“WebArt has been working with tire dealers and automotive service businesses for more than a decade, so we’ve tested a variety of digital marketing tactics, and we’ve isolated what works for businesses of various sizes, based on their budgets and goals,” Timofeev said.
His advice starts with considering the perspective of the client’s business. Every tire shop carries similar brands, at similar price points, or offers the same menu of services as any other shop. What makes a business special, he explains, is why their customers continue to choose their shop over all the other shops out there. “We start by isolating what it is that they offer that’s better, different, or more valuable than their competitors. That perspective is what informs the messaging we put out in the digital sphere on behalf of the client.”
Since the website is the hub of a business’ digital presence, Timofeev suggests making it the priority. The design should be clean, the navigation well-organized, and the content informative. He says strong calls to action and contact forms will set your website up for success. “If you're going to buy advertising that directs people to your site, make it simple for those people to become customers. The best way to do that is to give them easy access to free estimates, special offers and online appointments."
Once your website is in order, you can embark on the strategies of publicizing it. WebArt has found that the most successful type of digital marketing for tire dealers is low-funnel tactics that yield quick results – search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising and local directory profiles / advertising. Timofeev says, "We've found that low-funnel customers want to know how they can save money with you and that you've been in business a long time, so your ads should address those needs."
For many businesses, the best place to start is with Google AdWords, especially if they’re working with a limited budget and aren’t ranking well in search engines. "If you haven't dominated the organic search engine results for keywords related to [your business], use Google AdWords until you can start ranking naturally in the search engines," Timofeev says.
When business starts to move in a positive direction, the dealer can supplement the marketing budget to support higher-funnel forms of online advertising.
"Online advertising is not cheap, but it doesn't have to be an additional investment," Timofeev adds. "Many of the tire dealers we work with have completely eliminated their Yellow Pages spend and invested all of that money online. None of our clients lost any business doing that; in fact, they all increased business by up to 300%.”
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