If you run an auto repair or mechanic shop, you know you can’t just sit around and wait for customers to come in. You need to constantly be working to bring in new customers and invite existing customers to return. You need auto repair marketing strategies that consistently drive customers to your business.
Thankfully, it isn’t too difficult to formulate a marketing plan for your mechanic or auto shop.
With just a few intentional and targeted marketing approaches, you can bolster your business’s visibility and attract new customers. Here is a list of effective auto repair marketing strategies that you can add to your marketing plan and use to drive new business both now and in the future.
1. Implement a Services Subscription Plan
If you offer regular maintenance services at your auto repair shop, consider implementing a program that ensures your customers return to you for all their upcoming needs. Create a subscription service plan that allows customers to spread their payments out over time in return for discounted scheduled services.
2. Educate customers through informative in-store content.
Auto shop customers are notoriously skeptical, so you have to work to build trust with them. One way to do that is by providing informative content that alleviates their fears, concerns, and confusion. In-store signage provides content that:
- Explains how services are performed and why these are necessary
- Shares facts and evidence about the value of products and services
- Includes product demo videos that show how items work
Recommended Reading: How to Decrease Customer Stress In Your Auto Shop
3. Use On-Premise Digital Signage to Promote Products and Services.
Customers in your store are highly engaged prospects. Capitalize on that attention by ditching boring old posters and flyers that customers ignore, and instead use engaging and attractive digital signage marketing tools. Digital screens allow you to customize waiting area television programming, quickly update promotions, deliver animated and video advertisements, and use your programming as a silent, continuous salesperson.
Website and Online Marketing
4. Provide Explanatory Videos Online
Whether you publish on your business’s YouTube channel or embed directly into your website, videos are a great way to capture customer attention and provide useful, visual, information for them about their vehicle and services needed. These videos can vary in tone and subject matter–the important thing is that customers can access them, further associating your business with knowledge and expertise.
5. Connect with Local Shoppers Online
While it may seem like the internet is a tool for connecting with people all over the world, it is also a very useful tool for connecting with people right in your neighborhood. You can use auto repair marketing strategies to target local customers that search for an auto shop or mechanic near them by:
- Optimizing your site for local SEO
- Using Facebook and Google ads to target customers in your area
- Creating Google Business and Yelp profile pages
6. Create a Referral Rewards Program
Put your customers to work for you by offering a referral rewards program. Let current customers know that if they refer a new customer to your business, they will receive benefits such as small freebies, service discounts, and contest entries. You may also want to give small rewards to new customers when they mention a referral as that will help them remember to give credit to their referrer. This is also a program you can market in-store!
Blogging is an important tool to not only inform and connect with customers but also to boost your SEO and search return rankings. It’s not necessary to post every day, though you’ll want to create and maintain a regular schedule. Your blog is not your sales pitch. It’s an opportunity to share expertise relating to your industry, customer needs, and the importance of regular car maintenance.
Social Media Marketing
8. Encourage Engagement on Social Media
Use your social media channels as another way to deliver both informative and engaging content. You don’t need to be on every social media platform. But as part of your auto repair marketing strategies, create at least a profile on Facebook and regularly update your page with content that would interest your audience. Your content doesn’t have to be all about auto repair. It can be related to anything about vehicles, driving, your community, and your shop such as:
- Driver safety tips
- Car maintenance advice
- Traveling tips
- Traffic news
- Photos of your staff and location
- Customer satisfaction stories
- Info about local events
- Support for community initiatives
- Offer specials and coupons for likes and shares
9. Reward Customers for Social Check-In’s and Mentions
Take engagement a step further. Positive social mentions about your brand are good for business. They are a form of free advertising because they put your business in front of an audience without any work or payment on your part. So, encourage your customers to mention your business and check-in through social platforms during their visits. Provide incentives like check-in offers or contest entries to encourage customers to mention their visit on social media.
10. Use Social Media as Another Customer Contact Platform
Being on social media isn’t just about sharing messages. It’s also about listening to what others are saying. Social listening is the act of tracking conversations online to get an idea of what customers think and need. Engage in social listening to get an idea about the problems your target customers have (so you can help them solve their problems) and the way that they feel about your brand (so you can address customer issues and concerns). As you engage in social listening, look for:
- Mentions of your brand
- Mentions of your competitors
- Comments that relate to your industry, products, and services
11. Encourage Customers to Write Reviews
Another way to leverage user-generated content to connect with more customers is by collecting and posting reviews about your business. Customer reviews are important pieces of strong auto repair marketing strategies as they build trust and encourage new customers to do business with you. Set up systems that encourage past clients to share reviews on feedback cards, review sites, and even filmed testimonials. Don’t file away reviews. Use Social Media to post these where all of your customers can see how much others love your business.
Recommended Reading: Why Collecting Customer Reviews Matter
12. Post Before and After Photos
You can also show customers that they can trust you by sharing content that proves the value of your work. Instagram is a great place to post these photos. Digital signage is another great way to highlight before and after photos of the work your team has completed. Also, feature the work your mechanics and body shop team have completed by posting photos on your website and in print brochures.
13. Send Regular Emails
Use WiFi Marketing or a written form to collect email addresses from your customers and launch an email newsletter. Email is a direct line of communication that allows you to stay in touch with customers. Maximize efficiency by following these best practices:
- Know your audience. Before you can create useful and relevant content, you must define your target audience. When you know exactly who you are talking to, you can create content that is much more compelling and interesting to your audience.
- Segment your audience. As you build your email list, use tags to identify the qualities and habits of each customer (i.e., oil change customer, auto repair customer, truck owner, etc.). Then, only send email messages to the segments that the email content relates to (i.e. only send an email with a promotion for trucks to truck owners).
- Provide more value than promotions. While customers certainly like deals, they don’t like to be bombarded with advertisements and promotions. Balance your email messages by sharing more useful and valuable content than promotional and sales-focused ads.
14. Send Personalized Service Reminders and Deals via Email or Text
Providing personalized shopping experiences is another way to make your mechanic business stand out. Collect data (WiFi Marketing makes this easy!) from customers and create profiles that allow you to see when a client is due for a service. Then, send targeted, personalized reminders and deals to customers through either email or SMS. Ideas for deals may include:
- Free service with the purchase of another service (free tire rotation with tuneup)
- Discounted service with the purchase of another service ($10 oil change with tuneup)
- Dollar amount discounts ($10 off an oil change)
- Percentage discounts (20% off an oil change)
- Seasonal specials ($15 off A/C check in May)
15. Create a Follow-Up Program
Another way to stay in touch with customers is following up with them after they have visited your location. Implement a program that requires a call to each of your customers once that have completed a service with your business. This is one of the auto repair marketing strategies that allows you to collect feedback about your performance and create a deeper more personal connection with your customers. Follow-up calls enhance your customers’ perception of your business’s customer service, enhancing the likelihood that they’ll return in the future and recommend your organization to friends and family.
16. Host Events–In Person and Virtually
One of the auto repair marketing strategies that will bring customers right into your store is hosting events. Hosting open houses, information sessions, and seminars about car maintenance is a good way to welcome new faces to your auto shop as well as form relationships with past customers. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual events are another way to get customers involved from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Stream live repairs, informational presentations regarding driving safety, or other interesting topics that will have your customers tuned in.
17. Get Involved Locally
Let people in your community know that you are in the area and dedicated to supporting other local initiatives. Get involved with the community by:
- Sponsoring local community events
- Working with nearby charities
- Partnering with other local businesses
18. Partner with Other (non-competitor) Local Businesses
Swap marketing materials with your business neighbors to expand your customer reach. You can also take this partnership to social media and offer joint social competitions by asking people to follow each business account and tag a friend. The winner gets a product or service from each participating business.
Round-up posts like this are great because they get your creative, marketing juices flowing. But ideas for auto repair marketing strategies are only powerful if you implement them.
Don’t use this post to get ideas, then fail to follow through and execute your plans.
Whichever channels you wish to utilize, create a plan of action to execute your marketing program effectively. Draw up an official auto repair marketing plan, and create a schedule for executing your mechanic marketing strategies.
Download our free marketing content calendar to help turn your ideas into plans with dates and deadlines that will help you execute on auto repair marketing strategies that can help you grow and build your business.