Auto shop advertising campaigns demonstrate that you are an anchor of your local community. Whether you’re changing oil or detailing cars, your automotive shop keeps the local vehicles up and running. Without marketing and advertising, it’s tough to spread the word about your great business and bring in new customers.
If you need some ideas, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 4 auto shop advertising campaigns 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. This strategy has resulted in the opening of three shops!
According to owner Jeff Matt, social media is a business expense that pays off in the long term. As their efforts illustrate, brands can utilize social media to connect with their local customers and increase business viability.
Remember, the quality of your content is just as important as the quantity. Customers won’t be as interested in businesses with social media pages full of grammatical errors, out of date information, or misleading visuals. Those details can make your business look unprofessional and turn people away. Instead, take a page out of Victory Auto’s book and think like your customer. Emphasize the human element of your business and post photos and fun information to help customers get to know the business.
Ideas for your next social media post:
Promote Exclusive Offers/Deals
Entice potential customers to use your shop by promoting discount offers. If you make the offer exclusive (i.e. it can only be found on social media) it creates a sense of urgency for prospects and provides necessary tracking capabilities.
Positive Customer Reviews
Utilize positive content from other social media sites. For example, take a screenshot of a positive review on Google and share on Facebook to show potential customers what people love about you. Additionally, this demonstrates that your auto shop takes the time to make connections and listen to feedback.
Jobs You’ve Done
Most people going to an auto repair shop aren’t mechanics, so they don’t always understand what goes on under the hood of a car. Images of jobs you’ve done with a short description of what you’re doing help people get a better understanding of your shop’s capabilities.
Get Social Offline
Take the extra step and get involved in your community. Every year in my town, there is a huge Rice Festival. You may be thinking, “What kind of town has a festival about rice?” and I get it, it’s weird. However, tons of vendors show up and advertise in person, getting to know customers and get the word out. Loads of people show up and it’s a great way to establish your small business as part of the community.
Ask for Referrals
Referrals are 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 in exchange for a discount or free gift.
To setup a referral advertising campaign:
- Set a new customer goal. Do you have a specific number of new customers you’d like to gain, or are you looking for a specific type of business? For example, 5 new customers vs 10 oil changes.
- Select your referral incentives. What will customers get for referring a friend?
- Identify the customers who are most likely to give you a referral.
- Set up an adverting campaign to reach them through email, social media, or even in-store advertising.
- Track the results! Each month, review your best source for referrals and then double-down.
Rewarding your customers for being good customers is a small gesture that can make a big impact.
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.
Pay-per-click (PPC) 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 Ads makes 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.
Google Ads is easy to use and gives you step by step instructions on how to setup an auto shop advertising campaign:
- Identify your Goal (online bookings, in-store business, or over the phone transactions).
- Decide your advertising location (hyperlocal vs. regional vs. national).
- Create your message
- Set your budget cap
- And then you’re done!
It’s worth noting that these efforts require resources. Paid advertising clearly requires some sort of cash investment. Regardless, many small business owners outsource their digital auto shop advertising campaigns to outside experts.
Embrace the Power of Promotions
One of the best, most cost-efficient auto shop advertising campaigns is through coupon advertising. 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. By catering to the needs of consumers and influencing their emotions through coupons, you can associate your business with positive thoughts and make customers eager to use your services.
One of the best ways to get your coupons to shoppers is by targeting locations they might frequent, such as grocery stores. Register tape advertising for example 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 lands in the hands of 20,000 shoppers each week, 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 grocery store coupon advertising campaigns around the age, gender, average household income, and other demographic factors of their area. How’s that for customization?
Rely on Proven Auto Shop Advertising Campaigns
Relying on proven marketing methods enables business owners to focus on the task at hand: driving sales. By dedicating the necessary time and resources to social media and digital advertising, utilizing your current customers for referrals, and incorporating promotions and coupons into your strategy, it’s possible to create repeat customers and grow your business.
We updated this post on July 6, 2020.