Take a look at your business. What is it that determines whether you stay afloat or go under? Is it the same thing that motivates you to do better every day? To phrase it simply, what is it that drives your entire operation? The answer is simple and quite obvious: customers.
Every auto repair and auto body shop owner out there will tell you the same thing: getting customers is not easy. Obviously, that isn’t something you want to hear when starting your own auto repair business.
Unfortunately for many of these auto repair and body shop owners, the importance of digital marketing strategies, especially in a world where the internet exists, is either lost on them or entirely unacknowledged. Fortunately for you, however, you are about to learn the three essential auto repair shop marketing strategies and how they can help you gain more customers no matter how big or small your business is.
1. Reputation Management
What is it?
When a customer searches for your business online, the results will include every bit of information that Google considers relevant to the search(SEO). This includes websites with positive and negative reviews about your company, forum posts, articles, and blog posts.
Reputation management, or online reputation management(ORM), is what businesses do to control what their customers see first when they search for their company online. The most efficient way to achieve this is by boosting the positive search results so that they are ranked higher than the negative results, giving the company lots of good publicity.
In as much as reputation management revolves around publicizing good news about your company, it is also about learning how to respond to criticism swiftly and appropriately.
How it will help your business
So how will reputation management help you gain more customers?
a) By giving your business an online presence – some of the key components to online management such as keeping your websites updated (or creating one for those who haven’t), posting articles and media, and publishing to your social media pages can make your business an authoritative presence online. This means new customers will find it easier to trust you.
b) By making your business easier to find – very few people go past the first page of the search results. If your company has established a good online presence, Google will rank it higher on the first page and make it a lot easier to find.
Reputation management allows you to present the most relevant or accurate information about your business first, giving you the chance to put your best foot forward and become more visible on the internet. Neat, isn’t it?
2. SMS Marketing
What is it?
Short Message Service (SMS) marketing is a permission-based marketing technique that businesses use to distribute promotional messages to their customers. This strategy requires your customers to opt into an automated texting service, usually by sending a text to a predetermined shortcode. Customers who opt in receive a confirmation message alongside instructions on how to opt out of the service.
The scale of your operations will determine whether you will need SMS marketing software for this strategy. However, it is a lot less labor-intensive to automate the process.
How it will help your business
SMS marketing plays a massive role in many business’ marketing campaigns for one particular reason: it is a fantastic close range marketing tactic. When it comes to increasing customer loyalty and growing your database, it is a very potent marketing technique.
Its efficiency can be attributed to the fact that consumers prefer SMS marketing to push-notifications and the more traditional email marketing. In fact, Forbes estimates that 64% of consumers (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kernlewis/2014/10/06/sms-marketing-start-with-service-and-add-promotion-carefully/#34477deb6908) would much rather get promotional messages through SMS.
Why is this, you ask?
Because many of these consumers feel that text messages:
· Are more likely to grab their attention sooner (98% of SMS messages are opened and read within the first 3 minutes);
· Are easier to read and respond to;
· Make it easier to communicate with businesses like yours, and most importantly;
· Do not make them feel like their identity and personal data is at risk of being exposed.
A general rule of thumb to be observed when implementing this tactic is that the platform should primarily be used to serve your customers and not to promote your business.
What does this mean?
Simply put, you should use the SMS communication channel to relay information such as appointments, service reminders, and important events. Promoting your business using SMS marketing, while still allowed, should be done with tact. The last thing you want is your customers to feel pestered or annoyed by incessant text messages about discounted auto servicing rates. A general rule of thumb is to keep the total number of messages to less than 5 per month.
Keep it short and straightforward, and most importantly, keep it relevant.
3. Promotional Marketing
What is it?
This kind of marketing involves the use of promotional tools such as contests, raffles, and sweepstakes to create awareness about a brand/company and to attract customers. This tactic is usually deployed with one primary goal in mind: to create a buzz.
How it will help your business
Promotional marketing can help your business in the following ways:
a) Creating awareness about your company – everybody loves to win, which is why promotions get a lot of attention from consumers. You don’t have to bend over backward to get your customers interested either; a prize as simple as free service or repairs for a specified period is enough to get everyone in a competitive mood. The more competition there is, the bigger the buzz generated.
b) Providing a platform to conduct market research – Contests and promotions are also crucial for market research. You can use them as a platform to carry out short but useful surveys on your existing customer base. For example, a series of brief questions on the participants’ registration forms can give you crucial insight into your clients’ driving habits, their preferred type of engine oil, and various other pertinent things that you can use to better your services or to promote your products.
If organizing promotional events sounds too hectic for you, worry not. Online contest management software such as the one offered here (https://www.jvimobile.com) not only lessens the load for you, it also encourages your customers to share the contest on social media by rewarding them with more entries for every person that enters the contest through their recommendation.
Remember, you don’t have to go over your budget when organizing contests, sweepstakes, and other promotional tools. A single prize is usually enough to attract several participants. However, if you can afford it, there is no harm in offering multiple prizes, especially when you’re promoting a new product.
Thus far, here is what we have learned:
· Reputation management is all about making your business more authoritative and easier to find online;
· If you can help it, don’t bother with email marketing or push-notifications; SMS marketing is the way to go, and last but not least;
· Promotional marketing is a double-edged sword that can be very useful when used correctly.
Now that you’re armed with three vital digital marketing strategies, you’re probably wondering how to implement all of them at once. To be honest, it can be quite a task to juggle the three strategies on your own, especially if you run a small business.
Can it be done?
Fortunately, the answer to that question is a resounding YES! Thanks to the innovative and easy to use software that you can find here, you can take care of your company’s reputation management, SMS marketing, and promotional marketing needs in an easy and highly efficient manner.
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As a Business
Owner, you’ve established a Facebook
page for your products and/or services
. Great! You’ve also launched a Twitter
page so you can tweet your followers once a month and even share pictures of your cluttered office every few weeks on your Instagram
. Your website gets a few clicks
every so often. Marketing all set! Wrong. That’s awesome, but not enough. In today’s busy and competitive world, your business will not survive without reputation management
and text messaging marketing
“More than 80% of all consumers say that they read online reviews before making a purchase or visiting a business.”
Wouldn’t you like to know what people are saying about
you and your business? What about knowing what happens every time someone puts your business name into Google
or Facebook? It’s great to have an online presence when operating a business, but these same outlets can easily damage your reputation through negative blogs
and reviews. Did you know that more than 80% of all consumers read online reviews before making a purchase or getting services at a business? What is said about you and your business can affect your company as a whole and can eventually determine the amount of revenue you have coming in. The internet has given a powerful voice to consumers and their opinion carries a lot of weight. It’s one thing to manage an online business, but it’s another thing to manage your company’s online reputation. Reputation Management
will keep you aware of looming threats and reputation attacks. We’ll provide tools to track and monitor your brand
so it’s always in a positive light.
What Kind of Action Should I take regarding Reputation Management?
Ready to take charge of your online reputation? There are plenty of things you can do right now. Begin by optimizing your profiles on popular review sites. Some are auto-generated and others you can create yourself. If you see any negative reviews, respond to them ASAP and use them to your advantage. This lets consumers know that you genuinely care and are willing to go to whatever extent necessary to make the customer happy by fixing the situation. You also let consumers know that your business is relevant and not outdated or unpopular by engaging with online reviews. Also, consider adding review forms to your website. Encourage customers
to rate your products and/or services with a star system along with a written review. Offer a discount on a future purchase if they agree to leave feedback within a certain time frame. If you don’t want to do this via your website, you can always use the built-in rating system on your Facebook business page
, which is a great option as well. You can also incorporate a points reward system and offer them a certain amount of points towards a reward once they leave feedback. Another great idea is to send an automated email to customers after they’ve made an online purchase. The email can include a link to a review form on your website or Facebook page. If you sell products or offer services in an actual storefront, consider including a review link on your printed receipts. I’m sure you’ve seen major fast-food chains, grocery stores and even retail stores offering free items or discounts on their receipts upon completion of an online survey, rating or review. Overall, this will eventually get you more positive online reviews and increase
your visibility and attract more customers.
What Ways Can I Introduce Text Message Marketing to my Business?
Did you know that 98% of text messages are read immediately? Literally, within three minutes of receipt, mobile users all over the world are communicating via text.
Text messaging is fast, easily accessible and multi-functional.
As a business owner, you can attract more customers while generating more revenue by making text messaging a big part of your marketing efforts. Instant offers, discounts, digital coupons and location-based amenities are all benefits that consumers are constantly searching for. Making these benefits easily accessible via text is the perfect way to grab the attention of your consumers and also allows you to stand out from your competition. This will prompt them to make a quick decision to purchase your products and/or use your services because ultimately, everyone is simply looking for the hottest deals. We live in an instant-gratifying society, so what better way to connect with new and existing consumers than to exceed their expectations via text. You can start a text messaging campaign by signing up subscribers then automate messages based on subscriber actions or send scheduled messages based on promotions.
Now It All Makes Sense
Reputation Management will shine a bright light on your online presence. The internet is already saturated with so much noise and various opinions so you want to be sure everything said about you and your business is positive. Being involved and relevant will get your more positive reviews and will increase your overall visibility. You will begin to attract more customers because so many people check reviews before trying out a new business. Also, you can increase customer loyalty, drive demand, and stay connected by adding text messaging to your marketing strategy. It’s simple, affordable and effective. If you’re not quite sure what platform to rely on for these marketing strategies or would like to take your reputation management or SMS marketing to the next level, leave it to the Certified Digital Marketing Professionals at JVI Mobile Marketing!
July 2017 Special Pricing is underway. Contact us today!
Every local business should have a mailing list to use for email marketing. However, convincing people to sign up for your list may be a challenge. Most people get dozens of marketing emails each day, and some are reluctant to add yet another email to the mix. The question, then, is how you can convince potential customers who visit your site to sign up for your mailing list. One common answer is creating something called a lead magnet – a freebie that entices people to type their email address into your opt-in box.
What Is a Lead Magnet?
In case you are unfamiliar with the term, let’s start with a quick explanation of what a lead magnet is. A lead magnet is a free item that you offer to new leads if they sign up for your mailing list. It’s called a magnet because companies often advertise the lead magnet as a way of getting people to visit their site. In other words, it attracts customers the way a magnet attracts metal. Once they are on the site, they learn that all they have to do to get the lead magnet is sign up for your mailing list.
A lead magnet can be almost anything you want it to be, but the best options for local businesses are digital items that can be immediately downloaded after the customer opts in. You want the process to be as easy as possible.
Why You Need a Lead Magnet
Maybe you don’t have a mailing list and you’re wondering why you need one. Local business owners sometimes neglect email marketing as a resource because they think it’s a waste of money. However, the fact is that email marketing is still one of the most effective – and most affordable – forms of internet marketing. Here are some reasons that using a lead magnet to build your list makes sense:
- Email marketing offers a low-cost, easy way to stay in touch with your customers on an ongoing way.
- Email marketing is incredibly versatile. Here are just a few ideas of ways you might use email marketing:
- To announce new products – for example, you might make a short unboxing or how-to video for a new product in your store.
- To share valuable information with your customers – one of the best uses of email marketing is providing value to your customers, which creates a sense of obligation.
- To offer enticements to get customers to visit your store – examples include promotions, coupons, and special events.
- To encourage customers to spread the word about your business – if you make a point of offering worthwhile information, some of your customers will share your email with their friends and family, thus increasing your reach.
- Using a lead magnet helps you encourage a particular cognitive bias – sort of a mental glitch – known as reciprocity. Most human beings feel a need to return the favor when they get something free. Offering a lead magnet makes your customers feel a sense of obligation to you because they know you’ve given them something valuable without charging them a dime. Once they have accepted a freebie from you, they are more likely to become paying customers than they would be otherwise.
As you can see, there are some significant benefits to using a lead magnet to help grow your email list.
How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet
Deciding you want a lead magnet for your website is the first step. The second is deciding what form the lead magnet will take, and then creating it. Let’s start by talking about some good options for lead magnets.
- Remember that digital products that are available for immediate download are the best choice. Don’t make your customers wait to get their freebie – give it to them right away.
- One common option for a lead magnet is a short eBook. Sometimes people think that books have to be long, but the truth is that the average length of non-fiction books on the Kindle bestseller list is only 10,000 words. A free book can be even shorter – sometimes 2,500 or 3,500 words is plenty.
- Another popular choice for a lead magnet is a tip sheet or hack sheet. It seems like you can’t go anywhere on the internet these days without coming across a list of hacks for everything from household chores to organizing your desk at work. People seem to love them, and creating a good hack sheet doesn’t take long.
- If you offer a business-related service, one very good lead magnet option is a free template for a particular kind of document.
- A video or series of videos is another option, although creating videos is certainly more costly than making written content. The downside of a video is that it takes time for your customer to consume.
The most affordable and easily accessible options are short written documents that customers can download immediately.
Now let’s talk about how to create your lead magnet. If you have a business that lends itself to tips and hacks – for example, the owner of a kitchen supply store might do well to offer a list of cooking hacks (or kitchen storage hacks) to potential customers – then that’s a good way to go because it doesn’t take long to create.
If the majority of your customers are looking for information, then writing a short eBook might be the answer. Don’t get intimidated by the thought of writing a book. If you feel you can’t do it yourself, you can always hire a freelance writer to do it for you. Just brainstorm some potential topics for a book, keeping in mind that you want things that are going to be compelling and interesting to your potential customers. For example, a sports equipment store might offer a short eBook about how to prepare for ski season or a buying guide for parents whose kids are signing up for the local soccer league.
The key with any lead magnet is to think about what your customers want, and then to find a way to give it to them. When you start, it might be helpful to think about your target customers and who they are. After that, you can reach out with some social media advertising to let people know about your awesome new lead magnet and why they need to get it.
Lead magnets are an effective and inexpensive way to help you build a mailing list – which you can then use to attract new customers and grow your business. As long as you focus on providing value with your lead magnet, and target your ads wisely, you should have no difficulty attracting people to your opt-in page.
At JVI Mobile, we are passionate about creating and growing awesome social relationships. Tell us how we can help! We’ve got a crack team literally at your fingertips!
If you haven’t already, check out our Digital Marketing Assistant. It’s a relatively new service we are offering where you can get expert help and ready access to the JVI team will all your digital marketing concerns and questions!
Ever heard about geofencing? It’s a great way to specifically target either your customers or those of your competition.
Andrew, the CEO at Bizness Apps, just release a great summary of how geofencing works, incorporating some best practices for SMS marketing in general along the way. We’ve shared his great infographic below and you can check out his entire post here.
The concept is pretty simple: when your audience enters a specific area- usually within a few miles of your business’ location- they receive a unique message just for them. Some examples of these are:
- Pick up reminders. Ideal for prescription or dry cleaning businesses.
- Service reminders. Think oil-changes or dental cleanings.
- Complimentary offers. As an example, knowing that much of their business comes from folks in an auto accident, think of a car rental agency targeting a body shop.
- Special offers. Why not hit nearby folks with a special SMS message for tonight’s dinner special?
- Thank you. How about a simple thank you for a recent purchase or visit?
You can flip this strategy and target folks visiting a competitor. If a competing florist a mile away from your shop is making inroads into your business, an effective strategy could be to present users within a mile or two of their location with a unique offer. Needless to say, the variation are almost endless.
Of course, like all SMS strategies, you’ve got to tread carefully and not overwhelm folks with constant messaging. Overmessaging will result in folks opting out, so we recommend not exceeding 4-5 messages per month as part of any messaging strategy.
Geofencing is still another feature of our SMS and MMS programs which help deliver even better business intelligence to our clients.
At JVI Mobile, we are passionate about creating and growing awesome social relationships. Tell us how we can help!
PS. In case you missed it, check out our recent webinar on digital marketing and learn 7 key strategies to crush your competition. Just click on the image below.
Take Your SMS Marketing to the Next Level!
If you’re not using SMS marketing yet, now is the time to take a new look at this dynamic method of growing and retaining new customers. With almost 90% of Americans owning a cellphone SMS marketing (text messaging)
is an inexpensive and efficient way to directly reach your current and prospective customers.
With the rise of smartphones and apps over the past few years, many have focused on marketing through QR codes and social media.
Why SMS Marketing?
SMS marketing is more flexible than you might think. Not only can you target new customers with unique and exciting offers, but you can also increase engagement and loyalty with existing customers through opt-in lead generation, appointment confirmations, polls, and surveys, loyalty programs, coupons and more. Better yet, the fast pace of SMS marketing means that most of your messages are opened within the first ninety seconds of receipt.
SMS messaging also gives your new fans the ability to reach out to you directly in real time- faster even than email. Showing your customers how much you care by getting back to them immediately will wow them with your customer service and push you past your competition!
Need More Reasons to use SMS Marketing?
SMS is available on all mobile phones. From the oldest flip phone to the latest iPhone or android offering, every mobile phone can send and receive SMS messages.
Over 90% of Americans have a cellphone and are almost never without them! Everyone instinctively reaches for their phone when it beeps so almost every SMS message is read almost instantly.
SMS is the most convenient and cost-effective way of reaching your audience, with no need for graphics, colors, or even an internet connection. Costs are dramatically less than other traditional or online direct response methods.
Unlike email marketing, there is no chance of your message being blocked by an ISP or ending up in the recipient’s junk or spam folder.
In addition to ‘SMS blasts’ you can also provide targeted messages to unique customers like birthday messages, thank you messages and loyalty rewards.
Let us help you find out how you are doing now and take your results to new highs! At JVI Mobile, we are passionate about creating and growing awesome social relationships. We are happy to help guide you on your way!