Without a doubt, auto repair advertising helps shops to educate their customers, fight competition, increase sales, and so much more. A strong message coupled with powerful images that resonate with potential customers will hopefully turn them from a prospect to a long time customer. But, with any successful advertising campaign, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media
Social media is an effective form of auto repair advertising, especially when it comes to paid avenues. The potential to reach the masses is huge! Here are some basic guidelines on creating engaging social advertisements, as well as some of the most common pitfalls:
- Plan out clear, specific goals: What do you want the end result of your social media efforts to be? Brand awareness? More appointments booked? Maybe you just want to engage your local audience? Without any goals in mind, you won’t be able to measure how effective your efforts are, which can be costly if you’re spending money on social advertising. Consider utilizing the SMART goal setting framework to make sure your goals are measurable and achievable.
- Post consistently: Help your customers learn to trust your brand by engaging with them every day. Recent studies found the best frequency at which to post for Facebook and Instagram is 1-2 per day and Pinterest 5-30 pins a day. While this may seem high, even just posting once a week is better than nothing! A regular output of social content makes your company seem more trustworthy and reliable.
- Monitor the responses: Understanding what your audience likes seeing on social media will help you to communicate better with them and ultimately drive them into your shop. For example, if you receive higher engagement with video ads over promoted posts, then stick with what’s working. Insights on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube can help learn what content resonates with your potential customers and makes them click through to your site. For deeper, more detailed information, you can use social media monitoring tools to help.
- Post without a strategy: Creating a strategy gives you a path to reach your goals. Consider creating milestones within the overall strategy to ensure that you stay on course. These milestones can include hitting a certain follower count or getting a certain number of engagements per post.
- Use every social network: Don’t spread your efforts (and budget) thin by utilizing every social platform instead, go with what has been shown to work. Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest may be a good start because these platforms have shown to work best for automotive repair advertising.
In short, you want to cultivate trust and get to know your audience on social media rather than bombard the internet with a message that could be viewed as spam or wasted time on platforms that won’t yield a good return.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay Per Click is an advertising model in which auto repair shops pay a fee to the ad’s hosting platform when a potential customer clicks through to their site. This is a popular model for search engines, specifically Google and Bing, where a shop’s ad shows up with relevant keywords that are searched. Try these tips in your next campaign.
- Research keywords: Keywords are the core of PPC campaigns as they are what link ads to a user’s search queries. To fully optimize your PPC strategy, do some keyword research and identify what exactly your ideal customers are typing into a search engine when looking for an automotive repair or tire shop like yours. Free keyword research tools are available to help you start developing a list of relevant keywords.
- Set up A/B testing: When creating an auto repair advertising campaign, utilize two different ads and target similar market segments and identify which performs better. Keep the “winner” of your test and then try to create a new ad to compete against it. Successful A/B testing will help you lock in messaging, imagery and ad types that resonate best with your target audience.
- Advertise without a landing page: Landing pages are web pages created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. Essentially, it’s where the customer is directed after clicking on your ad. While your main site may have several goals (drive a sale, inform viewers, encourage engagement with staff, etc.), a landing page focuses primarily on converting the lead to a customer.
- Use broad match on every keyword: Broad match keywords allow search engines to display your ads for variations of the keyword in your account, creating more opportunities for your ad to show up on a search engine results page. Though your auto repair shop will show up more often, it might not be in relevant searches meaning your ad will be less effective.
Your overall goal should be to drive relevant, quality leads to your site rather than just exposure. Your campaigns should be relatively specific so they resonate with people who might actually convert to customers. This holds true for emailing as well.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Email Marketing
With the right formula, automotive email marketing can provide a higher return on investment (ROI) than any other medium. Follow these tips to maximize the results for your auto repair business.
- Send personalized emails: Emails that don’t have information in them specific to the customer don’t give them that personal touch, which may be the difference between someone engaging with your email or not. By adding specific details for each person in your email list, like name, car type, or past purchases, you’re able to create trust with your audience. A great way to achieve this is by segmenting your customer list by demographics and purchase history.
- Consider timing: Recent studies have shown that Saturdays yield the most conversions from email marketing, while Tuesdays and Fridays have higher open rates. You could, for example, email your auto repair customers on Friday to remind them of a sale on Saturday.
- Use more than one call-to-action: A call-to-action is a button or link within the email that prompts your reader to click. Automotive emails with more than one call-to-action can overwhelm your reader leading them to ignore it completely.
- Create long messages: Customers have a short attention span which is why it’s important to create a message that is quick to read and easy to understand. Following this basic model may help: start with an introduction, explain the discount or promotion, include a quick tip or fact, and end with your call-to-action.
The important thing to remember with email marketing is that you want to utilize valuable messaging that also helps to build your relationship with your automotive customers. Be personal, include pertinent information, and make it easy for them to act.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Print Advertising
Though digital advertising is popular, traditional advertising should not be ruled out as more than 80% of customers trust print advertising when making a purchasing decision. The following principles can help you effectively advertise through print.
- Mention you’re local: There are a lot of benefits to shopping local versus going to a national chain repair shop. By doing business with you it gives consumers the ability to help improve the local economy, have a more personalized experience, and receive better customer service. That’s why reminding potential customers that you’re local can make a big difference, especially for those still considering their repair shop options.
- Appeal to their emotions: People make decisions based on both reason and emotion, so be sure to use elements that appeal to both the logical side of decision making and the emotional side. For example, if your auto repair or tire shop has been in business for years, you may want to design a print ad that depicts your company’s role in the community.
- Use jargon: Skip the technical jargon. For example, say “electric car” instead of “BEV.” The best way to connect with your automotive customers is by creating a clear, easy-to-understand message.
- Clutter your ad: Trying to stuff your ad with visuals and text will make it unappealing. Unappealing ads get ignored because there is too much to digest, so don’t be afraid to leave white space.
Make Marketing Easy with BayIQ
Whether it’s print, social media, pay-per-click ads, or email marketing, auto repair advertising is beneficial for any shop looking to get more customers in the door or keep existing ones coming in. And BayIQ is here to help!
With BayIQ you can easily create a loyalty program, automatically send text or personalized email reminders, solicit online reviews and post online reviews for social media platforms from Google and Facebook. You can even track customer and shop performance through their interactive performance dashboard for both non- and fully-integrated point-of-sale systems. BayIQ automates marketing for tire and auto repair shops, saving you valuable time while increasing revenue.