Advertising your business is crucial if you want to get more sales. Bike rental businesses are no different. Despite having a huge demand for bike rentals, most rental companies struggle in getting more revenue. This can be attributed to poor advertising strategies that are often unable to reach the right target customers.
Communicating your brand out into the world really promotes it. If you do it the right way, it not only makes your audience feel connected to you but brings in and helps retain more customers.
Advertising is a high-ticket expense, which is why many businesses think twice before investing in it. To make sure your marketing strategies bear good fruit, you need to carefully design and implement them.
Return on investment is equally important to consider. If you know that spending $50 can get you expected sales of $200, you might consider investing in the advertising budget right away.
However, it is important to note that touting is not just enough! Your advertising needs to connect with people who use your products or services and attempt to solve their problems so they keep coming back to you. A well-thought-out and holistic advertising strategy can make you a top placer among your competitors.
This article mentions seven effective ways you can use to advertise your bike rental business.
1. Make sure your website ranks on the first page of search results
More and more people are now using the internet for looking up products and making transactions. This makes it imperative for businesses to have their own websites to increase their visibility online.
When people look up for anything, search engines like Google or Yahoo! tend to rank their search results based on which websites seem more relevant to the search query.
For your website to rank the highest or on the first page of search results, you need to dig deep into which keywords your target customers are using. You can then use the same keywords in your website content or URLs. Having an agile keyword strategy can drastically increase your website rankings.
You can also choose to blog on your website by writing on emerging trends about adventure sports or related topics. Blogs keep people glued to your website and facilitate repeat visits. You can also post tips and tricks on how your customers can make the best use of your bikes. Promote local biking or sports events. This can attract potential event attendees to your website and they might even end up renting bikes from you.
Search engines prefer web pages that link to other relevant yet influential websites. You can also increase your rankings by linking to websites that your audience is interested in. These may include links to popular e-maps, local places etcetera. Many bike rental businesses link to Strava, which happens to be the most popular route mapping community among cyclists.
1.1. Make it easy for customers to find you
While we’re talking about optimizing your website to rank on the first page, you also want to ensure that your bike rental store is listed in as many directories as possible. This makes it easier for customers to find you, irrespective of what search engine or site they use. Here are some of the main online directories where you can list for free:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Tripadvisor and other travel sites
1.2. SEO do’s and don’ts to help you rank better
2. Squeeze the most out of social media
If you’re looking to connect on a personal level with your customers, social media is the right medium for you. However, you do not need to penetrate all the platforms. Find out which social media platforms your target customers spend the most time on and advertise there.
Managing various social media accounts can be challenging. You can use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to integrate all your social media accounts in one place and track the revenue you generate from each channel.
Facebook is the most used social media site, whichever the type of customer. One of the best ways to promote your business on Facebook is to partner with your customer’s Facebook pages. You can mention top customers in your posts. Once you tag them in your posts, they get notified and may even respond by posting positive reviews about your company. This not only helps with consumer engagement but also develops an online community that actively endorses your brand.
Keep posting valuable and relevant content on social media regularly. Keep your profile updated with new trends in the market. It is also important to actively engage with your customers by following, retweeting, liking and sharing their content.
3. Facilitate action-oriented advertisement with online booking
Most people want to get their hands on what they want as soon as possible. They do not prefer unnecessary middlemen to make reservations for them. You can generate a direct response from your advertisements and incite purchases by introducing round-the-clock online bookings. This allows customers to readily place orders while they’re browsing your catalogs.
It automates the entire rental process and makes it friction-less. If paired with an online payment gateway, it can really streamline the whole rental experience. Ease of purchasing and a smooth buying experience increases customer retention. By being operational all the time, a 24/7 booking system also prevents you from losing any potential sales.
4. Co-brand with other businesses and customers
Co-branding is another very important aspect of marketing. It increases your exposure to the customers of other brands. It also allows you to bank on the positive image of the business you’re co-branding with and vice versa.
You can pair up with tourist service providers like campsites, cruise companies, travel agencies, local hotels or Airbnb etcetera to advertise your bike rental business. This way, you can reach out to certain tourists who can potentially rent your bikes to roam around the city.
You can even go ahead and contact corporate event management companies so you can rent out your bikes in bulk for their outdoor activities. You can also get your bike rental business listed on the tourist information directories. This informs corporate companies of your business when they organize outdoor activities for their attendees.
You can even take your co-branding strategy a step ahead by asking influential travel bloggers for referrals. You can offer customer discounts or unique promotional codes to your existing users to give referrals to potential customers. Customer referrals are your key to landing a viral hit in the market and can substantially increase your customer base.
5. Follow up with emails
Following up with your customers via direct emails is a successful strategy. The best time to do this is when they’ve returned your bikes after use. You can email them a customer satisfaction survey and ask about your service and the entire rental process. You can even send them emails to alert them of sales promotions or discounts.
However, make sure to maintain a balance between over and under-emailing. Do not end up spamming their inboxes or not staying in contact at all.
Just sending a thank you note for being a loyal customer, sharing a monthly newsletter or sending complementary discount codes can go a long way in retaining your customers.
According to Smart Insights, emails related to cycling or adventure sports have the highest click-through rate of 28.5% of all categories. That’s great statistics right there for you to begin direct marketing to your customers.
6. Post content on a regular basis
To stay relevant and occupy space in your customers’ minds, you need to regularly post online. This doesn’t just include posting on social media though but also includes blog posts and opinion pieces on other sites.
If you don’t already have a blog for your site, you might want to think about starting one. Having a blog not only helps increase your online presence and thereby keeps you relevant but it also helps others who might find value in what you’re writing.
For example, since you’re running a bike rental business, you’ll have great insights on how to get it started, what are the downsides to running a business, tricks and tips that help you survive, and so on. All this is information you can easily turn into blog posts. You can then share the blogs on all your social media channels as well, so customers can benefit from them as well.
Having your own blog also helps keep customers up to date with any announcements or improvements you’re bringing to the business because you can simply write a blog about it.
Just make sure the content you’re writing is valuable and you post regularly. There is nothing worse than posting content on an irregular basis because it gives existing and potential customers the idea that your company is outdated. Posting at least once a week is a good rule of thumb and will surely help keep the attention of your customers.
7. Organize interactive events
A great way to get the word out about your business while simultaneously signing up some new customers is through events. Bike rental companies have it easy because they can organize community bike rides or bike races.
Events like these are a great opportunity to showcase your rental items and how durable they are. Moreover, customers can directly interact with the products, which helps build their confidence in your brand and assures them that you only stock the best items.
Lastly, events create an automatic buzz and word travels fast without you even having to do much.
Morphing your advertising strategy to customer demands
There are numerous other ways to advertise and promote your business among your target market. The seven ways mentioned above only serve to give you a glimpse of the various possibilities.
What’s important is that you look at what your customers want, which channels they use the most and morph your advertising strategies accordingly. With a well-grounded advertising plan, you are sure to take your bike rental business up a notch.
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