Electric vehicle brands face challenges that influencers can help educate the public to overcome. Such vehicles are more complex to own, have considerably fewer charging stations, and are an average of $11,000 more expensive than a comparable gas-powered car. As a result, EV manufacturers are turning to influencers to help promote a better understanding of what it means to become—and remain—an EV owner.
So just who are these EV influencers?
Elon Musk is the most vocal proponent of EV vehicles. EVs make up only about 3% of new car sales, and Tesla accounts for over half, or 55%, of those sales.
So how can brands create awareness without a charismatic (and insanely wealthy) CEO leading the charge? The answer is to tap on green-friendly content creators and build a solid community engagement strategy.
EVs represent a relatively new consumer category, so brands need to be creative and strategic to reach new audiences. They have begun contacting influencers in adjacent categories who are passionate about environmental issues, healthy lifestyles, and price-conscious consumer interests, casting the widest net possible in search of those willing to sing the praises of EV ownership.
Brands need to think outside of the box to attract and educate new consumers. Mommy influencers are the perfect target market for EV vehicles. They are constantly running errands, have networks of similar audiences, and are typically looking for savings (because kids are expensive).
Brands should also tap into green-friendly communities, including outdoor/travel enthusiasts and gardeners/landscapers. These groups share the EV vehicle's mission of protecting the earth and are likely ambassadors to help spread the word.
EV influencers -- or ambassadors?
Unlike influencers for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands, EV influencers are not performance-driven affiliate marketers. EV influencers serve as educators: explaining the features of one vehicle over another, the benefits of ownership, and how to charge and maintain the vehicle. Think of them as product specialists in a showroom, without the heavy sales pressure.
EV influencers are unique compared to other industries because there is no direct connection between their content, such as a product walkthrough or EV tutorial, and a sales conversion. By betting on influencers to educate audiences, auto marketers are nurturing the customers of tomorrow.
Brands need to review hashtags to find EV user-generated content and stay in touch with owners to maximize their content. Auto vloggers share experiences like driving across the U.S., stopping at stations along the journey, and showing viewers how to charge an EV.
Connecting IRL events & EV influencer opportunities
Product launches, special event promotions, and even holidays are ideal times to activate influencers to create unique content. For instance, to build buzz and excitement for the Mach-E, Ford tapped actor Idris Elba—a former Ford factory worker before launching his acting career—to get the word out about the company’s new EV model.
A look ahead
To generate more enthusiasm for a market currently represented with only 3% ownership, automakers need to remove obstacles to ownership by first educating and informing the public about their offerings. By partnering with influencers, brands will connect with new audiences and have conversations that lead to future sales.