As people turn to more digital outlets to get information, it’s important for companies to alter their marketing styles to meet the digital needs of consumers. The automotive industry is no exception; however, these companies need to approach their marketing efforts a little more…creatively, rather than just basic social media and a website. Below are tactics to inspire you, to increase not only your digital presence, but your overall reputation in the automotive marketing world. Here are examples of automotive companies that are implementing these tactics to the fullest.
Social Media – To the Max
It’s no shock the best way to gain customers is to engage with them. It’s not enough to have just a Facebook and Twitter account with no interaction with customers. It’s also hard to get customers to “trust” car salesmen as they are often misconstrued as manipulating. So how can you engage with customers to trust your product? Well, the team at Ford went above and beyond when it came to customer engagement.
In 2010, Ford launched the Ford Fiesta Movement. Ford selected 100 socially vibrant, young individuals to give the Ford Fiesta to, a full 18 months before it was available in the United States. The chosen individuals would have the Fiesta for a sixth-month time period, and Ford covered all expenses during that time including gas and insurance. The selected candidates had to share their experiences with the car on their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube channels. By the end of the campaign, Ford Fiesta gained 6.2 million YouTube views, 750,000 Flickr views and 40 million Twitter impressions. Most importantly, this campaign significantly gained awareness of the Ford Fiesta: Six thousand people pre-ordered the Fiesta and 132,000 drivers signed up for updates.
What We Can Learn From Ford: Engagement and thinking outside the box is key. It’s easy to have social media profiles, but if there’s no engagement, customers won’t take you seriously. Think of it like this, not engaging with customers is like agreeing to a press conference without answering any questions.
Social Media Partnerships in the Automotive Industry
As the marketing world is becoming more competitive, companies are diligently working to think of initiatives that will gain the attention of their customers. Partnerships are becoming increasingly popular to gain awareness and customers. Marketing partnerships, whether it be a celebrity endorsement or sponsorship, can be a powerful tool used to elevate companies into the digital spotlight. The Lincoln Motor Company and Toyota are both on the top of their class when it comes to great partnerships!
The Lincoln Motor Company partnered with Matthew McConhaughey on the rebranding of Lincoln. McConhaughey was featured in a series of commercials. This stirred up the social media world (not to mention Saturday Night Live). The Lincoln brand quickly gained cultural awareness.
What We Can Learn From Lincoln: Taking risks can pay off. This was the first time this brand teamed up with a celebrity in order to gain brand awareness and the results definitely were not disappointing.
The saying “less is more” is not relevant when it comes to Toyota. Not only did Toyota team up with NASCAR driver Blake Koch, but also Hudson, Ohio-based LeafFilter™ to develop LeafFilter Racing. LeafFilter Racing currently fields the Toyota Camry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. This is a win-win-win-win for Toyota. The company is positively developing relationships with three different companies all while promoting their product. Not to mention Blake Koch is prominent on social media.
What We Can Learn From Toyota: Too many relationships is never bad. No matter what industry it is, it’s imperative to develop relationships in order to reach a broader audience.
Not Just The Fun Stuff
Implementing tactics to increase your digital presence isn’t always as fun and extensive as a partnership or massive social media campaign. See three additional steps below to increase your digital presence in the automotive world.
1). Make Your Website Appealing – The first thing a potential customer will do is look at your website. Shopping for cars or car parts can be a tedious, gruesome task and if your website looks like it was built in the 1970s, your credibility will decrease tremendously. As a company, it’s your job to appeal to customers. Having a professional, clean and updated website allows your business to be “open” 24 hours a day. It consistently builds brand awareness and will increase engagement with your consumers.
2). Automotive SEO is Key –It’s important for your company to be easily searchable. It gives your company credibility and increases your chances of engagement. If your business isn’t on the first page of a search engine, chances are the consumer will click through multiple pages to find you.
3). Mobile Optimization – Today, people are using their cellphones to look up information on the go. Don’t forget to implement tactics to target mobile users. Tactics can include: push notifications, apps, mobile banners, location services or optimizing your website to fit a mobile view. As the use of mobile increases, so should the initiatives to reach this audience.
The automotive industry is no stranger to the need of a digital presence. Consumers will always need a new car, and they’ll want to accessorize it and personalize it, therefore the industry is never going away. As shoppers adapt to new ways of finding and personalizing a vehicle, the automotive industry needs to get progressively more digital as time goes on.