More and more consumers are relying on digital content to make informed purchasing decisions. Surprising? Not really. Cox Automotive’s 2018 study revealed that car buyers spent 60% of their time researching vehicles online. About 78% of them used third-party sites like Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book.
Although digital publications have been around for awhile, online magazines continue to reach tens of millions of people every year. And it’s easy to see why. With them, auto brands can offer helpful information to consumers, improve SEO rankings, boost engagement on social media, and drive more traffic to their websites (puns definitely intended).
About car magazines
Car magazines include comprehensive reports on different types of automobiles. They also cover the latest industry news, keeping readers abreast of important trends and events. Car magazines often include comprehensive comparison tests which detail the various features and price points of specific models. Open one and you’ll find no shortage of exhaustive car specifications, predictions from leading experts, tuning tips, ratings, and—of course—ads.
Who reads them? Anyone who’s interested, really. Car magazines are enjoyed by millions of people who want to educate themselves about cars, the industry, or anything else in between. Car buying guides, for example, provide engrossing information on popular models, the latest car shows and events, and more.
Why marketers need car magazines
Digital auto magazines are perfect research tools for consumers, offering a rich blend of visual, text, and video content about the brands they care about.
More importantly, they allow manufacturers to go beyond the specs of their models and dive into the actual stories behind them instead. That’s crucial when it comes to automotive content marketing; every marketer’s goal is to extend the customer experience and connect with people on a deeper, more emotional level. "How a consumer feels connected to a brand and their products facilitates growth, ensures consistency of users, and creates advantage to the brand and the consumer," says Dealer Authority. Online magazines focused on cars AND the stories behind them can move readers closer to a purchase. The goal of each story is the same: to form meaningful connections with readers by empathizing with their goals and motivations.
The auto industry is unique because its relationship with content marketing foregrounds the product (i.e. the car) itself. “Unlike traditional content marketing, where products are not the focus,” says NewsCred Insights, “car makers are finding success in giving their models a starring role. It’s a rare industry where product-driven content works.” Incorporating magazines into your digital strategy is a smart move because they rely on strong visual aids for narrative drive.
Astute marketers mix search, paid, email, digital, and social advertising channels into their magazines to build brand awareness and drive more traffic to their websites.
Create a car magazine from a PDF file
Reading your favorite magazine is one thing; creating your own is another. Thanks to digital publishing platforms, anyone can design eye-catching car magazines on their own and in minutes.
How? Upload a PDF file to your platform of choice and convert it into a digital publication. Then customize your publication by adding interactive elements. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? For car dealerships, the right one may actually be worth tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s so important to have quality photos of every vehicle you’re trying to sell. Include them in your digital magazine alongside interactive videos and slideshows.
Create a car magazine from a template
If you don’t have a PDF file on hand, you can use a template instead. Lots of brands leverage templates for consistency and efficiency. They’re easy to work with and they look great, too. Choose the one you like, then add or remove elements from it.
Points to consider
Branding: car manufacturers work in an industry that’s inherently tethered to consumers’ mobile needs. J.D. Power’s 2015 New Autoshopper study revealed that 51% of respondents used a mobile device to find the right vehicle at the right dealership. On-the-go content marketing is too big to ignore, and brands shouldn’t shy away from mobile content. A custom branded app, for example, is a great way to pool all of your magazines into a single mobile resource, connect with today’s tech-savvy consumers, and influence the purchase process.
Distribution: build an efficient digital distribution channel for your magazine. Know where your target audience hangs out, then structure them into your process accordingly. Share content on social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Link magazines to a custom domain, relevant websites, and your blog. Or email them to prospective customers via short links.
Lead generation & management: once you’ve published useful and educational content, use it to convert traffic into qualified leads. Embed custom lead gen forms into your magazine and move prospective buyers through the process more efficiently.
Content analytics: mine your magazines for valuable data (analytics can help) and develop a concrete understanding of your customers’ needs. You’ll end up creating far more focused and relevant content along the way.
Beautiful car magazine examples
Fancy yourself a hardcore motorhead? Looking to fuel your passion and become the car aficionado you were always meant to be? Then here are 3 car magazines you absolutely have to read!
Driving Line Magazine
Lexpress Cars Magazine