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Marketing Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

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These are definitely trying times, as we all try to navigate an uncertain business world during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s awesome to see everyone support each other the best we can.

One way our marketing company is helping body shops these days is by utilizing geofencing. We’re using geofencing to basically put their ads in front of their customers as they’re looking for collision repair.

During the last few weeks, we’ve been receiving a ton of phone calls from shop operators looking into geofencing, because they’ve seen a slowdown in walk-in traffic. So, what we’re able to do as part of the geofencing is called “keyword targeting,” where, whenever a consumer is searching online, if they’re searching for “collision repair near me,” we can start having our client’s ads trigger and show to them. 

And, in the last few weeks, we’ve seen a huge increase in website visits, and people doing those searches. So, this is a really good time for shop owners to shine. 

GEOFENCING 101

To explain the term “geofencing” a little further, picture an electronic dog fence around someone’s yard. We do that around the roof line, or the property, of competitors. So, if our client has a shop in Tennessee and they have 20 competitors within their area, we basically go online and have a software system that allows us to put a fence around that so that, when people are showing up to get an estimate on their vehicle at their competitors’ locations, location services, which is just running in the background of our cellphones nearly all the time. It fuels our Google listings and it’s how GPS works. It’ll basically ‘ping’ that fence that customers are there, and then, at that point, as our computer software knows to start serving ads for our body shop to that person, because we know they’re in the market for collision repair. 

After that, let’s say they went to a competitor and got an estimate, and now our clients’ ads are starting to show up on their phone or their computer. And then, quite often, they end up going into our clients’ shop.

At the end of the month, we have a report that shows how many people saw those ads, how many people clicked on them, which would take them to their website, and then how many people were converted, which means they were in the competitors’ location and then came into their body shop. 

KEYS FOR GEOFENCING EFFECTIVELY

The number one place you’ll want to put “fences” around is always your competitors’ body shops. It’s also ideal to put a fence around dealerships and make sure that the people going in there know that you’re certified to repair their vehicle. 

We also see a really good return on doing insurance offices.

We can also tailor all of our clients’ ads to talking about pre- and post-repair cleaning, pre-pick up, mobile estimates. You can put all that in those ads, so that people looking for collision repair know that. 

THE VALUE OF GEOFENCING

With traditional marketing, you’re just throwing messages out there, hoping that the person that receives them is looking for collision repair. When you use geofencing, you’re only serving ads to those people that we know are either searching for collision repair on their phones, or they’re actually stepping foot into other body shops or dealerships.

So that’s a really good way to make sure that your marketing dollars are going to the right person. Typically, a geofencing campaign, run by a third-party marketing company, starts at $1,500 per month.

We have multiple clients right now that have seen an average of 35 to 45 conversions per month. That means it was 35 to 45 people that were inside those other geofenced, competitors’ body shops, and then ended up coming to them. So, if you do the math, based on average close rate, they’ve more than paid for the campaign and profit from that.

This is one of those times where customers are taking care of some of their vehicle repairs. So, it’s been an awesome way to sort of see our clients pick up more business the last few weeks than they were before that.

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