I sense a new level of energy coming with the excitement of a New Year just around the corner. The common vibe I’m getting when speaking with other Automotive Businesses is that most businesses are not only looking to get back to how they were before the pandemic but to grow their automotive businesses and surpass pre-covid financials using a different mindset and approach.
With so much change that we’ve all experienced these past few years, I know a lot of businesses have taken the slower times to look internally and see where there were opportunities to grow within and to improve their current business model. Setting up better workflows, creating more efficient processes, improving culture, fixing and cleaning up the facility during slow periods, are just to name a few.
Now with seeing all this, I also see that the “foundation” of the business is now well tuned up for automotive businesses to take the wheel and drive their business in a direction that is going to get them some next-level success. This direction leads you to more customers, meaningful relationships, sales, and consequently much greater revenues & profits.
2022 is the time to find ways to grow your automotive business and drive your business further than where it’s ever been before. And as an Automotive Marketing expert, who lives and breathes everything automotive, I know exactly how you can not only do this but do it on a low budget too.
Whether you have a collision repair business, auto repair shop, car dealership, or any other business in the automotive industry – here are some proven tips & tricks to build strong relationships within your local community and execute a low budget but powerful and successful digital marketing strategy for your automotive business.
Digital Marketing for Automotive Industry
For many years, the Automotive Industry has spent marketing dollars on traditional marketing methods including direct mail campaigns, billboards, sponsoring sports teams, charity events, volunteering for various events within their local markets to build relationships, and more.
These tactics have been proven to create a business with a great reputation and stance in the industry. But how much of these efforts have actually provided the business with additional sales and profits?
Well, that’s the hard part about traditional marketing – it’s not as easy to track ROI. For more information on the differences and basics of Automotive Marketing- click to read this article time to #ownthemarket).
Marketing has evolved and changed tremendously in the 21st century with the expansion of the Internet. Digital has taken a strong presence because of its power to reach thousands and even millions of people in a short period with proven results and for less money than you could ever with traditional marketing.
However, it doesn’t mean traditional marketing is dead. It is still very important and has a tremendous amount of power to capture and grab target customers’ attention within your local community.
But the focus of my article today is to help you grow your automotive business and to do so on a low budget. Digital marketing for the automotive industry has the power to do exactly that for your business in 2022.
Digital marketing is an extremely wide topic and by researching it you could get easily overwhelmed. Social Media, Blogs, Google Ads, SEO, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, – so many terms, and I know you have a lot on your plate already. But don’t worry! I’ll keep it short, sweet, but still useful!
Just like you, your customers navigate towards certain “channels” on the internet for information and communication. Some use Social Media, some read blogs, and others watch videos. By optimizing the online presence of your business, you can use various channels to connect and communicate with a variety of target customers within your local communities. In my extensive experience and knowledge in Automotive Marketing, the best areas to focus on when just getting started are managing your Google My Business profile, Social Media Marketing, and your website where you’ll drive organic or paid traffic.
I’ll dive deeper into each of these topics – but it’s important to remember that once you put effort into marketing, your business will flood with customers!
Maximizing your Automotive Google My Business Profile
As we’re all well aware, Google is the leading search engine on the Internet and one that any business should be focusing on. It increases your business’ chances to show up on the 1st page of Google for as many strong keywords as possible.
Thankfully, Google offers a service called Google My Business that helps to put your business under the spotlight and reach more people who are looking for your services. It makes your business appear both on Maps and Google, and it’s a great auto body shop marketing tool that’s free! I mean, how great is that?
What do people do when they need your services? They search Google for “best body shop near me” or “mechanic near me”. And what does Google do?
Google shows the listing and location of services that optimized their Google Business Profile account best. The algorithm combines information and shows the most relevant results. That’s why it’s important that your business not only updates your business but continues to update your Google My Business Profile regularly so that you’re always up to date and waiting for those customers to find you online!
So how do you optimize your Google My Business Profile to appear as a relevant result for the services you provide?
● Post updates consistently.
● Show pictures of your work.
● Include all services you provide.
● Add address and contact information.
● Don’t forget about working hours!
● Update working hours for holidays.
● Get & respond to Google reviews.
● Optimize locally. (Include as many local keywords as possible e.g. collision repair in Dallas, when posting updates)
Google reviews are a huge metric towards a customer’s decision-making process and (do I dare add now a metric that insurance companies are now tracking), proudly displaying positive reviews on every channel you use is a must!
Don’t be shy! Ask your customers to leave you a review and make it easy for them! Send them a link and explain the process so it’s a no-brainer for them. Make your customers feel appreciated and they’ll return! Sounds easy, right?
Don’t forget about bad reviews either! Show you care about your customers by writing a response to a negative review and offering to resolve any issues. That’s how you build trust & credibility for your automotive business.
Those are all basic information you need to fill out but are extremely important for Google to show your business as relevant. If any information is not up to date or false, you’ll end up with a bad reputation, and the Google algorithm may punish you for this. If you follow these steps, that won’t happen! But what other channels can I tell you about to grow your automotive business?
Grow Your Automotive Business on Social Media: Automotive Social Media Marketing
Keep your business thriving throughout the year by implementing systems that lead customers to your business. We all know it’s not enough to rely solely on referrals – by implementing social media marketing you’ll get in the mind of potential customers and build awareness for your business.
You don’t want to wait for people to need your services but reach them way earlier. Be on their mind before your competition and they’ll know where to go when the time comes.
This is also a free service that is provided by each social platform (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc). Is your business taking advantage of this free marketing opportunity?
And there are two golden rules to the success of your social media platforms, so follow these two steps to achieve it:
● Be consistent
● Post valuable content
By doing this you directly influence how successful your business will be and how many sales you’ll get. I know your business is important for you, and because of that, you shouldn’t leave it to chance. Don’t put your business in the hands of others. Start building a prosperous foundation now!
So what’s social media all about, and how it can help you grow your automotive business in 2022?
Social Media is there to connect people and the same rule applies to your business. You may ask yourself – “but what am I supposed to post on social media??” And the thing is it’s not just about posting.
It’s about starting conversations, building relationships, engaging, and sharing valuable content your customers will enjoy.
If you are running short on ideas check out our affordable ideas for social media for the whole year and start dominating the automotive social media marketing in 2022!
Build a Website That Provides Your Customers With Value
Now, this recommendation is going to be one that could cost a bit of money. However, the impact it has will provide value to your business across multiple sectors and return of investment for years to come.
In the Automotive Industry, I see a lot of websites being underutilized for the opportunities that a website can bring. This is your one chance to show your business’s storefront online, so how does your business look?
Be sure to include things like,
● What’s your business about?
● Is it clear who you are and how you provide them with value?
● What items, services, and products does your business offer?
● What information can you provide a customer that will help make their lives easier?
● What are the incredible things about your business?
● How are you different from others in your local community?
● Call To Action – make it easy for people to figure out the next steps by including contact information, photo estimating, scheduling services, and inspiring them to reach out!
There are also other things you could invest into such as blog posts and SEO, that can drive organic traffic to your website and increase the chance of people contacting you because they prove the expertise you have in the automotive industry. However, these items usually come with a time commitment or price and for the purpose of this article, we wanted to stay true to our word- low budget!
So how can you have a website that fits into your budget? We recommend starting with free website builders such as Wix and Squarespace that will give you an idea of how much websites are important for businesses like yours! And once you are ready, you can invest money in a web designer and developer who‘ll create a unique website for your business!
The key takeaway is with the power of digital (and traditional) marketing, it’s now the time to build your business up with a strategy that will allow you to build an online presence. You’ll get to build powerful relationships with new and existing customers – so it’s about time you took matters into your own hands and drive your automotive business towards success in 2022. This is the time to #ownthemarket!
With many opportunities for digital marketing, make your business easier for people to find, hire, and love. To do that, be everywhere. Build awareness. Post content on channels your target audience uses – and make it valuable. Engage, engage, engage!
And if you are looking for automotive marketing companies that will grow your automotive business – look no further because Auto+ Performance has got you covered.
With our affordable social media management services for automotive businesses, Auto+ Performance takes the pressure off you and drives customers directly to your doorstep, starting from only $199 a month!
I hope you’ll use this advice to grow your automotive business and increase sales exponentially in 2022!