Automotive repair shops marketing strategies.
10 Marketing Tips For Your Automotive Repair Shops.
If you're an auto repair shop, you know the importance of marketing strategies and creating a way for your local business to stand out.
Or do you?
Auto repair shop marketing has never been more competitive than it is today. There are more body shops and collision centers than ever before.
Before MetricsMule, I spent a decade cold-calling body shops and visiting collision centers throughout Texas and, eventually, the United States. Back then, there weren't many MSOs (multi-shop operators), primarily mom-and-pop body shops. But today, there are many very large body shops and automotive repair shops Nationwide.
When I would meet some of the marketers that worked at auto repair shops or collision centers, their main focus was marketing to the insurance agents within a certain diameter of their auto repair shop. They'd market to insurance agents from insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate, etc. This was great and needed, but it's also not the only way. Yes, being a DRP (direct repair program facility) for an insurance company is extremely important, but it's not the only way to market in order to bring in new business. You also want your customers to WANT to use your local shop. You want your customers to feel comfortable that their vehicle is at your body shop being worked on. So even though you can have the strongest marketing strategies, if your shop doesn't provide quality, trustworthy work, eventually, any form of marketing won't work.
So, if you're a small, local business, how can you stand out amongst the big boys?
I used to visit 15-20 body shops and auto repair shops each day. I'd start my day by visiting my first shop at around 9 am and leave my last stop no later than 5 pm. By doing this for over a decade, I've learned a lot in terms of auto body shop marketing strategies. Now, these strategies are just the tip of the iceberg and consist of a lot more details but hopefully, they can help create a good brainstorming session for you and your automotive business.
We'll provide you with 10 auto body shop marketing strategies below.
Are you familiar with SEO? If not, hire someone who does and implement key strategies ASAP. Local SEO is also known as Google My Business. Do a quick Google search for "Google My Business," and you can easily sign-up for an account. But basically, local SEO is the strategic process of getting your auto repair shop listed on the first page of Google and Google Maps when customers perform a local search. Some common search terms may look like this:
- Body shop near me
- Auto body shop "your zip code"
- Google Maps Search For: Collision repair
- Auto repair shop "your city"
- Auto repair shops, reviews in "your area"
Regardless of how a customer searches, it's important that you show up in these search engine results.
When I had an automotive parts business, it grew 10X in just five short years. One of the most important ways I did this was the power of good 'ole mailers or flyers sent in the mail. Now, you may be thinking, for real? When I get those at my auto repair shop I just through them in the garbage.
I don't blame you.
But I did mine a different way.
And sometimes the "old school" way is better than the new school way.
So try this:
Send flyers to your prospective customers within a five-mile radius of your auto repair shop. But don't just send a mass-produced flyer that so many homes receive. Try sending them in a self-addressed, hand-written envelope. This adds a significant personal touch.
Do you have a website? And if you do have a website, is it optimized for SEO? There are generally three main features of SEO-optimized websites:
- Technical SEO: This includes the way your website is setup on a technical back-end level to provide Google crawl bots a successful path to crawl your website, learn what each webpage is about and decide where and how to rank you in the results page.
- On-Page SEO: This includes the content and structure of how your webpages are set up and designed, what keywords you're using, and all title tags and verbiage being used.
- Local SEO: See above, but local SEO is imperative for your local customers to find your services.
Of course, many more factors go into each category, but your website must be optimized correctly. You won't get found and appear in the search engine results if it's not.
Take a moment and see where you rank now for specific keywords. Enter some search terms like these:
- automotive repair "your city"
- body shop repair "your zip code"
- collision repair near me
Who shows up? Do you appear on the first page of the search results, or do your competitors?
This may seem obvious or exhaustedly said, but it's true. Gone are the days when you knew your local businesses on a personal level. There is no longer a milkman that delivers milk to your house. You no longer visit a local meat market for meat, a produce market for fruit, and a hardware store for tools. You can kill all these birds with one stone and visit a store like Wal-Mart. With that said, I doubt your customers know you on a first-name basis. And I doubt you're getting Christmas cards from them. But maybe you should send Christmas cards to them. Maybe it's time to change the new ways and revert back to a little of the old-school ways.
People do business with people, not businesses.
Become a trusted advisor to your customers and make them WANT to choose you.
Does your neighborhood conduct small community gatherings like fall festivals or garage sales? I'm sure there's something comparable. If so, sponsor one. Meet people and have conversations with them. But here's one important tip: Don't market yourself or be "salesy" unless they ask. There's nothing worse than someone walking around handing out business cards like pieces of gum. Just be present, converse, and say "Hello". And when people ask when you do, tell them.
Search Engine Optimization
Again, SEO. I can't stress this enough.
Going back to a previous section, SEO is extremely important for your online home, your website. You need to be found in Google or any search engine search results when they search. There are a few important factors Google takes seriously, and here are just a few (out of many).
- Website Speed: Your site needs to be fast
- Responsive Websites: Your website needs to work well on mobile devices. 50% of all online searches are done on a phone now.
- Backlinks: Do other websites link back to your website? If not, they need to.
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Email Marketing Strategies
Caution: Don't do this unless you know what you're doing.
People's inboxes are heavily guarded these days, especially since Covid when everyone started to rely on email marketing strategies. This was the only way to stay relevant since face-to-face was no longer possible. But because of this, people have gotten exhausted by seeing the same, promotional-type emails appear in their inboxes. They now appear in their junk mail, but you don't want that to happen to you.
Implement a creative email marketing strategy that people WANT to ready. One motto I always go by is: Be an advisor and not just a supplier.
Contact me, and I'll show you the exact method and blueprint on how to become highly successful when doing this. It worked so well for me that I had a few record-breaking months in my automotive business during Covid.
Social Media Marketing
When done right, you'll stand out.
What not to do:
- Be too salesy
- Promote your business a lot
- Say "we" too much
- Toot your own horn
What you should do:
- Be a giver, provide helpful information
- State how you can help your customers
- Say "you", like "You can benefit by doing XYZ"
- Teach your followers something new
Are you writing helpful and meaningful blog posts?
If not, you should. And you should write a blog post at least once or twice per week.
Helpful blog posts not only help your local community learn about you, your business, and what your offer but good blog posts will also increasingly help improve your SEO (if done right).
They say a photo speaks a thousand words. Well, I think a video speaks tens of thousands of words, especially video marketing techniques.
Do you have a YouTube page? Google owns YouTube which means (yup you guessed it), that this will also help your SEO.
Creating a good YouTube page can be just as effective as your website. In fact, you'll probably get more traffic on your YouTube page than your actual website if you have some really good and informative videos.
Video SEO is becoming almost as important as regular search engine optimization. When done right, it can be a highly powerful strategy to rank for certain keywords where you're weaker than your competitors.
Need more information?
That's what we're here for! Just e-mail us and we'll be in touch with you shortly
Want to learn some remarkable marketing strategies? I highly recommend this book by Stu Heinecke, "How to get a meeting with anyone." I understand you're not technically trying to get a meeting with someone, but this book provides some really good tips on how to up your creativity game and standout.