Simple Marketing Ideas for Your Startup Auto Body Shop Business
If you have just recently started an auto body shop, you need traffic coming to it in order to make money. This can all be derived from proper auto body marketing, which is something that even seasoned shops struggle with over time. Marketing is not necessarily hard if you know who your customers are. Then all you have to do is figure out a way to reach out to them. Here are some easy marketing tips that you can abide by as a startup business that may bring you many return customers for the future.
Build a website- This is an absolute must in today's business world. We at Web-Est have talked about this at length (click here for more entries on building a website: General Rules for Building an Auto Body Website). It bears repeating, because you'd be surprised how many businesses don't value the Internet. The Internet has become the first place people go to look for their services regardless of if you're there or not. If you choose to market your business by doing online marketing (search engine advertising, social media marketing) then you'll need a website. If you choose to only do offline marketing (mailouts, yellow page ads, newspaper advertisements, tv), consumers will still want to look you up online to get more information about your business. The point is, you're going to need a website. You can get a site built by Godaddy.com or you can use Web-Est's Shop Find Local program to build you a site with your needs in mind. Click here for more info on that.
Internet Marketing- Internet marketing has to do with all the efforts you do to market your business on the Internet. The most effective form of Internet marketing is search engine marketing (SEM). This form of marketing allows you to put up advertisements on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Those advertisements appear whenever a search engine user enters a search query by typing a term that's relevant to your business, "auto body shop" for example. That advertisement lists a link to your website and those users become exposed to your business. Its targetted to Internet users that are specifically relevant to the services you offer, so its the most effective form of Internet marketing on the block. Visit Google AdWords or the Bing AdCenter to begin your campaign. Because it can be a bit pricey though, there are other options. You can create a local listing on the search engines. Those listings are free and still targeted to relevant Internet users, but they don't have as much of a reach as advertisements. Web-Est's Shop Find Local program thats mentioned above can help you get started on a local listing campaign with Google, Bing and Yahoo. Another Internet marketing option is on social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. These sites are very popular, but are still in development in marketing usage for auto body shops. Marketing with these sites are free and can be effective in reaching an audience in your local area and its continuing to grow in influence. Visit this recent postings for more information:
Offline Marketing- While marketing is now heavy on the Internet, there's still plenty of opportunity to be had off the Internet. Sending out fliers to particular communities can still spread the word. Offering specials or marked down prices in newspaper or yellow page advertisements still have some sway in reaching out to perspective customers. Another offline opportunity to consider that has been around for a while and has gone down significantly in price is television advertisements. One may think that those ads are too expensive for small businesses, but you'd be surprised. While advertising during the Super Bowl may be astronomical, tv ads during daytime television, local evening news and late night television aren't as expensive as they used to be. They now run at about $5-$10 per 1,000 viewers. So depending on the market available, it could be pretty low cost for you. What you'll want to do is to reach out to your local cable company and contact their media sales department to get a quote. Visit these sites for more info: Guide to Local Advertising and Televisionadvertising.com.
Business signs- It may seem too simple to be significant, but if you have just started your business or are getting ready to, do what you can to get your sign up near traffic so people know where you are and how to get to you. People may not find your shop if they don't know where it is. The marketing efforts that are described above will do good at getting your name out there to the public, but getting some pointers out on the roads to where your location is will make it easy for those customers to know where to go.
To continue some assistance to all those small business start-ups, visit recent articles written by Executive Vice President Matt Shanks, who has over 20 years of experience in the auto body industry: Building a New Auto Body Shop and Advertising for a New Auto Body Shop