Running a Shop Tech+Tools

Three Free Tech Tools to Boost Business

Order Reprints

SHOP STATS: 10 Minit Oil Change, LLC  Location: Fort Myers, Fla.  Operator: John Joback  Average Daily Car Count: 46  Staff Size: 6  Shop Size: 1,600 sq. ft. Ticket Average: $100

It’s a digital world now—we’re just living in it. And at this point, it’s where you have to be, according to Olivia Hensley, founder of Smart Marketing.

“There’s all sorts of things we could do to market, but the reality is, that’s where they are,” Hensley says. “When you have limited resources, you are going to cast your net where you get the most amount of fish.”

It’s not just about your business being on different digital platforms—it’s how you use these platforms that will make or break your business growth. John Joback, owner of 10 Minit Oil Change in Fort Myers, Fla. does all of his own marketing, and in his own unique ways.

Since taking over the failing 10 Minit Oil Change from the previous owner only 1.5 years ago and utilizing these tools, he’s almost tripled business revenue. On top of this, his sales went up 119 percent.

“With the amount of traffic and attention [the videos] are getting, no one else is doing that in the automotive and oil change industry,” Joback says.

If you aren’t ready to hire someone to do the work, there are free tools out there for business owners to utilize that’ll get the job done. Yes, there are email marketing, newsletters and blogs, but have you thought about trying these options?

 

Social Media

Connecting with Your Customers

Building a relationship with your customers is an important part of marketing, and social media serves this purpose. Hensley says posting content, an ad or not, helps your shop stay on the top of a customer’s mind. In essence, posting on your Facebook page, for example, is like free advertisement. For example, when a customer sees a post or two from your Facebook page, they may not need a service at that moment, but when they do, your shop will be the first one that comes to mind.

So, when it comes to social media, it’s important to post regularly with eye-catching content.

“It’s invaluable advertising,” Hensley says.

Through Facebook and other social media platforms, Joback engages with employees to keep his business at the top of their mind.

“Facebook and social media are cheap when it comes to what you get in value,” Joback says. “Engagement is the No. 1 thing to turn social media into cash.”

Because most everyone posts their information and what they’re up to on social media, Joback can engage with his customers in more personal ways, like sending messages to customers on their birthday, or reaching out when he sees a customer is having a bad day. By engaging with them, Joback says you are helping your chances of getting them into your shop.

 

Google

Becoming the Authority

If you want to gain lots of traffic to your site, Google is your go-to app. To prove her point, she says about 93 percent of people utilizing search engines in the world are using Google as their platform. And that’s the point; Google is meant to gain traffic and send the right customers to the right locations.

Google and Google Maps go hand-in-hand. Hensley says when you need something, you say, “OK, Google, show me oil changes near me.” The shops that pop up are paid advertisements, but a lot of times, Google map listings pop up.

And usually, a customer is going to choose the first shop that pops up with the most information. Hensley says it’s essential to fill out your Google listing. If it isn’t filled out, there isn’t a complete picture of what they are getting.

“There’s nothing very emotional about getting an oil change, but if I had to choose a listing that had nothing on it versus 90 reviews, had pictures, and says it has WiFi, I’m going there,” Hensley says.

Need help figuring out what a relevant ad looks like? Google can also show you how. Hensley says Google has a lot of resources available on the backend of their platform that people may or may not be aware of that can help with pay-per-click functions and ads that you are running.

For instance, Google has a free, online analytics academy where you can learn how to utilize analytics, including pay-per-click and tagging tools. The Google Analytics Academy teaches you how the platform works, utilize report, even how to track and measure your campaign ads.

 

Video

Standing Out from the Crowd

With everyone doing direct mail and coupons, it can be hard to differentiate your shop from all the others. Making video advertisements is not only engaging with your customer, it’s a unique approach. The best part? It’s completely free of charge.

In fact, videos are one of Joback’s biggest sellers. After watching realtors make videos on Facebook about houses on the market, he thought, “Why can’t I do the same?”

Soon, he started making his own videos of himself out in front of his shop. Using his phone, he’s front and center in the shot, displaying the shop’s logo in the background, talking about the shop’s promotions. His most popular promotion? A video to win a free $20 bill. The winner is the first person to come to the business and grab it. Without the money having any connection to the oil change shop, most people have taken it to spend on an oil change.

“One person took the $20 to get an oil change and it turned into a $200 ticket,” Joback says.

His videos have each gained between 1,000 and 5,300 views. That video in particular is one introducing all of the shop’s staff in a completely unique way. With a couple YouTube tutorials on how to use iMovie under his belt, he created a dramatic, suspenseful promo that, to be honest, felt more like a movie preview than a quick lube ad.

“Everyone does direct mail coupons, and they don’t always work like they used to, so you have to provide value in other ways,” Joback says.

 

WordStream

A Source of Information

Learning how to advertise effectively is important in being successful with your marketing tactics. If you’re not too keen on marketing tactics, WordStream will help get you there. Created by Neil Patel, who Wall Street Journal calls a “top influencer of the web,” the platform works as a guide to free tools and digital marketing advice. Hensley says the data the site produces is statistically reliable and has become one of her favorite resources that her own company uses. 

“In its hiatus, it probably managed 10 percent of all Google ads,” Hensley says.

WordStream is a paid resource if you utilize their marketing services, advisors, and consultants, but there is a free tool to help evaluate your current advertisements—one of Hensley’s favorite parts of the site. The AdWords Grader is a free evaluation tool that will provide a  final grade for your overall Google ads, Facebook ads and your site’s landing page performance.

Related Articles

Three Questions for a Fresh Shop Facelift

Case Study: There's More to a Google Listing Than You Think

How I Did It: How to Manage the Unmanageable

You must login or register in order to post a comment.