Eight Digital Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From Tesla

Digital marketer, language geek, technology lover, digital globetrotter, jazz enthusiast, salsa semihoofer, and a team player at Qode Media!

The Covid-19 pandemic has led brands in many industries to rethink, adapt or double down on their strategies for survival and growth. During such times, it’s often helpful to look at the tactics used by other successful companies.

One brand that I think is worth studying and following is Tesla. The electric car company has a reputation for its unique marketing strategy and for disrupting the automotive industry. Here are eight digital marketing lessons I think we can learn from the brand and how you can apply them to your efforts. 

1. Be Authentic

In my opinion, there’s nothing fake about the Tesla brand. From owning its mistakes and failures (Elon Musk once said that starting the company was “idiocy squared”) to sharing Tesla’s secret master plan, every blog post and tweet is real and personable. 

Modern consumers are social media-savvy — they can tell when a brand is being authentic or not. At Qode Media, being authentic is one of our principles for a successful social media strategy. Your content has to be authentic in order to feel authentic. If you make a mistake, own up to it. This will help you earn your audience’s respect. 

2. Simplify The Customer Experience

Unlike with traditional car sales, consumers looking to buy a Tesla don’t have to deal with a lengthy in-person purchasing process. Instead, ordering and configuring a Tesla is as simple as going online.

To simplify your customers’ experience, make interacting with your brand as seamless as possible. One step you can take is making your website more efficient and user-friendly. 

3. Rely On Word-Of-Mouth

Tesla uses one of the most effective methods of marketing: word-of-mouth. The brand’s referral program rewards those who share their experiences with others. Consumers tend to trust recommendations from people they know and trust — friends, co-workers and family members — more than brand-owned channels. 

You can take steps to earn and encourage word-of-mouth. Start by making sure that your product, sales process and customer service are the best you can offer. On the path to gain consumers’ trust, the next steps can be the implementation of a family and friends referral program as well as an engaging newsletter strategy that encourages your advocates to share any updates or good news happening with your company.

4. Connect With The Community

Building connections with the community can be the key to any brand’s success. Tesla has a solid user focus that includes customer forums and an owner club. This allows the company to build loyalty and passion for the brand. This approach also fuels a robust foundation of content that builds on itself and is available for prospective buyers to peruse.

Amid the pandemic, brands that have gone beyond the promotion of their products and services and been involved with the community in various ways — such as donating and raising money to help local healthcare centers and encouraging social distancing in a responsible way — are the brands that seem to have connected with their communities the most.

5. Have A Social, Charismatic CEO

The name “Tesla” not only conjures up images of a sleek, aerodynamic electric sports car, but the name of its charismatic CEO also quickly follows. Musk has been a driving force behind the brand.

Tesla turned the automotive industry on its head, and Musk did the same for CEO behavior. In most cases, CEOs tend to be a careful bunch, but not Musk. Though his social media presence has been controversial at times, ultimately, it has served as a key way to promote Tesla. 

CEOs who are active on social media, socially responsible and charismatic can have a tremendously beneficial effect on their brands’ recognition.

6. Be Consistent With Your Brand’s Mission And Vision

While Tesla clearly wants to sell cars, the brand is also focused on leading the world in the transition to electric vehicles and renewable energy. This thread seems to resonate with the brand’s audience and is repeated time and again.

To support your goals, make sure your mission and vision are strong, and communicate them often. 

7. Use Multiple Channels For Brand Exposure

Taking advantage of numerous public relations opportunities is a natural and seamless way to make your brand known. While Tesla’s social media channels and website provide brand awareness, the company also has gained attention for partnering with colleges to offer its START program. The 12-week training program helps students gain the skills they need to work in electric car manufacturing. 

PR campaigns can be highly effective for showcasing your brand’s goals and mission and getting the support of the community. Social media is probably a given, but online video exposure on platforms beyond YouTube (Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram and the ever-growing TikTok are the best-known examples) can be a nice addition to your digital marketing arsenal.

8. Stand With Your Competitors

Musk made all Tesla’s patents open-sourced so anyone anywhere has access to them. He is also known to be supportive of the brand’s competition when they’ve demonstrated progress on the electric vehicle front.

Healthy competition may be synonymous with innovation and more options for clients. Recognizing competitors’ achievements, supporting positive initiatives for your industry and siding with competitors on the best practices of your trade are simple ways to stand with your competitors while still aiming to be the best at what you do.

During challenging times, observing and learning from the successful marketing tactics of other brands, like Tesla, can be fundamental in helping you see the bigger picture and developing your own winning digital marketing strategy.

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