Are your aftermarket competitors constantly beating you to new customers? Are you ready to start overtaking them to drive more business?
As an automotive specialist marketing agency with over 20 years of experience working within the performance aftermarket industry, we understand what it takes to drive engagement and new business. Our automotive digital experts have compiled 10 top tips to take your marketing up a gear and overtake the competition.
Organic reach on Social media has been declining since its inception. Even when new platforms such as TikTok and Likee are launched, over time, reach drops significantly. For this reason and to simply get your automotive brand, products and services in front of more of the right audience, paid social media campaigns are critical. Where to start?
Facebook/Instagram Ads: The first place to start for most automotive aftermarket businesses. There’s plenty of beginner’s guides on YouTube and also Facebook’s Blueprint course for those that aren’t sure where to start. The most important things to remember as with most marketing is your audience and your message. Options include newsfeed ads, story ads, message ads and more. Instagram ads can also be created simply using Facebook Ads Manager.
Twitter Ads: Depending on your target audience and demographic, Twitter Ads could potentially be very lucrative. Targeting options aren’t as specific as with Facebook but costs are relatively inexpensive.
LinkedIn Ads: Specifically for aftermarket businesses looking to grow their trade network or generate more B2B leads. LinkedIn Ad targeting options are very powerful, enabling you to target specific companies, seniority levels and job titles – to name a few. They’re generally far more costly than the above two options but when optimised correctly, results can be fantastic!
Conversion rate optimisation is something that’s underutilised by many automotive businesses online. Oftentimes, spending time improving the effectiveness of your website (B2B or B2C) and its direct conversion rate can have a much larger impact than simply driving additional traffic.
Think of it like filling a car with fuel with leaks in the petrol tank, it’s not going to perform for long. The same can be said with a website. Plug the leaks with your user journey and you’ll start generating loads more sales and leads.
There are free tools available such as HotJar that can be used to install visitor heatmaps and click maps, indicating how your web visitors are engaging with your content. Paid options allow for more traffic to be monitored, typically more features and often split testing tools. When it comes to CRO, elements such as images, call to action text, call to action colours, copy, headlines and more can all be tested to improve performance.
Website speed is like the race track of the internet, with everyone competing to be the quickest. While the average site speed is 3 seconds and anything quicker than that is great, more importantly, is your competitor site speeds. Is your website faster than the competition? If so, great. If not, then there’s still room for improvement. Even if your website is quicker than the average at let’s say 2 seconds but a competitors site loads in 1.5 then you need to investigate ways to improve it and beat them to the finish!
Site speed is everything online and even a half a second can have a big impact on engagement and conversions. Get faster and drive more leads and sales, it is that simple!
When it comes to driving more traffic, nothing is more instantaneous than Pay Per Click Advertising. While it can take weeks and sometimes months to optimise your campaigns for optimal performance, you can set up a Search Campaign fairly quickly and a Smart Campaign in seconds.
To get started with Pay Per Click, we’d recommend Google AdWords.
Whilst Smart Campaigns are a fantastic way for SME’s to get set up with Google Ads quickly and simply, they rely on Machine Learning and therefore don’t usually perform to the level of a well thought out and optimised Google Search Campaign where you choose the keywords you want to target and decide on the ads that get shown.
Create quality content regularly through Social Media, your blog, videos, podcasts and infographics to educate and provide value to your audience. Consistently publishing great content will help prove to your audience that you know the industry and can be a go-to source for reliable, quality information. Most businesses just focus on blog posts here but mix it up and provide content to your audience in all of the different formats we referenced and start being recognised as a thought leader.
In addition, don’t just focus on your company pages, personal branding is more important than ever, particularly for the B2B industry. Create and share excellent content on your own Social Media platforms and encourage your leadership team to do the same.
Sitting right at the top of the Google search results for relevant keywords is one of the most profitable forms of digital marketing but it can take a significant amount of time to get there. Search Engine Optimisation used to be extremely easy initially when simply buying backlinks and stuffing your keywords into your meta tags and on-page content would see your business rocket up the search results. This is of course no longer the case and anyone telling you differently or trying to guarantee number one rankings are probably not going to deliver!
Google’s algorithm has evolved considerably over the last decade and continues to do so. Serving the search the most relevant content to their query is their main priority. So what can your performance aftermarket business do to start dominating the search results?
As discussed prior, no guarantees can be made at all when it comes to SEO as you’re almost in the hands of the Google Gods. What you can do though is ensure you’re ticking as many of their boxes as you possibly can. The list of elements they consider is exhaustive so we can’t list everything but some of the most important things to get right are:
Content and technical elements are the easiest things to control. Focus on the onsite SEO and technical aspects initially and keep producing amazing content and sharing that content to attract links naturally. Another way to improve your link profile is to feature as a source in online media publications and blogs.
Specificity in marketing is often overlooked by many SME’s in the automotive industry. However, the more specific you can make the marketing experience for your prospects, the more inclined they will be to purchase from you or get in touch. One of the easiest ways that you can get specific is by creating targeted landing pages for ads and campaigns.
Tools like LeadPages and Unbounce can be used to design landing pages that are designed to convert. A great landing page should always include a strong and emotive headline, benefits, social proof and an easy way for visitors to get in touch.
Similarly to the above, people love personalisation. If your automotive business can provide a personalised marketing experience at various touchpoints then your prospects will be more likely to remember you, come back to you and convert.
Email marketing is one of the quickest entries into marketing personalisation as email platforms such as MailChimp allow the use of a whole range of personalisation tags as long as you have the information in your database. For example, you can personalise the subject line and email intro with your contacts first name, you could also add their business name, birthday, job role and much more.
Whilst email marketing personalisation will likely improve your email open rates and click-throughs, offering a personalised website experience is probably the most powerful form of personalisation you can implement. Website personalisation can be leveraged to deliver an incredible digital experience for your audience based on their prior behaviour and individual attributes. Platforms such as VWO and Episerver can be used to implement this.
Your audience is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. Potential customers love to see happy existing customers. It creates and builds trust by tapping into social proof, that in turn will encourage more prospects to purchase products or services from you.
User-Generated Content can help with this. The idea behind UGC isn’t all that dissimilar to influencer marketing, but instead of paying influencers with large audiences, you encourage your actual customers to share their feedback on your product or service across their social media accounts and using a branded hashtag. It’s real. It invites engagement and inspires action. It’s estimated that user-generated photos are five times more likely to convert customers than non-user-generated photos! There have been some great examples of automotive brands utilising UGC previously, including Toyota’s #FeelingTheStreet campaign and Ford’s Fiesta Movement campaign.
Test, test and test again.
No matter which sector of the performance aftermarket industry your business sits within, whether its wheels and tyres, exhausts, engine tuning, suspension or something else, testing your marketing strategy is essential.
What works for a competitor might not work for your business so testing various mediums, messages and audiences will not only help drive more business but it will also mean you’ll continually improve and continue to grow as a business. Stop testing and you’ll likely stop growing because eventually, the marketing tactics that are working will slow down until they come to a standstill.
The use of Analytics tracking is a must to help provide valuable data and insights into any tests that you carry out. It’s surprising the number of automotive businesses that still to this day have no Analytics tracking at all in place. Marketing without tracking is like driving a car without knowing what the destination is! It’s a must.
Don’t have the time or know-how to implement the above?
Get your performance aftermarket marketing On Track to success with an Automotive Specialist Marketing Agency! With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we know the market like the back of our hands and understand what it takes to drive business.
Also, we’re currently offering a 3-month TEST DRIVE automotive marketing trial to allow businesses to try our specialist marketing services for a short period without committing to a long-term contract. This is something that’s proving particularly popular amongst our customers especially given the current climate.
Get our news insights delivered directly to your inbox every month. No SPAM, we promise.