IAA 2015: How car makers position themselves in preparation of the trade fair

Content Fleet Content Fleet 16/09/2015
IAA 2015: How car makers position themselves in preparation of the trade fair

The international motor show (IAA) is an important event for car makers all over the world. Successful exhibition of their new models can result in positive media attention and good sales numbers. Data compiled by Content Fleet Storybeat shows which brands were able to perform well using the Keyword IAA in the six months before the trade fair.

Audi tops Opel and Mercedes

Between March and August 2015, 164 online publications about Audi were released containing the Keyword IAA. The car manufacturer from Ingolstadt was by far the most successful in attracting media attention in the lead up to the motor show. 111 articles were published about Opel and Mercedes, respectively.

Besides the South Korean car brand Kia, only German manufacturers succeeded in being among the top ten most mentioned keywords associated with the IAA (since 1990 Škoda belongs to Volkswagen).



Which online publications go viral?

While most articles published online are about Audi, they don't attract the most attention in social networks. In the ranking of the ten most successful articles (considering shares, likes and comments on Facebook, Twitter and Google+), Audi is only found at 8th and 10th place. The stories on the Mercedes C-Class Coupé and Porsche Pajun 717, both from the German car magazine Auto Bild, received approximately 2,000 reactions on social media, approximately twice as much as the top Audi article. Mercedes occupied four positions in the top ten, Porsche two, and Alfa Romeo one.



The articles with high social media impact all came from Auto Bild, with the exception of the third place article. Eight of the nine articles from Auto Bild were slideshows, showing that picture galleries are highly shareable in social networks. The third place publication by Autozeitung.de was also a slideshow.

Many articles = high virality?

Between March and August, Auto Bild published 105 articles with the keyword IAA and generated a total of 18,597 interactions on social media. While putting out many articles often does not pay for smaller publishers in terms of expanded coverage, Auto Bild benefits from large numbers of articles. On average, an online article from Auto Bild produced 177 social media reactions. Autozeitung.de also reaches many users per publication, with their 65 publications receiving an average of 150 shares, likes and comments.



On the other hand, for the portal Unternehmen-Heute.de it is not worthwhile to publish 71 articles with the keyword IAA. The website's auto articles did not attract much interest in the social networks. The ratio between published articles and generated coverage in social networks was similarly poor for Automobil-Produktion.de, Motor-Exklusive.de, OE24.at, Tuningblog.net and KFZ-Betrieb.de.



Facebook: Audi and Mercedes most popular

Using the keyword IAA, Audi and Mercedes both accumulated many shares, likes and comments with their Facebook posts. Audi had four of the ten most viral Facebook posts, which makes it not only the most popular car brand among publishers, but also among Facebook users. Mercedes also performed well on Facebook, taking up three positions in the ranking. BMW, however, only scored one post in the top ten (5th place) and did not appear again in the top 100 viral Facebook posts. Opel finished last in this ranking. The Rüsselsheim-based car maker, which was often mentioned in the conventional online news coverage of the IAA, is of less interest on Facebook with its top post ranked 27th.



Mercedes engages users on Twitter

BMW had more success on Twitter, putting out the most successful contribution (520 retweets and favorites), yet the list of the most viral tweets was dominated by Mercedes (six of the top ten tweets). Audi was only represented once. Twitter is considered the news platform among the social networks. Therefore, it is noteworthy that in the automobile industry, it's not the news put out by the large publishers that is viral on Twitter, rather it is what the automakers themselves publish. Take as a comparison the Content Fleet Analysis for the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) - the global trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances. That analysis showed that manufacturers of consumer electronics at the exhibition only sporadically produced top tweets.




In the context of the keyword IAA, the marketing departments of Audi and Mercedes managed to generate extensive coverage of their products. Reports about their models were common not only in traditional online media, but these brands also reached many users through their activities on Facebook. While Mercedes also had a strong presence on Twitter, Audi was not quite as successful on this platform. The automakers themselves were responsible for the most successful tweets, which is remarkable, as in many other industries publishers have the edge over the brands themselves.


Media outlets benefit from publishing picture galleries because of their great viral potential, as is well-demonstrated by Auto Bild's slideshows. Regarding the optimal quantity of articles, distinctions must be made: while it pays for outlets with a broad readership to publish a lot of content, this strategy is not worthwhile for small publishers.