American Bus Association
The best marketing tips to generate a positive return on your investments
Although today it is easier than ever to connect with their passengers or potential customers – for example, through social networks, digital advertising or email marketing – it is increasingly difficult for companies to stand out and open up. I pass through the crowd.
In our experience, there are some key marketing investments to make to get the most return on your marketing dollars, so here are our ideas on how to market your business:
- Invest in a well-designed, mobile-optimized website that aligns with your brand
While this may seem like common sense, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve come across websites in the industry that just don’t do it. Consider your website the customer-facing hub of your brand. Here are some key recommendations to ensure a better user experience:
- Make it easy for your passengers to book tickets by highlighting your booking engine on the home page.
- Make sure everything on your website serves a valuable purpose. Remove all unnecessary information, visuals, and content.
- Make important updates such as service changes and announcements easily visible.
- Invest in a mobile-optimized website that is easy to navigate and stands out from the crowd. There is nothing worse than when a customer walks away because they are not able to easily buy a ticket on their mobile devices.
- Create a loyalty program to keep your customers coming back for more
Did you know that it is 5 times more expensive to win a new customer than to retain an existing one? Offering a loyalty program or other incentive to keep them coming back can be tremendously effective. This type of program is also a great way to learn more about your customers and their preferences, which can help you improve your offer. From keeping customers happy and focused on your bus company to giving them a reason to evangelize your service, customer loyalty will help you grow your business.
- Integrate with other companies to create a market
As recently stated on TechCrunch, smart markets are the next big thing. The great thing about offering connected bundles is that it allows you to offer your customers more variety and choice, not to mention that you can share the promotional costs with the partner organizations you choose to work with.
- Create compelling social media content that positions your business as an authentic brand while building a community of advocates
In a world where marketers often do everything they can to get your attention, it’s not uncommon for many of us to distrust gangs and simply spot the advertising. Being authentic and transparent in your community, while producing quality content that is relevant and engaging to potential customers, is what will help your operation develop a community of brand advocates. There is no better advertising than word of mouth through social networks. People tend to trust their friends and are much more likely to take a recommendation from a friend seriously than promotional advertising from a bus operator. To kick-start your social strategy, develop a 3-month content calendar that helps you understand what type of content you can share and when.
- Tie it all together with a digital marketing campaign based on a promotional code
If you have an online ticketing system, a promo code campaign is a great way to promote your services and track results at the same time. You can create a custom ad with the code, for example SPRING25, and display it on your social channels, website, and newsletters. Promo code marketing campaigns are a great way to publicize a new or underperforming route and then understand how many tickets you sold as a result of the campaign. As the old marketing saying goes, “if you can’t measure it, don’t do it.” Promo codes are also cost-effective and give you the ability to try new things without making a long-term commitment. Try it!