With the rise of social media, dealerships are realizing that instead of meeting their potential customers face-to-face, they now have to reach out and cultivate relationships in the online sphere. Content marketing is one of the ways they tackle this seemingly insurmountable task.
Content marketing involves creating valuable, quality content aimed towards a specific audience, with driving profitable customer actions as the end goal. Content marketing is a great approach to solving the digital marketing divide – but it’s even more effective when the content production and distribution decisions are backed by clear, strong data.
The Role of Content Marketing in the Auto Industry
In the past, the auto industry relied on traditional marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness, build brand identity, and publicize launches of new vehicles. In 2018, automotive brands began experimenting with influencer marketing and other collaborations, like:
- Jaguar and Dua Lipa
- Ford and Next
And even highly experimental options, such as:
- Virtual test drives (Hyundai and Jeep)
- Bentley and a restaurant
To know where you’re going and how you’ll get there, you’ve got to have a good roadmap.
Establishing a Framework for Content Marketing
Having a data framework in place allows you to analyze your audience’s behavior. You can gauge and produce this framework by monitoring such things as simple social media interaction or through more complex methods like webpage heat maps. Knowing how an audience interacts with different types of content on multiple social media channels opens up doors for you to tailor your content specifically for each audience. This, in turn, leads to higher engagement rates and more potential ROI for your brand.
In addition, a data- and social channel-focused approach breeds greater creativity among marketers because much of the previously unknown areas, such as demographic information, content and channel preference, and more are identified by the data itself. When a marketer knows that customer demographic x responds best to image-based tweets, they’re able to use their creativity to foster connections and start conversations.
Content Marketing Tools for the Auto Industry
Some companies don’t have the necessary resources for developing a full-scale framework for content marketing, but the marketers in the automotive industry have some tools at their disposal that can make the journey easier. The overall spaces in which marketers should be identifying these tools include:
- Content marketing analytics
- Social listening
- Marketing automation
Let’s take a look at some of the tools available:
Google Analytics and BuzzSumo are indispensable for:
- Analyzing the types of traffic your website receives
- Determining the content generating optimal engagement
Want to interact with your audience better? Social listening tools let you monitor conversations that include your brand or topics specific to your industry and track their outcome. HootSuite and TweetDeck are both free tools and among the best social listening tools available.
Tying your lead generation campaigns to your overall content marketing strategy lets you glean vital analytics that you can apply to things like email marketing. The best tools for marketing automation include Marketo and HubSpot.
Having great visual content is one of the best marketing tools you can have in your belt. Free tools like Unsplash give you access to thousands of royalty-free images that you can place in your content, and free/paid options like Canva are perfect for marketers who want to design their own images and graphs.
While you can’t ignore data when determining your content marketing strategy, you also can’t let data alone guide the way. You don’t want to lose the human element so necessary to help you chart your path forward. As important as data is, it should not be used to set up an auto-pilot content marketing strategy. Use the above tools to harness the unique side of your brand and create content that stands “rims” above the rest.
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