Approximately 25% of all automotive searches are parts, services, and maintenance related. With the right service combat strategy that includes effective digital marketing, you can boost your fixed ops.

Service takes a backseat to sales when it comes to marketing strategies at dealerships today. This article will discuss the best practices for how to perform a successful paid search, Facebook, and Gmail campaign to boost your fixed ops.

Inside the Dealership Perspective

Don’t let your dealership lose invaluable revenue by failing to take full advantage of potential sales for your service department. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association, light-vehicle dealerships wrote more than 310 million repair orders, with service and parts sales totaling more than $116 billion in 2018.

Some of the most common questions digital marketing decision makers ask (internally and externally) are:

  • Will the company managing our digital marketing drive traffic to our website effectively?
  • What’s new and different that is bringing in customer pay revenue from both inactive and active customers?
  • Do they set it and forget it? 
  • How effectively will they invest ad dollars?

Integrate the right service combat strategy that includes paid search, Gmail ads, and Facebook advertising. Learn how to stay on top of the latest consumer trends. The following tips will help you to reach your intended audience and boost your fixed ops today.

Components of a Good Digital Marketing Strategy

If your dealership doesn’t have a great digital marketing strategy for fixed ops in place, you’ll have a difficult time reaching your target audience.

There are three major components of an effective digital marketing strategy:

  • Deep data – You should receive an online analysis from your paid search or digital marketing provider to identify where you should be marketing to bring service customers back to your dealership. These providers should advise you on what offers would bring customers to your door.
  • Marketing strategy – A good paid search marketing strategy can optimize your efforts and increase your ROI as you reach your audience.
  • Campaign management – Your digital marketing provider should deliver excellent support and management to help you reach all your goals.

Do a comprehensive review of your current digital marketing strategy to ascertain whether your provider is meeting your deep data, strategy, and campaign management needs. 

How to Stay on Top of the Latest Consumer Trends

Arm your digital arsenal with the right service combat strategy that coincides with the latest consumer trends like paid search, Facebook, and Gmail — with paid search being the top conversion strategy.

  1. Deep data – You should always use your DMS customer data for your digital marketing.
  2. Online analysis – Demand online data from your digital marketing provider.

If you are going to advertise services and specials, you need a comprehensive online analysis to identify what your competition is doing. This information will enable you to be competitive with your bid strategy and offers.

DMS Data

An effective digital marketing provider will use the customer information in your DMS data and use their technology to upload it to Google AdWords. This strategy allows the provider to get broader with the keywords they are bidding on.

So, for known customers in your database who are completing generic searches such as “oil change near me”, your dealership can serve an ad that meets that relevant search.

This conquesting reactivation tool can increase your customer retention level since most of your customers are likely completing such generic searches.

You can upload data for customers who haven’t been to your service department for nine to 15 months to reduce your service defection rate.

Online Data

Online data is critical to the effectiveness of service campaign management. Your dealership may be considering doing a break, alignment, or oil change special.

Before those campaigns begin, you should do your research with an online analysis, which — as an example — would include a generic search of “oil change near me”, so you can see what your competitors are doing for this same keyword search.

The analysis should include the zip codes that have been analyzed and what the competitor’s service offers were. Your dealership needs this analysis to be relevant and to provide a competitive offer.

If your competitor is offering an oil change for $29.95, you don’t want to offer one for $35.99. You want to either match or beat their price.

The Best Campaign Structure

Your campaign offers will become more relevant when you improve your campaign structure. Your ad copy will be closely related to the keywords searched by the customer when you run a granular campaign from the beginning.

For a service-only campaign, you’d have separate campaigns for oil changes, tires, and alignment, to break that content out to different ad groups and have varying copy for each search.

Optimizing Your Paid Search Efforts

Drive more customer attention or bring back inactive customers — and help with your dealership service defection rate — by using paid search. You want your dealership ad content to be relevant and available when people are searching online for parts, services, and maintenance.

A good paid search ad contains the following components:

  • Keywords: Mention the keyword in the H1 heading and the ad copy. The exact keywords searched show in bold on the SERP and add to your quality score.
  • Callouts: You can add more text, such as the local area, to the ad by using callout extensions that are similar to sitelinks without actually linking anywhere. 
  • Structured snippets: Display special features of your products or services with this ad extension that includes a header and a value listing.
  • Sitelinks: Take people to specific pages on your site with sitelink extensions.
  • Location: You can list your address, show a map to your location, or have the distance to your business listed with this location extension.
  • Price: List prices for services with this ad extension.

Adding these Google extensions to your ad doesn’t cost you extra, and they are of great value. 

Getting the Most Out of Facebook Advertising

For optimized conversion rates, it is important to create highly-targeted Facebook ads. You can customize your ads to increase the chances of reaching your target audience. Write unique content with relevant offers and continually monitor metrics to test the ad viability.

Taking Your Gmail Marketing to the Next Level

Maybe your dealership has done Facebook advertising and paid search, but you haven’t tried Gmail marketing yet. With this form of advertising for sales or service, you’ll likely have a higher conversion rate and bring customers in at a lower cost.

With this non-competitive advertising venue, you can upload that customer list and serve ads to them. Ads on Gmail have a similar look to an email in your customer’s inbox.

One benefit of this ad is that you can serve advertising content through Gmail to customers who have opted out of your email marketing list.

Driving Traffic to Your Dealership Website

The best strategy for increasing sales conversions is to drive traffic to your dealership’s website. However, increasing conversions for service campaigns doesn’t work as well when you drive traffic to your website since some of the offers are not always updated.

Many dealership websites are limited to one to two pages, with the service department only having one page. To maintain a high-quality score with Google, the content on the service page must align with the ad copy.

It is important to drive traffic to a webpage that contains the keywords, such as “oil change” for example, mentioned in the ad, and displayed prominently, so it’s visible as soon as the page opens. You don’t want the customer to visit the site and have to scroll down far to find the offer for the oil change.

If the offer is not visible above the fold of the webpage, the following will occur:

  • You will have a high bounce rate, which impacts SERP ranking, loss of conversions, and Google will make you pay more for that click.
  • Your quality score will drop due to the high bounce rate and the lack of relevancy of that page to the offer.

To decrease the bounce rate, pay less for the clicks, and improve the ad quality score, make sure you have a separate landing page that is relevant to the service offer.

Creating Landing Pages for Your Service Combat Strategy

Your coupon for the service special should always be above the fold, so it’s visible to customers as soon as they land on the page. You want to make the conversion process as simple as possible and improve the user experience (UX).

With the Google Ads call tracking, you can identify the number of leads that contacted your dealership after they saw or clicked on one of your paid search ads. The customer can print, email, or text the coupon and even schedule service from this landing page.

Create a 20 to 30-second video about what makes your dealership unique and display it on the landing page. This video would share key points on why customers should schedule a service appointment at your dealership.

Upsell opportunities should be listed below this video. The customer might have clicked the ad for an oil change, but now you may be able to sell them on a tire, a brake special, or other services. The customer can schedule these additional services or download coupons.

Service hours, directions to your dealership, and a form to complete for more information should be included at the bottom.

Integrate an Intelligent Bidding Strategy

Make sure you integrate an intelligent bidding strategy each month. Your account must be continually optimized so that you increase the conversion rate for your various ads.

If you see higher conversion rates on mobile than desktop, then more of your advertising budget could be allocated to mobile ads. If some zip codes are performing better, you could bid up or spend more of your budget in those locations.

The best conversion tool is phone calls, and some campaigns may get more of those than others. Make sure your digital marketing strategy is flexible for the best results.

Review Reporting Metrics for Better Conversions

Metrics for your campaigns are an invaluable tool that helps you understand how the campaign is doing and what you can change for a better conversion rate. The following are metrics that you should be able to review for service campaigns:

  • Online dashboard – It is important you have access to an online dashboard 24/7 to review metrics in real time.
  • Conversions – You should be able to see all conversions like phone calls, contact forms, website actions by date, and origination.
  • Attack vs. defend – The defend conversions are the DMS audience, and the attack conversions are the conquest customers.
  • Performance – You can see how well each campaign has performed.
  • Calls – Download and listen to all your calls
  • Ad copy – Review your ad copy and see the metrics for each one. 

Boost Your Fixed Ops Today

Reach your ideal audience by staying on top of the latest consumer trends and utilizing the best practices for advertising online. Boost your fixed ops with optimized digital marketing by working with J&L Marketing today.

We have been in the automotive space for nearly 30 years. We help dealers across tier 1, 2, and 3 levels with digital and direct marketing solutions. We are proud Google, Facebook, and Bing Partners and have recently become digital vendors for both Shell and Mopar.