Consumer search is boosted by media coverage – which EV brands are winning and losing?


In June 2023, Google published a case study showing how Kia UK lifted conversion value on search by recognising that search provides an important bridge between upper and lower funnel marketing. Paid search advertising is one of the biggest spend items for advertisers in the UK, with brands allocating over £13 billion a year, three times the amount spent on TV advertising.

One of the key challenges for those investing significantly in search advertising is encouraging consumers to search more throughout the journey to purchase. Metricomm research has now demonstrated that PR can make a powerful contribution to increasing search volume for automotive brands.

There is a strong relationship between the size of audience generated by online media coverage and uplift in Google search.  The chart below shows that, as Kia has increased its size of media audience for electric vehicles over time, its share of Google search compared to competitors has also increased.

The same impact can also be achieved for other automotive models and fuel types, including commercial vehicles. To capitalise on this media effect, a brand will benefit from Metricomm analysis revealing which specific media and which coverage are producing search uplift. Then, PR activity can be focused on the business objectives of helping to build pipeline and moving people through the funnel.

Metricomm’s latest 2024 research into the EV market shows that Tesla retains its leading share of online media audience and share of search. However, its advantage over leading rivals has been rapidly eroded since 2019. Before the pandemic, Tesla enjoyed 17% of the UK online news audience. At the end of 2023, this had crashed to 10%. At the same time, Tesla’s share of UK search for EVs fell from 12.5% to 10%.

Other leading manufacturers are suffering too in the war to persuade reluctant consumers to swap their hard-earned cash for EVs. Volkswagen’s share of media audience, for example, plummeted from 11% to 6% over the same period, although in this case UK search fell by only one percentage point.

The other grey dots on the chart include your brand. If you’d like to learn more about how your PR effectiveness compares to the competition, let’s arrange a call: You can also request a free copy of our 2024 EV report which goes into more detail about how media coverage impacts search and sales, simply by emailing us or completing the form below.