Marketing isn’t rocket science; it just feels that way until you discover that there is a proven formula that will make you successful. This formula does require strategic thinking, positioning, consistency, determination, branding, and the integration of marketing automation. But if you break it down one step at a time you can successfully reach more customers and sell more heavy-duty parts.
A quick note for repair shop owners, this article is designed specifically for heavy-duty parts stores, but the principles apply for you as well. If you would like to read an article specifically for you check out this article from Fullbay.
Okay, let’s talk about the 6 steps to marketing a heavy-duty parts store.
Step 1: Strategic Thinking
You need to understand who the potential customer is, why they are searching online for a heavy-duty parts store, and how they are going to search for heavy-duty parts stores.
I’m going to assume that most of the local repair shops and fleets already know who you are and are regularly visited by your Sales Account Managers. You probably also have flyers printed and distribute them at the counter and with your delivery drivers and salespeople. Perhaps you also email these flyers out to your customers.
It’s unlikely that these existing customers are searching for you online unless they’re checking to see when your store hours are, or they can’t remember your exact address or phone number.
Tip: Make sure your Google Business Profile, Facebook Page, and any other “business page” is up to date with your business hours, your address and your phone number.
Your marketing efforts must be designed to maintain the business that you already have by providing useful information, but it also must be designed to reach new customers.
Who is searching for a heavy-duty parts store?
Typically, three scenarios come to mind:
Scenario 1: A truck driver is passing through your city and they need to buy something. They’re unfamiliar with the area and they use Google (or another search engine) to search for a heavy-duty parts store.
Scenario 2: A mobile mechanic was sent to repair a broken-down truck or trailer and they’re searching for the nearest store to the repair location.
Scenario 3: A new repair shop is being set up by someone who is not from the immediate area and they’re researching available heavy-duty parts suppliers.
How do you attract these potential customers in these specific scenarios?
Step 2: Positioning
It’s critical that when people search for heavy-duty parts stores in your geographical area, they find your store.
At the top of most Google searches for a business, you’ll see a section with a list of businesses. You want to make sure that you’re on that list by keeping your Google Business Profile up to date.
If you scroll down, you will see organic search results.
Your goal should be to get into the top spot for the keywords “heavy-duty parts store (your city or town)” which will result in more people selecting your store first.
At the very least you want to get on to the first page of results and then you can work your way up the list by implementing the steps in this article.
Tip: These search results are called “organic search results” because they’re considered free because you didn’t have to pay Google to be placed there.
You may also want to pay for ads which will help you attract more potential customers.
These ads can be placed by Google at the top or at the bottom of the page.
In order to have your ads show up, you will need to set up a Google Ads Account to participate in this form of Pay-per-Click or PPC advertising.
Tip: Google is the most important search engine that you want to focus on, but you also want to follow the same strategy on other search engines.
Step 3: Consistency
You’re in constant competition to be at the top of the organic search results. Because of this, you’re going to want to start thinking about search engine optimization, SEO for short, on your website.
Tip: Your website will perform best if it opens quickly. Learn more about website speed.
To do this, you’ll need to put yourself in the mindset of your customers. When typing in the search bar, what keywords will they use? Start by making a list of common keywords to target. I personally use two tools to help me with this; Ubersuggest and Internet Marketing Ninjas. These tools allow you to analyze your competitor’s website URLs and see what keywords they are targeting.
Another way to find keywords to target is to enter a common Google search, this will automatically suggest related searches, and those can become additional keywords that you target. This is a great way to find keywords that may not have been on your competitors’ radar.
Now that you’ve done keyword research you can start to think about a content strategy for your website first, then your social media platforms.
Getting back to your website, the best way to improve the ranking of your website is to demonstrate to Google that your website is the best resource for the people who are searching for the keywords you’ve selected.
You do this in two ways:
- Consistently writing content on your website that is relevant and uses those keywords.
- Linking to other industry-relevant websites and having them link back to you.
We can help each other out here. Send my team an email informing me that you have linked to my content and I’ll link back to your website by writing an article and mentioning you.
The most important thing here is consistency. Search engines like to see fresh, relevant, and industry-supported content on a website.
Your content must be produced on a schedule that you stick to no matter what. For example, my podcast The Heavy-Duty Parts Report releases episodes every Monday at 3:00 am MST. Another example is this blog, we publish an article every second Tuesday at 3:00 am MST.
This brings us to our next step.
Step 4 – Determination
Marketing your business is a marathon.
You’ll follow all these steps for a period and do everything right and perhaps see little to no improvement in lead generation or an increase in sales. It’s exactly at this point that your competition will quit, and you will have an opportunity.
There is something called “the hockey stick curve” which in the context of digital marketing refers to a long period of no results followed by a sharp exponential period of growth.
You’re already determined to outperform your competition by supplying your customers with faster service and high-quality parts, be determined to outperform them with consistent, higher quality content.
Step 5 – Branding
Consistency plays a role in the way that you advertise your business across offline and online mediums.
Your brand must be consistent, and it must immediately communicate to your potential customers what you’re all about.
This means that you must carefully select your logo, your colors, and the communication style that you use. As a business colleague of mine says, “Keep it simple because simple is hard enough.”
I would like to think that my brand is consistent. We use the same blue, green, white, and black colors in everything we produce. We focus on serving the heavy-duty parts industry and we encourage fleets and truck operators to focus on cost-per-mile over purchase price by buying high-quality parts.
What is your brand and what message do you communicate?
It’s time to review your current marketing and if you need to update things like your letterhead, business cards, website, and social media platforms, now is the time to do it before you invest time and money into something that will have to be changed down the road.
Step 6 – Marketing Automation
You’re very busy so you should leverage automation tools as much as possible but only after you’ve done the work and built a strong marketing foundation.
One example is the automation that I’ve created on my website.
When you land on the home page you are invited to sign up to my newsletter.
This link redirects people to a landing page where they enter their contact information including; email address, first name, last name, and company.
When they enter this information, they receive a two-step authentication email that makes sure I have the legal right to send them emails.
Once they have confirmed that they want to be subscribed to my list their contact information is stored on an email list in my email client and is automatically stored in my Customer Relationship Management software. Once on my email list, I can send regular emails with email sequences that are also automated.
You can also schedule social media posts so that they are posted at specific dates and times. I personally use Buffer and the scheduling features on Facebook.
All this happens automatically with marketing automation.
Successfully marketing your heavy-duty parts store involves taking the time to think about your ideal customer, making sure that you are well-positioned on search engines, consistently producing valuable content, being determined to outperform your competition, creating a consistent brand, and leveraging automation tools.
If you would like to learn more about how you can grow your heavy-duty parts business, I’ve developed a signature service called the Prospect’s Pathway which brings your sales and marketing teams together and creates the most direct path from prospect to customer.