A small carwash seems to be a great business idea. Since it offers services that every auto-owner can benefit from, it will easily attract customers. You may even be able to skip marketing because motorists will see your car wash the moment they drive past it anyway. As such, they’ll be aware of your business instantly. But will that really be the case?
Probably not. Like any business, regardless of size, a carwash also requires a marketing strategy. Sure, the residents in your town can immediately see it the moment you open. In fact, they may have already heard of it weeks before the start of your operations. Word-of-mouth spreads quite fast in a small town, especially if you’re friends and acquaintances with everybody. But that isn’t a reason to skip or skimp on marketing.
Your small car wash will also benefit from common digital marketing strategies, such as social media and user-generated content. But before we delve into those, familiarize yourself with these marketing basics first:
Define Your Target Market
Defining your target market is the first step to creating a marketing plan. You can’t execute a marketing strategy without knowing who you’re specifically catering to. In the case of a small car wash, the target market is likely the auto-owners based in its location. But that’s still too broad; you have to be more specific in determining your target demographics.
Rather than a target market, the auto-owners of your town are your current customer base. As such, you’re going to treat them as a foundation for determining your actual target market. You have to identify your current customer base’s characteristics and interests. Which ones bring in the most business into your carwash? The people like them will likely generate revenue, too.
After accomplishing that task, find out the target market of your competitors. Don’t go after that market; many businesses think targeting the same market as their competitors is the correct way to gain revenue. But you might miss out on something bigger if you do that, which is finding a niche in the market that your competitors have overlooked.
Next, analyze your services. A full-service carwash usually includes mechanical washes, manual washes, or a combination of both. Interior cleaning may also be offered. Determine the benefits of each of your services, and find out who will likely find value in them. Once done, start profiling your market with the following information about them:
- Income level
- Educational attainment
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
You can also consider their psychographics, which focuses on these characteristics:
Your target market’s psychographics is crucial if you want your services to suit their lifestyles, not just their income and jobs. Plus, you can use their psychographics to develop a solid social media marketing strategy, which we’ll start discussing below.
Social Media Marketing for a Small Carwash Business
- Practice Transparency About Your Offerings
So, you’re offering a full-service carwash — but how? When you post on social media, include the comings and goings of your services. How do you perform a manual carwash, and what equipment do you use? Demonstrate the service by showing off your facility and the sophisticated equipment you use, like high-quality self-contained wash bays. When your target sees that you pride yourself in stellar equipment and customer service, they’ll come to trust your business and potentially become loyal customers.
- Encourage User-generated Content
These days, people are already skeptical of hard-selling tactics and celebrity endorsers. So instead of spending money on advertising, encourage user-generated content. Such is considered content marketing gold because 85% of internet users find them more persuasive than brand photos or videos.
In social media, user-generated content is posts made by your customers. You can encourage it by creating a buzz about your business, through a special opening promo, for example. If you offer a free complimentary service for your first 10 customers, the lucky early birds will likely post their experience on their social media pages. They may also pin your carwash’s location on the post. Once their peers see it, they’ll be interested in checking out your shop, allowing you to gain more customers and increase brand awareness.
- Track Your Social Media ROI
Tracking return on investment (ROI) is essential in determining whether your marketing strategy is working. If you’re primarily marketing on social media, monitor the engagement your posts are receiving. How many likes do each post garner? What about shares or retweets? Study the comments section, too. Set goals for each post, and if you’re not meeting them, change up your strategy. Don’t spend money on boosting your posts when they’re clearly not working.
The indicator of a successful social media marketing strategy is gaining customers that discovered your carwash through social media. So tailor your posts according to your target market’s tastes, and your small business will meet its goals shortly.