The U.S. auto industry is expected to spend more than $14,14 billion by 2020, according to the research company Insider Intelligence. However, with so much competition and constant innovations in the industry, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Read on to learn more about these challenges and about the companies who have responded best to them.
Why Automotive Marketing Is Changing
According to Tom Treanor, a Forbes Councils Member, the automotive industry is experiencing a surge in demand even during the pandemic. Customers who previously used public transportation or rideshare apps now plan to buy vehicles to adhere to social distancing best practices.
Additionally, the COVID-19 crisis has shifted much of the car-buying process online, so companies in the automotive industry need to be prepared to adapt to these changes. Additionally, 70% of younger millennial customers say that technology and infotainment systems are “must-haves” in their next vehicle purchase.
9 Automotive Marketing Strategies
Fortunately, there are several ways to market your app to appeal to potential customers, and others that have come before you that have used them in the most effective ways. These strategies include:
#1. Use Customer Reviews
Who better to tell you about what they want than your existing customers? Customer reviews can provide insight into what customers like – and don’t like. In response to a Fan and Fuel survey, 97% of consumers said that they factor customer reviews into their purchasing decision. Additionally, not having any reviews can make people avoid making the purchase because your credibility is called into question.
So, how do you go about getting reviews? Here are a few ideas:
- Send email – You can send your customers a feedback survey or simply thank them for their business and ask them to fill out a quick review from a link you provide in the message.
- SMS messaging – Since you are marketing an app, text message is a reasonable marketing platform for you. About 90% of text messages are opened within three minutes, making this a particular useful marketing and response method.
- Landing page – You can also create a special page on your website devoted to this sole purpose. This strategy may also help increase your relevancy rating by the search engine.
- At download – You can ask your customers to leave a review right after they download and test out your app.
#2. Bid on Competitor Keywords
If someone is searching for a product or service from your competitor, it stands to reason that they may be a potential customer of you, too. Bidding on competitor keywords is often less expensive than bidding on other keywords since there is usually less competition for them. This strategy can help boost your online advertising performance and increase brand awareness.
#3. Start Rank at the Top on Google Play Market
If you have achieved success with an iOS app, you cannot assume that you can use the same strategy to achieve a high ranking in the Google Play Store. Some ways to improve your ranking here include:
- Create a comprehensive store listing and fill in your app’s title, description, promo text, an keywords
- Provide high-quality graphics for your app icon, screenshots, and images
- Use professional translation services if you are trying to market to a diverse audience
- Talk about your app on your other marketing channels
#4. Use Interactive Content
Automaker Suzuki realized that its South Africa brand was not resonating with as many potential customers as its execs thought it could, so they began drastically altering their marketing plan in 2016. Their new approach used various methods to appeal to customers, including producing high-quality content marketing through articles, infographics, blog posts, and videos.
The company then spread this messaging across its website and social media channels. Visitors were encouraged to interact with the content by using forms and calls to action. Leads were qualified and then sent onto local dealerships. The marketing strategy worked: the company experienced 12.5 times more traffic to its website, 21% more sales, and increased its market share from 1.53% to 2.17%.
#5. Use Events
Events can provide buzz about your product. You have a chance to interact with people who have a real interest in your product and describe the best features.
Volvo used the LA Auto Show to launch its new XC40 model and its Care by Volvo product that allowed consumers to subscribe to a car. Facebook for Business reports that the LA Auto Show itself was able to sell 37% more tickets to its 2017 event than in the previous year and make 3.5 times the amount it spent on its ads by using Facebook events.
#6. Expand Social Media Marketing
If you are not currently marketing on social media or are only using this method very little, you may want to expand your efforts. According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Social report, approximately 73% of businesses say that social media marketing has been “very effective” or “somewhat effective.”
If you only have time or money to invest in one social media platform, you may want to use Facebook, which the Pew Research Center says at least 68% of U.S. adults have an account with.
Facebook for Business reports that there are plenty of free features to help you promote your business, including uploading screenshots and videos that explain the benefits of your app and custom calls to action. You can also promote your app with an ad that leads consumers to the app store or to take certain actions. You can also give customers a chance to demo your app.
You can also install the free Facebook Software Developer Kit to help you learn more about the people who download your app. You can also point your advertising to those who have already installed the app. Facebook also offers a free measurement tool so you can see how your app ads are performing.
Several companies have realized greater success with the help of social media marketing, including the finance and short-term loan company OneFi. The company was founded in 2012 and achieved 9 times the number of loans it issued and increased its download rate by 14.7 times after using a variety of Facebook ads, including slideshow, carousel and video.
Similarly, South Korean game publisher NetMarble experienced 1.45 times the number of installs after investing in Facebook and Instagram stories.
The Android Auto app experienced a surge in downloads as it grew its YouTube video library that presented its features.
#7. Use Retargeting Ads
Retargeting ads can be useful to reel potential customers back in if they have looked at your app and decided not to install it or visited a competitor’s site. You can send relevant messages to potential customers about the benefits of your app. Read this article to learn how to create and implement retargeting campaigns.
You can base your messages on where your customers are in the sale funnel, such as just finding out about your project or ready to download an app. You can also send targeted ads to your customer base at different points and for different purposes, such as:
- You have a holiday promotion or content added to your app
- You want to send a birthday message or other personalized email
- You want to follow up with your customer after download to learn about their experience
- You want to thank the customer for their purchase
#8. Integrate AI into Your Marketing
Today’s biggest brands know how to take advantage of AI and harness it to have a competitive advantage over others. Harley-Davidson developed its own AI tool, Albert, which Harvard Business Review reported increased New York sales leads by 2,930%.
The tool analyzed existing customer data from its customer relationship management system to isolate specific characteristics and behaviors that showed they were further along in the customer journey. and used them to identify potential customers with similar characteristics.
This allowed the company to run test campaigns on these micro segments of the potential target base that would give them information about what strategies would be most likely to convert leads to customers.
The program was able to make strategic marketing recommendations based on their behavior and improve conversation rates. This feedback was used to widen the campaigns, which led to a massive increase in sales.
#9. Use Public Records to Know Your Market and Customers’ Behavior
Public records can provide a wide array of information about your customers and their behaviors, including:
- Their geographic location
- Their age
- Their name
- Their address
- Their profession
- Their education
- Whether they are property owners
You can gather data about prospective buyers to target the right people with your automotive campaigns. For example, you may have a different marketing message to a mother in her 30s than a teen driver.
You want your app to innovate the automotive industry, right? Of course, you do! So, to make contact with them, you will need to be innovative in your marketing approach to your potential customers.
Want to know your customers? Get their public records and know their preferences.
About the Author!
Ben is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber. Enjoys sharing the best practices and does it the right way!