Did you know the average person spends 3 hours a day on their phone?! There is no doubt that investing a little time and money into digital marketing for your auto repair shop can generate new customers.
You may have shied away from digital marketing in the past. While some channels can be complicated and expensive, we’ll show you digital marketing ideas for auto repair shops that don’t require a ton of expertise or cash.
What is the Best Digital Marketing for Auto Repair Shops?
- Local Listings
- Social Media
- Online Reputation
- Facebook Advertising
- Email Marketing
- SMS Marketing
1. Local Listings
Local listings are any type of online profile that includes your business name, address, and phone number. They can also include a description of your business, reviews, and even pictures that showcase your products and services.
Establishing your online presence through local listings ensures that shoppers can find you the next time they need an oil change or tire rotation. For example, Sally has just moved to Seattle. After unpacking and grocery shopping, the very next to-do item on her list is to find a good mechanic. So, Sally searches Google Maps. Because you’ve created your local listing, she finds your auto shop at the top of the list!
Without listing your business on Google Maps, Yelp, Yellow Pages, and the like, local shoppers like Sally may not ever know that your business exists. Taking just a few minutes to create and claim your auto repair local listings is well worth the visibility you gain.
Optimizing your local listings can also have a significant impact on your Local SEO. Local SEO is the things you do outside of your website that can help you rank higher in searches and on Google Maps.
Local listings are the first step when tackling Local SEO. It cannot be overlooked while trying to establish a strong online presence for your auto shop.
On top of being noticed through local listings, your auto shop must have a website of its own.
Potential customers can build trust with you (before entering your shop) because your website will act as a virtual, 24-hour salesperson. While creating an auto shop website might sound overwhelming, there are plenty of tools out there to make the process simple and easy.
Find Out More: A Simple Checklist for Creating an Auto Shop Website
3. Social Media
Posting content to your social media profiles is a great way to use digital marketing for your auto repair shop when you might not have a big budget for advertising.
Getting started with social media is easy.
- Sign up for your free Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account
- Brand your profiles
- Post content consistently
You will need to spend time and effort to keep up with it. Posting frequently and interacting with customers online is mandatory. Radio silence is not an option and will turn away potential customers. Creating a schedule of when to post (i.e., every other day, 3 times a week, etc.) is a great way to start a routine and boost your social media presence.
Build trust with your followers by using a variety of auto repair social media posts.
If you use pictures, remember that they tell a thousand words, so make sure they’re good ones!
4. Online Reputation
When potential customers look up your auto shop, your online reputation will provide a first impression. 88% of people use online reviews as a reference before making decisions regarding business transactions.
That’s why building and maintaining an online reputation is crucial. Verified local listings on places like Yelp and Angie’s List are necessary to show customers that you’re a real, reputable business. They also provide a great place to start building your online reputation.
Positive reviews will encourage potential customers to do business with you and set expectations for the kind of interaction they’ll have with your shop. When it comes to your reviews, quantity is just as important as quality. While an auto shop down the road from you might have the same rating (let’s say 4.5), if they have 200 reviews and you only have 20, potential customers may choose the auto shop down the road because they can weigh the opinion of more people.
There’s no secret sauce to generating reviews for auto shops. Asking your customers outright for feedback on your performance is a genuine, direct way to build your online reputation.
5. Facebook Advertising
Advertising on Facebook allows you to target a hyperlocal audience using branded or promotional ads. Used by 1 billion people for over 2 hours a day, it’s safe to say that Facebook advertising has great potential to reach prospective customers.
The best way to get an ROI from Facebook Ads is to RATE your advertising campaign, which is to focus on:
With so many users on the platform, your auto shop should focus on targeting the people who live within just a few miles of your shop. Then, optimize your campaign to reach those same people 2+ times a week with an eye-catching ad. If this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Facebook’s ad platform is easy to use and walks you through the setup. Get started with Facebook Ads for auto shops.
6. Email Marketing
Another type of digital marketing for auto repair shops to consider is email marketing. Sending emails gives you direct access to your customer’s inboxes without having to worry about ads or algorithms.
Email campaigns can be streamlined by services and there are even some that specialize in email marketing for auto shops. Targeting your customers with the right email message or offer will resonate with them and give them an incentive to visit your auto shop.
7. SMS Marketing
Out of all the digital marketing ideas we’ve listed, none are as instantaneous as text messaging. Making SMS Marketing one of the best mediums to engage customers.
With the click of a button, you can touch base with your customers. 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes, so you can be confident that your message will be seen. Text messaging is preferred by customers as a way to communicate with businesses because it’s fast and convenient. It’s a great tool to reach your customers where they are and should be implemented into your digital marketing strategy.
Is Digital Marketing Right for Your Auto Repair Shop?
Digital marketing provides many benefits, including:
- A variety of channels that can reach your potential customers where they spend their time
- A virtual, 24-Hour salesperson that tells prospects about your business
- Building trust with prospects through reviews
But, digital marketing is just one way to put your name in front of prospective customers. Download the Advertising Quick Guide below and learn about all the ways to advertise your auto repair shop.
This post was updated on October 27, 2020.