Effective Online Marketing Strategies | Shop Marketing Pros | May 2019
What are the new marketing strategies shop owners need to master?
Kim: As far as the industry overall, shop owners tend to compartmentalize their marketing to one thing, or one strategy. Few campaigns are thought-out and planned and integrated; that’s common. If all they’re doing is using Facebook, they’ve just given their marketing over to Facebook. When Facebook changes its targeting and publication rules—and it happens every day—shop owners need to be informed.
Co-branded content is new. Facebook has to be more transparent now. Now, anyone can go to any Facebook page and see what ads are running.
Brian: Shops need to invest more in their own online property—their email list, for example. When you have your own list, no one will ever take that from you—that’s yours. Reach your clients as you want to. Posting on Facebook to a Page is great—and you should have one—but relying too much on it, as opposed to creating audiences that you truly own, puts you completely at the mercy of Facebook.
You just want to produce the best quality content you can; that’s the goal of Facebook and Google as well. You will rise above your competition. Content is always king.
What are some basic strategies to turn web/social browsers into clients?
K: It’s about acquiring more customers. If you’re on Google, they’re looking for you. I type in a city and a mechanic and there they are. On Facebook, however, you’re interjecting your business into a conversation with family and friends. Be smart about how you’re presenting it.
On Google, people show up organically as well as on the top as ads. If I’m paying for that ad, I want to send people directly to a landing page, for example, and give them one option—an email address for more info, or a number. Turning web browsers into clients comes down to capturing their information in a permission-based way—they’re giving it to you. You’re not proactively acquiring it. Lead generation can be based on implied consent.
B: But it’s also different from platform to platform. Facebook ads may bring them to an opt-in page—a lead magnet like a downloadable PDF in exchange for their email, for example. From a Google ad, however, I’m not giving them that option. They’re already searching for us, especially in the auto world—their car is already broken. They need something now. Give them what they need and there’s nowhere else for them to go.
The text and the image on the page are going to be really important. Make the content about the client; show empathy. Remind them gently what failure looks like, and instead of talking about how great your shop is, talk about the client.
Kim, what are three top strategies for effective online marketing?
One, use an integrated approach. Don’t put all your time, energy, and money into one tactic. Smart marketers understand their audience, where to reach them and how. Emphasize quality over quantity, and you must use video.
Next, be consistent in logos, messaging, and voice. Be consistent across the board. Be real, be authentic, be yourself. People work with whom they know, like and trust. Facebook, email campaigns and print ads give you a chance to be real; your shop should reflect that.
Finally, generate leads. Take control of what you can own. Use your marketing to write real, valuable content and offer it in exchange to nurture a relationship and capture a customer.
Brian, what about you?
First, solidify your foundational marketing. Get a great website that works on all devices. Get on social and mix up your post types—don’t just share everyone else’s content. Make your own.
To that end, create better content. Create it often and use a variety of mediums (written, video, audio, graphics, and more).
Be genuinely nice. Give something away once in a while. Sponsor a little league or soccer team. Host a cookout at your shop or take clients to an event. People will remember you and return when they need help.
Kim and Brian Walker owned and operated Peak Automotive (Apex, N.C.) for almost 10 years before selling. Now, they specialize in marketing and digital content through their company, Shop Marketing Pros.
Many shops struggle with the basics of social media marketing and how much time, energy and effort to put into their integrated marketing campaign. Kim and Brian answered a few common questions and encouraged shops to establish a presence, be themselves, and gain more clients and revenue.