Here’s a selection of content marketing endeavours by some car brands.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to properly define content marketing and indeed my selections may stray between native advertising, brand advertising and bona fide content that feels rather more ‘agnostic’.
However, what’s certain is that all the content I’ve picked does more than simple advertorial.
Honda America in 2014 announced its own YouTube music channel, Honda Stage.
Honda is partnering with Live Nation, Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, Revolt, YouTube and Vevo. There’s also a Stage website Honda has put together showing the investment it’s making into music with a whole host of artists set to take part and feature on tour.
Chances to win tickets no doubt ensure Honda is building out its brand as well as a handy database of current and future drivers.
Mercedes Benz TV
Mercedes Benz does some great work with film, probably the best videos I’ve seen across the manufacturer websites I’ve visited.
The production values are good, there’s a lot produced around fashion and design as well as reporters looking at new models and videos about innovation and lifestyle.
Some of the more artfully shot stuff, featuring Tilda Swinton no less, seems designed to appeal to the Wallpaper-magazine-reading aspirational type, and speaking as a bit of a pseud, I found it rather compelling.
As Mercedes sponsors some sportsmen and sporting events, there are also videos from this field.
Sensibly, Mercedes also hosts most of these films on YouTube, to ensure as much sharing and exposure as possible.
Mazda Zoom Zoom Magazine
This online magazine has some lovely imagery and GIF magic. It’s easy to navigate and share from and Mazda has been producing it for three years now.
The magazine might be mainly a tool for retention, aimed at Mazda fanatics, but retention is a big part of automotive.
The content is a mix of stories from Mazda fanatics, design detail and information on new models.
This way – the Toyota Magazine
This is hosted on the Toyota site, so it’s easy to begin browsing vehicles and contacting the dealership. The magazine sits under the standard Toyota header menu.
Notice the content is similar in format to that of many successful publishers – ‘14 things you didn’t know about Toyota hybrids’ is nicely illustrative.
The stories aren’t always scintillating but there’s a great range, from new models to family pieces, to videos more suited to the petrol-head.
Panda to Sochi by Fiat
This content was chiefly hosted by Vice Magazine and it’s a meld of content marketing, native advertising, and basically just making something cool with a partner publisher.
Fiat sponsors a freestyle team (snowboarders, skaters, BMXers) which took part in the drive and performed some interesting stunts on the way to the winter Olympics.
Nissan Leaf – Real owners, real questions
Again, this content is somewhat of a hybrid, between a community and a piece of marketing.
It’s quite immersive, with a mix of well made video and FAQ. The answers are from Leaf owners and are authentic and quite fun to read.