3 Automotive Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

3 Automotive Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

It’s already been a crazy year for automotive digital marketing trends here at 9 Clouds. Between new media formats and platforms like Facebook being pressed about privacy, digital marketers have seen plenty of significant developments. The opportunity lies in the hands of the automotive digital marketing professionals who can work smarter and harder.

As Sean Stapleton, CEO of Dealer Teamwork, predicts:

“Too many vendors are still perpetuating old digital marketing myths,” said Stapleton in a recent post from DealerRefresh. “The current system is broken. 2018 will be a year of massive change. Dealership professionals will need to work harder and smarter. Half of the dealers will realize their performance won’t improve using the three or four vendors with same outdated solutions they’ve been using. Unfortunately, the other half will continue along their current path, miss their chance to improve, and let their competitors move ahead.”

Automotive digital marketing trends come and go, but here is a collection of the top three trends you can count on in 2018.

Automotive Digital Marketing Trends in 2018

1. Refining Data Privacy

You might have heard about how Facebook is under scrutiny for accidentally releasing private data to a third party. The good news for us automotive digital marketers is that Facebook is counteracting the problem by making some positive changes to how ads are targeted. We see this as a big automotive digital marketing trend because of the implications for Facebook advertising as well as other digital marketing platforms.

But this trend toward better data management isn’t limited to Facebook. All automotive digital marketers have to become more accountable for how their ads, emails, and other messages are targeted. It’s more than just “scrubbing your list.” It’s also about asking for and acting upon permission from your audience.

As the line between opt-outs and opt-ins becomes more black-and-white, expect to spend time updating your policies and practices. Good marketers already know the value of an opt-in, but now they’ll need to put this knowledge to work. In effect – we’ll need to become more digitally Canadian (even though we Americans are still superior curlers).  .

2. Sweetening Your Visuals (Still)

We’ve known for a long time that data is much easier to understand when it is visualized, and that home-grown photos are better than the stock images from your OEM. However, good visuals also aid in the development of lead relationships because they implicitly make your brand more trustworthy.

And we’re not just talking pretty pictures: Video still leads the list of desirable content in your audience. Most dealers know a good designer, but if you haven’t found your ideal dealership videographer yet, it might be time to start Googling.

In between photos and videos are GIFs, which can make your dealership more relatable and, sometimes, just plain funny.

Before you begin your regular rant about knowing how to edit photos or shoot videos, take a look at these free resources for photos and videos.

3. Showing Up in New Places

In addition to sharpening your content with sweet, juicy visuals, you’ll also find new opportunities to distribute it in 2018.

Facebook recently announced the addition of Messenger ads as well as Marketplace ads (full release date TBD) for automotive digital marketing. The Marketplace ads are in addition to the Marketplace inventory listings which were announced in October.

Outside of Facebook, we’re also seeing unique placement opportunities on Snapchat, where auto dealers could design and deploy geo-targeted filters for events and sales. If you’re looking for automotive digital marketing trends in social media right now, this is where to start.

In the realm of Google (which is really just everywhere, nowadays), we’re seeing new placement options for auto dealers in the form of new display retargeting features.

Take the Next Step Toward Digital Success in 2018

With these automotive digital marketing trends developing swiftly in 2018, it’s not only what you’re showing up for but how you show up that will give your dealership an edge this year.

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