This week I noted in a couple stories' comments section that we're in an all-new age in the automotive space. That's because the competition is as fierce as ever.

I am not sure how this "ends," but I wouldn't be surprised if there's major brand consolidation in the not-too-distant future or if we see some brands go the way of Oldsmobile. In other words, they die.

Knowing this, automotive manufacturer's public relations and communications teams have been tapping into all-new ways to get attention for vehicle launches and products that need to move out of inventories. Social media is one avenue and a byproduct of that are what's called "influencers."

A description of what defines a car influencer is provided below. It is pulled from a Bloomberg story that published yesterday.

As a marketing professional myself, I would consider these influencers as essentially amplifiers for the marketing department. If I were describing it to my grandparents, I'd say it's paid advertising via a respected third-party individual on their channel of choice (e.g., YouTube, Instagram, etc.).

While I understand why brands would go this direction for awareness and aspirational purposes, I do wonder if they're thinking about the demographic of these millions of views. What use is 1 million view if only 10 uniques can actually afford to buy the vehicle? Wouldn't those paid advertising dollars be better spent if you received 10,000 highly targeted views with around 500 unique, in-market individuals that can actually afford your product?

I know that's not as splashy as "'x' million views" in the boardroom but this is a game of ROI at the end of the day. Marketer's days of "spray and pray," are over as data-driven decision making helps them understand their ROI better than ever before.

Having said that, this got my wheels turning. Here at AutoSpies, we're thankful to have such a great audience — YOU — who actually buy an array of today's latest and greatest autos. From Audi to BMW to Ford to Maybach to Aston Martin to Porsche, we're glad that you visit AutoSpies for your automotive news. We know that you're the tastemakers with purchasing power. But we're curious: Has a social media INFLUENCER ever aided you in ANY of your automotive purchasing decisions?

Read the FULL story by clicking "Read Article," below!

...A car influencer—defined in modern terms—is someone who receives gifts, travel, accommodations, or cash in exchange for exposure on their social media channels for the entity that provided the gifts. That individual deliberately and systematically courts automakers as a business model while not being directly involved in the car business—unlike, say, five-time Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton, who has 13 million followers on Instagram.

For many, it is their lifeblood.  

In general, car influencers can charge around $10,000 per post for every million followers—more if they have exceptional engagement rates. (A good engagement rate on Instagram is around 5%.)...

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Has A Social Media INFLUENCER Ever Aided You In ANY Of Your Automotive Purchasing Decisions?

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