Anything you did was pretty much tangible. It probably involved sending out fliers or maybe a spot in the Yellow Pages or a local paper. If you were a real high roller, you might’ve gotten yourself an ad on the radio or television.
Then came the internet.
Within a few short decades we’ve gone from flipping through the Yellow Pages to doing a Google (or Bing, if that’s your style) search on your phone. You can find any service you need, usually within a short drive. That’s incredibly important for truck drivers and fleet managers, who often need maintenance and repairs while on the go. And because it’s important to them, it’s important to you, the repair shop owner—because you want these folks to find you.
One of the keys to gaining that kind of visibility is paid media. Those are the ads you see on social media, search engines, and more. They’re really, really valuable to the repair shop that wants to score more customers…but they tend to require a specific skill set that usually doesn’t have anything to do with turning wrenches.
So what’s a shop owner to do?
Well, you can hire a paid media specialist to help you get a cut of that traffic, so to speak. Here’s what to look for.
WHAT IS A PAID MEDIA SPECIALIST?
Before we go any further, let’s point out that the main title we’re using isn’t the only one out there. You may also see these fine folks called search specialists, media managers, PPC strategists, and so on. The duties may also vary by position and company, so keep that in mind as you read this.
This person—whatever you end up calling them—will deal with any platform that offers “pay-per-click” (or PPC) options, which means you pay for your ads when someone clicks on them. They may also work on CPM (impressions, or cost per mille) and PPL (pay per leads).
You can find these options on all kinds of platforms, including:
- Yahoo! (yes, they’re still kickin’)
So, your paid media specialist will:
- Build ads that best describe your shop and your services—they’ll develop an innate understanding of what you and your techs offer.
- Explore the advertising and offerings of your competition to make sure your ads stack up.
- They’ll utilize keywords that will help your ads target the most relevant users (your future customers). They’ll also know how to use negative keywords to shoo away users who aren’t interested in your shop’s services (people looking for Diesel clothing instead of diesel repair, for example).
- Stay within the various constraints of the platforms they run on. Each platform described above (along with all the others) has its own specific limitations…and those sometimes change.
- Plan campaigns based on your allocated budget—and hopefully stick within that budget. You may have only a few campaigns running at a time…or you might have a bunch going. Your PPC person is gonna be managing all of them.
- Analyze data to make sure they can build on what’s working and make adjustments to what isn’t.
The cool thing about a paid search person (well—one of the cool things) is that they can just do their thing on their own or operate within the context of a larger team. So, if you’ve got an email person, a marketing manager, and a media manager, these folks can all work together to make sure your campaigns are firing on all cylinders.
If, however, you can only afford one or two marketing people, take a long look at a paid media specialist. Digital marketing, when done right, can give you a lot of return for a comparatively low investment. The right hire can put your shop in front of a lot of eyes.
WHAT SKILLS SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN A PAID MEDIA SPECIALIST?
Despite all the changes the internet has brought, one thing hasn’t changed: ads require creative writing. Your search person doesn’t need to be a poet laureate or an English major, but the ability to write cleanly and clearly is a must. You’ll also want to look for someone who believes that brevity is the soul of wit, which is a fancy, Shakespearian way of saying Keep it short and simple.
Most platforms you’ll be using for paid media have length limitations. Your ads need to fit the maximum amount of information in a minimal amount of space…and they have to catch the reader’s eye.
You’ll also want someone who is analytical, or at least possesses the ability to review and interpret analytics from various platforms. Google Ads and Bing in particular are not always incredibly intuitive for the layman, so experience and/or certifications in this area will go far.
Equally important is the ability to manage budgets, perform keyword research, conduct A/B testing (to see what’s working and what’s not), and analyze what your competitors are doing.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY A PAID MEDIA SPECIALIST?
Salary.com says most paid media people earn between $70,047 and $98,121. You’ll find variances based on location and how much experience the person you hire has under their belt.
HOW DO I HIRE A PAID MEDIA SPECIALIST?
Hiring a media specialist is similar to hiring a tech, an office manager, and other roles. You decide what skills and experience level you’re looking for, how much you’re willing to pay for them, and post an ad.
Ta-da! Now all you need to do is interview.
If you’re friendly with other shops in your area who have done some experimenting with marketing, try chatting with them about how they hired their people. Marketers of all stripes know other marketers, and many are pleased to recommend one another to shops.
If you’re not quite up to speed on all this PPC stuff yourself—hey, you’re spinning wrenches, not throwing ads on Google—then you’ll want to look for someone with a) more experience and b) lots of recommendations.
IS THAT GONNA BE EXPENSIVE?
Well…probably. Good work isn’t cheap. And yeah, it’s someone else to manage. Oh, and you’ll probably need to teach this person—whoever they are—something about commercial diesel repair so they can actually sell your shop somewhat effectively.
If putting in all that extra work (and making adjustments to payroll) doesn’t seem incredibly appetizing, there’s always the Dieselmatic route. Your digital advertising will be in the hands of our pay-per-click team, who will craft ad campaigns that will bring customers right to your bays. They’re absolute experts at Google Ads and social media advertising—both places you’ll want to be. And a Dieselmatic starter plan is way, way less than you’d pay a standalone or freelance media specialist per month. Plus, we’ll let you see exactly where your money is going, you can review everything we do—and your current ROI—right on our dashboard.
Oh, yeah, we also know a lot about diesel repair. We didn’t just pick that name out of a hat because it sounded cool (although it definitely does); when you go with us, you know your paid media person is going to understand your shop and your customers—and be able to connect you to them.
Want to know more? Curious about what else we offer? Get in touch! We love all things diesel marketing.