow as possible for safety – remember you can make things look fast during editing.
The Fly-by is a good choice to share vehicles that are sold or an entire row of sold vehicles.
The Pull Away⁶ shot – also called the Super Dolly or Dronie¹ and similar to the Fly-up-tilt-down⁶ and Jib Boom⁵ shots. Start the drone close and down low near the vehicle. Then fly the drone up and away and maybe over the top of the vehicle to show it off within a larger, hopefully stunning, scene.
The Pull Away is great for footage of vehicles on your auto dealership lot that have panoramic sunroofs or blacked-out roofs.
The Tracking⁵ shot – also known as the Follow¹ or Side-follow shot. This shot is the one every car enthusiast wants – the vehicle in motion, what car culture calls the Rolling shot. Many drones can be set to follow a moving object automatically, but however you do it, try it from a variety of distances and angles. It will all look great!
The Tracking shot is fantastic for those rare or expensive vehicles that come along only once in a while.
The Bird’s Eye shot² – sometimes called the Tilt-Reveal or, if movement is included, the Tracking-Tilt. For this one, start above the subject, looking at it as if from a bird’s eye view. Then tilt or move to show off the car within a stunning landscape or urban scene.
This shot is great for showing off your automotive dealership while also focusing on marketing a specific car, SUV, or truck.
Getting a drone and learning how to use it can lead to great car footage. Post on social media, improve your dealership’s website, and you can look forward to selling more inventory. Keep being creative, add some music, take your inventory around to interesting settings – the sky’s no longer a limit when you have a drone.