Targeting the Petrolheads: Verticals, Networks, Conferences

2 May 2023
Reading: 1 min

Vehicles, while being convenient, are no longer simply a means of transportation. Coupés, cabriolets, SUVs, vans, heavy trucks, choppers, off-road motorcycles, quad bikes, rickshaws — they are the heart and soul of the owner. Each vehicle type is favored by a unique audience, making the whole market highly versatile, in terms of targeting options.

Targeting the Petrolheads: Verticals, Networks, Conferences

Vehicles, alongside related products like replaceable parts, repair services, garages, insurance, info courses, and magazines, are a highly popular and profitable vertical. Do you know that Toyota sells 16 cars every minute? Hence, the range of potential products to promote impresses and entices.

In fact, this market is so immense, that we decided to settle for just cars and related products in this article. Trust us, there will be a lot to cover already. Without further ado, buckle up, and let’s roll.

Understanding the Psychology of the Car Enthusiast

Targeting the Petrolheads: Verticals, Networks, Conferences

People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds might have a passion for cars. For example, Plymouth and Lincoln, two famous car manufacturers, used to create the impression of retiree-oriented brands (before the arrival of Hemi Cuda and Navigator respectively). On the other hand, the Cuda siblings like Ford Mustang and Dodge Charger were originally designed specifically for the youth. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-them-all approach; however, there are some traits that can pinpoint a car enthusiast:

  1. Gearheads: Tinkerers, mechanics, aerography enthusiasts — all those, who can’t live a day without customizing their birdies and getting their hands dirty land up in this group
  2. Status seekers: Some VIPs might treat the vehicle akin to the Rolex watches — a very expensive accessory to highlight one’s well-being
  3. Daredevils: Racers, drifters, stuntmen — basically any people, who are addicted to speed, lustful for the adrenaline rush, and into fast and furious cars
  4. Collectors: Some cars are legendary classics, so there are the enthusiasts, who instead of Pokémons “catch” the pieces of art by attending car auctions, trade shows, exclusive events, and various conferences
  5. Nostalgics: A “back-in-the-days” kind of people is one of the best audiences to sell a very specific range of products to, simply because they thrive in memories and emotions, outcasting any logic and reason alongside with it
  6. Environmentalists: While cars (including the electric ones) are by definition pollutants, people allow themselves to be greenwashed nonetheless; therefore, if there is an “eco-friendly” alternative (the lithium used in batteries have to be chemically produced, leaving the slag, which is poured out), people are more likely to overspend for the promise of making a green impact
  7. Commuters: Cars’ convenience in terms of transportation attract the users from even car-unrelated spheres

Those 7 premises assure that the demand for cars is always high. By satisfying this demand in any form, you are securing a steady source of income. But what exactly can be promoted?

Potential Offers and Verticals for Car Enthusiasts

Targeting the Petrolheads: Verticals, Networks, Conferences

When it comes to car-related products, some of the most common verticals one can find are:

  • eCommerce: The holy grail of the automotive market, represented by the cars themselves, spare parts, accessories, cleaning products, care products, souvenirs, art, and toys. Amazon, eBay, AliExpress, and other online stores are all excellent platforms to promote automotive goods.
  • Lead Generation: Car dealerships, car rental companies, car insurance providers, repair, and tuning shops are at the vanguard of this group. Since the cars are being sold and used (see the Toyota example in the beginning), partnering with these companies is a lucrative opportunity.
  • Info Products: The main value of the car products does not have to be tangible. Online courses, e-books, webinars, museums — they all can be dedicated to cars, and they also require users/visitors.
  • Events: Long gone are the days when there were cars on their own. Nowadays, there are car shows, races, and exhibitions. 24 Heures du Mans, Monaco Grand Prix, Indianapolis 500, banger racing, demolition derbies, retrocar shows, car expos — those are just a few events that can be profited on.
  • Travelling: Car is a means of transportation, therefore it can also be used for travelling. Bus tickets, the aforementioned car rentals, and motels are all here

Make sure to target your audience right. On the one hand, a gruesome demolition derby is more likely to please hot-tempered mid-40 men, willing to release their anger (even through the screen). On the other, retrocar shows are designed for nostalgics and American muscle car lovers of the younger generation.

Choosing the Right Affiliate Program

Targeting the Petrolheads: Verticals, Networks, Conferences

In case the automotive market is new for you, consider teaming up with an affiliate program. There are a couple of factors to consider, before choosing one over another:

  1. Know your niche: The market is huge, so define for yourself clearly where you stand. Even the cars are unique and different, so think if you are into luxury, “eco-friendly”, or vintage cars — their target audience will differ substantially.
  2. Be aware of your expertise: If you have no idea about car parts, you should not enter this niche, before learning more about them. Your audience is most likely to be interested in technicalities, and you are expected to answer these questions precisely and quickly, unless you are fine with losing trust.
  3. Looks for famous brands: High brand recognition eases your work immensely and vice versa.
  4. Research the affiliate programs and networks: Car-related products can be found on many platforms and aggregators:
  5. Research car-related blogs and websites: More often than not, thematic sites and blogs can have an affiliate program, e.g., Autozone, Tire Rack, or AutoAnything.
  6. Get to know the payout models: While Revenue Share seems to be the most common one in the market, Cost-per-Lead can be the case when dealing with online registration or activation, e.g., Insurance. Another RevShare alternative is Cost-per-Sale, which happens when the company doesn’t have a range of products, or they have a certain price.
  7. Check commission rates, cookie duration, and terms: Make sure the programs you partner yourself with are worth your while, comfortable to work is, and are verified by other marketers — read the forums to learn more about the potential partners.
  8. Learn about the campaigning details: Minimum payout and minimum frequency, tracker availability, resources, promo materials, and estimated Earning-per-Click — the more you know the better.

Having picked up the affiliate program, think about the promotional channels you are going to use. Besides the aforementioned online stores, you can go for social media and content creation. A lot of people talk about car facts on YouTube, so use the influence marketing to your advantage.

Also, don’t forget the power of keywords and write some blog and website content. If your article satisfies your audience’s desire for useful information, your link is more likely to be clicked. A simplified version of this approach is to go to the forums and communities to participate in the discussions there, without forgetting to include the link a couple of times.

Conferences Dedicated to the Car Niche

Targeting the Petrolheads: Verticals, Networks, Conferences

The exchange of experience is always good for all the parties involved. The automotive industry is no exception, and there are a couple of conferences, dedicated to cars and related products. Check’em out:

  • Affiliate Summit West — one of the largest affiliate conferences in the world, featuring tons of topics, including the automotive ones
  • Automotive Europe and USA Conferences — are dedicated to automobiles in full: auto parts, car financing, business models, auto financing, and more
  • Performance Racing Industry Show — while the main focus is on the car, components, and cutting-edge technologies, there is a section dedicated to motorsports sponsorship, digital marketing, and racing budgeting

While the affiliate-oriented automotive conferences might be few, they are actually present. This is why the market evolves and moves forward, inviting more affiliates to hop in and drive the traffic together.


The motorhead market is highly diverse and incorporates people of various ages, genders, aspirations, incomes, etc. For your campaigns to actually cross the finish line and smoke the competitors, you need to make sure you know your own competence, narrow down your target audience, and pick the right affiliate network. Fortunately, the annual conferences become more and more common, so you always have a chance to learn more from the industry professionals.

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