Digital marketing for a 4wd shop to grow sales of tours, products & services
Marketing consultant for small to medium business in Sydney
As I sit here, fingertips kissing the keys, a burning desire to share a revelation courses through my veins. A revelation not of mystic prophecies but of a simple, yet profound truth that I could turn your 4WD store into the talk of the town – nay, the entire Australian 4wd community!
I am the bearer of a message; a herald if you will, of the digital dawn that awaits to cast its golden hues upon your business, illuminating paths to riches you’ve only dared to dream of.
You see, I’ve danced this dance before. Walked this treacherous path where the terrains of the business world are as unpredictable as the rocky, untamed paths that only a 4WD can conquer. You, the revered 4WD store owner, are a master of equipping adventurers to tackle the wildest terrains of the Australian wilderness. But I ask you this – are you equipped to navigate the wild, untamed frontiers of the digital landscape?
I, my friend, am a Digital Marketing Consultant, a cartographer of the digital terrains. I’ve delved deep into the mystic lands of SEO, wrestled with the enigmatic creatures of social media marketing, and soared the expansive skies of content marketing. And now, I bring this arsenal of skills, not as a boastful conqueror, but as a humble servant to your cause.
Why should a craftsman like you, who has mastered the art of equipping off-roaders with the finest gear, venture into the uncharted lands of digital marketing alone?
The Internet is a beast, wild and untamed, but within it lies a treasure trove of customers, as vast and infinite as the starry Australian skies. Each click, each search, is a potential goldmine, waiting to be tapped. Without a seasoned guide, this landscape can be as unforgiving as the rugged terrains your 4WDs are built to conquer.
In this post, I’ll unveil secrets, not of ancient lore, but of digital strategies, tested and honed in the crucible of experience. Strategies that will transform your 4WD store from a local gem into a national treasure.
So, saddle up, brave soul. A journey of discovery, of conquest, of unimaginable growth awaits. Hand in hand, with your mastery of the 4WD world and my digital acumen, there are no frontiers we cannot conquer, no peaks we cannot scale.
Why did this 4wd shop want small business marketing consulting?
The owners of this 4WD shop in Sydney contracted my marketing consultant services for a six month period to grow the number of website visitors to their site, increase the volume of enquires for services and sell more 4WD tour bookings. After doing an analysis of their business operations I created a simple digital marketing strategy that included updating their WordPress website, improving the depth of information that was on their site, defining their unique point of difference vs other 4WD shops, adding new content & creating a framework they could use to continue adding tour, service or product information to their site.
The results speak for themselves, literally the most website traffic they have ever had to their site, the most they have ever sold online for their tours and the highest conversion rate of visitors placing enquiries about their 4WD shop services. Australians are obsessed with their four-wheel drives, with SUV/4WD-category sales accounting for more than half of the million vehicles sold across the country in 2021, and more than 5.5 million 4WDs currently on our nation’s roads.
I’ll explain below how I used various marketing tactics to achieve these outcomes.
Quite simply, they wanted to use a marketing consultant to find out how they could grow their business.
The owners of this 4WD shop in Sydney had left the franchise banner brand they had been trading under & decided to establish their own independent operation. They were enjoying good success with a loyal customer base, great looking 4WD retail shop in Sydney’s south west supported by a community of enthusiasts that loved doing tours.
When they left the franchise group they paid an automotive digital marketing agency to build a new website for the new brand they were creating, choosing them based on their experience in the 4WD industry sector. There are more than 2,100 4WD related businesses operating in Australia and according to the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association the category is estimated to be valued at $6B.
After approximately six months they began to feel like more was possible and their website wasn’t generating lots of enquiries for their tours, the products they sold or the broad range of 4WD services they provided.
So they made the decision to hire a marketing consultant in Sydney to audit their website, local marketing, eMail campaigns and advertising to then make some recommendations on what could be changed to grow their website visitor numbers, sell more tours and get more enquiries about 4WD upgrades without spending money on ads.
What did my marketing audit highlight for this 4wd shop?
An audit can give any business owner an external perspective on their marketing activities. By having a marketing consultant look at all the different aspects of their business it can highlight areas for improvement that can be rectified to create new ways to grow sales and profitability. What a lot of business owners don’t realise is beyond any physical audit that is done on their retail shop, staff or traditional marketing activities, there is an absolute gold mine of information available via their own website.
By conducting an audit on the performance of your website you can uncover lots of information about consumer behaviour, figure out whether it is generating new visitors and many other aspects that can be used to make smart decisions about what to do to improve the situation.
Doing an audit also creates a baseline to work from for any future work so that you can compare any before or after results to know that any money being invested is generating a clear return.
What digital marketing strategy did I recommend for this 4WD shop?
After I completed the marketing audit the owners were given a very practical list of recommended actions to carry out that could improve their marketing execution. It was very easy for them to make a decision on what needed to be done because all of the information was provided using data from Google Analytics, Google Search Console and 3rd party reporting tools like SEMRush.
This provided the 4WD shop owners with the confidence to use a marketing consultant because they could see what was happening & the steps needed to change the results. The focus on the marketing contract was to make improvements to the website so the brand could be presented as unique & attractive to new visitors, sell more of their tours & better showcase their range of services to generate more leads.
There is no real ‘secret’ there, like many businesses who want to grow their website visitors this one needed;
- More pages on their website to explain each specific service or product sold. Grouping them doesn’t really work because there is so much competition online for every individual topic.
- More unique content in news or blog posts showing off what they did, proving their expertise.
- A website structure that was easy to navigate and view on both computer or mobile phone.
- SEO development across the website so that all of this could be indexed by Google so they could compete for organic search.
So these are some of the marketing tasks completed for the 4WD shop
Did I manage to grow this 4wd shop's business with digital marketing consulting?
2023 - their highest website visitor numbers ever.
Once the small business owners approved my revised marketing strategies and recommendations the hard work began. Every page of the website was updated, every word adjusted, every heading on the pages changed & every aspect was focussed on achieving very clear outcomes;
- Make the 4WD shop more appealing and differentiate it from all the others.
- Improve the content across the website using SEO to improve organic search traffic.
- Show off the work and tours this 4WD shop was delivering.
- Put in place a framework that could be built on and developed over time.
This result was driven by;
- 8 x new specific service landing pages with search engine optimised content
- 15 x new individual product category pages that could highlight what they sold in the shop. This included a framework that could be built on over time to either add eCommerce functionality or separate product pages.
- 11x new vehicle build pages or ‘blog posts’ that went into great detail the work they had carried out on different 4WD’s which explained product and situation usage.
- 3 x new tour stories to show examples of recent tours.
- New ‘About’ page that gave people an insight into the business and people behind it as well as what they stood for.
- Revised home page that made it much clearer what they did and what the brand was about.
- Revised 4WD tour pages with more information, visuals and search engine optimised content.
- Stunning, colourful, visuals throughout the website to make it enticing to get out and use your 4WD.
How can a marketing consultant grow website visitor traffic for a 4WD shop?
Home page introduction video
Every consumer is watching more video content than ever before whether that’s on YouTube, TikTok or other platforms. To elevate the brand and ‘wow’ people as soon as they landed on the site I created a custom made ‘hype reel’ video for their home page.
Using a mixture of stock library footage and videos from the 4WD shop, I spliced together the ‘idea’ or ‘feeling’ you’d get if you joined one of their tours or came to their shop.
Instant impact to attract a customer.
the right website content and pages
Too many businesses think that putting a paragraph on a website page with a photo will help them get found or convince people to choose them. Wrong.
For every service, product or thing you offer within your business there are probably thousands of online competitors. Therefore each individual thing has to be represented on your website with in depth information and content, which is exactly how this 4WD shop enjoyed a huge increase in website traffic.
You can’t take shortcuts to get found online.
Competitor and consumer keyword research
A marketing consultant has access to loads of data that can be used to make smart decisions that in turn drive strategy or execution.
Once I listed to the focus areas for this 4WD shop I could quickly determine what people are searching for online, what information they wanted & then create content pages on the website to get found for those topics or service requirements.
This is how you win the online battle.
detailed information and help for customers
Just talking about what you offer and making promises isn’t enough these days. Customers will want to see proof and validation to help them build trust before they decide to engage with your business.
To support all the product or service landing pages I created a range of blog posts that showed off the work being done by this 4WD shop as well as explaining where or how different items could be used.
Helpful content will convert more customers.
Get found online by people that don't know the brand
I mentioned in the beginning of this case study that most of the website traffic was coming from people who knew the brand already.
The digital marketing strategy that I implemented has helped them go from over 70% down to less than 40% of ‘branded’ traffic to their site. A flow of new customers coming to them everyday.
More people are finding or discovering this 4WD shop.
A content marketing consultant for 4wd shop owners can get more website traffic
What all the information above shows is how much potential is available. If you own a 4WD shop you can engage a content marketing consultant who can create strategies to add even more helpful information to the website to keep growing the website volumes. Every service, product or solutions that 4WD owners face could be talked about at length on the website. Content marketing can not only help potential customers be help a 4WD reach new people that have never heard of the brand before.
So while all the results above look pretty impressive on face value, the 4WD shop could have had even more website visitor growth during the time period. The work that was done was only scratching the surface because the amount of content added to the site covered the basics for services, were short introductions for products & there was less than 30 new blog style posts added about tours or 4WD vehicle builds.
If more content was added it would have improved results even further.
This is a 4WD shop that sells products in multiple categories e.g lighting, recovery equipment etc that can be used on different vehicle brands or models in various situations. That combination alone means pages could be added for each one to go deeper into that niche or category to ‘win’ local search for that specific topic. The same theory applies to the services which included engine upgrades, 12V set ups and more.
Look at the example in the data above for ‘Lift kits’, there is a possible volume of more than 200,000 searches each month in Australia around the topic. People are searching for general information all the way through to specific brand or vehicle model related information. So pages could have been added for each one to then beat local competitors.
At a guess there would have been more than 60 possible niches that could have been developed to have deeper content, blog posts or other information that would have grown organic search volumes even further. The extra information would also help towards converting visitors into making an enquiry, so any additional time or effort would have been rewarded.
The other layer to this would have been the different tour locations. While some people were searching generically for ‘4WD Tours’ others were looking for specific destinations, states or lengths of tour. So in this respect there was another batch of niches that could be explored with deeper content to win even more organic search positions.
Unfortunately the owners didn’t want to continue the marketing retainer after the 6 month contract was up, even though the results above were achieved.
what happened when the 4wd shop owners made changes to the website?
It is a cliche but just because you can change something doesn’t mean you should.
One of the simple mistakes a lot of business owners make is to go and change things on their website thinking it won’t have any impact. Unfortunately there is so much more to website design, SEO and conversion rate optimisation than you may think. Below is proof positive where you can see the website visitor volumes before my digital marketing work was actioned vs when the 4WD shop owner made changes.
What they did was to rename URL’s, remove some content, change headings and create lots of broken links on their website. This has lead to various search keyword position losses that have never been made up. It means their execution actually ruined some of the digital marketing actions that was helping them achieve their record sales volumes for tours.
You can see the trajectory of growth I had created, this was destroyed within a matter of days after various changes to the site were made.
What else could this 4wd shop do to increase website traffic and sales?
A 4WD (four-wheel drive) shop in Sydney can employ a variety of marketing tactics to attract more customers and grow sales. Here are some strategies and tactics tailored to the niche market of 4WD enthusiasts:
- Local SEO and Online Presence:
- Google My Business: Ensure your shop is listed and has positive reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. In the absence of doing letterbox drops or local newspaper advertising, the other way to reach people in the local area is to use Google My Business. I updated this business profile with new posts, but you can then regularly share any type of content just like you do on social media that can help with local search results.
- Local Directories: List on local directories and niche-specific directories related to 4WD and automotive services.
- SEO: Optimise your website for local search terms, such as “4WD shop Sydney” or “off-road accessories Sydney”.
- Content Marketing:
- The focus on this project was to get the new website created and running prior to Christmas. There is a huge opportunity for any small business to create content around all the topics related to their services, tours or products. This could be anything from 4WD tips to information about product features that can help in certain situations. If crafted correctly it can help attract new visitors to the website via organic search to help with brand awareness & creating new customers.
- Blog: Write articles on 4WD tips, off-road trails in and around Sydney, vehicle maintenance, and product reviews.
- Videos: Create tutorials, product demonstrations, or feature local 4WD excursions.
- Online communities
- Engage on Platforms: Use platforms popular in Australia, such as TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Post regular content featuring new products, customer testimonials, and off-road adventures.
- Community Engagement: Join and participate in 4WD and off-road groups or forums.
- Email Marketing:
- Offer a monthly newsletter with tips, product promotions, and news about the 4WD community.
- Loyalty programs that offer discounts to returning customers or a referral program to incentivise word-of-mouth marketing.
- Events and Workshops:
- Off-road Days: Organise or sponsor local 4WD days where enthusiasts can test products or simply have fun.
- Workshops: Offer workshops on vehicle maintenance, off-roading basics, or other related topics.
- Local Sponsorships: Support local events, races, or festivals, positioning your brand at the center of the community.
- Partnerships and Collaborations:
- Collaborate with local businesses (like camping sites or car dealers) to offer package deals or co-marketing opportunities.
- Paid Advertising:
- Local PPC: Use Google Ads or Facebook Ads targeting Sydney and surrounding areas, ensuring you’re using keywords relevant to 4WD enthusiasts.
- Retargeting: Use retargeting ads to bring back visitors who’ve interacted with your website but haven’t made a purchase.
- Interactive Showroom Experience:
- Design a portion of the store where customers can touch, feel, and understand the usability of products. Consider a simulation area where they can see how products might function in off-road situations.
- Customer Testimonials and Reviews:
- Display genuine reviews and testimonials prominently in-store and on your website. Consider video testimonials for added impact.
- Promotions and Deals:
- Offer seasonal promotions, bundling deals, or special offers on popular products to drive purchases. Be clever and get supplier support with rebates, discounts or bulk discount purchases.
- Updating your existing website:
- WordPress website had given the business owners a great platform to build on which included making their own adjustments the Elementor Page Builder. If this is done correctly it may contribute to the growth of the website’s traffic. There is a risk that changes may remove the elements that generated results in the first place (like the example above)
Should a 4WD shop use a digital marketing consultant to grow their business?
Whether a 4WD shop in Sydney should use a marketing consultant to help grow their business depends on various factors, including the shop’s current situation, its goals, and its resources. Although there are lots of reasons why hiring a marketing consultant could be beneficial as you can see from the results above, but here are the things to consider:
- If you compare the end to end costs of hiring a full time staff member you will find it makes more sense to hire a consultant either on a retainer or for ad-hoc projects. You could spend $50,000 to $70,000 to hire a marketing manager who has maybe one or two years experience, but for less than $20,000 a year you can hire a marketing consultant with twenty years experience and save money.
- Expertise and experience: A marketing consultant brings specialised knowledge and experience that may not be present within your business already. You might have a marketing manager on staff that might only have one or two years of experience. This can be particularly useful if the business owners or managers are not well-versed in current marketing trends or strategies.
- Fresh perspective: An external consultant can offer a fresh and unbiased perspective on the business’s marketing approach. This can help identify areas of improvement or new opportunities that might have been overlooked.
- Tailored strategies: Marketing consultants can help create a customised marketing strategy based on the specific needs and challenges of the business. This ensures that the strategies are relevant and effective for the 4WD market in Sydney, so in the case of this 4WD shop the focus was placed on getting the website digital marketing improved.
- Resource allocation: A consultant can help identify the most cost-effective ways to spend the marketing budget, ensuring that resources are allocated in areas that will yield the best return on investment. So instead of wasting money on advertising, other fundamentals can be improved first.
- Up-to-date with trends: The world of marketing is constantly evolving. A consultant will be up-to-date with the latest tools, technologies, and strategies, ensuring the business remains competitive.
- Time efficiency: Instead of spending time trying to figure out marketing strategies on their own, the business can leverage the expertise of the consultant. This allows the business to focus on its core operations.
- Training and development: A marketing consultant can also train the existing staff on best marketing practices, ensuring that the team is equipped to handle future marketing challenges.
However, there are always considerations to keep in mind like the additional cost, so hiring a consultant can be an investment. It’s essential to ensure that the potential return justifies the expense which is why I am very transparent with the results I share with my clients, you can see that it is working. That is also why it is important to have measurable outcomes that have clear expectations and ensure they are measurable outcomes to gauge the effectiveness of any consultant’s efforts.
If a 4WD shop in Sydney believes that they lack marketing expertise, wants a fresh perspective, or feels that their current marketing strategies are not yielding the desired results, then hiring a marketing consultant might be a wise decision. You have to ensure there is aa good fit between the consultant and the business but most importantly make them show you real results or outcomes that have been delivered previously, not just pretty pictures.