Automotive Influencer Marketing
Some examples of automotive companies that have worked with influencers in marketing campaigns with noteworthy results are Volvo, Ford and Toyota.
Of these, Volvo has had the most success in its 2017 campaign with music and fashion influencer Aimee Song — Ms. Song's Instagram campaign provided the car maker with US$5 million worth of media coverage.
Please see below for more notes on our findings and methodology.
Please note that influencer campaigns on mid-range cars are relatively scarce — most influencers work with luxury cars: our research yielded ample examples of influencer campaigns for Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Subaru, Jaguar, Chevrolet and GMC, suggesting that these campaigns are common for high end cars.
Some mid-range automotive companies, including Ford and Kia, have worked with influencers in the arts or social work industry (such as actors or activists) — however, since these influencers do not fit the definition provided, we decided to leave the campaigns out of this list.
Similarly, social media driven campaigns working with bloggers and users of social media are common for car makers across the board — and some manufacturers, such as Ford, are known for having had notable success with it. However, these campaigns do not focus on influencers as per the definition provided, and therefore do not qualify for this list.
The most apt example provided below is the first one, which is also the most recent — Volvo working with music and fashion influencer Aimee Song. Adweek emphasized this case and provided substantial metrics showcasing its success, which suggests that these types of campaigns for mid-range cars are still not the norm — but should, as they are effective.
Influencer(s): Aimee Song
Dates of the campaign: June 2017
Details on the campaign: During the two-week project, Ms. Song shared three posts and one Instagram story to her (then) 4.6 million followers (valued US$1 per follower). The campaign coincided with the launch of the Federal Trade Commission rules that all posts had to be clearly labeled as a paid partnership.
John Militello, director of marketing at Volvo Car USA, told Adweek that “Volvo believes there is a very specific way to work with influencers. When you put in the time and effort to build relationships with influencers and align strategically and build trust, we can see great success.”
Average Instagram Stories views: 400,000
Total likes: 113,500
Total comments: 728
Total number of people who saved Song’s posts: 1,009
Total impressions: 2.14 million
Total reach: 1.7 million
Total engagement: 115,200
Influencer(s): Jamie Spafford, Barry James Taylor, Mike Huttlestone and Ben Ebbrell, who together form the YouTube content group SORTEDfood
Dates of the campaign(s): March/April/October 2016
Details on the campaign: SORTEDfood, who have 1.8 million followers on YouTube, produced three videos for Ford in 2016, with the hashtag #Unlearn. Two of them focused on food in cars, one on items that are easy to eat on the go and another on seven things to never eat in a car, and another was focused on a food battle.
Whereas there are no specific metrics on whether the campaign was successful, the videos accrued over a million views and comments surpassed 4,000.
Metrics of success (added up manually from YouTube's stats):
Total views: 1,013,666
Total likes: 34,600
Total comments: 4,614
Influencer(s): Louis Cole
Dates of the campaign(s): July-August 2015
Details on the campaign: Mr. Cole, who has over 2 million followers on YouTube, did a road trip through the west coast of the US in 2015 for Toyota, and produced 17 videos showcasing different parts of the trip — including destinations visited as well as daily occurrences, such as running out of gas. Every video is introduced by a different person, presumably someone Mr. Cole has met in his trip.
Whereas there are no specific metrics on whether the campaign was successful, views reached over 2.5 million and engagement was high with over 10,000 comments.
Metrics of success (added up manually with YouTube's stats):
Total views: 2,633,345
Total likes: 110,800
Total comments: 11,320
To wrap up, some car manufacturers that have worked with influencers in marketing campaigns with noteworthy results are Volvo, Ford and Toyota.