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As the owner of an auto repair shop, you know the value of reputation, repeat business, and customer service and how those elements ensure a successful business. But great service and skilled personnel only go so far in this day and age. You also need a robust marketing strategy to guide your small auto repair business.
Auto repair marketing isn’t as simple as it used to be, in the days of direct mail and billboards. With consumers relying heavily on the Internet, social media platforms, and smart phones as their main resource, it’s time to upgrade your marketing strategy so it can provide you with the best opportunities available.
We believe a great auto repair marketing strategy should include these seven components:
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Note: Because it encompasses the greater umbrella of content marketing, landing pages, listings and citations, and a review strategy, local SEO is a major consideration. All of these factors have to work in conjunction for the most targeted, localized results.
While you many have been placing a lot of stock in your email marketing campaigns, truth is, they’re not working as well as you think they are. In fact, emails only have a 20 percent open rate, with cold calls being ignored for the most part. On the other hand, text messages have a 98 percent open rate, and 90 percent of those texts are read by the recipient within three minutes.
Consumers are pretty much always on their phones, so if you can reach them within seconds wherever they are, it’s a no-brainer to incorporate SMS marketing into your digital marketing campaign.
SMS marketing allows you to foster personal interactions with your leads and customers while improving conversion rates and reducing missed appointments. Plus, you can:
You likely have a core group of customers who never stray from your shop, but what about the rest? Encourage new, first-time and existing drivers to return to your auto repair shop whenever they need work by rewarding their loyalty. By targeting them personally, you will make them feel like they are an important part of your business -- which they are.
Nearly 80 percent of consumers want to see a loyalty program offering before they commit to a business. You can add value to your customers and boost your bottom line at the same time by offering them something special in return for loyal service.
As an auto shop owner, you could offer them:
Loyalty programs don’t just make your customers feel good. They help you too. Use them to collect customer data so you are better able to personalize your marketing campaign.
It’s not cheap to make vehicle repairs. You want to put your customers at ease so they can be assured they’re taking their vehicle to the most affordable shop around that will also do a great job. What better way to prove your industry expertise than with blogs, articles, videos and other resources that position you as a local leader?
For the automotive industry, video is the most engaging and effectual resource you can offer. You can film videos on car maintenance guides, car product reviews and how-to tutorials and post them on social media. But go a step further – pair the video content with blog content to earn their trust. If you do it right, people will come to you the next time they need service because of the trust factor.
Before you get too caught up in the content, don’t forget you need a mobile optimized website to bring it all together and make it work. Forming the foundation of your entire digital marketing plan, mobile optimization involves adjusting website content and graphics so that users can view it optimally from whatever mobile device they are on. This is what gives them a customized, seamless experience.
Once this is established, you must apply on page SEO techniques. The process of optimizing the content of a website, on page SEO will help you snag higher rankings with the search engines.
And lastly, local SEO is a big part of your overall SEO strategy that can’t be ignored. This is what targets customers in a specific region, city or neighborhood. When done correctly, you can improve your rankings and visibility within local search results such as Google’s Map Pack and Local Pack. Search Engine Journal says that 61 percent of consumers report searching locally every single day.
Landing pages help you capture qualified leads. These targeted pages keep visitors focused on one service or topic, such as oil changes, brake work, or tire alignments, accompanied by a specific call to action (CTA). Make sure your landing pages are mobile-friendly, attention-grabbing (think high-quality images or video), and quick-loading with many headlines that break up dense blocks of text.
Use these pages to target specific keywords for the auto repair industry, which will improve your SEO and help you appear higher up in the SERPS (search engine results pages).
Because you’re a locally-owned business, it’s imperative that you claim your business listings and citations on relevant review sites so you can generate leads online more effectively. You can show people your business is legitimate and reputable when you have gone through the process of verifying, completing and maintaining your listings with accurate information.
Don’t just claim listings on review sites such as Google and Yelp; dig deep into industry review sites like AutoMD and RepairPal too. This way, you can build consistent business pages and respond to customer reviews through these platforms.
Social WiFi involves physical locations (i.e., your shop) utilizing a guest WiFi landing page so customers can log in to their guest WiFi using their social media credentials. This allows you to collect customer data such as name, email, and demographic so you can aggregate it you’re your relevant customer profiles.
Use social WiFi to your advantage to get your customers to like or follow your social media channels while connecting to your WiFi. This gives them an immediate and engaging way to connect with your auto repair business using the channels that are the most meaningful to them. Not only can you visualize in-depth information about your customers, you can understand who is supporting your business the most so you can build deeper connections with them.
Grow your CRM, send auto-pilot marketing campaigns, increase your brand presence and understand how locations influence each other – all with social WiFi.
Word of mouth reviews are great, but you have to harness the power of online reviews to know what people are saying about you, and to respond back. Online review management is critical for helping you manage your brand, attract new leads, improve sales, make you appear trustworthy and expand the conversation about your brand. With most people trusting online reviews as much if not more than reviews from friends and family, you can’t ignore the power of review management as part of your overall digital marketing campaign.
The nature of your business requires trust in your offerings. If you don’t have trust as a mechanic, you will have a very hard time attracting and keeping customers.
Of course, these strategies don’t just apply to the auto repair business. They can apply to many different industries, from hair, nail and tanning salons, to restaurants and coffee shops. Stay tuned each month as we identify specific ways each industry can benefit from a targeted digital marketing approach.
If you own an auto repair shop or service center and want to hone your digital marketing strategy to yield you the best results, contact us today at 617-858-5802. We can customize a campaign that’s tailored to your unique business needs and customers. We offer some of the best automated marketing solutions for the automotive industry
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