Let’s face it. Some automotive shop owners are more aggressive (and progressive) than others when it comes to marketing. The smaller the business, usually the less marketing is done. And that’s one of the reasons it stays a “small” business without much growth. This is true in almost any industry.
When it comes to marketing your shop, spending more money doesn’t always equate to more business. It is a factor, and the old adage of “you have to spend money to make money” is certainly true. However, it’s more about spending wisely on effective marketing rather than just throwing your money out there without a solid plan.
We can’t give away all the trade secrets here because we want automotive shops to turn to NextGear Marketing for help with marketing materials and strategies. Still, we’ll provide some basic concepts that you can consider when deciding to ramp up your marketing efforts in order to grow your shop’s business. In Part 1 of this article, we’ll focus on new school strategies for digital marketing. In Part 2 next week, we’ll talk about the more old school approaches that can still be very effective—print advertising, direct mail, outdoor, radio and television.
It’s hard for any business to grow (yet alone survive) these days without some sort of marketing presence on the Internet. If your shop doesn’t have a website, that needs to be your first step. Template design sites are okay to get started, as long as they are mobile-friendly.
Content is King
However your site is designed, put extra focus on the content to make it your own and incorporate key words to enhance SEO. Specifically mention all the cities you serve, each automotive repair service you provide and your shop’s contact information. Work in key words and phrases that customers might search for if looking for a shop like yours in the area.
Establish pages for your shop and get involved on as many social media platforms as you can. Post regularly, share links and information, and do whatever you can to engage with your followers. Don’t be salesy, though. Be informative and/or conversational in tone. The more active you are on social media with engaging posts, the more positive word of mouth you will generate.
Obviously, we’re big on blogging at NextGear Marketing. It is our most popular service. More and more automotive shop owners are realizing it is the best way to generate fresh content on their websites and help increase organic site traffic. If you have a regular blog with interesting content (informative articles, customer testimonials, employee profiles and other shop news), you will see a difference as your site rises up the search engine rankings.
We’re not talking about “spam” sales emails to random lists. We’re talking about targeted emails to past customers and those who have signed up on your email list through your website. Send regular emails and aim for one specific action/result with each. Perhaps reach out to everyone and ask them to like your Facebook page or follow you on Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter. Send an email asking for any referrals they might have (offer incentives if it helps). Ask them to rate your service or write a review on your site or Yelp!
Advertising and Integration Packages
This is where online marketing can get expensive, so don’t just go into it without more research. If done right and strategically, you can get a great result. Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Yelp! Business Integration Packages—these are some of the most popular ways to advertise online. Just be careful and set a firm budget before throwing a lot of money into any of these services. It can add up quickly and you have to make sure the returns are worth the investments.
Hopefully you find this information helpful. Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of this article. If you have any questions about online/social media marketing, blogging or email strategies, contact NextGear Marketing today for a free, no-obligation marketing consultation.