For years, automotive companies have been able to develop iconic brand names through traditional media outlets such as television, radio, and newspaper. Consumer behavior has shifted and digital channels have become more central to automotive organizations’ marketing strategies. With digital ad spend expected to increase 143% from 2013 to 2018, marketers within this industry have the opportunity to more heavily engage their consumers via online channels.

The amount of information that’s available online for prospective automotive buyers to discover is extraordinary — whether it be product specs, photos, videos, reviews, or social shares, consumers are able to gain a wealth of knowledge through digital resources.

In the past, consumers didn’t have these resources at hand — they simply went to dealerships and test drove cars before making a purchase decision. Now, consumers are able to virtually view features and compare makes and models side-by-side even before they step foot in a dealership. This gives marketers in the automotive space the opportunity to influence purchase decisions in the early research phase by targeting consumers through online channels.

As featured in Kenshoo’s most recent infographic, Kenshoo Industry Spotlight: Automotive, search is the #1 resource used by today’s “digital driver”, per Google.

Auto - Online Resources

Knowing car shoppers turn to search engines most frequently when researching, it’s crucial that auto brands optimize their search marketing presence to capture users with high intent. When searching for an automotive category term, consumers are 28X more likely to convert when clicking on an ad. This shows that not only does paid search creating brand awareness, but it is actively generating online conversions.

Supplementing your paid search efforts with social mentions, shares, and interactions can help automotive brands establish relationships with consumers and influence purchase decisions. In fact, per Ford Direct and Research Now, 56% of car buyers who contacted a dealer because of social media advertising made a purchase.

Social Influencing Auto Purchase

Marketers who engage via search and social will be able to steer consumers to their brand, establish trust, and influence automotive purchase decisions.

To view the Kenshoo Industry Spotlight: Automotive Infographic in full and discover all automotive-specific insights, click the image below. Be sure to also check out the [key]word search at the bottom and uncover the top 25 words within automotive keyword searches!

Auto Infographic snippet