Why Influence Marketing is Crucial for the Electric Car
Over the next decade, we’re near-certain to see a long-awaited change in the motoring industry. More and more electric cars will appear on our roads, until eventually they outnumber the traditional ones.
There are a number of benefits to this change. Electric cars are cleaner, more efficient, and offer a superior driving experience. They also decrease our reliance on foreign petrostates, which matters for our energy security. They’re also more reliable, which means we’ll ultimately end up paying less for our electric car insurance.
Of course, motorists are used to doing things a certain way, and the traditional internal combustion engine has been around for more than a century. Dislodging these old habits, and demonstrating that there’s a different way of doing things, will require a considerable marketing effort. In the modern age, this can only mean one thing: the involvement of influencers.
Normalising the electric car
When we see a relatable person, whom we perceive to be like ourselves, advocating for a particular product or behaviour, then we’re likely to listen to them. Influencers are a little bit like a cross between a trusted friend and a celebrity. In many cases, this line is deliberately blurred in order to exploit flaws in human psychology, and get a message across in a way that wouldn’t be possible through traditional marketing.
For example, it’s well established that we’re more likely to want to buy a product that’s already been bought by someone we know and trust. If several of your friends drive and recommend a Ford, then you’ll be predisposed to do the same. Influencer-based marketing takes advantage of this tendency. If you have an influencer, whom you’ve placed in the same psychological category as your real-life friends and acquaintances, pick up an electric car and describe their experience, then you’re more likely to view the practice of electric-car ownership as normal and unremarkable.
This might be used by the industry to penetrate sections of society that might otherwise be resistant to making the change. The first person in a given community to make the switch might easily have done so because of something they’ve seen online.
Who are the key influencers?
Robert Llewellyn is an actor best known for playing Kryten in Red Dwarf. He now runs a Youtube channel called ‘Fully Charged’, which deals with electric vehicles and renewable technology in general. It has just under a million subscribers. Then there’s Ade Thomas, the chief sustainability officer for Green.TV, which puts out a wide variety of environmentalism-related content. We might also consider Roger Atkins, from Electric Vehicles Outlook, who has been working in this space as a consultant and a speaker for fifteen years.
As the electric car begins to gain more traction, we might see these voices attracting a greater audience – and for new ones to join in, too!