As an automotive brand, you have access to a large audience of prospects and customers with an inherent need for your expertise. A well-executed content marketing campaign can ensure your brand connects with your audience right from the start of their journey. Walk alongside them throughout the decision-making process, not as a pushy salesperson but as a helpful friend. Educate, inform and entertain them about the automotive topics that they truly care about and will help them solve their problem, whether it’s a new-car purchase, an aftermarket parts issue, or a maintenance concern. Embrace the art of the soft sell by establishing your brand’s voice as an authority that can be trusted to meet their ever-increasing craving for valuable, unbiased information.
That’s the good news. The flip side is that those customers are also becoming less loyal and more impatient by the day. Automotive consumers have greater choice than ever before and are more knowledgeable; even a novice can learn the difference between torque ratio and horsepower in a few simple clicks. The way customers consume information has also changed considerably. Although traditional advertising still has a role to play, today’s automotive customers increasingly want to feel in control of what, how, and when they consume content.
Are you maximizing the five ways content marketing can help your brand’s voice resonate loudest with prospective, current, and future customers? If not, use a content marketing strategy that includes blog posts, e-books and white papers, bylined articles, social media posts, and engaging website copy. High-quality content will earn the respect and trust of prospects and convert them into loyal customers.
Consider these five tips when producing each of the five content types:
1. Rev up your blog
A successful blog can be the gift that keeps on giving. Blog posts are a great way to deliver your message in bite-sized chunks (400 to 650 words). Post should keep your existing audience coming back for more and be so engaging that readers feel compelled to spread your message with friends on social media. Explore a wide range of topics that inform and educate your audience, such as an overview of how hybrids work, advances in safety features, and how to increase fuel efficiency. For example, this auto repair shop’s blog offers frequent posts about issues that matter to its customers, such as why wheel alignment is important and what to do after an auto accident.
If you do it right, a blog will help you increase traffic, grow new leads, build loyalty, and gain credibility. However, failing to regularly update your blog and feeds with interesting and relevant content will quickly send you to the bottom of the pile. Update your blog daily, or at least several times a week, or risk losing your audience to a competitor who is spreading their message more consistently than you. But avoid giving your website visitors the hard sell at all times.
2. Make a real connection
A white paper or e-book is a more comprehensive, in-depth report about a relevant industry topic. White papers are generally 10 to 40 pages, and e-books tend to be between 6 and 12 pages long. Both are an effective way to offer solid information and advice to customers while subtly making the case for why your product or solutions are the best. If done well, both will help establish your brand as a thought leader and generate new leads. They are also the most commonly shared form of marketing content and provide a great way to obtain contact information because many customers willing to exchange their email address for a download.
Before embarking on a white paper or e-book, make sure you pick a topic that is strong enough to keep readers engaged. For example, a Fiat dealership offers an e-book on the six steps to buying a new car. You might choose to discuss recent developments in autonomous technologies as a whole while highlighting any recent advancements your brand has made. Or why not examine the growing trend towards more compact SUVs, discussing the pros and cons and subtly referring to your brand’s latest model while highlighting its most compelling features? Whatever topic you decide to tackle, present a problem and offer a solution that is backed up by compelling evidence in order to establish your brand as an expert.
3. Add a personal touch
A bylined article is longer than a blog post (800 to 1200 words) and names a company executive or leader as its author. The aim of the piece is to educate and is typically written for publication in industry blogs or trade publications. The article should enlighten the audience on relevant products and industry trends without directly promoting or pushing your company’s products and services.
Avoid self-promotion at all costs. Instead write about a current industry issue or topic in a voice that accurately reflects the style and tone of the person who is named as the author.
4. Get social
Compelling and consistent social media posts are essential to ensure your brand remains at the top of people’s minds. Social media is all about interaction, building relationships, and trust. By staying in the conversation — and adding to it in creative ways — your audience will grow exponentially as followers like, share, and favorite your posts. Automakers have discovered that their customers love using social media to tell people about their cars. User-generated content is a big part of Subaru’s social media strategy.
A good image catches attention, but nothing beats the power of words to convert. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms allow you to craft a great story to go with your image. Consistency is key: Share relevant and engaging content several times a day to increase your audience.
5. Keep your online showroom sparkling
Your website is the one destination almost every potential or current customer will visit at least once. Approach website copy as if it is your first, last, and best opportunity to tell the story of your brand on every page.
Treat your own website like you would your auto showroom or storefront. Keep it up to date, inviting, and in good working order at all times. Make sure your website copy reinforces your brand’s message at every opportunity.
Consistently publishing and posting the five content types listed above can help propel your automotive brand to the front of your customers’ minds as an expert voice they can trust. For best results we recommend using only high-quality, well-crafted content crafted by professional writers and journalists who are experts in the automotive industry. If you could already use an extra day every week and you don’t have a team of crack writers on hand, consider Prose Media. Sign up to gain free access to our platform today — we'd love to help you with all of your content needs.