Update (23/10/2019): Check out the infographic covering all the tips outlined in this article.
In recent years, automotive content has become increasingly popular in the native space, growing in double-digit percentages year-over-year with similar projected growth to come.
The decision to purchase a new car is a big one, and the native format is unique in that it allows consumers to experience the research process in a natural and meaningful way.
Whether you’re a publisher promoting auto-related content, or a brand looking to generate leads, check out the tips below in order to maximize the success of your auto campaigns with Outbrain!
1. Accelerate Your Click-Through Rate By Adding Color To Your Headlines
Top Tip: Headlines that include the words “Discovery,” “Quiz,” “Efficient” and “Avoid” have the highest CTRs amongst all auto content in the Outbrain network.
- Do: Bring a little personality to your headlines to expand your potential audiences. For example, if you’re driving traffic to a landing page for the Toyota Camry, a headline like “Discover All The New Features of the 2019 Toyota Camry” is more universally inviting than “2019 Toyota Camry Reviews.”
- Don’t: Write headlines with technical industry terms that may cause users to lose interest or discourage them from engaging.
2. Watch Engagement Take Off Using Numerals
- Do: Incorporate numerals into your headlines by promoting a listicle, mentioning a dollar amount, calling out a ranking, or even just including the year of the car.
- Don’t: Wait until the very end of the headline to throw in a numeral, especially if the headline is lengthy, as scanners may not read more than the first few words.
3. Test Drive a Question Format
- Do: Rephrase your top-performing headlines into questions. Instead of knowing exactly what the content is going to be, this will give readers a hint while simultaneously encouraging them to engage.
- Don’t: Pose an overly-vague question. If the reader doesn’t get a good enough idea of what the content is about, they may lose interest right off the bat.
4. Merge Auto Content with Other Interests
- Do: Consider amplifying content that may be appealing to an audience wider than mere car-lovers. This multi-faceted approach will draw in readers that might not click on run-of-the-mill auto articles.
- In the United States, content about current events and entertainment have the highest success rate in leading consumers to click on auto content, so those categories would be a great starting off point. Consider applying interest targeting on these dual-focus campaigns as well for increased scale.
- Don’t: Write headlines or select images that don’t directly relate to your content just for the sake of sparking the attention of a wider audience.
5. Fuel Post-Click Engagement By Incorporating Landing Page Call-Outs
- Do: Hint at that action you’re looking for the reader to perform post-click within the headline, whether that be clicking through a slideshow or requesting a price quote.
- Don’t: Be afraid to test multiple call-outs! If there are multiple options for the reader on the landing page, try calling out a few in different headline variations to see which garners the best performance.
6. Drive More Clicks By Using Close-Up Images
- Do: Swap out your medium or wide shots of the entire car body for a tight shot of the car grille, wheel, headlight, or rear-view mirror. High-quality, close-up images of car parts can be mesmerizing, especially when they include geometric patterns!
- Don’t: Partially commit! Though the car grille and wheel are visible in the image below, it isn’t as impactful as the above image since it’s lower quality and too zoomed out.
7. Gain Extra Momentum By Taking Advantage of Demand Peaks
Top Tip: Auto content sees the most clicks on the Outbrain network from 9am to 1pm.
- Do: Make your content more competitive by increasing your CPCs during this time via the campaign scheduler tool.
- Don’t: Assume because there is more demand that you can lower your bid and receive the same results as you would during any other time of day.
8. Throw Boring Backgrounds Under the Bus
- Do: Run images of cars with interesting backgrounds. If possible, also try and select an image where the car is in motion as opposed to a still shot. The more places for the eye to wander within an image, the more likely a user is to click on it!
- Don’t: Select images with a dull background. If your options are limited, combat the lack of visual appeal in the background with a brightly-colored car, or go for a zoomed-in shot where the white-space is less prominent.
9. Shift Gears From Exterior Shots to Interior Ones
- Do: Give readers the opportunity to see the car from a unique perspective, beyond just a simple shot taken from the outside. This will both leave them wondering what the exterior looks like, and stand out on a page against more traditional car photos.
- Don’t: Pick photos that are extremely zoomed in when the car has a monochromatic interior. Not only is it difficult to see the details in the shot, but it’s also difficult to tell that the image is even of a car!
Take a victory lap!