When it comes to marketing for auto repair shops, it’s vital that a strategy is in place to continue driving both new and returning customers through your door. Let’s face it, in this day and age, there’s no room for complacency. While it would be easy to sit around and wait for your next customer to arrive, we all know that’s unrealistic and unlikely to generate the amount of custom you desire. To get your automotive business seen in such a busy crowd, you need to push the boundaries and often, you might even find yourself stepping outside of your comfort zone. The important thing to remember, is that you are marketing your business, so make your strategy bespoke to you.
From using traditional techniques, to embracing the digital age, there are plenty of methods to consider when it comes to marketing for auto repair shops.
Know Your Audience
Before we begin looking into automotive repair marketing, there’s a few vital first-steps that you should take before devising your strategy. The first is getting to know your target audience(s), and yes, ‘audiences’ is plural because you will probably have more than one. A little advice from us, don’t get too carried away trying to target them all, instead decide on a maximum of four audiences who you will reach out to.
If you’re struggling with where to start, how about creating an audience personality type? In other words, create fictional characters which mimic your targeted audiences. Think about their gender, age, how you could reach them and whether they are a previous or new customer. You can even go as far as thinking about what their interests are, their job type, salary and whether they have a family or not. By creating these, you’ll discover what type of marketing techniques will suit your customers.
Over time, you can develop this by testing different types of marketing on your audiences, to help identify which technique works best for your customer.
From high-end marketing campaigns, to low-cost (or even free) marketing tools, there are techniques out there to suit everybody’s budget. Have a think about how much you are able to or are willing to invest in marketing your auto repair business. This might become a little bit clearer after you’ve had a read of this blog, once you’ve identified which techniques you want to use.
Does your auto repair business have a brand? What makes it unique? Perhaps it isn’t a brand in itself but is part of a wider organization? Whatever the scenario, it is vital that your auto repair shop, business or service can be identified by your customers.
Anything from a strong clear logo, to a catchy slogan is a good start. Think about colors, font type and messaging. This will form the basic identity of your auto repair business and should be used consistently across all marketing materials, both digitally and traditionally.
Build A Website
Has your auto repair business got a website? If not, what are you waiting for? Your website is essentially your online storefront and in the current climate, customers need to be able to access information on your services remotely. Remember, with so many customers using digital devices to search for businesses your website needs to be mobile and tablet friendly.
The idea of creating a website can appear daunting but honestly, there are so many easy-to-use hosting sites out there, once you get started it will soon start to seem a lot simpler.
Search Engine Optimization
Once you’ve created your website, it’s time to make yourself more visible online and one of the most effective ways to do this is by using search engine optimization (SEO).
Research keywords and phrases that relate to your business, then use them throughout the copy of your website. Additionally, if you promote your business through social media – a must-have marketing tool we will come on to – use your keywords here too.
Create articles and information that your target audience will enjoy or find helpful. Content marketing doesn’t necessarily mean going in with a hard sell of your auto repair service, it’s about building trust and a relationship with current and potential customers. You can do this through blogs, recorded videos and live webinars.
If this is something you want to have a go at, they will only really work if you do them regularly. Of course, the blogs – which will appear on your newly developed website – provide the perfect place to insert any of your researched SEO keywords and phrases too.
Google My Business
Setting up ‘Google My Business’ (GMB) is a must for any marketing strategy, and it couldn’t be easier. It’s a totally free tool that could help boost your auto repair business.
It is totally worth investing your time in making the most of GMB and all it has to offer. If utilized to its full potential, GMB can help ranking businesses higher on Google. This leads to your auto repair shop being one of the first to appear in the search engine locally, which in return means more customers. It’s a no brainer.
We get it, you don’t do social media. Don’t worry, you don’t have to – but your business should. In 2019, 246 million Americans were active social media users and there is no better reason than to make sure your auto repair shop is being advertised on there.
If you’re a small business, we appreciate you might not have hours each day to post across social media. However, don’t let that stop you using at least one of the sites. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter are all effective platforms to use. Think back to who your target audiences are and consider which platform they might be using – even if it’s just the one, it’s a start. If you’re feeling ultra-brave, why not have a look at Clubhouse; an audio-only social media phone app, set to boom in 2021.
Use your social media pages to push and plug promotions, while sharing images and video content to promote your business and services. Remember, you don’t need to be totally tech-savvy to be able to upload a first-class video. The SnapCell app makes it easier than ever for automotive businesses to create and share seamless, creative and informative videos at just the click of a button.
When it comes to social media, the opportunities really are endless and it’s only going to get bigger, so there’s no better time than today to start growing your business’s social presence.
Target your audience through pay-per-click advertising, using your social media channels or Google.
The beauty of this method is you only pay if the link is clicked. A top tip from us is to test this technique by creating slightly different adverts with unique URLs, to see which gains the most click-throughs. This is a real opportunity to learn more about your audience and how they best receive information about you.
Keep customers up to date through regular email marketing. Ask customers if they would like to join your email list, encouraging them to do so by letting them know this will put them front of the line to hear about any latest offers and deals. This is by far one of the best ways to keep existing customers coming back for more.
Remember, these are current customers, so email marketing is all about keeping on top of engagement. Stand out from the other inbox fillers by creating informative content using the SnapCell app. Created especially for the automotive industry, SnapCell integrates with most Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, which means you can send a first-class video within minutes to your contact list.
Building a portfolio of online reviews should be crucial in your strategy. In essence, this is word-of-mouth marketing but in a digital age and it can totally transform the reputation of your business.
Encourage reviews across your social media channels, utilize the features on ‘Google My Business’ (GMB), or use the SnapCell app to create targeted ‘thank you’ videos, linking to a review page. The more reviews you get, the better your SEO.
Keeping Up With Traditions
We’ve discussed identifying your audience and getting to know what they are receptive to. With this in mind, you might find you want to incorporate good old fashioned print marketing into your strategy too.
Anything from postcard mailers, to flyers and business cards, there are plenty of physical techniques that can be used to help target customers and remember, always include branding, website information and your social media channels to your print marketing.
Of course, it’s worth noting that this might not be such a budget-friendly option, so we would advise using a unique website URL or special discount code (especially for print material), to help track just how effective your physical marketing is.
If you’re an auto repair business looking to get one step ahead of your competitors, then arrange a SnapCell demo today. SnapCell is the leading automotive video tool, helping businesses in the industry to build rapport and trust with customers, while maximizing sales.