How BMW is using content to ‘enlarge the upper sales funnel’

BMW is looking to widen its potential audience by creating “relevant and snackable” content that engages consumers beyond cars.

BMW believes a mobile-first, content-led approach will help it attract a wider audience and claims the recent relaunch of its website has already increased mobile visitors by 27%.

Speaking at Mobile World Congress 2019, the German carmaker’s global head of digital marketing, Jorg Poggenpohl, explained how BMW is extending its content beyond automotive to “enlarge the upper sales funnel”, meaning it is now also creating content around lifestyle, design, innovation and fashion.

“Based on data-driven insights we wanted to create relevant and snackable content in helpful and entertaining ways,” he said. That way the business hopes to reach both existing customers and those that might be considering BMW but don’t yet own one.

BMW claims the new mobile site loads in 1.9 seconds – three to four times faster than before – and said the click-through rate from BMW.com to regional sites where customers can find further product information has increased by 44% – four times higher than before.

“This was not in mind but we shifted it,” Poggenpohl said, adding that BMW is now getting 49% more site visits through SEO and the average user is spending 3.13 minutes on the site on mobile.

“We were thinking customer, consumer-first, which means for us mobile-first with speed,” he said. “We did it by combining two technologies, AMP [accelerated mobile pages] and PWA [progressive web apps], to bring both ends together on one site.

“It also shows when creative and engineering prioritise speed from the beginning of the project, before the first line of code is written.”

BMW is set to become the first automotive customer to use AMP Stories on its site in April, which Poggenpohl said will make the mobile experience “even more immersive, engaging and faster”.

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  1. tom wright 26 Feb 2019

    Is it a good idea to improve the SEO of a site about cars to include ‘lifestyle, design, innovation and fashion’? I’m not so sure. I can see how it would increase traffic, but potentially at the risk of watering down the intent of users on the site. It is as incongruous as car information on Ocado: I go to the site looking for groceries – if you fill it up with stuff about cars which I didn’t go there for and am not interested in when I am looking for orange juice and baked beans you make navigation confusing. Too much: sod it, I’m off to Audi, this is too much work, and hey, I never knew BMW had such pretensions.

    As a BMW driver who really likes their car I can honestly say I don’t have the slightest interest in their take on fashion. Or – outside of cars – design. Lifestyle. . . maybe. And there’s a point where the obsession with ‘snackable’ content is damaging, the point where you regret clicking on a link on your phone because of an interesting headline . . . where marketers misinterpret their data, confusing ‘reader’s short attention span’ with ‘reader not interested’.

    I can see this potentially giving a short term rise in traffic which is actually brand damaging as potential customers find BMW’s take on fashion generic, unauthentic, lacking in originality, from <30 copywriters obsessed with brand purpose, who can't afford a new BMW. Meanwhile, on Audi.com I got the info I needed, ended up speccing up a new car, learning about the accessories, working out fuel consumption, and knowing if it would be impacted by ULEZ.

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