Here’s What the Auto Industry Can Teach You about Marketing

Every industry approaches marketing differently. Marketers who work for airlines employ specific tactics to attract travelers, while those in the furniture business will adopt a completely different approach to move inventory.

That doesn’t mean, however, that marketers can’t learn valuable lessons from their peers in a different industry. The underlying principles that reach potential customers, engage with them, and close the sale are not specific to one segment. Here are some lessons that you can learn from the auto industry.

1. Provide Information, Then Go for a Soft Close

The Internet has revolutionized the world. People use it to catch up on the latest news, play games, and chat with other, often like-minded, people on social media. People also use the Internet to gather information.

Some wise marketers in the auto industry have found that people were researching what to do after a car accident. They ran ads giving those people the answers that they needed and also suggested a new vehicle for them to purchase.

That’s a great way to reach people in your market. Learn what keyword phrases are being searched (you can use Google AdWords for this) that are related to your niche. Then, run ads that target people searching for those phrases. Better yet, provide online content that is optimized for those phrases so that people will find your site organically in the search results.

2. Opt for Consistent Marketing

The online ads of automakers are strikingly similar their television ads and their print ads. This is not a coincidence.

There’s a bit of psychology at work here. Automakers want people to identify each specific model as its own brand and they want every ad to reinforce the brand identity.

Consistent marketing is an attempt to “teach” the human mind to associate similar themes, slogans, and images with a specific brand. It’s a streamlined means to boost brand awareness.

3. Use Video Marketing

Historically, automakers have put the majority of their budgets into television ads. This has been the approach long before the Internet brought video to our laptops, and it hasn’t changed much. Who hasn’t seen Matthew McConaughey’s infamous Lincoln commercials by now?

However, the advent of online video has created a new medium for the old-fashioned “car commercial.” As a result, automakers are shifting to online video as a means to promote their products.

The good news for marketers with thin budgets (unlike automakers) is that YouTube is available for free. You can post your own video online and the whole world has access to it.

4. Promote Your Brand with Shareable Content

One of the best ways to learn about how to promote your brand online is to learn about how other companies have successfully done so and emulate their practices.

Car companies have effectively used social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter to build brand awareness, share news, and engage with customers. For example, CJ Pony Parts, a Mustang parts dealer, routinely creates shareable content like infographics, motion graphics, tutorials, and guides. By creating a wide variety of content that is in line with their brand identity – like infographics on the auto industry – they appeal to both current and prospective customers alike.

Be sure to use relevant social media channels to share your content and engage with your customers. That’s one of the best ways to promote your brand online free of charge. No doubt this social media cheat sheet will come in handy.

5. Engage Quickly

By now, almost everyone has watched a YouTube video that begins with a commercial that can be skipped after five seconds of play time. Those five seconds are crucial.

If you’re running an ad on YouTube (or, as a matter of practice, anywhere else), be sure that you engage with your audience in less than five seconds. Or, better yet, make it so that your ad is only five seconds long. While promoting the new Fusca, Volkswagen designed an ad that automatically skips for you after the first five seconds. Talk about quick engagement.

Not in the auto industry? That doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from the tactics of car company marketers. Follow these tips to add some boost to your bottom line.


Image by Harrison Fry

Kayla Matthews

About Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a technology writer and blogger. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, MakeUseOf and The Epoch Times.

Kayla Matthews

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