So you want to market your auto shop online, but you have a finite budget to do so. You need to make sure you spend your budget wisely. With the advent of the internet and all the marketing opportunities available to you on there, it would be a shame not to capitalise on this. Below we will discuss a few different internet marketing avenues you can employ. These may be used separately, but are often most effective when used in conjunction with each other.
It may seem obvious, but if you don’t already have a website, you need one. Your website will often be the first port of call your customers have with you, and you want to make a good impression. Clear information about the kind of vehicles you offer, what your prices are like, any current specials, and contact information if the potential customer would like more information, are all essential. An appealing layout and design that is functional and easy to navigate for even the more basic internet user are also important. This may be an expense at first, especially if you plan on hiring someone to design the site, but eventually you can learn to update the site yourself, and the subscription fee or purchase of a domain name is usually reasonably priced.
Blogging, especially if you already have an internet platform, can be an invaluable marketing tool. It is either free or very low cost, depending on which service you use. You can pay specifically for a blogging service (like WordPress) or you can blog through your company website. If you are already directing people to your website or if you know people are already visiting your website, than blogging can be a great addition to the site as it gives you an opportunity to be more familiar and conversational with your customers, as well as providing them with the most up to date information about what offers and automobiles you may have at the moment.
Love it or hate it personally, social media is an invaluable business and customer-contact tool. Social media platforms like Instagram provide you with a fast, free way to connect with a potentially huge audience. By definition, it is “social”; you will get to interact with your customers in a way that was previously only possible in face to face communication with your customers. You can show photos of the vehicles you have on offer, run competitions, and reply to the comments of potential customers. All of this is building a relationship with the customers you haven’t even met yet.
By using an agency like Campaign Monitor or Mail Chimp, both of which utilise double opted in email lists, you will be able to reach potential customers who really are just that, potential customers, not people who you will be bothering. These are people who want to receive information about what you have. Most of us check our email every day, if not multiple times a day. Using email marketing is the personal in internet marketing as social media is the social. Getting an email specifically for you, especially if your name is used in it, can endear a customer to you, making you the preferable place to shop over somewhere else that has not made a personal connection with the customers.