It’s also one of the few brands looking to actively source user generated content (UGC) from its followers under #astonmartinlive – at the time of writing, there were 34k posts.
Investing in Influencers for automotive social media
In luxury, ‘celebrity’ has historically been used for ‘retention’ purposes, reassuring clients of their purchase rather than to drive sales. Celebrity still continues to pack a punch; Maserati recently signed up David Beckham, for example.
Arguably, social has disrupted this approach since celebrity now has its own social channels, so illusion, elusiveness and exclusivity have gone out the window.
Luxury brands have gradually shifted towards a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ approach, revealing and working their powerful connections just like other brands do.
As a result, the luxury car sector has begun to work with automotive influencers and often they are lucky enough to already have these in their midst through their sponsorship programmes.
While automotive social media doesn’t naturally sync with the ‘how-to’ content agenda so big on Instagram and in sectors like beauty for example, there are other types of influencer automotive brands are looking at.
Travel naturally reflects a shared romance of the open road: for example, Jaguar supported this influencer’s trip from California to Oregon.
Interestingly, Mercedes Benz seems to be unearthing the most unique influencers in this space. Yes, there is a 21 year-old-vehicle engineering student with 58k followers – who knew?!
We’ve even seen Lamborghini collaborating with NBA Stars and Porsche supporting a version of Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine.
Brands utilising Instagram Stories
Stories are actively being used by all the luxury brands mostly to showcase their models as they would in a brochure – as we’ve seen Porsche do recently.
For most other sectors, stories align themselves best to live events or the here and now, the type of content the automotive sector is often lacking.
Aston Martin’s activity F1 stories give a snap shot of the action on race day.
Using IGTV for automotive social media
Several brands have started using IGTV as a way of sharing longer videos. Some of the content is akin to an advert you may watch on TV, cars driving around featuring beautiful landscape shots. But we’ve also seen interviews with celebs like Coldplay’s Guy Berryman, talking about his love of the cars and music.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen automotive brands using musicians in their car campaigns.
Creating a Brand Personality
Do these brands have a personality? Over to you on that, but apart from BMW’s wry choice of influencers, there are *some* flourishes of humour and fun – though they’re in the minority.
Porsche acknowledges the fact some of its users are parents:
It also uses its Stories to engage with its users via quizzes – sample question: turn on your audio and name this exhaust system! It's something BMW have tried too...
Instagram profiles are non-political spaces: however Jaguar was the only brand that acknowledged Saudi Arabia lifting its ban on female drivers, launching this interesting mini documentary on ‘World Driving Day’.
We also saw Lamborghini acknowledge International Women’s Day on 8 March.
Having said that, automotive social media feeds feel like a stereotypically masculine space – there’s little here to truly excite anyone looking for anything beyond ‘car porn’.
Yet it would seem things are changing – Porsche have also used one of its Stories to discover which types of content their users are most interested in.
If that’s symptomatic of all brands, it’ll be interesting to see what appears next as they get used to this medium (and maybe even have some fun).
Benefits of Instagram for automotive social media
Instagram is the perfect channel for car brands to showcase their models and talk about the aesthetics and performance of them. But the channel also offers more benefits to their marketing departments.
These brands have an opportunity to create content that builds on their history and long-term connection with prestigious clients. They can showcase their involvement with current events and partnerships with other brands that mirror the same level of quality.
Instagram also offers automotive brands the benefit of building on the fan base of other celebrities and influencers by creating content featuring them.
It’s fair to say that Instagram offers many opportunities to showcase a diverse range of content.