Breezing the bike sales lane

SEO experts Dojono identify seven ways of implementing digital marketing to boost bike sales

Whether you are selling bikes, renting bikes, or providing a supporting service to cycling enthusiasts, you will undoubtedly be on the lookout for new ways to engage your target audience and drive additional sales through your website. Your online presence needs to work for you, and the first step you can take to ensure that is to look into various SEO strategies. So, in a highly competitive market, how can you use digital marketing to breeze the bike sales lane?

Get social
Modern consumers naturally seek out personal experiences that are pro-social, and cycling certainly ticks that box. If every moment in your shop feels like a business transaction, things can get a little sterile and boring. By getting social, you can connect with your existing and potential new customers in a more personal way. Via social media, you can build an audience of people who are specifically interested in cycling and develop them from there. Social media platforms can be used to share information, advertise events and sales and provide interesting industry news.

If you want to implement social media effectively as part of your digital marketing campaign, you need to create a presence for your business on all social media platforms (namely Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter) and encourage conversations from your customers/followers. Every time you post and interact on these platforms, you remind your target audience that you are there and that you have something of value to offer them.

Open a Facebook shop and enable shopping on Instagram
In 2019, most modern consumers are digitally minded. They want instant gratification, so it’s simply not enough that they can find your company details accompanied by a couple of nice pictures of bikes on your social media pages. They want more than that – they want to have a seamless shopping experience. If they see something that they like on Facebook or Instagram page, they should be able to buy it immediately. Setting up a Facebook shop and enabling Instagram shopping provides this type of instant gratification that consumers have come to demand and expect. Having these pages also shows search engines that you are providing an all-round experience to your consumers, and as a result, your pages will appear higher in search results.

Post interesting content
A great way to sell more, be it bikes or parts and accessories, is to provide quality content that has meaning to your target audience. The best way to ensure that your content is of high quality is to keep an eye on cycling news and create posts that are closely relevant and of deep interest to your customers.

But it doesn’t end there. Monitoring the performance of each post is important thereafter. Capitalise on the posts that seem to resonate with your audience. The posts that receive the most likes, responses and views should be promoted and re-posted at a later date. Take advantage of paid advertising to boost/promote posts that are already doing well.

Use email marketing to build customer relationships

Email marketing is a great way to connect with cyclists before you convert them into paying customers. Many people prefer email communications as they have a record on file and can refer back to the content when they have the time. Collecting email addresses to populate your mailing list must be done with care, however – you don’t want to send content to those who have little to no interest in cycling. With this in mind, you should use pop-ups and mail list sign up forms on your website. You can also collect email addresses at cycling events and by hosting competitions or offering freebies in-store, at events or on your website. Email content should be succinct, eye-catching and memorable. You can create the following types of email content for effective digital marketing outcomes:

• Welcome emails
• Informative content (‘how-to’ content on various bicycle products and challenges)
• Discount and special offers on bikes and p&a
• Presentation of new products/ranges
• Reminder emails
• Monthly newsletter aimed specifically at cyclists
• Create video posts

It’s no secret that the more visually appealing your advertising is, the more attention it will get from your target audience. Consumers love advertising that entices the eye and luckily for you, the cycling world is filled with action and beautiful scenery, which is a great combination for video content. By creating videos, you are providing your customers with convenience as they don’t have to sit down and read lengthy pieces of content. Instead, you are creating an attractive, memorable way to deliver information. ‘How-to’ and explainer videos are highly-effective marketing mediums. To ensure you create video content that your audience will love, you must:

• Create video content that meets the expectations of your customers. Ensure that your video is interesting and relevant to a cyclist
• Present videos in a fun, entertaining, and educational way. There is no need to be boring. After all, if you manage to make cycling seem boring, you are doing something very wrong
• Do market research to see what your competitors are posting and how the public is responding to it

You don’t have to steal their ideas, but you can find some inspiration for your own content creation and perhaps cover areas they might be missing. Perhaps they are not explaining how various products work or maybe you can provide information on the latest cycling events you have attended (or that are coming up).

You can use the services of a professional digital marketing company to assist you, or you could use free video editing software to learn how to create your own videos. Clipchamp Create and Headliner are popular, generous free video-editing software programmes.

Claim your GMB (Google My Business) page and ensure your details are up to date
Having an accurate GMB page can boost SEO results. When a customer Google searches for local cycle shops or suppliers of bicycles and gear, GMB pages provide accurate information on nearby businesses that match that search criteria. It is a free, user-friendly tool aimed at businesses that want to easily manage their online presence, especially when browsers are searching for a local service in their niche market. These posts appearing in search engine results include details such as contact information, maps and a website address that will direct customers to your bike shop or to your website/social media pages. Browsers can also leave quick reviews and comments, making it easy to share meaningful advice with other customers and thus enhancing the customer experience. As far as search engine optimisation goes, Google is prone to showing the results of GMB pages that business owners have claimed and updated.

Enhance the customer experience with AI (Artificial Intelligence)
With AI you can automate routine tasks, which frees up your time to focus on other key areas of the business. Customers like to be in touch and have access to services 24/7. Perhaps a cyclist wants to ask a few questions about a specific type of seat or tyre, but it is late and no cycle shops are open. Using a chatbot on your website, for instance, is a great way to give customers instant access to information whenever they need. AI is now smart enough that in some instances, customers may not realise they are communicating with a bot. These bots can greet customers, answer questions, gather contact details, and provide product and service information. Providing this type of convenience again enhances the customer experience.

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
SEO efforts should not just be aimed at content and strategic keyword use. You should also ensure that your website is designed to be as convenient as possible for your customers. Cyclists who like to hit the bike lane and spend hours outdoors often do not spend time browsing cycling websites on their computers. The outdoorsy type uses his/her mobile phone to access the internet, buy products, do research, and keep in touch with the cycling community. If your website is not designed and optimised for mobile, you could be missing out on a huge portion of the market. A website that is designed and optimised for mobile will display correctly on a variety of devices, provide fast loading times, ensure safe and secure payment options, and guarantee quick and easy contact.

Last word
If you want to get ahead in the cycling business world, you need to take an active interest in your digital marketing strategy. The digital marketing tips above will certainly have you breezing along the bike sales lane in no time at all.

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