How to Market an Auto Service Center
Would you guess that there are more than 250 million vehicles registered in the United States today? For auto service centers, this figure should be particularly exciting – because it represents a huge number of potential customers.
Cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, buses, and other motor vehicles all require regular maintenance, part replacements, and inspections. But what makes a vehicle owner choose one auto service center over another?
It may all come down to having the right kind of auto service marketing.
Auto service shop marketing as a science
There are some well-known auto service marketing strategies that have proven to work repeatedly. These auto service shop marketing ideas may not be completely innovative or new, and many are being used across the nation by all of the largest chains.
However, that’s not a reason to shy away from these marketing methods. In fact, it’s the perfect reason to embrace the tried-and-true auto service marketing tactics like the ones listed below.
Optimize your website
Many auto service centers that have been around for generations still don’t have much of a web presence beyond customer ratings on geo-targeted sites run by companies like Yelp and Google.
However, this doesn’t allow you to “own” your online messages, nor does it help interested customers quickly and easily get in touch with you.
That’s why website is essential. Your site serves as your home online, and should have all the information your customers need about your auto center, your services, and any specials you’re running.
However, putting all of this information online doesn’t guarantee that people will find it. That’s where search engine optimization, or SEO, becomes extremely important. SEO involves improving your website to rank as high as possible in the results of search engines like Google, so that customers searching for “auto service center in Harrisburg,” for example, can find you as easily as possible.
From there, your site should have a contact form that allows those in need of auto services to get in touch with you quickly and easily.
Be active on social media
You don’t have to be on every social media channel, but it’s definitely worth it to embrace at least two. Examples of social media platforms you could utilize would be Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
You should post at least three times each week, and strive to make your posts conversational and educational instead of pushy.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Share links to content about news in the auto industry
- Talk about seasonal car care needs
- Give advice for regular maintenance or fixes
- Share news or updates from your service center, like birthdays and other special events
- Post photos of special vehicles that come into your center (with permission, of course!)
Remind your customers that you have a Facebook page, and that they should visit and follow it to stay in touch. This can be as easy as placing a small sign at your checkout counter, or printing your URL on any business cards or flyers you hand out.
Educate your customers
Once you have a website, adding a blog is a great way to attract visitors and help your customers. Blogs give you the opportunity to educate the people who trust you to work on their vehicles.
Plus, companies that have blogs have 97% more inbound links than companies that do not. Links are extremely valuable for SEO, because they allow your site to rank higher in search engine results.
After you create blog, you’ll need to come up with some topics to write about. Fortunately, your posts don’t have to be extensive to be meaningful and get you a reputation as an expert in your field. You can write articles about:
- How to change your windshield wipers or do other routine maintenance
- Cars that interest you
- Auto news that is happening around the globe
- What noises, vibrations, or visual changes in a car’s appearance might mean
- When it might be time for a trip to the auto shop
These are just a few examples of content topics that you might utilize on your website. Not only will the posts on your blog help you look authoritative and trustworthy, they may also help you to rank higher in search engines for the topic that you’re writing about, which is another way to bring in more local customers!
Use email marketing to send reminders
Email can be the perfect way to ensure that your customers are keeping you in mind from month to month, and whenever they need maintenance on their cars.
Depending on the email marketing platform that your company uses, you can automatically send out emails remind existing customers when services like oil changes, tire rotations, and inspections are due.
Create a loyalty program
Want to build a customer base that keeps loyal customers coming back for your services? Start a loyalty program!
This rewards patrons for choosing your auto service center and allows you to better manage your cash flow by providing a better semblance of predictability.
This program can provide one free oil change for every five paid changes, regular discounts, or coupons that can’t be acquired anywhere else. It can also include free car washes, or any other perks your customers are interested in.
As a bonus, you can make this an email club as well. This means that in order to become a part of the loyalty program, the visitor has to provide their email address.
Email doesn’t just make it easier to hand out rewards, but it’s a hugely profitable way to keep your business “top of mind,” and send out regular messages that will get more and more clients coming back to your location.
Get involved in the community
In order to remind people of your presence, it may be a good idea to sponsor a local sports team, give money to a well-recognized charity, or perform some other action that supports the community in which you operate.
Not only is this a socially responsible thing to do, but it can help you build a positive reputation with your customers. Plus, if any of the events you sponsor are covered on local news sites, you have the opportunity to earn a link from a well-respected publication.
Marketing your service center is crucial
While auto service center marketing strategies don’t need to be complicated, they must be consistent and well-planned. It’s not enough to sit back and expect word of mouth to do the job for you.
Marketing your auto service center is the best way to be certain that you continue to earn an income month after month.
However, if you’re busy trying to run your business, you may have a hard time justifying the time that needs to be spent on marketing it. Striking a balance between operating and marketing may require help from someone more experienced.
We know auto center marketing
If you need help attracting more local customers to your auto service center, WebpageFX can help! As a leading Internet marketing firm, we’ve helped more than 700 clients find success online. We’ve worked with everyone from small local businesses to nationwide brands, and we can help you too!
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business grow online and get a free quote. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebpageFX can improve your online performance.