Traditional Auto Repair Shop Advertising
When it comes to auto repair shop advertising ideas (print, radio, TV), there’s a little acronym you need to understand: ROAS. That stands for Return On Ad Spend, and it will help you cut out the losing 50% of your ad budget. Simply put, if an ad doesn’t bring in at least the amount of revenue to cover its cost, stop doing it. You see this all the time on TV, for ads promoting the latest gadget or tool. The ones that you keep seeing are making money. The ones that appear, run a few times, then disappear, failed to meet ROAS goals.
- Don’t run TV and radio at the same time, so people don’t get confused where they heard about you.
- Ask every customer how they heard about you
- Record the referral source – EVERY TIME
- Collect a baseline so you can see what happens when you stop running radio ads for a week or two.
If you use Profitboost as your auto repair shop management system you can set warnings so any repair order that doesn’t have a referral source picked will not be allowed to finalize. You can not manage what you don’t measure and you do not want to spend thousands on any ads that do not bring a return on the investment.
The days of spending thousands a year (or even a month) on Yellow pages ads are gone, people just don’t have landlines like they used to, so they don’t have the phone book stacked next to the phone. You should still be in the yellow pages, but not having a paid for advert isn’t likely to hurt you. If you are not convinced, take an advert out for a year, use a phone number unique to that advert, Google voice will give you a phone number for a couple of dollars a month, trace how many calls you get and how much revenue they turn into.
Daily newspapers are dropping like flies, the days of every house in the neighborhood getting a daily newspaper are long gone. See if you can get a job as a weekly auto maintenance columnist, share tips on car maintenance and safety tips. This would give the paper an expert in the field, give your shop some advertising and give you some gravitas as a local author. Having a leaflet put inside the daily paper will probably give you a greater ROAS than putting an actual ad in the paper.
Keep it local, it is common for one company to own many local stations. They may offer you a deal that includes radio stations all over the area, but the reality is that people are not going to travel from 50 miles away to come get their car repaired (unless you really do offer something out of the ordinary). Your customers are local and your radio adverts should be targeted at them.
Which station should I run ads on? Use some common sense and ask your ideal customers what they listen to in the car. If you want the middle aged, family man whose wife drives the kids around in her SUV as your customer then you probably don’t want to run ads on the local rap station.
As with every type of ad, track the ROAS , one shop told us they could do three weeks of ads, take one week off and see no drop off but if they did three and then two weeks with no ads they would see a drop off in visits.
Don’t be scared to use your own voice and don’t be scared to do special ads for special occasions. A personalized Christmas message will catch peoples attention.
People are cutting the cable more and more, they just watch the shows they want on one of the streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. However, they are watching videos on YouTube and Facebook more and more.
Traditional TV advertising is not cheap and with so many channels available how can you be sure you are even showing your ads to the right audience? You can’t be sure, is the honest answer.
You can try and buy space around local only shows but even then, the cost will probably outweigh the number of eyeballs that see it. The TV channel will help you make the advert, or call the local college and see if they are running any courses for media training and maybe they their own camera and studio set up that you can use cheaply.
YouTube is the new TV
Instead of doing adverts on TV, run ads on YouTube (and Facebook). If it sounds interesting but daunting at the same time well we will be publishing a post all about advertising on Youtube for auto repair shops soon so keep a look out for that.