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Online marketing grows more popular each year for businesses of all shapes and sizes across the globe. In fact, spending on online advertising is expected to reach $389.29 billion this year alone.


As a small business, your auto shop needs every advantage it can get to keep up with the bigger companies in your area. Fortunately, the Internet is a level playing field – that’s what makes digital advertising so effective for attracting more customers and increasing brand recognition.


In other words, there’s no need to spend more money just to gain a competitive edge. Instead, check out these 5 awesomely affordable digital marketing strategies for auto shops!


1. Run a Social Media Giveaway or Contest

Hosting a contest or giveaway on your social media pages is a great way to garner more attention online. In fact, social media users are 94.46 percent likely to share your promotion with their friends and followers, immediately getting more eyes on your page.


The key to running a successful giveaway that enhances your digital advertising efforts is to focus on how you can get more people to engage with your brand in order to win the prize. Require participants to like, follow, or tag your business as they post pictures or stories on their own social media pages. Have them share your post and tell their friends and followers about the giveaway for additional entries. The main idea here is to ensure that every action participants take increases the likelihood that more potential customers will learn about your auto shop.


Everyone loves winning giveaways, so this advertising strategy for auto shops is a super simple (and cheap!) way to get more attention for your business while keeping costs low.

Just keep these tips in mind:·

  • Don’t require too much of contest/giveaway participants – otherwise, they may not want to enter.
  • Make sure the prize itself aligns with your business in some way to encourage further engagement with your brand. For instance, you may offer free oil changes or other automotive repair or maintenance services.
  • Don’t break the bank with the prize if you don’t have to – keep it affordable for you while still making it desirable for participants.


2. Run Ads Across Social Media Platforms

If you already have social media profiles for your business, it’s time to make them a bigger part of your auto shop’s digital advertising strategy. Facebook, which owns Instagram, offers a variety of cross platform advertising options to help you build local awareness of your company.


Facebook’s ad platform can help walk you through the process of creating an effective campaign. It will help you decide your goals, such as attracting more website visits or page/post likes. Facebook’s platform will also suggest a budget that will help you achieve your desired goals. This could range from just $10 for promoting a post to $100+ for targeted ads. Whatever your specific purpose for each campaign, Facebook’s complex algorithms can help you achieve your advertising goals in an affordable way.


However, it’s important to go into social media advertising with care. Make sure you have a strategy planned out in advance before you start pouring money into ads on social platforms.


3. Don’t Forget Local SEO

Did you know that 72 percent of consumers who perform a Google search for a product or service they need visit a store within five miles of their location? This is exactly why improving your local search engine optimization is a key element of digital advertising.


Local search marketing has never been more important, and fortunately it’s one of the easiest, most affordable ways to dramatically boost your business’s online success. Make sure your website’s content is optimized with keywords that target your local area, keep your Google My Business listing up-to-date at all times, and get your business listed in online directories so customers always know how and where to find you.


And remember: if there are other local businesses that offer adjacent products or services for a similar target audience as yours (but aren’t your direct competitors), consider partnering with them on a co-branded advertising campaign. You can promote each other on social media, your seasonal email campaigns, or in your blog post to help each other dominate the local market.


4. Start a Monthly Blog

Writing a blog for your auto shop’s website might sound unusual for the auto service industry, but it’s genuinely one of the best ways to advertise your business effectively online. Nearly 80 percent of companies that use blogs in their marketing strategies have acquired customers as a direct result of their blogs.


While your first idea of blogging might be journaling or posting business updates, blog posts can be so much more. Blogging helps auto service shops gain visibility online by:

  • Offering engaging content for interested readers
  • Producing an average of 67% more leads each month over competitors without a blog
  • Targeting particular keywords
  • Promoting more engagement from your current and potential customers
  • Creating more link support for inbound and external links
  • Providing more material for social media posts
  • Enabling your business to stand out as a thought leader
  • Keeping people on your website longer


The price you pay and the amount of content you want for your blog is entirely up to you and your marketing budget. If you want to write your own blog posts for your auto shop, the cost depends on how you value your time. If you want to pay a professional copywriter to write it, you may spend a few hundred dollars per post. Do your research and decide what works best for your auto shop’s online advertising strategy.


5. Update or Expand Your Website

Whether you’ve had your auto shop website up and running for years or you’ve just hit publish, you can always add new sections to it to increase visitor engagement and enhance user experiences. One of the best ways to see what you can do with your website is to check out local competitors’ websites or regional leaders’ sites for inspiration. Do they do anything better than you’re doing already?

Some other ideas for new features or sections to your auto shop’s website include

  • Careers page if you’re ready to hire new employees
  • Testimonials page for highlighting positive customer reviews
  • Social media feed to show your latest posts on social platforms
  • Resources page to link visitors to helpful content like instructional videos
  • Team/About Us page to tell your auto shop’s story or brag about your talented team
  • Schedule a Visit page to help your customers schedule a time to bring in their vehicles

Any time you update or expand your website, you can post updates on Facebook or Twitter to let your followers know they should check it out. By doing so, you can truly get your money’s worth out of the new changes.


Did you find any of these ideas for money-saving digital advertising strategies helpful? At Castrol, we’re always looking to help auto shops like yours expand your offerings and bring in more business than ever. We believe that driving new customers to your business and keeping them for the long-term is exceptionally important – that’s why we proudly offer Castrol Premium Programs to help you Attract and Retain customers.