You may be your city’s most proficient, skilled mechanic. However, if you’re unable to market your auto repair shop, your efforts are for nothing. Just because you’re technically good at your job, it doesn’t mean you’re equipped for the marketing and strategy side of things. You still need to draw customers to your garage.
This classic small-business owner scenario is shared by many auto shop owners. And it’s understandable. You’re stretched thin and often do not have the time for research and marketing—so these efforts go by the wayside.
To help illustrate what marketing methods really work, here are some tried-and-true auto repair advertising ideas to attract customers and grow your business.
You may have heard that social media is here to stay. Taking advantage of social media means promoting your brand to new audiences while also building loyalty with your existing customers. From responding to user comments to promoting exclusive offers to offering helpful auto tips, social media is a proven way to directly interact with your audience. Building an online business presence can help small businesses differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.
While social media does have numerous benefits, it also requires upkeep. Sure, signing up for most platforms is free, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, building your following and maintaining a steady flow of content requires resources that you may not have. Because customers will often use Facebook to interact with a brand, they demand a steady stream of content. If they see that your company is not engaging with their profiles, they’ll be just as quick to unfollow your business, which negates your efforts in the first place.
Ask for Reviews and Referrals
Building on the word-of-mouth capabilities of social media is the concept of online reviews. Think about the last time you searched online for a business. You probably stumbled across reviews, right? Don’t hesitate to ask your customers for feedback. In addition to Facebook, Yelp and Google reviews are surefire ways for potential new customers to learn about your business. In fact, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Referrals are also an excellent way to actively grow your business through your existing network. Ask your current customers to spread the word about your garage or shop. Be sure to thank the person who made the referral—either through an email or, when possible, a small gift card. Small gestures show your customers that you go the extra mile. In exchange, they’ll return the favor.
Embrace the Power of Promotions
Despite the power of user-generated reviews on social media sites such as Yelp and Facebook, you may be surprised to learn that deals and special offers impact consumers’ moods and buying habits. In a recent survey, participants who received a $10 voucher experienced a 38 percent rise in oxytocin levels and an 11 percent boost in happiness. What’s more, respiration rates dropped 32 percent, heart rates decreased 5 percent, and sweat levels on the palms of the hands were up to 20 times lower than those of peers who did not receive a coupon.
In other words, coupons influence happiness and health. And catering to the needs of consumers and influencing their emotions through coupons is one of the most effective auto repair advertising ideas.
What’s the best way to reach consumers? In locations they frequent, such as the grocery store. Register tape advertising refers to the proven technique of coupon advertising in which deals and promotions are printed on the back of customer receipts. This form of advertising not only lands in the hands of 20,000 shoppers each week, but it’s also incredibly affordable.
Relying on proven marketing methods enables business owners to focus on the task at hand: driving sales. By dedicating the necessary time and resources, listening to your target audience, and incorporating promotions and coupons into your strategy, it’s possible to create repeat customers and grow your business.
Finding the best ways to advertise in your local area is key to driving new customers to your shop. Learn more about some of the top auto shop marketing tactics and how to apply them to your auto shop.