How car-related searches suggest a valuable role for automotive content marketing…

Think With Google has published a report on trends within the auto sector – and what it unearthed is not only interesting for car accessory brands but also as automotive content marketing opportunities for brands themselves.

The report pulled in top volume queries from Google Search and YouTube as well as comments and insight from 100 consumers across Germany, United States and Japan to understand how trends are appearing in people’s lives.

As you’d expect, the report unearths interesting details about… OK, the true craziness of us as a human race.

In the US, it’s a sad time for car radios and fuzzy steering wheel and carseat covers as search shows a decreasing lack of interest in such things. The real winners are pets: users are searching for car seats, covers, hammocks(!), seat belts and steps for dogs!

In Germany, it’s all about the music with searches for subwoofers and the like as well as car cameras and car accessories for children. Whereas in Japan, indicators show a consumer desire to customize car interiors with accessories, cute car seat covers and rear seat monitors among other things.

‘I have a Rilakkuma steering wheel cover, with Gachapin and Mukku cushions. I’m happy being surrounded by what I love inside the car,’ says Pooh N, Japan.

As Google says,

‘With every query typed into a search bar, users provide a glimpse into their considerations and intentions.’

It’s obvious how this data is interesting for car accessory manufacturers and car brands from a product development perspective.

But it’s also interesting for how brands market themselves via automotive content marketing. If these are key to what automotive consumers are really interested in, wouldn’t you want to align your cars with these trends?

It’s obvious.

Benefits of automotive content marketing

Once you know what your audience is searching for, why wouldn’t you use that information to create some totally unique content? Something that’s as simple as a short video or an educational blog post can have numerous benefits.

It’s an excellent way to increase your online visibility. More content gives means you have more of a chance to be seen. It’s just down to identifying the right channel and ensuring that your content is appropriate.

Hosting your automotive content online can also lead to more traffic visiting your website. There are the click throughs you may get directly from posting on social media, but in addition to this evergreen content that sits on a blog has the potential to drive traffic to your website for years to come. It’s important to make sure that the content is modified to fit best practice SEO, but good quality automotive content can potentially start to compound traffic over time, meaning the content is gaining an increasing amount of traffic the longer it’s present online. It’s just important to remember to revisit your content and check it’s still relevant over time, there may be some tweaks required. But investing in creating some high quality evergreen automotive content will be worth your time.

Apart from these benefits, it would make for such fun, online-friendly content. Who doesn’t want to see a dog in a car seat with a seat belt on!? Who wouldn’t feel some glimmer of appreciation for a brand showing that?

Reacting to the data-insight

For the majority of brands selling online, this would be content marketing gold. But in the UK, the automotive industry is predominantly trapped by its historic relationship with dealerships and big budget brand building collateral like car ads and brochures which take time to produce.

Reacting to this kind of data-insight needs to happen fast. But as a digital sales tool, it’s invaluable in driving users seeking to buy online. However, there are still only a handful of brands operating in the ecommerce space within the UK: Peugeot, Hyundai and Smart cars are in the minority and in 2018 BMW also started its ecommerce journey.

However, in China, this move in the market is already underway with car brands opening virtual showrooms and partnering with ecommerce sites.

BMW, Maserati, Chang’an Automobile Group and Chery Automobile have already opened shops on Alibaba’s Tmall platform where consumers can pay deposits online and receive additional discounts.

Chinese car trading site Autohome has already launched an augmented reality-based virtual auto show with 360 degree footage of vehicles users can access through smartphones.

In 2016, one million vehicles worth $15 billion were sold online in China, according to consultancy Frost & Sullivan.

How this approach continues here in the UK, we’ll have to wait and see. However, it helps highlight what car brands need to be doing and the role story and user-focused information should be playing.

Sure, we need to know the things a car brand wants us to know about adjustable exterior mirrors or rear parking sensors. But what’s also useful is whether we can get a buggy in the boot and if our dog can catch a ride.

Want to find out more about the current state of automotive marketing; what users want, what brands are doing and what works? Check out our automotive marketing report.

If you would like help with your content marketing, please email isobel.robson@archantdialogue.co.uk

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