Automotive shops are often the anchor of a local community. Whether you’re changing their oil or detailing their cars, your neighbors vest unparalleled trust in you and your mechanics. They rely on your shop to keep their vehicles up and running. And while you may be the best in the business, without marketing and advertising, it’s tough to spread the word and grow your business.
Did you know that 84 percent of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues about products and services? While referral traffic may be the best way for shops to boost traffic, without successful auto shop advertising campaigns, how do you reach your community in the first place?
Need some ideas? You’ve come to the right place. Here are three advertising campaign ideas that are sure to win over customers—and turn them into loyal brand advocates.
Victory Auto Service and Glass opened its first shop in Minnesota in 1997, and has since added numerous locations in the Minneapolis suburbs. Its winning trick? Social media. Since implementing a social media strategy in 2010, Victory has successfully connected with local customers, both offline and online—which has also resulted in the opening of three shops.
The auto repair shop makes it a point to think like its customers and build trust. It emphasizes the human element and posts photos and fun personal information about its employees to help customers get to know the business. According to owner Jeff Matt, social media is a business expense that pays off in the long term. As these efforts illustrate, brands can utilize social media to connect with their local customers and increase business viability.
While social media platforms are often free, it’s important to note that they require upkeep. Investing in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is only the first step in the equation. You must produce consistent content to engage your audience—or else, your efforts are counterproductive.
Did you know that 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase? Even if you don’t sell online, you must be discoverable online. Even if you have a beautiful website, it’s important that it’s working for you. Investing in the most basic search engine optimization (SEO) services ensures your website is optimized. SEO focuses on increasing visibility in non-paid search engine results. There are many aspects to SEO—from the content on your page, to the way that sites link to your website—but ultimately, it all boils down to making your site better for your audience.
Pay-per-click (PPC), often considered the paid alternative to SEO, is a great way for brands to target a specific audience and develop a strategy that drives the right types of leads. For small business owners, Google AdWords, Facebook, and Twitter all make it easy to advertise online. Advertisers create ads and pay an established fee each time their ad is clicked on by an online user. These ads are then shown within search engine results or on social media platforms.
Whether you choose SEO or PPC, it’s worth noting that these efforts require resources. Paid advertising clearly requires some sort of cash investment. And SEO demands some level of technical knowledge. Regardless, many small business owners outsource their digital auto shop advertising campaigns to outside experts.
Register Tape Advertising
You know that operating an auto shop requires capital, which may not leave you with much cash for advertising. One of the best, most cost-efficient ways to advertise a garage or shop is through register tape advertising. This proven technique can cost as little as $6 per month to reach every 1,000 sets of eyes. This return boosts your bottom line in an industry that’s defined by low margins.
Another powerful benefit of register tape advertising, besides offering a great return on investment, is its power of predictability. The average U.S. shopper frequents the grocery store 1.5 times per week. Because they travel 3.79 miles to their primary store, you can rest assured that you’re targeting local customers. And because the primary buyer of a household often shops for groceries, your efforts will be seen by decision-makers.
Ultimately, business owners can tailor auto shop advertising campaigns around the age, gender, average household income, and other demographic factors of their area. How’s that for customization?