Whether you’ve just started your business or have been up and running for a while and looking to expand, chances are you’ve been asking yourself: How can I attract more taxi customers?
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can to advertise and promote your taxi business to customers in your local or surrounding area. We’ve put a list together of both online and offline tactics you can use to grow your taxi business.
But before you start attracting lots of new customers who will be raving about your business, it’s important to have the right kind of insurance in place to protect your fleet and your drivers.
Specialised taxi fleet insurance is a cost-effective way of getting your entire fleet covered and can save you the hassle of renewing multiple policies. That way you can get on with the important marketing efforts that will help you win more business and grow your customer base.
We can easily divide marketing efforts into ones that are ‘online’ (e.g. that are digital and use the internet or an app) and ones that are ‘offline’ (traditional marketing efforts that don’t involve the internet). Marketing is both an art and a science.
That means there really is no one marketing effort that is ‘better’ than others or that will provide stronger results. Every business has different customers, so what might work for one business might not necessarily work for another.
It’s best to test out a few of these different ideas and see which ones will work best for you.
Even if you’re a local company that’s building up trade through word-of-mouth, some people will still type into their search engine ‘local taxi business’ when looking to book their next ride.
This can be true for both old and new customers. You want your business to be one of the top results to appear (more on this shortly).
On top of that, simply having a presence online makes you look professional. It can also serve as a great tool for conveying your brand and what your taxi business is all about.Do you specialise in a specific kind of service? You can communicate this through the copy and design.
Want your customers to know you have certain values, like you’re running electric cars to help the environment? List them here. The more content you publish online through your website, the bigger your online presence will grow. This will lead to more customers finding you more easily.
If we go back to the scenario of someone typing into Google the keywords ‘local taxi business’ or ‘taxi business’ on their phone or computer, within seconds they’ll get tons of results.
These results are organised by Google’s algorithms based on the searcher’s keywords, location and several other factors.
Most searcher won’t get past the first page of results, let alone to 2-3 paid ads at the top. These have all been bid on by businesses wanting their websites to rank highly for those keywords, with the highest bidder appearing at the very top.
If you’re going to go to the effort of creating a website for your business, then you probably don’t want to be hundreds of results down the list! You’ll want to be right at the top of the search results for your particular target customer or audience.
And this is where PPC, or pay-per-click, comes in very handy. While you’ll be paying a small amount for every click your ad receives (a few pence), it means you’ll be one of the very first results for customers who are searching for taxis in your local area.
You can further refine this audience using different metrics: including demographics like age, gender and so on.
Social media is another great way to build your brand presence and to grow a supportive base of customers. The more genuine and real you can come across on these platforms, the better.
Some of the best ways of leveraging social media are to tell your story; feature your drivers, customers, office staff and behind-the-scenes footage of your business. Promote content you know will resonate with your audience.
The easiest way to figure this out is to put yourself in their shoes and ask what they’d enjoy seeing and/or experiencing. The most important thing is to be consistent, on-brand and to avoid saying things that are disrespectful.
While nothing is stopping you from being active on all major platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even Youtube – you may find one or two platforms resonate better with your audience.
Generally speaking, customers from older demographics like to connect more with Facebook, while those in younger demographics tend to enjoy Instagram and Twitter.
While building an app takes some investment, it could prove to be a very lucrative marketing channel in itself.
Every time your customer turns on or unlocks their phone screen, they’ll be seeing your app which will prompt them to book your services. You can find out more about how an app can help here.
We think you’re probably scratching your head thinking: ‘A billboard? Really? Isn’t that expensive?’. Not necessarily. With paper billboards now being more available and accessible than ever, prices have lowered.
Prices can vary depending on where it’s displayed (rural vs. urban areas) or whether it’s digital or paper. A billboard could cost anywhere from £240-£270 every two weeks (which is usual for bus stop shelter signs) to £500-£600 as a standard.
This is typically for smaller to medium populous areas (of course, prime locations in places like London will be much higher and the domain of much larger brands).
Depending on where your company operates, investing in one or a few billboards may be relatively feasible.
One of the simplest and most cost-effective offline methods for promoting your business includes distributing flyers, leaflets or business cards to local businesses.
While this tactic might seem a little less fancy and ‘old school’ compared to more online efforts, it can be highly effective if done right. And by ‘done right’ we mean in a way where you are building partnerships with these businesses.
It’s not enough just to leave a flyer (or two) with the shop-keeper or clerk and hope for the best. The most important part is to build a good rapport with employees and business owners.
Do this, and they’ll be more likely to display your leaflet front and centre rather than just tossing it in a drawer with all the other flyers they receive.
Even better, building a strong rapport could influence them enough to mention and recommend your business directly to customers. Now that’s pure gold.
Flyers are fairly easy to design. Just enlist the help of a local A-level or Uni student who’s into graphics and design or use this easy-to-use online platform to design it yourself.
You can easily step up your flyer game by including a promo code the customer can use for a discount. Leaving flyers in crowded places such as exhibition centres and cinemas where there’s lots of footfall from customers who may need rides also works well.
As mentioned in the last point, there’s a real opportunity to build partnerships with local businesses who can help you advertise your business to their customer base.
The more trust you can build with the owners of these businesses, the more likely they will be to refer you to their customer base and champion what you do.
Draw up a list of businesses who could really use your help (in terms of having customers that need rides). Hotels, hospitals and pubs are a great place to start:
Pubs - Try speaking with the owners of your closest pubs and see if you can strike up a deal with them to be the first taxi service ‘on-call’ for their customers.
Of course, it’s important to consider whether or not you and your drivers are prepared to serve this kind of customer base. While you’ll get some people that’ll simply appreciate a warm ride home on a chilly night, you also may end up with some patrons who’ve enjoyed a few too many pints!
Hotels, hostels and B&Bs - Hotels offer another great footfall of ideal customers. As with pubs, you can arrive at an arrangement with the owners or operations to offer their customers a promotion or by allowing the hotel to take a bit of commission every time they call you up.
Hospitals - Offering rides to hospital patients could result in another lucrative income stream and could even become a specialist service you offer. Again, just be sure you’re confident offering this kind of service and that your drivers are trained to be sensitive and offer a supportive service.
Businesses seeking cargo delivery - You could support businesses looking to deliver cargo and supplies to other local businesses. This is a great way of putting unused capacity (e.g. idle cars) to work.
One of the best mediums for advertising your taxi business is through your very own customers. Word of mouth is the oldest marketing technique around and while it may seem like a slow one to use, it could prove to be invaluable.
Many people are growing to distrust traditional advertising tactics that feel disingenuous. People tend to trust what their friends and family think of a particular service more than what a flashy ad says.
You can galvanise these efforts further in many ways. One of these is to start a referral program where current customers are rewarded every time they recommend you to someone they know or meet.
This will also help current customers come back to you regularly (as they’re getting something more out of this).
People will often listen to the radio in the morning or during the day at work so getting in touch with a local radio station to advertise is another great idea.
There will likely be a fee to pay for this, so if this isn’t within your budget you could always try something else (like hosting a competition with them or partnering with them on their next charity event).
Alternatively, you could look into getting an ad displayed in local print media.
Of course, you have access to free advertising space right under your nose! Well, relatively free, there’s probably a small price to pay for wrapping your vehicle.
But by displaying your taxi name, branding and business contact details (number) on the side of your vehicle, you’ll be increasing your brand visibility.
You will also be engaging in a marketing effort that offers huge exposure for a very small cost (given that you won’t be paying royalties or a continuous fee to use this space as you do with other services). How so? This article on van design points out that impressions (sightings) could be as high as 30,000 per day!
Wherever your taxi goes it’s getting noticed – whether it’s moving, parked in an urban area or on the highway, so you should take advantage of this.
If you’re operating or managing a taxi company comprised of a few vehicles (in other words, a fleet) then you might have experienced the difficulties and expense that comes with paying for multiple, separate vehicles policies.
The admin is time-consuming and can take your attention away from more business-winning activities (such as the ones we covered above).
Doing away with this and having just one policy means creating more time in your day and leaving more money in your pocket.
Taxi fleet insurance through Taxi Insurer makes things simple. You’ll only need one policy to cover all of your vehicles regardless of whether they’re minibuses, minicabs, hatchbacks, saloons, or a mix of different commercial vehicles.
Get a quote for taxi fleet insurance today.