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Purchasing a new or used vehicle is one of the largest buying decisions a consumer will make. As such, automotive industry brands need to consider how they educate potential buyers to help them make the most informed decisions possible. From creating brand awareness to the closing of a sale, automotive influencers with a dedicated and engaged following are the perfect partners to help retailers steer car buyers through the customer journey.
The Online Automotive Consumer Journey
Buying a car is a major expense for most people, and research shows that the automotive consumer journey almost always starts online. According to Think with Google, 95% of vehicle shoppers use online resources to find answers to car-buying questions and spend about 14 hours online before making their final decision. This trend led to a 65% spike in “test drive” videos on YouTube – one of the largest hubs for automotive influencers – over the past two years.
According to Business Wire, friend and family recommendations are the single most influential source for car buyers. This makes influencers who have built trust and credibility with their audience the perfect partners for automotive brands that want to get their products in front of consumers looking to make an informed buying decision.
What is an Automotive Influencer?
An automotive influencer creates digital content focused primarily on the automotive industry. These creators usually have a minimum of 1,000 engaged followers that have been naturally accumulated through compelling content and genuine interactions. A successful car influencer is a trendsetter and can persuade their audience to make the right choices when it comes to cars, parts, and accessories.
The Impact of Automotive Influencers
Automotive influencers play a crucial role in shaping the opinions and decisions of potential car buyers. Through their engaging content, these influencers offer insights and reviews that greatly influence the purchasing decisions of their followers.
As more people turn to trusted automotive influencers for guidance, their role in the industry becomes increasingly pivotal. By partnering with these influencers, automotive brands can tap into a highly engaged and receptive audience, amplifying their marketing reach and impact.
Types of Influencers That Work for the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is relatable to virtually anyone with a social media account, given the 276 million vehicles registered in the United States and 91% of American families having access to a car. Even historical events like the infamous OJ Simpson “car chase” in 1994, which boosted Ford Bronco sales by nearly 24%, demonstrate the power of a captivated audience in driving sales.
Specific Creators Ideal for Automotive Brands
- Automotive Influencers: These creators are well-informed about the products they promote, providing their audience with a comprehensive understanding of a vehicle’s capabilities. Their knowledge builds the credibility brands need to comfort consumers in making their first purchase.
- Fashion Influencers: These creators are ideal for automakers aiming to position their cars as stylish and trendy. For instance, Volvo successfully targeted a wider, hipper audience by collaborating with fashion influencers.
- Outdoor/Adventure Influencers: These influencers are often seen engaging in various activities, showcase the diverse capabilities, endurance, or dependability of vehicles, making them perfect for certain automakers looking to promote themselves to a specific audience.
Most Successful Platforms for Automotive Influencers
- Facebook: With over 2.85 billion monthly active users, Facebook remains a key platform, particularly for reaching an older demographic with more disposable income.
- YouTube: Boasting more than 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is crucial for automotive influencers. The platform’s capacity for long-form videos is invaluable for detailed product showcases and vehicle overviews.
- Instagram: Known for its personal touch, Instagram excels in fostering genuine, authentic brand-creator relationships. It also offers easy cross-industry outreach for automotive retailers seeking to collaborate with influencers in varied niches.
- TikTok: As a rapidly growing platform, TikTok has become an influential space for younger audiences. With over 1 billion active monthly users, it offers a unique format that caters to short, engaging, and often creative content. This platform is especially effective for automotive brands looking to tap into a younger demographic and create viral content. TikTok’s algorithm also allows for greater organic reach, making it a powerful tool for automotive influencers to showcase quick, captivating glimpses of vehicles and automotive products.
How to Identify the Right Automotive Influencers for Your Dealership
Identifying and partnering with the right automotive influencers is crucial for maximizing the impact of your marketing efforts. Here’s a guide on what to consider and how to evaluate potential influencers:
Factors to Consider When Selecting Automotive Influencers:
- Alignment with Brand Values: Ensure the influencer’s content, style, and audience align with your dealership’s brand values and image. An influencer who resonates well with your brand’s ethos can create more authentic and effective promotions.
- Target Audience Match: The influencer’s followers should overlap with your dealership’s target market. Analyzing their audience demographics, such as age, location, and interests, is essential for ensuring that your marketing efforts reach the right people.
- Content Quality and Relevance: High-quality, relevant content is key. Influencers who consistently produce engaging and informative content about automotive topics are more likely to be trusted and influential within the community.
Evaluating an Influencer’s Reach, Engagement, and Authenticity:
- Reach and Followers: While a large follower count is impressive, it’s not the only metric to consider. Assess the influencer’s reach by looking at the number of views, shares, and comments their content typically receives.
- Engagement Rates: Engagement rate is a critical indicator of how actively involved the influencer’s audience is with their content. Look for likes, comments, shares, and the overall interaction level on their posts. Higher engagement rates often translate to more impactful influencer campaigns.
- Authenticity and Credibility: Authenticity is paramount in influencer marketing. Evaluate how genuine the influencer appears in their content. Do they provide honest reviews and opinions? Influencers who have built credibility over time are more effective in persuading their audience.
- Consistency in Posting: Regular posting indicates an active online presence and commitment to their audience. Consistency in content quality and posting frequency helps in maintaining a loyal follower base.
- Past Collaborations and Campaigns: Review their previous partnerships and the impact of those campaigns. Successful past collaborations, especially in the automotive sector, can be a good indicator of the influencer’s effectiveness.
- Analytics and Tools: Utilize analytics tools to get insights into the influencer’s audience demographics, engagement rates, and content performance. This data-driven approach can help in making informed decisions.
Does Your Dealership Need an Influencer Marketing Strategy?
In the evolving landscape of automotive digital marketing, the significance of influencer marketing for automotive dealerships cannot be overstated. Such a strategy not only amplifies your dealership’s brand visibility across various digital platforms but also capitalizes on the trust and credibility influencers have with their audience. This trust is particularly influential in a consumer’s decision-making process, often more so than traditional advertising. Furthermore, influencer marketing provides targeted outreach, allowing your dealership to reach specific customer segments, from luxury car enthusiasts to young, first-time buyers.
Unlike conventional marketing tactics, influencer collaborations can yield more engagement and direct traffic to your dealership’s digital channels, fostering higher conversion rates. This approach is notably cost-effective, offering a better ROI, especially when targeting niche markets or promoting new vehicle models.
Developing an effective influencer marketing strategy starts with setting clear goals – whether it’s increasing brand awareness, boosting sales, or introducing new vehicles.
The key lies in identifying influencers who not only resonate with your brand’s values but also have an audience that mirrors your target market. Collaborating on authentic content is crucial; content that is both genuine to the influencer’s style and reflective of your dealership’s ethos can engage audiences more effectively. Moreover, leveraging multiple social media platforms, like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, can enhance the reach and impact of your campaigns. It is also essential to continuously measure and refine your strategy based on analytics, ensuring that your influencer collaborations are effectively contributing to your dealership’s marketing objectives.
In essence, integrating an influencer marketing strategy can be a transformative step for your dealership, harnessing the power of digital influence to reach and engage potential customers in a way that traditional marketing avenues may not.
The Future of Automotive Influencer Marketing
The landscape of influencer marketing in the automotive sector is constantly evolving. With advancements in technology and changes in consumer behavior, the importance of automotive influencers in the buying journey is expected to grow even further. As virtual reality and augmented reality technologies develop, influencers will likely use these tools to provide even more immersive and interactive experiences for their audience, setting new trends in the automotive industry.
Leveraging Fullpath to Improve Your Marketing ROI
Fullpath’s enhanced Customer Data Platform is designed to help you take your dealership marketing to the next level by leveraging your data coupled with the power of AI and marketing automations. Fullpath’s digital advertising solution automatically generates hyper-targeted ad campaigns that are optimized around the clock to drive more leads for your dealership. Learn more here, or send an email to email@example.com to schedule a personalized demo with the Fullpath team.
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