Are you a taxi company looking to increase your business through digital marketing? If not then you should be! Investment – both in terms of time and financial spend – is more important than ever in the Coronavirus recovery period. It’s time to reactivate your existing passenger base and target new markets that may have arisen for you. Right now, absolutely everyone is online, so there’s no better time for you to take a look at your digital presence and marketing activities and see where you can claw back bookings for your taxi business and keep your drivers’ earning. 

1. Website

A simplified website for your new and old customers is essential. This not only introduces your business but also guides them on how to avail of your services, including new delivery options you may be offering. Customers are also becoming far more safety-conscious when considering COVID-19 transport options. Your website is the place to share the policies you’ve put in place to keep your passengers and drivers safe. Here are some tips for your taxi website:

  • Make sure your website is mobile responsive. If your website is more than a few years old it is worthwhile checking if it is mobile-responsive. Visit it from your mobile phone and see what the experience is. More than 50% of online users are now browsing on their smartphone which means that your site needs to be designed to display on mobile. A clean, simple design that adapts to screen sizes is necessary for all websites. 
  • Make sure your website is easy to use with clear Calls to Action. A passenger goes on your site and wants to book online or maybe download your passenger app, Is this easy? Could it be easier? Put yourself in their shoes and try make their experience as quick and seamless as possible. 

2. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

71% of the population believes they are going to find better deals online, so they actively seek out and research the goods and services they want.  SEO helps your taxi company get found when people search for taxi companies in your local area. Make sure you followed SEO best practices like researching keywords and optimising your website for these words both on your page content and in the back end. Keeping load times fast, being mobile responsive and submitting your sitemap to search engines are all important SEO practices. Sign up to Google Search Console to help you improve and monitor your SEO. 

3. Social Media

Presence on social media for any business is integral. The significance of social media marketing increases year on year,  with approximately 44.84 million people from the UK on Facebook. That’s nearly 70% of our total population. There is a strong chance that your next customer is lurking online and waiting to spot you…. and just like in a real-life situation the best way to bump into them is to be social… very social!

There are multiple ways of using social media aptly for your taxi firm. One of the most important things to know is that you need to be on more than one social media channel and you need to know how to use each platform, understand its audience, their expectations and what features you can benefit from. 

  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all popular in their own rights and offer direct access to your target audience.
    Facebook helps in creating a better brand awareness regarding your services and has a greater reach.
  • Instagram leads to building a brand image and is more popular with the youth due to its photo-heavy format. This is where you can highlight the consumer experience and show your services with delightful images.
  • Twitter’s ability lies in boosting your content. Your viral ad campaigns can be a game-changer here and most importantly it allows a greater opportunity for social listening and customer interaction. Due to limited privacy laws, you can find out more about what people say about you and also directly connect with your customers. 
  • LinkedIn is a more formal platform, allowing you to directly engage with corporate clients and offer deals that can be exclusive and unique to a specific customer segment only. 

Good customer service is also critical to good social media. Instant customer support on social media helps build consumers’ trust for your brand. Remember, people always find it easy to message you a problem via Facebook messenger rather than calling your helplines. It not only saves you resources and time but offers you a better opportunity to connect with your customer.

Want to learn more about how to manage social media for your fleet? You can watch this 90 min Social Media Webinar with Sinead Gillett or Download iCabbi’s Boost Your Business with Social Media eBook. 

4. Targeted Advertising

Facebook and Google Ads offer you the opportunity to promote targeted ads to your different customers. This can be done via the existing data you have and with campaigns targeted on areas where your service is available. This allows you to increase your reach to potential customers. Instagram (run through Facebook) also offers good local advertising options. Google Adwords is useful for jumping on the opportunity of someone searching for a taxi. You bid on their keywords like ‘taxi company near me’ and your ad comes up top on Google making it more likely the passenger will click on you. You can also use Google Display Ads which put your ad images on websites that your potential customers may use. This is an option for keeping your brand in front of people more so than capturing them in their moment of needing a taxi, but it is also good for promoting special offers. 

5. Promotional Campaigns

Promotional campaigns can really help increase calls or app downloads. Offering reopening discounts, referrals, or promo codes for booking via your passenger app can help you increase your revenue. Remember, people come online thinking they will find better deals. 80% of people are looking for promo codes whilst 91% of customers who have used your discount offers previously, will re-use your service in the future. Think about coaxing existing passengers back out with a discount off their first out of lockdown taxi ride! 

6. Email Marketing

Targeted emails to your customers during specific periods can really help increase conversions. For example, an email to your customers on how you are providing services and assistance during lockdown will raise awareness and boost business. What about targeting a courier service at your account customers to help them move documents or equipment to their employees or customers? Or how about filling them in on the health and safety policies you’ve put in place and suggest they subsidise employee taxi travel so they don’t have to use public transport when return to work in the recovery period? 

7. Customer Feedback

Social proof is important for customers of all products. Nothing helps to sway a new customer more than reading good reviews for your business and seeing high ratings. Integrate easy customer feedback loops on your website and apps. Real-time reviews lead to better visibility of your brand and help to acquire customer’s trust. It also allows you to take on board any corrective measures if needed. Taxi Solution’s has a great product for this and are currently offering the first month on Review Master free for iCabbi customers! Contact them here to avail of this. 

8. Influencer Reach out

Effective influencer strategies lead to strong conversion rates and can help to build brand awareness. This could be through engaging with popular figures of the town such as celebrities, bloggers, or local influencers. Shoutouts from them using your services builds a positive and reputable impression and allows you to reach out to a wider audience. Who has got a big social media following in your area, and how can you engage with them to mutual benefit?

9. PR Opportunities

Old school PR is just as relevant now as ever… the only difference is that you can now try to get people to talk about you AND link to you either on social media or to your website. What stories can you tell about your taxi fleet that may get picked up by traditional and online media? What kind of stunts can you pull to make people take their phones from their pockets, snap a picture and share what you are up to with their networks,,,, it could be as simple as free ice-cream or decorating one of your taxis as a float and taking part in a local parade 

10.  Analytics 

The greatest advantage that digital marketing has over traditional marketing forms is the ability to accurately gauge return on investment. You can use analytics resources like the in-platform social media reporting tools and Google Analytics to measure the success of your campaigns in terms of engagement or better still desired actions.

What sources are bringing traffic to your website? More importantly, what sources are showing the highest conversion rates for online bookings or app downloads? You may find, for instance, that while Facebook ads deliver 1000 visitors to your site per month, this only delivers 10 new customers, compared with Google ads which brings 100 visitors per month but 30 of these become customers. Now factor in how much you are spending on each of these platforms? Which gives you the best value for money? The trick is quite simple. Do more of what is working, and less of what’s not. As this article shows, your taxi fleet’s digital marketing strategy  should comprise of a number of different elements from good SEO to social media, online advertising and so on….. so it’s important to understand the value you get from each of these and how to maximise the return on both your time and your money. 

Big thanks to Sal Zaidi for co-authoring this article on digital marketing for taxi fleets. Taxi Solutions is an iCabbi Marketplace Partner offering social media and digital marketing services, web design and IT Solutions. Find out how they can help your fleet today.