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Car buyers are no longer bouncing from dealership to dealership to look for new vehicles. Today’s buyers are doing a lot of homework online. They’re reviewing new makes and models, exploring features, comparing prices, and even taking virtual test drives. Research shows a 65% spike in “test drive” videos on YouTube as buyers focus their pre-purchase efforts online.

The reliance on online research has driven many retailers to influencer collaborations. By working with a car influencer to promote a new model or highlight a new feature, retailers can connect with buyers while their interest is piqued. 

Research shows recommendations from friends and family are the most influential source for car buyers. Since followers see influencers as trusted friends, it makes sense for automotive brands to team up with influencers to promote their products. 

Car influencer campaign example

When Toyota wanted to promote its new Tundra, the company connected with IZEA to launch a multi-influencer campaign to show how the durable truck helped people enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. 

One of the influencers was Jon Stenstrom, a fisherman who treks the open waters to catch elusive fish. While you might not identify a fisherman as an ideal candidate to promote a truck, his endorsement is woven into a conversation about essential outdoor gear, making it a natural fit. Here’s the content shared on his TikTok, @castandspear:


#ad The 2022 Toyota Tundra is essential to any tackle box 🐟🛻

♬ original sound - Cast and Spear

Strategies for a successful car influencer program

Identify the right influencer for your campaign

Before you search for influencers, pinpoint the overall purpose of your campaign and know what you’d like to focus on. A TikTok Toyota campaign aimed to showcase the Tundra as the go-to vehicle for active lifestyles, and it mentioned a specific feature: its durable tailgate. 

Once you have a goal in mind, you can research influencers. You may work with car influencers to showcase a new feature, but depending on your goal, you can go outside your traditional niche and work with influencers who exemplify your campaign purpose. For the Toyota example, that meant working with outdoor influencers. 

When you’re ready to find influencers, you can use IZEA’s Marketplace to conduct a search or connect with IZEA’s Managed Services and ask them to help find and manage influencers for you. 

Collaborating with car influencers dos and don’ts

Working with car influencers requires clear communication and a shared goal. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to ensure your collaboration runs smoothly:


  • Create an influencer brief that outlines the campaign’s purpose, deliverables, and deadlines.
  • Communicate compensation upfront.
  • Discuss exclusivity terms with creators.
  • Communicate which features of the car you’d like featured.
  • Ask for influencer input to ensure the campaign is as authentic as possible.
  • Create a friendly, collaborative environment to ensure communication is open and honest.
  • Ask to review content before it’s published.
  • Share the content on your brand’s channels once it’s published.
  • Repurpose the content to get more mileage out of it.


  • Limit your influencer search to those with massive audiences; smaller influencers are effective, too.
  • Treat the campaign as an advertisement; it’s a collaboration.
  • Ignore suggestions or feedback from influencers. 
  • Ghost the influencer after the campaign, follow up with metrics and a ‘thank you.’   

Measuring the success of a car influencer campaign

During the planning phases of your campaign, identify influencer marketing KPIs you plan to track to meet your goal. Once the campaign is complete, schedule time to review those metrics and consider improvements for the next one. 

If you plan to work with the influencer in the future, consider inviting the influencer to the post-campaign meeting and discuss the metrics with him or her. 

For those worried about quantifying your success, consider using an influencer marketing platform that provides an all-in-one metrics dashboard like IZEA Flex that gives you relevant data like ROI by influencer. 

Challenges of a car influencer campaign

As with any marketing campaign, you’ll face some challenges. Hurdles to watch out for include: 


Many brands can simply mail products to influencers, but it’s not that easy with car influencer campaigns. You’ll need to set up a meeting so the influencer can interact with the vehicle. It might be as simple as inviting the influencer to a dealership, but many campaigns include video, meaning you’ll need a picturesque spot to shoot. 

You’ll need to coordinate schedules, get permission to shoot at the location site, and bring in the gear necessary to shoot the content. Logistics are often a challenge for this type of influencer campaign. 

Liability insurance

You’ll need liability insurance on the vehicle and may need to name the driver or, in this case, the influencer on the policy. Reach out to your internal executive team to see what you’ll need. Your influencer brief should include instructions about using the car safely as well.

Ethical concerns or unsubstantiated claims

During your collaboration, you’ll give the influencer direction and may even ask them to highlight certain features. Be careful in your messaging. Make sure you’re not adding any claims that could be called into question by authorities, like the FTC. For example, FTC guidelines dictate the criteria for a car or truck to be labeled as an alternative fuel vehicle.

Review your messaging with your marketing and legal team before giving it to the influencer. 

Future trends in car influencer campaigns 

What does the future of car influencer campaigns look like? Here’s a look at a few trends to consider:

  • More micro-influencers will become car influencers
  • Virtual reality and AI will integrate into campaigns
  • Video will continue to take presence in this space
  • Brands will work with a handful of influencers to maximize their exposure

Niche influencer campaigns like those in the automotive category will continue to grow. As consumers spend more time online and less time interacting with traditional advertising, brands will likely increase spending with influencers to connect with more buyers, drive brand awareness, and increase sales. 


Looking to partner with industry-leading brands? Create your free profile today. 


The world’s biggest brands trust IZEA’s influencer marketing software and managed solutions. Find out which solution is right for you.


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Find your next great collab.

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Find your next great collab.

Browse creator listings now


Find your next great collab.

Browse creator listings now