In the run up to 2018, digital marketing budgets in the automotive sector will grow annually by at least one billion dollars, according to eMarketer. This, plus the fact that one in four car buyers shares their experience on social networks has led us to interview one of the brands that is going strong in the social: Kia Motors. We caught up with the company’s Spanish director of marketing and communications, Ricardo de Diego, who gave us an exclusive view into how Kia developed their latest campaign on Twitter, where the brand presented its new Kia Optima for the Madrid Fusion food and drink festival. He also revealed insights about campaigns like #SoyNadalista and #KiaFamily, and where they get the most valuable leads in their campaigns. Start your engine to find out more.
Audiense: How does social media fit into the marketing strategy of Kia in Spain?
De Diego: "Social networks are very important for Kia, not only as a communication medium but also for the qualitative information they provide. Through research and analysis on social networks we draw clear insights that help us define the marketing strategy for our audience."
During the last Madrid Fusion festival you presented the #KiaOptima16 on Twitter, how was this campaign developed?
"Madrid Fusion is a unique combination of innovation, food, and good taste, so we decided it was the perfect event to present the new Kia Optima, whose slogan is "Inspired by Innovation". The goal from the beginning of the campaign was to strengthen the brand’s ties to haute cuisine and innovation, raising awareness about how the new Kia Optima offers the highest levels of both technology and design. The results we achieved have been beyond expectation, both in terms of impressions as well as engagement.
We started the campaign with the #InnovaPlatos competition: we used Instagram to invite users to share a picture of an exotic ingredient that helps add innovation to any dish. The five best pictures won two tickets to the event. On top of this, we also sponsored the #MadridFusión Trend on Twitter to get coverage."
What kind of targeting do you use for Twitter advertising?
"Our segmentation depends on the actions and outcomes we want to drive. If the content is more product based, then we aim to target those posts towards an adult audience likely to contain potential customers. Whereas in the case of Madrid Fusion, we segmented profiles based on food-related interests and targeted this campaign at them."
We have seen that user-generated content (UGC) was implemented in your ongoing #KiaFamily campaign, what results did you get?
"For us it is a very important aspect of our campaigns, and our primary aim is to connect with our community and put the focus on our customers. Looking to achieve these goals is more effective than simply trying to generate numbers. Through this approach we were seeking to build meaningful long-term engagement, loyalty, and a connection with Twitter users.
So we let the members of our #KiaFamily speak on our behalf. There’s nobody better to publicly promote your vehicle than the owner who is proud of their latest acquisition. These Twitter users are our most valuable advocates, as they are a genuine way to connect our brand to a new and wider audience."
What role has UGC had in your wider social strategy, and what role did it play in your #SoyNadalista campaign?
UGC is key to our overall social media strategy, and we are constantly looking for more ways we can implement it into our campaigns. #SoyNadalista is a good example. Rafa Nadal has been our ambassador for over 10 years and it has been such a joy. But if we’re supporting him when everything is going well, then we must also be there to support him when times are tough. We noticed that members of our community who are fans of Rafa have always taken this stance. So we decided to give them the prominence they deserved.
First, we identified posts on Twitter from fans who had supported him unconditionally after his defeats. Using these messages we created images signed anonymously with the #SoyNadalista hashtag, and his fans soon found that we were the people behind the images. The hashtag went viral, with people spreading messages of support proudly and many changed their profile pictures to our images.
Have you executed any influencer campaigns? How did it go?
We appreciate that a "person" is now a medium and, depending on the target market, they may be the most effective medium to reach significant sections of your audience. So yes, we have used influencers in campaigns. One particular example was for the Kia Optima, where we used a major basketball player to tie our Optima sub-brand to the sport. To drive results, we promoted the campaign to a relevant segment of basketball fans.
What is the state of the automotive sector on social networks, is there room for innovation?
"We believe the automotive industry still has much to say on social networks and we are pushing to become a leading voice in this social adventure. Innovation is in the DNA of the Kia brand and therefore we must apply an innovative approach to our communication on social networks. The best example of innovation from our brand is actually in the works as we speak, and it’s pretty exciting. All I’m allowed to say is that Kia will sound more melodic than ever very soon."
Want to hear more insights and opinions from digital marketing and social media professionals at some of the world’s top brands and organisations? Check out the other social media interviews in our Spotlight Series, including NASA, Paddy Power, United Nations, Pizza Express, and many more.
The original version of this piece was written by Leticia Polese and was featured on our spanish blog, you can find it here.