Marketers use content to carve out their own corners in niche industries. While the automaker landscape seems vast and full of opportunity, a lot of today’s biggest players are stuck in first gear with their marketing campaigns. Brafton has reported that as of November 2012 Volkswagen accounted for approximately 25 percent of all promotional video content within the auto sector.
While video marketing has seen widespread adoption, with 70 percent of B2Bs and B2Cs already using visual media to promote products and services, car manufacturers and dealers invest in other internet marketing tactics instead. Dataium conducted a survey of U.S. auto dealerships for Cars.com and found that 55 percent of digital marketing spend goes toward paid search marketing. To get the interest of prospects, marketers invest heavily in pay per click (PPC), display advertising and SEO content – but is this money well spent?
A new report from eMarketer, “Automotive Search Trends: Industry Preps for Dramatic Shift in 2013,” noted that paid and organic search drives leads and sells vehicles, but new tactics are entering the mix more frequently than ever before. Google found that less than one-quarter of new-car shoppers buy the brand they first discover in search, so automakers must build supportive content strategies to reach prospects throughout the sales cycle.
Local search and higher-quality websites have changed the U.S. deal landscape, forcing companies to create sophisticated campaigns. While search engine marketing remains a top priority for automakers, eMarketer reports that industry insiders see video content, social media marketing and mobile technology adding to the complexity of selling vehicles online. Fifty-eight percent of new-car buyers visit dealerships after watching video content, according to the NADA. Dealerships – both large and small – can develop their own content marketing campaigns to facilitate smarter product research online, and drive interested prospects into flagship or local establishments. Web content can help identify leads with the most interest in converting and leaving a site with new vehicles.