Trends in Automotive Digital Marketing

Posted on October 3, 2019 by Nuno Andrade

Given the number of consumers who are online or using connected devices for more and more time each day, it is no wonder that the popularity of automotive digital marketing is exploding.

Marketers are finding new ways to unlock the power of digital marketing across different platforms and using their experience to shape new and innovative campaigns for the brands they represent. Even the automotive industry is riding the rise of digital marketing, using the power of various digital and social platforms to elevate automotive marketing to a new level.

The embrace of digital marketing allows automotive companies to connect to consumers who are increasingly moving away from more traditional advertising platforms. Looking at how automotive brands are using digital marketing to reach these consumers, there are a few definite trends that should continue in coming years.

Video marketing

Gone are the days when online ads are static and largely print or image-based.

Millennials and Generation Z are both more likely to respond to video or interactive advertising than more traditional ads, and the automotive industry is happy to indulge this. Automotive marketing has always had a predisposition to video with automotive brands relying heavily on television commercials, so it seems a natural fit to shift this to the connected digital space as well.

Beyond standard video ads, an increasing number of automotive marketing teams are embracing more dynamic video content. Some are making use of interactive “Choose Your Experience” ads on some platforms that play different video clips based on viewer input. Ads that show a short video clip, then direct viewers to short films or other longer-form content hosted on the brand’s website are also popular among automotive brands.

Voice-based optimization

The way that consumers search for products is changing.

Traditionally, SEO was focused on short keyword phrases that were likely to be entered into a search engine. With a significant amount of online activity shifting away from computers and onto smartphones and tablets, consumers are spending less time typing out what they’re searching for. Instead, they use voice-to-text capabilities to search, resulting in the use of longer-form speech-based search phrases instead of shorter keywords.

Automotive marketers are adapting to this trend, focusing more of their search-based marketing efforts on these speech-based keywords instead of more traditional SEO.

Social media mastery

One area where automotive brands are really making a push is in social media.

Many consumers are proud of the vehicles they own, and automotive marketers capitalize on this by building online communities around their brands’ social media presence. By embracing social media as a digital marketing platform, automotive brands can reinforce brand loyalty and get consumers who are already fans of their products to share information about new products and vehicle lines at little to no additional marketing cost.

At the same time, these marketers are making use of more visual social media platforms such as Instagram to show off the best of what the brand has to offer.

Chatbot utilization

Going hand-in-hand with social media usage, automotive brands are using chatbots as an important part of their digital marketing strategies.

The bots allow consumers to interact one-on-one with the brand without the need for congested customer service lines, answering questions and otherwise providing information about the brand and its vehicles. This direct line provides personalized marketing opportunities based on the consumer’s input while giving the consumer a sense of instant gratification as they can find out exactly what they want to know without having to spend time searching for the information online.

Importance of reviews

While reviews have always been important to auto marketing, recent changes at Google are putting legitimate reviews at the forefront of searches on the platform.

These trends ensure that positive reviews an important part of digital marketing strategy, especially for an industry that has been plagued with large recalls and other issues in recent years. Automotive brands are realizing the importance of reputation management as a component of marketing strategy and are taking steps to ensure that they don’t wind up being dragged down by the ever-growing importance of online reviews.

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