15 Automotive Marketing Trends Your Business Needs To Take Advantage of in 2022

automotive marketing trends 2022

With the New Year here, it’s time for WDA’s annual breakdown of the biggest automotive marketing trends your business needs to be taking advantage of. While this isn’t a FULL list and some of the below aren’t exactly new, we’ll explain their relevance in 2022 and beyond.

Content-Focussed/Short-Form Video

Short-form/content-focussed video is everywhere. From TikTok to Instagram Reels and short video snippets on LinkedIn etc. it provides a quick way for brands to convey information and your audience to consume it.

HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Marketing Industry Trends Survey, found that 51% of marketers who use short-form video plan to increase their investment in 2022. Additionally, Vidyard reports that 68% of people will happily watch a business video if it’s under a minute.

The beauty of short-form video is that it’s extremely easy to shoot and get out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s more about getting your content, message and brand out there. Here are some more video trends to look out for in 2022.

Personalisation

Personalisation has never been more important. Go beyond personalised emails by offering personalised web experiences based on data intelligence.

SMS/Messenger

This is still an incredibly under-utilised tactic in the industry and open rates are huge in comparison to email marketing. However, it is mostly best for B2C brands that can use it to push special offers etc.

sms messenger marketing

Micro Influencers

Micro-influencers have a smaller follower count than the most popular content creators out there but their audience engagement rates are usually far higher with the rate of audience engagement on content peaking at around the 1K followers mark. Whilst of course the go-to channels will be Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for many automotive brands, platforms such as TikTok and Twitch should also be considered.

Hybrid Events

The future of events has always been digital but this trend was massively accelerated by the Covid pandemic. This year’s SEMA show had nowhere near the turnout of previous years and we only expect this to decline as businesses realise the expense outweighs the benefits when you consider travel and logistics.

So what are hybrid events? They’re quite simply, a mix of live and virtual events. A hybrid event puts your online and live audience on the same level and provides an experience that caters to all in a viewer-friendly way.

Community – Groups, Discord etc.

User-driven content and community continues to grow with platforms like Discord, Reddit and of course Facebook groups. Start getting involved in groups and Discord channels etc. by creating them and joining them – starting conversation and providing value.

In terms of building a community and providing incredible value that will strengthen customer relationships and turn them into brand advocates, there really is no better platform than Discord. It’s one of the most effective ways to engage with current or prospective customers.

communities and groups

Audio Content – Rooms, Clubhouse, Podcasts

People continue to consume more audio content – whether it’s podcasts, Facebook Rooms, Clubhouse or other forms of live audio. To save time and not have to reinvent the wheel so to speak, brands can repurpose existing content in audio form to help capitalise on this ever-expanding medium.

ABM

Marketing that uses highly targeted, personalised campaigns to win over particular accounts. Perfect for B2B automotive businesses looking to drive more business. There are lots of tools to help with ABM but in the easily accessible social space, LinkedIn is a goldmine for this form of marketing. Watch out for new platforms that are on the rise such as Bizfluence.

eSports

eSports is a form of competition using video games. However, it’s not just for those that love watching the greatest League of Legends teams compete or the best Hearthstone players do battle… it’s another place to get your automotive brand in the spotlight.

When it comes to automotive, the popularity of racing games such as Gran Turismo and Forza Horizon, possibly even games such as Rocket League, has seen automotive manufacturers want a piece of the action. The industry’s biggest brands, including BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Toyota have been involved with the League of Legends Championship Series, FIA-Certified Gran Turismo Championships and even Overwatch League!

Automotive brands taking advantage of the ever-increasing popularity of eSports will only continue to grow and it’s the perfect avenue for reaching the younger generation. 

esports in automotive

Native Ads

Native Ads look like they’re meant to be on the platform they are displayed so they’re generally not intrusive to your target audience. Generally, you’ll see native ads in the form of suggested content to read after reading a piece of news or an opinion piece on the web. It’s another place to advertise outside the competitive social media space. The main platforms for Native Ads include Outbrain and Taboola.

Live Content

There’s nothing better than live content when it comes to engagement and building trust and relationships with your prospects. However, most automotive brands aren’t taking advantage of it. LinkedIn Live is rolling out for brands that have already applied for the feature also and there’s the usual Facebook/Instagram live, YouTube live streams and Twitch streams to explore.

Podcast Booking

Podcasts are still on the rise with listening numbers continuing to increase. In fact, in Spotify’s latest “Wrapped for Advertisers” they posted a 34% YoY increase in the number of distinct podcast users on the platform in the age range of 15 to 44. While we’ve spoken quite a lot about starting your own podcast and about podcast advertising previously, we’ve not really touched on podcast booking and we feel this is one of the most under-utilised podcast marketing tactics your automotive brand can utilise.

It involves reaching out to specific podcasts with the aim to get featured as a guest. The benefits are HUGE. Not only does it get your brand out there, increase reputation and establish authority but it also has a direct organic search benefit as most podcast hosts will link to your website in the description.

AR and VR

AR and VR are becoming much more prevalent across all industries, not just automotive, which both are having a big impact on what we drive today. From AR and VR in design, manufacturing right through to the dealership and buying experience, it’s everywhere.

Brands should look to take advantage of this sooner rather than later or risk being left behind as the technology continues to evolve and become more accessible. Do you want to be part of the metaverse or on the outside looking in?

Snapchat AR lens experiences is a great way to get started easily: https://forbusiness.snapchat.com/advertising/ad-formats/lenses

Data Privacy

Data privacy has been a concern in marketing for a while now and it continues to increase. For one, users are more conscious of their personal data than ever before with several major data hacks that have happened in the last few years. Additionally, legislation is always changing. In summary, the more transparent your business is about how you will use and process a customer’s data the better. When it comes to basic contact forms, don’t ask for more than you need.

No Website

With the continued commercialisation of social media platforms and vast range of online marketplaces, we predict that lots of brands will begin to question whether a fully-fledged website is needed anymore. And some may well be correct!

However, we forecast a more gradual change away from brands thinking ‘website first’ and instead viewing their website as a legitimate channel which should serve to perform a specific role within the wider customer journey. While we believe “the website” as it is now, won’t be here forever, it’s still a must in our opinion whether B2C or B2B.

What’s important to remember is that web experiences are constantly evolving and improving so saying on top of this and adopting new technologies is essential if your brand is to thrive for years to come.

Final Thoughts

There’s lots to be thinking about in terms of automotive marketing for the year ahead and this list is only a selection of what we believe brands need to be looking into and taking advantage of sooner rather than later.

Find out how your existing automotive marketing is performing, discover flaws in your strategy and also learn key areas for improvement with our MOT checklist. Complete it online here: https://wda-automotive.com/mot-checklist/

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