How key influencers can help drive success for your automotive business.

How key influencers can help drive success for your automotive business.

Today’s evolving digital landscape is dramatically changing the way we are all doing business- relying on real-time online conversations and engagement with consumers to build trust, loyalty and elevate our brands.  In order to break through today’s cluttered online world, savvy automotive businesses are utilising the social media platforms of key influencers to authentically market their products or services. 

What is an influencer marketing program?

Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on using key influencers within your target communities to connect with consumers on an emotional level. The role of a key influencer is to drive your brand story through relevant and relatable dialogue, creating hype around your product/services through their personal social media channels. Over the past five years, there has been a real shift in gear towards this style of marketing, as it forms high-impact conversations amongst potential customers, creates a buzz for your brand, drives sales and builds trust and loyalty with your customer base.

What are the benefits for your brand?

  1. Credibility, trust and authenticity

With an always ‘on’ world, consumers are demanding authenticity from brands, wanting organic content that speaks to them directly and that isn’t a perfect sales pitch. The role of a key influencer is to build meaningful relationships with their online community, by being authentic with their posts and content. Because of this, people who like and engage with a particular key influencer trust and believe what they have to say and appreciate their recommendations.

  1. Relatability 

The power of a good influencer, is their ability to be relatable to their audience. Influencers that talk and show the use of a product in their life – and as benefiting their lifestyle – makes the product more relatable.  A successful influencer avoids using marketing speak or talking about product features. Instead they focus on its benefits and how it adds more value to their daily life.  

  1. Impacts purchase decisions 

The strong and loyal following key influencers have built upon, means that the information they share can spread like wild fire and can guide an audience and assist in their purchase decision making. Research shows that influencer marketer is a successful tool for attracting consumers with high purchase intent and is an effective method of driving sales. In 2017, Twitter partnered with Annalect to research influencers on the social media platform. The study found that almost 40% of Twitter users have purchased a product as a direct consequence of an influencer tweet. 

By way of example, Sustainable Marketing Services created a brand ambassador program for CTEK with Graham Cahill. He is one of Australia’s most recognised and loved 4WD Photojournalists with a very large following across all ages.  By using Graham in videos on 4WD Action’s Facebook, we helped CTEK increase brand engagement and interest in their products amongst 4WDers.  In late 2017, we also organised for Brendan Seymour- an enthusiast 4WDer, to work with us on a blog which was added to 4WD Action’s blog and promoted via 4WD Action’s Facebook page. The blog has achieved over 72,000 views to date.  See it here 4WD Action 12v system

How to set up a simple key influencer program

Sustainable Marketing Services has used the following methodology for our clients:

  • Use of key influencer software that identifies and scores key influencers. These can include, Trackur.com, Buzzsumo and Pitchbox.com
  • Research of key influencers to prepare a short list
  • Talk to key industry contacts to expand on list 
  • Contact potential influencers to identify interest 
  • Send products to key influencers with letter of expectations
  • Contact influencers monthly to keep them active.
  • Remind influencers to continue to tag the company

Different types of influencers

Key influencers are defined in two categories- micro and macro influencers.

A macro influencer is seen as a celebrity in their own right and normally has millions of followers across a range of social media platforms. They are seen by brands as being incredibly powerful due to their large and immediate reach. However, macro influencers come with a hefty price tag (price can vary from $2,000-$50,000) and aren’t always seen as authentic. Although they have their benefits, brands shouldn’t just look at the number of followers when selecting an influencer but instead look carefully at their engagement. 

A micro influencer usually has less than 10,000 followers but are seen as more authentic and relatable. Their followers are normally dedicated and believe strongly in what the micro influencer is promoting. Their content is usually more focused. They are proud of what they do and believe strongly in what they are sharing and saying to their community.  HubSpot reports that micro influencers, on average receive 0.10% higher engagement rates than macro influencers. 

Do and Don’ts from a renowned key influencer:

One of Australia’s renowned travel key influencers, Melissa Chambers said her and her husband Brenden’s website “All Around Oz” has successfully worked with automotive brands like CTEK to market new products. With a Facebook group of 10,000 fans, Melissa said she prides herself of providing her followers with content and reviews that are authentic and relatable. 

“People want authenticity and a sense of realness. What you see is what you get with All About Oz. We aren’t overly commercial and aren’t just going to promote a product unless we believe in it and feel it can add value to our community,” said Melissa.

“Before approaching an influencer, company’s need to do some research on us to understand our audience and the content we produce. 

“Businesses need to make sure that an influencer’s content aligns with their business morality and understand our audience’s needs, otherwise they won’t be able to engage with the audience.”

Melissa said her community of loyal followers respond well to organic content, like the blog posts she has written about on CTEK. Originally CTEK was a lesser known brand amongst her audience/community, but after shining a positive light on their products and showcasing their benefits, her community has developed an interest and following for CTEK. Here are some examples of her posts:

https://allaroundoz.com.au/2017/07/31/ctek-d250sa-and-smartpass120/

https://allaroundoz.com.au/2017/08/12/alternator-or-dc-dc-charging/

What laws apply?

In 2017 the Australian Association of National Advertisers introduced a new provision into the AANA Code of Ethics that required advertising and marketing communication to be more transparent to their relevant audience. 

This means that when a company arranges for an influencer to post content on their social media platforms, the influencer must disclose that it is marketing communications by using the tag #ad.

The full guidelines are available here.  

Conclusion

In a digitally saturated marketplace, consumers are craving authenticity from brands, turning their attention and trust to key influencers. Seen as celebrities in their own right, influencers can become the face of your brand, helping to reach and engage with an audience quickly. But finding a key influencer for your next marketing campaign isn’t as easy as looking at who has the biggest reach, or celebrity status. You want your chosen influencer to sell your brand story authentically. Choosing the right fit for your brand means researching and finding an influencer that has the same values as you and can best connect and tell your brand story to your niche. 

Maria is the Managing Director at multi-award-winning, Sustainable Marketing Services. A strategically-led Brisbane marketing and public relations company, Maria and her team of professionals use their industry know-how, to deliver practical, reliable and results-orientated integrated marketing and public relations strategies for growing organisations.

If you’d like some help with your influential marketing or want to learn more about how it can elevate your brand and drive sales, call Maria and the team from Sustainable Marketing Services today on 07 3821 3939 to book in for a complimentary meeting.

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Feel free to give us a call on 07 3821 3939 or email us to discuss your project and how we can help you.

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Sustainable Marketing Services (Australia) Pty Ltd is a multi-award winning, strategically-led Brisbane marketing and public relations services company.

We use our know-how to deliver practical, reliable and results-orientated integrated marketing and public relations strategies for growing businesses in Australia and internationally.

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