As the price of fuel hits record highs, more consumers might be considering a new electric vehicle. Yet, this automotive sector has already been on the rise long before market pressures pushed the pump prices upward.
For 2022, Ford introduced an electric F-150 called the Lightning, which proved so popular that the manufacturer is no longer accepting orders. Chevrolet is taking reservations for its upcoming electric Silverado pickup. In addition, electric-only companies like Rivian and Lucid also offer a range of models for consumers. Electric might be the future; here’s how dealerships can promote EVs to prepare for the growth of this market sector and appeal to buyers who are anxious to ditch the pump:
- Understand the different buying types and focus on each
- Optimize for electric
- Become knowledgeable
- Introduce customers to models in detail via video or blog content
The Buyers In the Electric Market
Dealer Inspire profiled the types of individuals who are the typical buyers of electric vehicles. These buyers include those who favor electric for its eco-friendly benefits, including a buyer that the site calls “the Reformed Gas Guzzler.” The two other main buyers are “the Environmentalist” and “the Technologist.”
The Environmentalist is similar to the ‘reformed gas guzzler’ in their need to focus on eco-friendly options; however, while the former gas guzzlers are looking to change, the Environmentalist has likely always been focused on earth-friendly driving options. Dealer Inspire notes that this buyer feels that their purchase decisions lead to a bigger impact.
The Technologist, however, might gravitate to an EV because these vehicles are the newest offering. Dealer Inspire notes that this buyer views the electric purchase as a “status symbol.”
While the three buying types might be more likely to move ahead with an electric vehicle, there’s also younger buyers that might be focused on these cleaner vehicles. However, perhaps younger generations like Generation Z are more environmentally-focused and, thus, could fall into the ‘environmentalist’ buyer category.
Dealerships need to be aware that each buyer has different motives behind their desire for a new electric vehicle. Marketing to the Environmentalist and the Reformed Gas Guzzler might focus more on messaging related to the eco-friendly benefits of the vehicle. Can the battery of a new model be recycled? This could be an important detail to include.
Marketing to the Technologist, however, might focus more on the cool sleek design of the automobile. The estimated range could play a part in communiqués, especially if the range of a new model is impressive compared to other models. These buyers also might be drawn to any unique design aspects or high-tech features.
Optimize for Electric
Optimizing content ensures that it’s visible in a search to the targeted buyer or customer, and Dealer Inspire notes that SEO is important.
Research keywords focused on this market. In addition, create content that focuses on electric vehicles and any upcoming new models.
To help customers better understand new electric models, write an article about the features and benefits of the model. Include interactive imagery or a slideshow to accompany the article.
Dealerships also can update their editorial calendars to include EV-focused content. For example, blog content could include the best-selling electric vehicles in the country or the best electric vehicles for taller drivers. Many editorial calendars also included planned content on social media accounts; dealerships also can make sure social content also is electrified.
Don’t forget to optimize meta titles and meta descriptions, too. This can help the search engine find the content and categorize it.
Learn about Electric
Before the first electric model hits the dealership, make sure the sales team understands everything they need to know about the model and about electric vehicles. Dealer Inspire recommends that dealerships read up about these models and study the Cars.com EV Buying Guide.
Issues or concerns related to range might be a common inquiry from buyers. Range anxiety is real for buyers; this is a fear related to how far the car can drive or being stranded with a low battery and being unable to find a charging station. Vehicles have different estimated ranges, and dealerships might need to be prepared to answer questions related to range.
Use Video Content to Educate Buyers
YouTube or Instagram can both be utilized for posting video content. YouTube videos could be short or even a few hours long.
Both social media platforms can be utilized to help buyers understand their electric options. For example, dealerships could post video content that provides an in-depth look at a new electric model or they might create a Q&A video where they answer buyers’ questions about electric vehicles.
Use video content as a visual means to help buyers. Dealerships also could conduct a virtual test drive of an electric vehicle. Dealerships also could create a video to show customers how to find a nearby charging station (to decrease range anxiety).
Other Ways Dealerships Can Help Buyers Explore and Understand Electric Vehicles
One of the simplest tools that vehicles can provide their electric buyers is one they probably already utilize online: photography! When buyers are researching electric vehicles, resources that help them explore their options could be valuable.
Professional stock photography provides high-resolution imagery to best capture the design details of each vehicle model. While dealerships might typically include a slideshow that includes a multitude of photos of both the interior and exterior details of a vehicle, stock photography also can be animated or interactive.
Animated images are a mixture of video and photography. However, these unique images don’t require the interaction of the user. EVOX Images includes several different animated photos for new electric models:
- Drive-in animations depict a vehicle driving into the photo.
- Drive-in / spin animations showcase the vehicle driving into the photo and then spinning around. These images let customers see the vehicle from all angles.
- Colorized fly-around photos show the vehicle from different vantage points; as the view of the vehicle changes, so does the paint color. These images offer a unique way to showcase each paint hue.
- Colorized spin photos are animated to show the car turning around 360 degrees. As the vehicle spins, the paint color changes. This is another engaging visual to preview the vehicle’s paint options.
EVOX Images also provides dealerships with 360 spin photos and panorama photos. Both of these image options require user interaction. Spin photos allow customers to use their mouse or a fingertip (if using a mobile device) to turn the car around.
Panorama photos let users look around the vehicle. Again, customers can interact with the photo with a fingertip or their mouse. Panorama photos are designed to feel as though the user is sitting in the front seat and turning around to look at the vehicle. These photos let customers explore the back seat space or even check out an infotainment screen or look up at the moonroof.
The ‘Technologist’ buyer who perceives an electric vehicle as a status symbol could find that interactive and animated photos are useful for exploring the different features of the vehicle. To help these buyers better understand all the high-tech elements of a new model, dealerships also might be focused on designing extensive slideshow content for the model.
Learning how to best promote electric vehicles will be important for car dealerships as these vehicles are becoming more popular and in-demand. Electric vehicles might give the auto market a powerful jolt in sales, and dealerships should be prepared to plug these models into their marketing strategy.