How to Build Brand Awareness for Auto Dealerships and Repair Shops

Whether an auto dealership or repair shop, brand awareness drives consumers' loyalty and decisions when comparing companies by encouraging repeat customers and purchases. As the first step in the marketing funnel, brand awareness refers to people's ability to recognize and consider your business when the need arises.

These are industry-specific strategies auto dealerships and repair shops can utilize to increase brand awareness online to drive more sales, foot traffic and repeat customers:

Brand awareness

1. Keep Online Listings Updated

According to, as many as 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, and 90% of consumers used the internet to find a local business in the last year. The internet is essentially a digital phone book - and you want potential customers to find your business along with the latest information regarding hours, location, news and more.

In addition to creating more brand awareness, online listings also enhance your business' online presence while improving local visibility. Over the last couple years, business hours may have fluctuated from the norm and updating online listings became one of the best ways to keep customers in the loop.

Examples of online listings and directories to update include:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Angi (previously Angie's List)
  • Prime Buyer's Report
  • YP (previously The Real Yellow Pages)
  • RepairPal
  • Partner sites like American Automobile Association (AAA)
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)

2. Get Social

Create social media pages for your brand and post regularly. Even if you do not personally spend very much time on social media, the average consumer is using these platforms regularly. According to, 55% of consumers learn about new brands on social media, and 68% agree social media enables them to interact with companies and brands.

Furthermore, after having a positive experience with a company through social media, 78% of consumers are willing to buy from them. Research daily trending hashtags and how to tie them into your product or service offerings to increase your social organic reach and engagement with potential customers.

people checking their social media accounts on their phones
Person checking their business reviews on their phone

3. Ask for Reviews (and reply!)

With most consumers turning to the internet and social media to learn more about a company, online reviews also play a massive part in brand awareness. Did you know the average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before deciding?

According to BrightLocal on a recent article, 82% of consumers read online business reviews and 91% say positive reviews make them more likely to use a business. Of course, word of mouth is always an excellent way to garner new business, but 76% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from their friends and family.

So, the question becomes, how do you get customers to take the time to leave a (hopefully positive) review? There is no shame in point-blank asking for an online review. After a positive service appointment, consider highlighting the information on the bill of service, or give a card or slip of paper with the appropriate information.

4. Invest in SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important components of a digital marketing strategy. When a consumer performs an internet search, the search engine combs through its catalogue of subject matter for content that solves the searcher's query and ranks the results in the order it deems appropriate - and this is where SEO matters.

According to, 91.5% of consumers click on findings from the first page of results. Optimizing your website's content to rank on the first page through key words, key phrases and relevant content can increase clicks, brand awareness and, ultimately, sales.

Ways to improve SEO include publishing relevant, informational content regularly (think blogs and web copy with key words and phrases), make sure all meta data is updated as the site changes over time, post link-worthy text (write out website links, rather than "Click Here" as it holds no search engine value) and use alternative text descriptions (alt tags) to allow search engines to locate and rank your page for accessibility.

SEO Rocket lifting off out of a laptop screen illustration

As the new and used car industry continues to change, now is the perfect time to focus on brand awareness and be top of mind for consumers. Beyond the brand awareness strategies detailed above, a variety of marketing, sales and service materials are available at to deck your car lot or service center out in any season. Read more tips on the US Auto Supply Resources page.

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