Marketing 101: Digital Marketing Basics for Auto Shops

What would happen if you were to shut off all the marketing you’re currently running for your business? If the answer is, “eh, not much,” then this article is for you. The auto repair industry is built on trust, which leads many shop owners to overly rely on word of mouth for their new customers. They think they have no need for marketing, particularly digital marketing. What they’re missing is that marketing is key to not only bringing new customers in the door but to keeping current ones coming back – and spending more. Make sure you understand these digital marketing basics and then put them into practice at your shop.



Social Media is Not Optional



We could not be clearer about this – if your auto shop isn’t active on social media, you’re leaving money on the table. What you post, where you post, and how often will vary based on how your customers like to use social media to receive updates from local businesses. Keep an open mind, and expect that what you think your customers want to see from your shop on social media might not be what they actually want to see. For example, many shop owners are surprised and even a little annoyed to find that a family photo of an employee on vacation gets higher engagement than more “relevant” posts about car maintenance. People like to buy from people – any chance you get to remind people that you are their neighbor is a win. Of all the digital marketing basics, social media is probably the easiest to get started with – so what are you waiting for?



Video is King



Think about your own behavior when you surf the web. Are you more likely to read a big block of text or watch a short video to obtain the same information? Chances are good that the video will win out – especially if it starts playing automatically. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of creating video content. You don’t need a fancy camera or amazing editing skills to produce a short informational series where one of your techs explains proper winterization procedures or how to tell when its time to replace your tires. You may also want to consider a how-to series where a technician walks viewers through simple maintenance like oil and filter changes. This seems counterintuitive – why would you want people to do these things themselves instead of bringing their vehicles to you? What you’re really doing is building trust and rapport with the viewer – who is now more likely to become your customer when something major goes wrong.



Don’t Neglect Analytics



When it comes to digital marketing basics, many auto shop owners don’t consider reviewing analytics all that important. Who has the time to comb through lots of metrics? They’re lucky they’re finding time to post on social media in the first place! We hate to break it to you, but if you’re not reviewing analytics on the digital marketing that you’re doing, all that effort is going to waste. Seriously, there’s no point to posting on Facebook every single day if no one is engaging with what you’re posting. Take a step back and look at what’s working and what’s not. You’ll be able to allocate scarce time and money toward marketing efforts that are actually paying off.



It’s a Journey, Not a Destination



Unless you’re helping an out-of-town customer with an emergency repair, it’s unlikely that your customers will need only one auto repair service during their lifetime. Your job is to ensure they keep coming back to your shop instead of going to your competitors. This means keeping your shop top of mind, even (and especially) when your customers aren’t thinking about auto repair at all. Consider building an email funnel that provides helpful care car tips a few times a month. Maybe you can keep track of the birthdays of your customers and send them a small gift. Whatever you do, remember that the key is to make your business part of your customers’ daily lives – not just when they need your services.



Beyond Digital Marketing Basics



If you didn’t learn anything new from this article – that’s great! Seriously, we’re thrilled that you’ve already put so much work into your online presence and reputation. You’re well on your way to hooking new customers and bringing them back again and again. By the way, if you’re getting a little fed up with your credit card processor, we can help with that as well. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you what sets us apart.



PS – Find the work-life balance that works for you by reading our guide here.



PPS – Earn more customer referrals with these tips.

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