Universities offer local businesses a fresh crop of potential customers every year, so it makes great sense to target them. Predominantly made up of the 18-30 demographic, a lot of students like to stay out until the early hours, which often makes taxis a necessity. This could potentially mean more business for your fleet.

If students don’t know your cab service exists, they’re not going to use it. Luckily, there are plenty of clever ways to promote your taxi company to student customers, from on-campus advertising to nifty digital strategies. You don’t need a mammoth budget to get promoting.

On the other hand, carrying out more late-night trips exposes your fleet to a greater degree of risk, so reliable taxi fleet insurance is a must. Your drivers and vehicles will encounter all kinds of driving conditions and passengers, so you’ll want to know you’ve protected your business with dependable cover.

Taxi Insurer is here to help. Whether you have a fleet of minicabs, black cabs or a mix of taxis, we’ll help you find a policy that’s suited to your specific needs. Running a business is stressful enough, so opting for taxi fleet insurance arranged by us means one less headache, as all your cabs will be covered by one specialist policy.

We know a thing or two about the taxi trade, so take a look at our tips on promoting your taxi fleet to university students – the business should roll in!

 

Join a safe taxi scheme

More and more universities in the UK are partnering with cab companies to provide safe taxi schemes. This is due to raised awareness within student unions for the need to provide students with a safe way of getting home in the event of an emergency, even if they’re lacking the funds to do so.

Student nights out usually involve bar-hopping and alcohol. This often leads to someone losing their wallet or phone, finding themselves stranded. Students using safe taxi schemes are asked to either show their student ID or, in the event they don’t have this, provide the driver with their student email address and student number.

They’ll then be transported to halls of residence, the police or the hospital. Payment is not required up front and fares tend to be capped at an affordable price. Depending on the scheme, students will be asked to pay their bill within around 48 hours.

Partnering with your local university for a safe taxi scheme is a great way to boost students’ awareness of your fleet, promoting your brand as a reliable, safe and trustworthy taxi service. It also helps build a strong business relationship between you and the university, one that can be mutually beneficial for the long term.

A group of university students having a meeting

Seasonal promotions and feedback lotteries

Universities are aware of students’ tight budgets, so they’re likely to welcome promotional campaigns from local taxi firms.

Consider running student promotions at times of the year when the demand for transport is higher: freshers’ week, the Christmas period and after summer exams, for example.

Running a lottery with vouchers for free taxi rides as prizes is another clever way to promote your business. You could ask participants to fill out a feedback form about your taxi service in order to enter the competition, as this will enable you to collect valuable contact information and customer insights simultaneously.

 

Student discounts

Seemingly always strapped for cash, students love a good discount. Universities are likely to list your cab company in freshers’ guides and their online directories if you offer student-friendly discounts.

Better yet, you’re likely to get more business from students if your prices are competitive – you could also offer loyalty cards, rewarding repeat customers with additional discounts.

 

Court the student press

Word of mouth goes a long way, so what could be better than positive press? An upbeat piece on your service published in the student paper is a smart way to increase your credibility among the student demographic.

 

Visual branding

If you want to grab students’ attention, why not brand your taxis with some striking bodywork? Make your fleet stand out from the crowd with bold branding that gets students talking, keeping it smart and pristine at all time.

Your branding should be consistently replicated across all of your vehicles, as well as your website and promotional materials. Who knows, you may even feature on an Instagram account or two!

Or why not run a competition for students to design a logo for your business, or to display student artwork on your cabs?

A private taxi fleet

Sponsorship

Sponsorship is a great way to heighten awareness of your taxi fleet on campus. Endorsing big university events such as career fairs or freshers’ balls gives you the opportunity to advertise your brand to a huge number of students.

Sponsoring student societies such as football and netball clubs enables you to promote your cab service to students attending matches throughout the year.  

 

Targeted emails

Many universities offer businesses the chance to send targeted emails to their student populations, for a fee. If you’ve just set up your taxi fleet, this could be a good option for you, as it will help to expand your potential customer base quickly.

 

Social media

Most students are avid social media users, so platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are a clever means of reaching the student demographic when promoting your business.

Create accounts on all the major social media platforms and keep them up to date, updating them frequently.

People respond well to visually engaging content, so it’s a good idea to post high-quality videos and photos to your profiles on a regular basis – this helps to put a face to your brand. Shots of your team members, the office headquarters and the fleet will bring your business to life for potential customers.

You can also interact with students on social media, responding to queries and feedback. A savvy way to bolster your brand’s reputation is to position yourself as an authority in your area of expertise, stepping in to provide advice to potential/existing customers where appropriate.

You could even provide students with handy travel and weather updates, live tweeting the status of taxi availability on wintery nights.

Twitter and Facebook are particularly good places to let students know about current promotions and offers – you could also place targeted ads on such platforms as a means of reaching even more sets of eyes.

Many universities will re-tweet your offers, competitions and notices via their Twitter accounts: all you need to do is tweet them!

 

Posters and flyers

Professional, eye-catching posters and flyers are another low-cost means of advertising your services to students. There’s no doubt that a university campus has consistent student footfall, so displaying your promotional materials there is sure to generate business – better yet, most universities will allow you to display these for free.

 

Local search engine optimisation (SEO)

A smartly dressed man writing an SEO brainstorm on a screen

In our digital world, students are most likely to search for taxis online – after all, 72% of consumers opt to search online first, when looking for a local service. Moreover, 46% of searchers are heading to Google with a ‘local intent’ in mind, so failing to utilise local SEO cuts you out of a significant chunk of the market.

Local SEO generates search results by factoring in proximity, so, for example, if a student at Bath Spa University searched online for ‘Bath taxis’, they’d see a list of the nearest taxi services based in Bath in their search results.

Many mobile phone users activate location tracking on their mobile phones so mobile search results are even more acutely tailored to their physical whereabouts.

Students will often book taxis from their mobiles on nights out, and are most likely to opt for services featured in the ‘local pack’ – a list of around three businesses that appears before organic search results – rather than scrolling through page after page of results, especially when they’re tired and in a rush to get home.

By using local SEO, your cab company’s website will climb up search rankings, winning a more prominent spot among the competition. This should lead to an increase in clickthrough rate (CTR) – especially if you make it to the local pack.

Get started by claiming your Google My Business (GMB) account. Add an accurate physical address for your business to it, along with:

  • The service you offer
  • Your business hours
  • Your business category
  • Contact details
  • Website address

You should also look to replicate your up-to-date business address and contact details throughout your taxi service’s website and social media profiles.

Your rankings will also be boosted by other websites linking to your own, so it’s worth approaching the local university and other prominent local businesses like hotels, asking for your website to be listed on their sites.

Perform local keyword research, repeating common search terms and phrases within content on your website. For example, you could incorporate the search words ‘cheap Bath taxi’ in a sentence such as this:

Want a cheap Bath taxi service? City Cabs is the choice for you!

 

Mobile-friendly website

A user-friendly website is an absolute essential – especially when it comes to tech-loving students.

You want customers to access your service as seamlessly as possible, so you’ll need to link to your website on all of your social media accounts, include the site address in promotional posters/flyers and make online adverts clickable, directing users through to your website. 

Students want quick, online service. Your website should be available in mobile and desktop versions and include an online booking service. Students planning around events such as nights out, job interviews or trips to stations/airports will want to book their cabs in advance, so if you don’t facilitate pre-booking, you’ll likely lose out on a considerable slice of business.

Your website is also a great place to boast a little about your credentials. Including a testimonials section helps instil trust in your brand, letting potential customers know about other customers’ positive experiences travelling with your taxi drivers.

 

A booking app

If your budget stretches to it, consider creating an app for your taxi service. Students are glued to their smartphones, so a well-designed app with a glitch-free booking platform will appeal.

A group of people around a bench on their phones

Local partnerships

Partnering with other local businesses is a fantastic way to get the word out about your taxi service. Pinpoint cafes, shops, bars and pubs with a strong student presence, and ask to leave your promotional flyers somewhere visible.

In return for a business recommending your service to their patrons, you could offer a special discount to customers coming from that establishment – a win-win for both of you.

 

Excellent customer service

Make sure all your drivers uphold consistent customer service standards, treating every customer in a respectful, polite manner. They should drive in accordance with the law, observing speed limits, providing customers with a safe, relaxing experience when transporting them from A to B.

All fleet vehicles should be kept clean, fragrant and presentable – no one wants to ride in a dirty, smelly taxi with rubbish on the floor. Implement a fleet-wide rule regarding vehicle maintenance, requiring every driver to check the condition of their cab on a weekly basis at a minimum, testing the brakes, assessing the tyres and listening for any odd engine sounds, amongst other things.

Reassuring students that your drivers have undergone enhanced DBS checks will boost their confidence in your brand. Likewise, you should make sure all of your cabbies are insured, medically fit and correctly badged. If you run a fleet, getting taxi fleet insurance is a smart move, as your business is protected in one straightforward policy.

 

Reliable taxi fleet insurance

Covering your taxi business with a specialist policy helps to safeguard its future, should an unforeseen event happen. Your drivers and vehicles will be out on the roads daily, and risks such as road traffic accidents, theft and vandalism can never be ruled out.

The Taxi Insurer can arrange taxi fleet insurance tailored to your unique needs. Our cover can include private hire vehicles, public hire vehicles, minibuses and MPVs, offering perks such as:

  • A 24-hour claims management service
  • Payment in instalments
  • A UK based call centre

Don’t wait – get a quote today.

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