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When it comes to branding, it’s still all about impressions and getting your message to the right audience. The goal is to brand your name into the customers’ psyche, so that when someone says “body shop” or “car accident” they think of you, immediately and even sub-consciously. When I think of burgers I think of In ‘N Out and when I think of nice cars, my mental Rolodex goes now to Tesla (used to be Mercedes). I don’t consciously do it, my brain does all the work—and that’s called effective branding.
To make your name the go-to brand for collision repair in your area means you have to hammer away at your branding efforts all the time. Many body shops have gravitated away from things such as e-mail marketing, broadcast advertising and direct mail to put their money into online remarketing. So, what exactly is remarketing and how does it work?
The world of online advertising is a whole new game, as marketing people get more sophisticated about the delivery of their branding messages. Remarketing allows you to show ads to consumers who have previously visited your website or used your mobile app. When people leave your website, remarketing helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads as they browse the web, use mobile apps, or do searches on Google, Bing, etc.
The websites on which your ads will appear can be found by browsing through over 2 million websites and mobile apps that are part of the Google Display Network, for example. Automotive sites, insurance sites and sites belonging to popular companies in your region are ideal. Any company doing online marketing can assist you in designating websites that are affordable for your needs and are most likely to attract people who have previously visited your site.
Pricing for remarketing ads revolves around automated bid strategies like target CPA and ROAS. Real-time bidding calculates the optimal bid for the person viewing your ad, thereby helping you to win the ad auction with the best possible price. There's no extra cost to use Google's auction, because it’s totally based on what the market will bear. Web sites with heavy traffic may not be ideal for you, because they will cost you too much per impression. But, by using a strategy and sticking to it, such as choosing sites that are more targeted for your shop, you can get your price of each impression down to a very affordable level.
Luke Middendorf, a Marketing Consultant at WSI Connect in Concord, CA, believes that dynamic remarketing offers a lot of options for any business that wants to push their brand online.
“Remarketing is an ideal vehicle for the collision repair industry, because it keeps your name on the users’ computers or smart devices," he explained. "We know from research that 96% of the time people visit a website and then don’t complete an action. With remarketing, we can track them once they’ve visited your site and then follow them as they go to other sites. We can more specifically targeted them and hopefully re-connect with them several times, if possible. We know they showed some level of interest in your company because they looked at your site, so remarketing keeps them in the loop and leverages your brand over and over again. It’s all about targeting and re-engaging your audience, because frequency is crucial.”
David Moore, the owner of Collision Websites in Tulsa, OK sees definite value in remarketing for automotive repair companies, because branding is king in any service-related industry.
“Obviously, getting your car fixed is not an impulse buy, like purchasing products such as clothing, electronics or food online,” Moore explained. “Remarketing is an ideal way to leverage your brand over and over again and it allows for fairly precise targeting. If you’re looking for women between the ages of 20-30, you can easily devise a plan to reach them. With remarketing, you already know that they have some interest in your shop, because they’ve visited your site once or more in the past. You’re reemphasizing your message, so it’s more powerful than as if you’re trying to reach people for the first time. They know your name already, so in a way you’ve done half the work in advance.”
There are several ways to remarket your shop online using remarketing techniques:
- Standard remarketing: Show ads to your past visitors as they browse through select websites you select.
- Dynamic remarketing: Show dynamic ads to past visitors with products and services they viewed on your website as they browse through sites you’ve selected.
- Remarketing for mobile apps: Show ads to people who have used your mobile app or mobile website as they use other mobile apps or browse other mobile websites.
- Remarketing lists for search ads: Show ads to your past visitors as they do follow-up searches for what they need on Google, after leaving your website.
- Video remarketing: Show ads to people who have interacted with your videos or YouTube channel as they use YouTube and browse through videos, websites and apps you’ve designated.
For companies that aren’t running sales or promotions and are simply trying to get their name out there on a regular basis, remarketing online is one of the best and newest ways to do it. Start with a small budget to test the waters and gauge the response, but if you’re doing any online marketing or advertising online, remarketing may be the ideal way to tell them once and then tell them again.