​Automakers in the United States have invested in long-term content marketing strategies to fuel results and increase brand awareness.

​Automakers have struggled over the past 10 years to entice first-time buyers with new vehicle. These brands have experienced trouble because of the economic downturns that affected droves of Americans. However, a new eMarketer report, “Millennials and Autos: How The Young Can Be Won,” suggests auto companies have the potential to use new-media like video content, social media marketing and custom content to drive awareness for long-term sales.

Millennials consist of approximately 86 million people, but a high percentage seem unlikely to purchase as many cars within their lifetimes as their parents did. According to a May 2012 survey from J.D. Power and Associates and AARP, 18- to 34-year olds accounted for 24 percent of all new vehicle purchases in 2001. The number has since dropped to 13 percent in 2012, and looks to continue a downward trend in 2013.

Automakers should feel optimistic that the market will eventually turn around and consumers will invest in vehicles that feature new technologies and benefits. According to a June 2012 report from Nielsen, interest in automotive web content is high among 18- to 34-year old males. In fact, prospects that fall into this age bracket visit branded car websites more than any other demographics in the United States.

Brands can use a variety of content marketing practices to build brand awareness for their products. Automakers may struggle to convert a high percentage of leads today, but they can invest in marketing programs that push prospects through the sales funnel, albeit slowly.

Building campaigns that provide Millennials with auto benefits is a start, but marketers should also look to ​craft personas for their brands by creating inclusive communities around their offerings. With a conscious focus on tone, automakers can paint their vehicles in a certain light, and target niche audiences with content that actually resonates.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.