Best practices around selecting and implementing the most effective media advertising channel strategy for automotive companies include search engine marketing, Over-The-Top (OTT) advertising and social media marketing. These and an optimal marketing mix are discussed below.
1. Search engine marketing
- Search engines are the first place that buyers go to when starting their journey of buying cars. Kenshoo reports that 70% of consumers go to search engines when researching cars.
- It is important for an automotive company to ensure that they are at the top of the search results by optimizing their ad groups, using ad extensions, prioritizing key words that generate results, adding negative key words, properly allocating budget between campaigns, keeping key words closely related to ad text, and considering other search networks such as Bing.
- In order for search engine marketing to generate results, ad copy and landing pages should be matched to user intent, the quality score should be considered, and the offer should be in focus and should reflect the customer’s end goal.
- 43% of Google queries have a local intent, so it is important for automotive companies to utilize local searches. Moreover, 78% of local mobile searches are followed by an offline purchase within hours. The final stage of buying usually involves searching for information on product availability, directions, addresses and hours.
2. Over-The-Top (OTT) advertising
- Brands are increasingly investing in OTT advertising due to the decline in cable viewership and the rise in streaming subscription. These ads are placed on connected TVs, Amazon Fire Stick, smart TVs, Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV and media streamed through OTT platfroms such as Hulu. According to Digital Dealer, there will be 98 million connected TV households by 2020.
- OTT advertising has low-cost opportunities because it has fewer competitors and lower demand. It also blends digital channels and traditional TV as it provides data analytics but also reaches people in their living rooms.
3. Social media marketing
- There are 3.48 billion social media users worldwide, and this provides advertising opportunities for automotive brands. Social media provides audience data and analytics, and drives business growth. 75% of auto buyers find social media to be a helpful resource when selecting a dealership.
- Facebook Ads is among the most powerful social media ad platforms, in addition to Google, for automotive companies. It offers powerful targeting tools and automotive inventory ads.
- Instagram has more than 1 billion active users and it “thrives on visual content“. Automotive brands do well on Instagram with behind the scenes footage and high-quality production videos for their promoted Instagram posts. Over 5 million Instagram users in the US said their main interest on Instagram is auto-related posts, and 40% of millennials said that the platform played a role in the car that they ended up buying.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine globally after Google, and automotive companies can engage buyers through the use of educational video and explainer videos. Moreover, “video content influences 70% of car buyers” that do their research on YouTube.
4. Optimal Channel Mix
- A whitepaper by IAB shows the optimal advertising mix for an automotive company. The mix was as follows:
In selecting the best practices, we looked through reports from various industry related websites and blogs. We selected the best practices as those that were mentioned in two or more sources.