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Automotive Marketing Tips to Put Your Auto Repair Shop on the Map

July 10, 2024
min read
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If you’re running an auto repair shop, then you know the playing field is a competitive one!

With tons of other shops vying for the same customers that you are, it can be a challenge to stand out from the crowd.

But we’ve got the tips and tricks your repair shop needs. With the right marketing strategies and a bit of elbow grease, you can start boosting your shop’s visibility, attracting new customers, and keeping your existing ones coming back to you every time they're in need of services.

So, whether you’re a brand-new auto repair shop looking to make a name for yourself or a seasoned business owner looking to shake up your marketing efforts with fresh new strategies, today’s blog is here with the tips you need to elevate your marketing game and boost your business!

The Unique Challenges of Marketing an Auto Repair Shop

Like with any industry, marketing within the automotive industry (specifically auto repair shop marketing) comes with its own set of challenges that you’ll have to overcome to be successful.

Here are just a few:

  • Building Trust and Showcasing Your Reliability Customers need to know that their vehicles will be handled with care and expertise and that they won’t be taken advantage of when it comes to pricing.
  • Fierce Competition — Many auto repair shops are often located around the same area, all competing for the same clients.
  • Infrequent Service Need — Auto repair services are not something customers need every day (at least, ideally!), making it crucial to keep your brand top-of-mind, so when they do run into an issue, they remember your shop.
  • Adapting to an Internet-First Culture — Having a strong online presence is essential these days, including things like a professional website, active social media channels, local SEO optimization, and positive online reviews.
  • Differentiation — With many shops offering similar services and pricing, you’ll need to identify and communicate your unique selling points to avoid blending in with your competition.

10 Marketing Tips to Boost Your Auto Repair Business

A rocket blasting off. 10 auto repair shop marketing tips to boost your business!

And the best way to overcome these challenges and position your auto repair shop as the best, most reliable, and trustworthy source of services is the right marketing techniques.

Below are 10 of our favorites designed to give your shop the edge it needs, attract more customers, and grow your business in 2024 and beyond.

1. Optimize for Local SEO

These days, expect your customers to treat the hunt for automotive services the same way they do when they’re searching for a restaurant to dine in or the best places to take a rowdy group of kids.

That’s right, friend. They’re going to hop on Google.

For that reason, it’s crucial that your auto repair shop be optimized for local SEO (search engine optimization) so that your brand is popping up within those precious top few search engine results. If you’re not sure what goes into optimizing your website, content, and socials for local SEO, then here are a few pointers to follow:

  • Claim Your Google My Business Listing — Make sure your business is listed on Google My Business and that all of your information is accurate and up-to-date, including your address, phone number, hours of operation, and services offered. An updated Google My Business profile is great for SEO and makes it easier for customers to find and contact you. (More on this in just a bit.)
  • Use Local Keywords — Use a tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs to identify keywords that include your location and services (e.g., "auto repair in [City]"). Sprinkle them strategically on your website and in your content to help search engines understand where your business is located and what services you provide, which improves your chances of appearing in local search results.
  • Optimize Your Website — Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has fast loading times. Search engines rank websites higher when they provide a good user experience, so a well-optimized site can boost your rankings.
  • Get Listed in Online Directories — Submit your business to local directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and others. Consistent listings across different platforms boosts your visibility and credibility both with search engine algorithms and with potential customers.
  • Encourage Local Reviews — Ask satisfied and happy customers to leave positive reviews on Google and other review sites. Positive reviews not only boost your reputation but also improve your search rankings.

2. Google Your Business

In addition to having a positive effect on your SEO, having an up-to-date and accurate Google My Business profile has plenty of other benefits for your auto repair shop.

It increases your visibility in local searches and puts your business on Google Maps, exactly where customers will find you when Googling for repair shops closest to them. A Google Business profile also gives you access to Google Posts, which you can use to share updates or holiday hours, promotions, events, and more to keep your audience engaged and informed and keep your brand top of mind.

Another plus is that having your business on Google will also allow your customers to share their glowing reviews about your services. And once the reviews are coming in, be sure that you’re responding and engaging with them (good and bad) to demonstrate to any potential customers that you value feedback, appreciate their business, and are committed to providing great customer service and a positive experience!

3. Get on the Socials

Just like everyone else, the vast majority of your customers are on social media.

So, meet them where they already are by having a strong online presence that includes active and engaging activity on the social media platforms where your target audience is most active, like Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, or TikTok.

If you aren’t sure what kind of content you can be sharing on your socials, then here are some very effective recommendations for engaging your existing followers and expanding your reach:

  • Before-and-After Photos — Showcase your work by posting before-and-after photos of your most dramatic repairs. Photos are engaging and these photos in particular will showcase the quality of your services to attract more potential customers.
  • Customer Testimonials — Share positive feedback from your customers. Testimonials build trust and show that your shop delivers on its promises.
  • Maintenance Tips — Give your audience some valuable content by sharing car maintenance tips and advice. This positions your shop as an expert in the industry and helps keep your audience engaged and informed.
  • Promotions and Special Offers — Social media is a great place to announce any promotions, discounts, or special offers. These posts can drive traffic to your shop and encourage more appointments.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Content —Give your business a human touch by posting behind-the-scenes content about your team, day-to-day activities, and the things that make your shop unique.
  • Educational Videos — Create short videos that explain common car issues and how to address them. Educational content can increase engagement and shares and linking to content on your website can increase dwell time.
  • Interactive Posts — Keep your audience engaged with interactive content like polls, quizzes, and questions to encourage participation and increase your reach.
  • Seasonal Reminders — Post reminders for seasonal maintenance, like winterizing a vehicle or preparing for summer road trips. These posts position your shop as the experts and can be very helpful for your audience!

4. Offer Special Promotions and Discounts

A price tag surrounded by coins, for special promotions and discounts, an auto shop repair marketing tip!

Who doesn’t love a good discount, especially when it comes to often expensive auto repairs?

The right promotion and discounts can be an excellent way to attract new customers and keep your existing ones coming back whenever they’re in need of services.

Here are some ideas if you need a place to get started:

  • Seasonal Offers — Create promotions around holidays and seasonal changes (e.g., winter tire change discounts, spring tune-ups, mold and mildew treatments after excessive rain).
  • Referral Discounts — Offer discounts to customers who refer friends and family to your shop.
  • Loyalty Programs — Implement a loyalty program to reward repeat customers and keep them coming back for more!
  • Bundle Services — Offer discounts on bundled services (e.g., oil change and tire rotation).
  • First-Time Customer Discounts — Provide special offers for first-time customers to encourage them to try out your services.

Use whatever promotions make the most sense for your business and be sure to promote them on channels like social media, email, and PPC campaigns like Google ads to maximize your reach and get your brand in front of the people who need you the most!

5. Invest in PPC Advertising

And speaking of PPC advertising …

PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is a powerful automotive digital marketing tool that can drive traffic to your auto repair shop’s website and help you increase your customer base. Unlike organic SEO efforts (like the ones outlined above), which take a bit of time to show results, these PPC ads can boost your visibility right away. 

PPC ads allow you to target specific demographics, locations, and even times of day to make sure your ads are reaching the right audience at the right time. And you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which also makes it a very cost-effective way to attract potential customers to your shop. You can even set daily or monthly budgets to keep your ad spend within your allotted budget. 

By targeting specific keywords related to auto repair services in your local area, PPC ads can keep your business at the top of search engine results pages when potential customers are Googling the services you offer. 

Google Ads, Meta Ads, and other social media ads are some of the most popular PPC platforms out there right now, featuring useful targeting options and detailed analytics and performance data for metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and ROI to give you what you need to make informed decisions and fine-tune your strategies.

6. Create Valuable Content

We’ve said it before but it’s a mantra worth repeating:

Content is king, friends, and if you want to position your auto repair shop as a leader in the industry, then you’re going to need valuable content to help you do it.

Not only is valuable content great for positioning your shop and your team as local experts but it helps boost your SEO and provides an excellent source of material for landing pages, social media, lead generation, email campaigns, and more.

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for creative content, then we’ll help you out! Below are some examples of valuable content that your customers will love:

  • Blog Posts — Write about topics like common car maintenance tips, seasonal car care advice, and explanations of different automotive services. This type of content boosts your SEO and can educate your customers and build trust in your expertise.
  • How-to Guides — Create written or video step-by-step guides for simple car maintenance tasks that customers can do at home or in an emergency, like checking oil levels, changing a tire, or replacing wiper blades. 
  • Video Tutorials — Produce short videos demonstrating different car repair and maintenance tasks. Video content is dynamic, easy to follow, and highly shareable, which can help you reach a wider audience.
  • Customer Testimonials — Share stories and reviews from satisfied customers. Testimonials build credibility and can help convince potential customers to choose your shop over your competitors.
  • Infographics — Create visually appealing infographics that explain topics like car maintenance schedules, parts of a vehicle, or the benefits of regular car servicing. Infographics are easily shareable, make complex info easy to digest, and can attract attention on social media.
  • Case Studies — Highlight specific repair jobs or unique challenges your shop has successfully handled. Case studies are excellent tools for showcasing your team's problem-solving skills and your expertise in the industry.
  • Seasonal Tips — Provide advice on how to prepare vehicles for different seasons, like winterizing a car, driving on ice, or keeping your car from overheating on a hot day. Seasonal content is timely and relevant, making it highly engaging for your audience.
  • Industry News — Keep your audience informed about the latest trends and developments in the automotive industry. Sharing industry news demonstrates that your shop stays up to date with the latest knowledge and technology.

7. Email Marketing Campaigns

Since it’s not every day that your customers will need automotive repair services, it’s essential that you keep your brand top of mind until the day they do.

For that reason, email marketing campaigns are a crucial tool to stay connected with new and existing customers and make sure that your auto repair shop is the first one they think of when those "Check Engine" lights turn on.

Here are some effective strategies for your next email marketing campaign:

  • Service Reminders — Send automated reminders for regular maintenance services like oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. These reminders can help your customers stay on top of their vehicle maintenance and drive repeat business to your shop.
  • Special Offers and Promotions — Let your customers know about exclusive deals, discounts, and seasonal promotions. This not only incentivizes them to return to your shop but also makes them feel valued as the recipients of such special offers!
  • Educational Content — Share tips and advice on car maintenance, safety checks, and common automotive issues. Providing useful information helps position your shop as a trustworthy resource.
  • News and Updates — Keep your customers informed about any new services, changes in business hours, or upcoming events at your shop. Regular updates keep your audience connected and up to date with your business.
  • Customer Surveys and Feedback — Use email to gather feedback from your customers about their recent experiences at your shop. This not only shows that you value their opinions but also provides insights that can help you improve your services and overall customer experience.
  • Personalized Messages — Tailor your emails to address your customers by name and include personalized recommendations based on their vehicle history and preferences. Personalized communication increases engagement and encourages brand loyalty.

8. Partner with Local Businesses

It’s always good to have friends!

By partnering with a local business in your area, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship that helps both you and your partner grow and succeed!

Whether you’re teaming up with a business in the automotive industry (a car wash, tire shop, or automotive accessory store like AutoZone) or a business in another industry entirely is up to you, but cross-promoting each other's services, creating referral programs, or even sponsoring events together is a great way to tap into another customer base and get your brand in front of your new potential customers!

9. Incentivize Customer Reviews

Word of mouth is a powerful thing, friend.

When potential customers are Googling for service providers, you can be sure that the customer reviews of the businesses they look at will be a very important deciding factor in their final choice.

So, make sure your auto repair shop is putting its best face forward by encouraging your satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google Reviews, Yelp, and other review sites.

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask but if you need to sweeten the pot a little, don’t be afraid to do so! Offering discounts or freebies like air fresheners and branded swag can go a long way toward incentivizing your customer to drop a positive review about their experience!

And not only are positive reviews great for potential customers and your overall Google Business score, but they can also be used in marketing material like landing pages, social media posts, and your website!

10. Host Community Events

Give back to your local community and boost your brand awareness all at once by hosting exciting community events!

You can host charity drives like car washes or food/toy collection events for events or local causes. This approach not only supports a good cause but also draws in crowds and even media attention to boost your brand’s awareness and show your dedication to the community.

If you have the resources and team for it, you could also consider hosting car care clinics to teach basic maintenance skills. Events like these can be an exciting thing for a community and help you boost brand awareness, attract potential customers, and position your shop as a trusted local resource. Even sponsoring a local sports team like a kids' baseball or cheerleading team can increase your visibility, show your commitment to the local area, and just give back to the community you serve.

Whether you host these events solo or team up with another business to create a partnership and expand your reach even further, you’ll not only build up a positive reputation but also create the kind of relationships with your clientele that lead to positive word of mouth, repeat business, and more referrals.

<div class="c-blog_comp-cta cc-component-1"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-wrap"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="" class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-img"></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-right"><div class="c-blog_comp-content"><div class="c-text-wrapper cc-mb-32"><div class="c-title-4 cc-bold"><strong>Want to save money without sacrificing the quality?</strong></div></div><div class="c-text-wrapper"><div class="c-text-2">Say goodbye to traditional, expensive agencies and unreliable marketplaces. Say hello to Designity.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-wrapper"><a href="/pricing" target="_blank" class="c-button cc-primary cc-inverted w-button"><strong>Get Your 2-Week Trial</strong></a></div></div></div>

One More Tip to Boost Your Auto Repair Business

If you’re eager to try any or all of the marketing tips we shared in this article, then that’s great!

We commend you on taking proactive steps to grow your business!

And if you’re eager to try any or all of the marketing tips shared in this article, only you lack the manpower, time, and design and technical know-how to pull off these marketing campaigns … that’s also great.

Because you’ve already found a reliable marketing partner to help you boost your marketing efforts and grow your business.

Designity is made up of the top 3% of all of the thousands of talented graphic designers, web designers, copywriters, social media experts, video production experts, animators, and more — everyone you need to put the above strategies in action and get your auto repair shop on the map.

And with each account managed by a Creative Director, an automotive marketing and design expert, who sources and manages your team, acts as your single point of contact, and makes sure that all of your marketing assets are of the highest quality and in your hands when you need them, you can start seeing marketing success sooner than you ever thought possible.

Why not take a look at our automotive marketing page and portfolio to see how Designity’s innovative Creative as a Service platform has been able to elevate other automotive industry brands just like yours?

If our style vibes with yours, then why not take the next step? Book a demo call today and let’s get you started with a two-week, no-obligation trial so you can test drive our services and see first-hand why Designity is the only automotive marketing partner your shop will ever need.

Are you ready to boost your auto repair shop business?

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Sara, a Designity content writer.
About the author:
Sara Lopez
Sara is a Texas-based copywriter.
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