Even for the most long-standing auto shops, clever marketing strategies are an essential component of your success. With national chains stepping in all over the country, it’s essential for smaller operations to spread the word about their services and enshrine loyalty in their clients.
If you’re not currently utilizing these six innovative auto shop promotional strategies, then the time to implement them is now.
1. Optimize Your Rewards Program
Since auto shop services are needed on a regular basis, one straightforward auto shop promotion idea is to implement loyalty programs. By creating a system of occurring points that reward loyal clients with discounted parts or services, auto shops can increase the likelihood of continued business.
If you currently have a loyalty program, then you’ll want to first look at your data and take note of any trends. Are people reaching specific reward point thresholds (for example, a free oil change after purchasing five), or are they tapering off before gaining their rewards? You might also consider asking clients for feedback, as they’ll be able to tell you if they appreciate the rewards or not.
If you don’t currently have a program of this nature, then now is the time to create one. Software platforms like BayIQ make it simple to create and implement customized rewards programs and track their progress over time.
2. Run Giveaways and Contests
Giveaways and contests are another great idea for auto shops to generate excitement, attract more customers, and promote their auto shop One approach that often proves successful involves creating a post on social media. In this post, your business can offer up some sort of prize, most likely a free service, but you might even consider offering sports tickets or restaurant gift cards. In order to win the prize, a person must follow your page and share the post to their own page.
By getting people to share a post from your business, you can increase visibility. In most cases, if the prize is appealing, you’ll gain many new followers on social media who have now entered your sales funnel.
3. Get Involved
Auto shops can also benefit from getting involved with their local community. Participating in local events, sponsoring local sports teams, and donating to charities are all great ways to give back to the community and increase the visibility of your business.
If your region has any local fairs or markets, you might also consider setting up a booth where you can introduce yourself and offer initial discounts. This helps residents to put a face to your business and begin to build trust.
By establishing your business as a part of the community—rather than simply a resource—you can build relationships with customers and make them more likely to choose your auto shop over others. This is a fantastic auto shop promotion idea because it focuses on building loyalty and ramping up long-term results.
4. Give out SWAG
Branded merchandise is an excellent way for shops to increase their visibility, build a loyal customer base, and promote their auto shop.
By giving out branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, hats, and stickers, customers are more likely to remember your auto shop and choose your services over others. An auto shop promotion idea like this keeps your brand top-of-mind while subtly exposing your brand to potential new customers. Others who see your brand on a hat or sticker will recognize the logo in the future.
Naturally, these items can be made available for sale, both through your physical location and website, but you can also give them out during local events. You might even consider giving them out as thank you gifts for larger customers or partner, which helps nurture any beneficial relationships.
5. Focus on Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for auto shops. In fact, studies continue to show that the vast majority of people are more likely to purchase from a business recommended by a person they know. Because of this, auto shops need to do everything they can to cultivate positive word-of-mouth marketing.
One way to accomplish this is through a referral program. With this approach, clients will receive discounted services when they refer other people to your business. Additionally, auto shops should encourage clients to leave online reviews. While most online review outlets (Google and Yelp, for example) prohibit businesses from offering freebies for online reviews, businesses can certainly remind customers to do so (with no strings attached).
Programs like BayIQ will even automatically request reviews from clients, increasing the likelihood that satisfied customers will talk about your business online. In essence it’s an auto shop promotion idea where your happy customers do the marketing for you.
The effect is two-fold: Google ranks businesses more favorably when they have better reviews, and people are more likely to look to a business that has positive reviews online.
Promote your Auto Shop with BayIQ
If you’re looking to put your marketing efforts on autopilot, then BayIQ is the best solution for auto shops of any size.
With BayIQ, auto shops can create and monitor professional websites, loyalty programs, and email marketing campaigns. We even make it easy for auto shops to set up online reservation systems. Once a person books a service online, their data is stored in your system, allowing your shop to reach out to them to continue booking services.
While larger businesses devote entire teams to marketing initiatives, smaller operations need to figure out how to handle these duties in-house, while still managing the day-to-day operations of the shop. For these cases, BayIQ makes it easy. Request a free demo of BayIQ here.