8 ways to produce engaging content for the Automotive sector

By Lucy Dodds • 23 March 2020 • minutes reading time

At Evolved Search, we employ many strategies to create engaging content for the automotive sector that generates results. It’s a special formula that we have been brewing for over 5 years!

During this time, we’ve worked on several successful automotive campaigns for a variety of automotive brands and even picked up a couple of awards along the way, so we wanted to share our top 8 ways to produce engaging, results-focused content for the automotive sector.

Using client data to gain coverage:

Case Study: WhoCanFixMyCar – Britain’s Top 50 Most Popular Cars: Ranked by Reliability

Results: 175 links

If you’re lucky enough to work with a client who has a wealth of original and useful data, using that to create a one-off content piece is worthwhile. It enables you to use unique data in your content that nobody else has and gives a real edge when pitching content to journalists.

Data that comes from authority figures in a particular industry also helps give your content more credibility than it otherwise would have.

The folks over at WhoCanFixMyCar are the UK’s biggest car repair website, and naturally, they know a thing or two about the most reliable cars on UK roads.

We gathered data from the Department of Transport which showed us the total number of each car registered on UK roads. We then compared that to the data supplied by the WhoCanFixMyCar team, which showed the number of repairs their garages has carried out on each make and model – and worked out the likelihood of the UK’s 50 most popular cars needing a repair.

The piece was extremely well received, even appearing on the Citroen website as a case study for how reliable their cars are.

Released 10 months ago, the content is still picking up links today which also shows how valuable evergreen content can be – content that is applicable all year round.

Creating stories out of pre-existing data:

Case Study: Select Car Leasing – UK’s 10 Most Dangerous Landmarks to Drive Past

Results: 21 links (and counting…)

Another key link-building technique is looking at pre-existing data and creating news stories from it. The important thing here from a content marketer’s point of view is being able to view data in a different way than originally presented.

Our piece for Select Car Leasing showing the UK’s 10 Most Dangerous Landmarks to Drive Past was created using a map by road safety campaigners THINK!  The map shows where every reported road accident has taken place in the UK since 2013.

Image shows example of good content for the automotive sector by Evolved Search
To view the live version, click here.

Using the map, we counted the number of accidents that occurred on the roads passing 50 landmarks in the UK, and from that, we found the top 10. Buckingham Palace is the most dangerous landmark to drive past in the UK, followed by Brighton Pier and The Scott Monument in Edinburgh.

The data we created featured in several local publications along with football websites as we also compared the rate of accidents before and during the Tottenham Hotspur stadium construction. The piece also recently appeared on the ITV website

Tying in content with current events:

Case Study: Select Car Leasing – Best & Weirdest World Leaders’ Cars

Results: 201 links

Another great way to create results-focused content for the automotive industry is to tie cars in with a current, (ideally) worldwide event.

This does two main things. Firstly, with the release of a new movie, sporting event or political occasion, there is naturally a tremendous amount of coverage about it. The key thing is creating something original enough to stand out.

The second thing, specific to the auto industry, is that it helps you gain coverage on places that you never normally would, due to tying into an event. It’s also important that even without the event, the piece would be able to stand on its own and is evergreen.

A great example of this is Select Car Leasing’s Best & Weirdest World Leaders’ Car content piece that we created.

Gif image shows good content for the automotive sector by Evolved Search for Select Car Leasing.

The piece focuses, as the title would suggest, on the vehicles used by world leaders. Each vehicle has its own card, with the car rotating in a gif format so the user can view the vehicle from every angle.

We also included some essential information, such as armoured plated walls and night vision cameras for each car. The event that we tied the piece into was Donald Trump meeting Kim Jong Un for the first time. The event, matched by the quality of the content, meant that the piece was shared far and wide, including on business website Business Insider.

Looking at things from a different perspective:

Case Study: WhoCanFixMyCar – Car Alloy Quiz

Results: 169 links

Past the fast straights and tight turns, cars can be relatively mundane. It’s really important to regularly look at things from a different perspective in order to stand out from the crowd.

To do this, it’s sometimes necessary to look at things that people don’t consider as being particularly interesting and thinking about them in a different way. A great example of this is the Which Car Does This Alloy Belong To? quiz for WhoCanFixMyCar we created.

The quiz focuses on some of the world’s most recognisable brand-specific alloy wheels, and the user has to guess which car they belong to but – here’s the catch – the wheel is spinning!

The motion of the wheel and the 10-second maximum response time placed on each question adds an extra level of difficulty to the quiz. We succeeded with this piece in making even car wheels interesting.

This piece goes to show you can take something relatively mundane and make engaging content with it. The piece performed extremely well, gaining over 160 links and featuring on news site iNews.

Focusing on what automotive journalists like:

Case Study: Select Car Leasing – European Cars Americanised

Results: 41 links

Another key aspect of making engaging content in the automotive sector is focusing on what journalists like and would be prepared to republish on their respective publications.

There’s no point creating a piece just because you think it’s cool. It also has to appeal to the audience of your target publication to gain a link back to your client’s website. Automotive journalists love well-designed, attractive pieces of content.

We noticed that rendered images are extremely popular with automotive publications, as they give you a glimpse into the future or show an alternative way of how a car could look if it had been designed differently. However, we also noticed that a lot of these images had one thing in common – they didn’t have a reason to exist.

Image shows example of good content for the automotive sector.
To view the live version, click here.

Evolved Search found and filled that gap and gave the piece a reason to exist. Along with the images, we collected data comparing the car sales of Europe’s most popular cars and how their sales figures match up in the US.

Certain cars, such as the Renault Scenic, are not in high demand across the pond, so we created images to show what Europe’s favourite cars would look like if they were made for the American market.

The piece appeared on several automotive websites such as Top Speed and Auto Evolution among others.

Sometimes, simplicity is bliss:

Case Study: WhoCanFixMyCar – Ultimate Car Logo Quiz

Results: 168 links

Many things in the automotive industry are extremely distinctive, due to their longevity. Most famous car brands have been around for half a century or longer, so as consumers, we naturally become familiar and desensitised with their branding and look. Sometimes it only takes a small change to objects that we think we know to create an engaging content piece that stumps a lot of people.

With this in mind, we created The Ultimate Car Logo Quiz for WhoCanFixMyCar.

The piece takes 20 of the world’s most famous car logos and makes small changes, with the user having to guess the correct one. The switching of the Ferrari logo was a particular favourite of mine.

These small changes caught out a lot of automotive enthusiasts and because of this gained a great deal of coverage, featuring on iNews for example.

The piece proves that creating a simple, easy to use content piece can sometimes be a winning formula, rather than always thinking bigger and grander. I know from experience that an extremely complex piece doesn’t necessarily mean more links for your client – it’s all about the user reaction to what you create.

Flipping old-school thinking on its head:

Case Study: Select Car Leasing – Petrol v Electric Drag Race

Results: 186 links

The automotive industry is in the middle of one of the biggest changes since the first Ford Model T rolled off the production line. The growth in the electric car market is constantly in the news, with new cars released every month.

This year is special in particular as it will be the first time we see cars that have been around for years, such as the Vauxhall Corsa and the Peugeot 208, released as electric.

However, in the early days of electric cars, there was a misconception that they were slow to accelerate and had an unimpressive top speed. We decided to flip this on its head and show how many electric cars now feature in the top 30 fastest in the world. 

The piece took the form of an interactive drag race, pitching the world’s fastest cars against each other. As it turns out, 9 of the top 30 accelerating cars in the world are now electric!

Even as a car enthusiast myself, that was extremely surprising to me. It’s always a good sign when we create some data or a content piece and we are surprised by the results, as there is a big possibility that this will also surprise journalists and other people within the auto industry.

The piece performed extremely well, achieving over 180 links and featuring on the likes of Yahoo and Inside EVs.

Lastly… Think about the wider implications:

Case Study: Select Car Leasing – What If We Could See Exhaust Emissions?

Results: 20 links

When brainstorming automotive content ideas, it’s also important to consider the wider implications of the use of cars on our environment or any other ramifications that might be applicable. These are things such as the impact on the environment or the effect of Brexit on the automotive industry.

This line of thinking is another way of linking automotive content with different topics to strengthen the link profile of your client.

For Select Car Leasing, we focused on how major cities around the world would look if we were able to see all the invisible particles produced by cars.

Image shows example of content for the automotive sector by Evolved Search.
To view the live version, click here.

The images were also backed up with data from the Air Quality Index (AQI) which correlates the number of harmful particles in the air and gives each city a score depending on this.

We then used that data to create our images (example above). Because of this extra research, along with the images, the piece was received extremely well and featured both on the online edition of the Evening Standard along with the print edition, and many more mainstream media outlets.

Need us to take the wheel?

Producing content for the automotive sector can be challenging and it’s one thing having the know-how and quite another having the ideas.

Since 2014 we’ve honed our craft and now count a wide range of automotive businesses as clients, ranging from car leasing to maintenance to dealerships and global brands.

If you’re seeking an agency that can create relevant and inspiring content for the automotive sector, we’re it.

Get in touch to find out more about what we can do and how we can help.

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