Marketing in the offseason
Written by Steve Kouchis on August 8, 2019
Adwords, SEO, Website, Facebook, Door to door..... What's the correct path to take in the offseason?
The beauty of this PDR industry is that it can be super lucrative. During Hail season, it's very possible to earn hundreds of thousands per month. However, in the slow season, it can be hard to even keep the doors open or keep techs on staff. This can cause a whole host of issues...
The correct path to take in the offseason is to set yourself up for next season and use the tools at your disposal to capture the customers who didn't repair their cars during hail season.
When business is slow, it's easy to think you should save save save, but this is what your competition is doing. If you think differently, you will win. If you can put even a small percentage of your revenue from hail season into your off season marketing, this can mean an extra few cars per month during off season, and setting yourself up for the largest hail season you've ever had.
Let's talk about your website first.
The offseason is the perfect time to re-do your website! There's extra time available, and the last thing you want to do during hail season when your phone is ringing off the hook is worry about updating your webpage.
A clean professional website is the cornerstone of your brand, and can be the difference maker if a customer is choosing between you and your competition. 75% of customers will check out a business' webpage before choosing to work with them. If they don't like what they see, they'll call your competition, and you won't even know that you lost out on the business. That being said, putting your best foot forward is always a winning strategy.
Set your site up right, and it'll pay-off HUGELY come next hail season.
Next, we'll talk about investing in SEO.
SEO is the practice of ranking a website higher in google search results so when a customer searches for your service, you show up first above your competition. It's the new Yellow Pages.
SEO can be a great way to dominate your local market, however it takes months to rank for key terms like "dent repair near me" and "Hail repair + City." That being said, if you started your SEO efforts in April or May when business picks up, you might have to wait the entire hail season to see those rankings rise. This is why investing in SEO in the offseason can be a killer move to set yourself up for when the season kicks into gear.
A word about SEO- this strategy is best utilized by shop owners with a brick and mortar shop in a hot market like Colorado or parts of Texas. If you are in an area with low hail activity, there just won't be as much traffic on google search in the offseason. That being said, it is still nice to rank higher for search terms, but there may be better ways to use your offseason marketing budget.
Now I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Adwords here, as many people in the PDR industry use Adwords as their primary form of advertising. You can invest in Adwords in the offseason, however, expect to see much lower conversion rates and higher Cost Per Click. This is simply because people aren't hopping on google as much for hail repair in the offseason.
Along with this, I should mention that most people (about 90%) skip right past Google Ads and go to the organic search results- which is what SEO is for. This is another reason why ranking higher in Google using SEO is important, and can actually help as well during offseason times. (just make sure you're in a market that has high search volume year round.)
Lastly, I'll mention social media.
Social media is a HUGE winning strategy for staying top of mind in the offseason and nabbing a few extra cars per month. When I say social media, I am talking about both organic posting AND paid advertising. The nice thing about organic posting is it doesn't cost you anything. Just post each time you do a repair, and a few more times per week on top of that so you stay top of mind.
Now, the only downside of organic posting is that Facebook and Instagram limit your reach. You'll only reach about 1-2% of your followers with each organic post. However, with paid advertising, you can reach thousands of people per week. Like Adwords, costs will be higher in the offseason, but even getting one or two cars per month can offset the entire cost of your advertising campaign. Additionally, if you were to get a referral or two from each repair job, this can mean some nice offseason profits.
Additionally, setting up a referral program along with your online marketing efforts will definitely aid in getting more cars in the door.
If you want to hear more about these strategies, or discuss strategies for hail season, hop on a chat with us! We'd be more than happy to help devise a plan for you to smash hail season.
Steve Kouchis is the President of PushMoreDents.com. He and his team are experts in scaling PDR businesses to dominate hail season and maximize profits.
If you're interested in working with the PMD team, reach out and schedule your free strategy session today!
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