Guide To Auto Repair Marketing
As a business owner, you know that building a profitable local auto repair shop means working hard to ensure a steady stream of new customers regularly come your way. That starts with establishing a solid reputation as a go-to community business for both returning customers and new ones.
Repeat customers are always valuable but often won’t be enough to sustain your business. Expanding your auto repair shop marketing campaigns to support online lead generation and foster word-of-mouth marketing is essential.
6 tips and tools for effective auto repair shop digital marketing
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If you want to attract more customers to your auto shop, having an online presence is a must. Simply claiming your business listing in various directories isn’t enough to stand out from the competition.
Additionally, your online reputation goes far beyond a basic website. It’s beneficial to include an informational blog and social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Local search engine optimization (SEO), another useful marketing tactic for auto shops, enhances your site, so it ranks well in online searches for auto repair shops in your service area.
Here is a list of marketing tools you can use to improve your online presence.
#1: Your auto shop website
As resumes are for job applicants, your small business’s website is the first impression your potential customers will get of your company, so it should:
- Have a professional design that’s mobile-friendly
- Provide contact information
- Tell your business story
- Detail the services you offer
- Include the price of fixed maintenance services, like oil changes, tire rotations and tune-ups
In addition, make sure your homepage and other key landing pages include the following:
- Your experience and credentials
- Customer testimonials
- Online reviews from different review sites
- Social media links
Whatever you do: Remember to keep the user experience as simple as possible and make it easy for customers to book your services, call or email you for more information, or even join your email marketing list.
#2: Auto repair SEO
If you’re still trying to find a name for your business, consider using the primary keyword in your business name. The auto repair shop that snags a name with the primary locale will have a competitive advantage over other options.
If you already have an established business name, work with what you have to build a strong reputation. Start by adding your business to Google Maps.
Claim your Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, and optimize it. For the best results, make sure your profile includes your:
- Business name, address and description
- Phone number
- Services offered
- Website URL
- Business categories
- Business hours
- Most commonly asked questions and answers
The more thorough your listing is, the better your chance of ranking well in your local map area. The higher your small business site listing is, the more traffic you’ll get.
#3: Company blog
A company blog is where you can publish relevant and informative content for your audience. Each blog post presents a new opportunity to increase your ranking using keywords people are searching for when looking for an auto repair shop. This makes it easier for customers to find you.
Part of SEO lies in updating your site regularly, and blogging is a great marketing tool to ensure your website stays fresh. Not sure what to write about? Take a look at other auto industry blogs for some inspiration. Ideas include writing about:
- How to prepare your vehicle for winter
- Synthetic vs. traditional oil
- How often to rotate your tires
- News related to vehicle recalls
#4: Social media presence
Social media platforms are a critical factor in how Google ranks your website. That’s why your auto repair shop company must include social media as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Start by creating a Facebook business page where you share relevant content with your loyal customers and prospective clients to promote your business. You can post:
- Car maintenance tips
- Customer reviews and happy customers’ testimonials
- Car repairs services
- Special discounts
- New blogs
When people take the time to like or comment on anything you share on social media, engage with them so they know you’re paying attention — even if that’s as simple as liking the comment they left. Watching how people interact with your company on social media is another way to gain customer feedback and insights.
#5: Email marketing
Building up a customer base and an email list will help your business attract repeat customers and keep them engaged in the services and special discounts you’re offering. Great email marketing ideas also include:
- Sending maintenance reminders
- Offering tips to care for your vehicle
- Promoting your referral program
- Asking for online reviews using templates
You want your emails to be helpful and relevant, so make sure that you are not bombarding your email list every day. Keep it simple and no more than once a week, unless you’re sending transactional emails, such as appointment confirmations and reminders, which should be sent in real-time.
#6: Customer reviews
Online reviews are a vital part of local SEO marketing for any business across industries. Reviews serve as social proof and offer a way to build trust in your company. Online reviews statistics show that nearly 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and 54% of shoppers visit a website after reading positive reviews.
To strengthen your online review profile, make it easy for your customers to review your business by asking customers to leave reviews on your Google and Facebook listings and include a link to your Yelp listing in your email marketing campaigns.
To boost your reviews, try the following:
- Reaching out to previous customers
- Asking customers in person when they’re picking up their car
- Asking via email with the receipt of the service
- Sending a thank you text message for their business
Make sure that it’s as easy as possible for your clients to review your business. They won’t do it if it’s too hard to find your listing to leave a review.
Improve your customer service
Research shows that a great customer experience is more valuable than the price tag of the products or services you’re offering and is a critical differentiator for companies.
What is great customer service?
Excellent customer service means making every aspect of the purchase easier, with the goal of ensuring satisfactory outcomes for new and returning customers. Companies with great customer service go above and beyond to meet client expectations.
2 tips and tools for improving your customer service
Here are some ideas to elevate your customer experience.
#1: Engage with customers via web chat and offer mobile-friendly tools
Adding a web chat tool to your website makes it easy for potential customers to contact you and get answers quickly. You can also build a mobile app to help people keep track of their oil changes, automobile maintenance schedule, receive alerts for recalls that affect their vehicle and notifications for specials.
Want to improve the customer experience for mobile users? Make sure to promote your mobile app on your website with easy-to-find links to download your mobile app.
#2: Ensure quick response time
Response time is crucial to generating leads, landing customers and ensuring repeat business. People are likely to call the first option they see, but they won’t always go with the first one they call. Customers, especially in emergencies, will most likely go with the first company that responds.
One study found that under half of customers say the #1 way to improve their customer service experience is by offering faster response times. The same study cited that the average business response time is 12 hours and 10 minutes. In that amount of time, a customer is most likely to have found an alternative company to do business with.
Build partnerships with referrals
As an auto repair expert, you can grow your business and support others in your local community by building strategic partnerships. You can do so by talking to your:
- Local auto parts stores
- Towing companies
- Insurance companies
- Car washes
Set up introductory meetings with these businesses and explain what you do. Ask if they’d be willing to send customers your way and leave some business cards or brochures with them. To help solidify the relationship, offer to reciprocate the favor.
In addition, consider joining industry trade organizations such as these:
- Automotive Service Association
- Alliance of Automotive Service Providers
- Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence
Enhance Your Promotions
You can use pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to generate traffic and leads for your business. Two of the most popular platforms for this are Facebook Ads and Google Ads. But don’t forget the power of word-of-mouth, giveaways and referrals.
Facebook Ads are a form of social media marketing. You can set a daily budget and target your audience based on a variety of demographics, such as:
- Interests and behaviors
The ads will show in your target audience’s Facebook Newsfeed, the sidebar of their Facebook page and on other Facebook properties like Instagram and Facebook Messenger. You can also use Facebook ads to grow your page’s fan base or target local customers who have visited your website.
Google Ads operate similarly to Facebook ads. Depending on how you set up your campaign, your ads will display in relevant Google searches, including:
- Auto repair
- Oil change
- Auto repair shop
When executed correctly, Google Ads are estimated to yield a 100% return on investment.
Giveaways and incentives
Giveaways are especially helpful when you are first building your online presence. Running a giveaway on social media for a free oil change and encouraging people to like or share the social media post announcing the giveaway will help spread your reach.
Referrals and word-of-mouth
Consider incentivizing current customers to refer their family and friends. Advertise special offers for referrals via direct mail or email marketing campaigns.
Whether you specialize in servicing foreign vehicles or offer basic maintenance and repair services, such as oil changes and tire rotations, your marketing efforts must show that your company is the best choice in your local area.
Improve your online presence with Broadly
At Broadly, we go above and beyond to support local businesses improve their online presence by helping them get more online reviews, streamline communications with their clients, and improve their website designs.
See what Broadly can do for your business in just 30 days