6 Marketing Tools for the Charter Bus Industry

6 Marketing Tools for the Charter Bus Industry

Empower your transport company with these marketing tools for the bus industry.

Follow the customer.

If there’s one golden rule for companies in the charter bus industry, this is it.

You have to be present and engage customers in the channels where they prefer to spend their time.

Digital marketing is no longer an optional discipline reserved for those with too much time on their hands.

digital marketing tools for charter bus industry- man with ideas

Nowadays, it is essential to engage in using these new techniques to acquire and retain customers. Especially if you consider yourself small business.

Here’s the good news:

The space isn’t as noisy yet, so you stand to earn a lot of attention with a relatively low investment.

But how do you get started with digital marketing?

In this article, I will show you some of the best digital marketing tools for the bus industry.

Note: This is not a post about the emerging tech in marketing tools for the bus industry — Artificial Intelligence (AI), crypto, Internet of Things (IoT). All these are important trends, but not the focus of a “getting started” article like this one. If you want to learn more about them, I recommend this excellent resource by HubSpot.

1. Build your online presence with a website

The first of the marketing tools for the bus industry is create your company website.

Every day I see more and more businesses that choose to skip building their website, opting instead for a Facebook page or even a more modest online presence (like a dormant Twitter account).

I cannot help but feel sorry for such brands.

Facebook (other networks are not alien to this practice either) are notorious for changing their policies on a whim.

And they’re not known for making their users’ lives easier.

The following chart shows how Facebook is making it harder for businesses to reach users on the platform organically, i.e. without paying:

statistics showing a decline in facebook's organic reach
Source: JacobDeen.com

And if that means squeezing more money out of brands that want to advertise on the platform so be it.

Here’s the lesson for you.

Invest in your own website, that you control 100%.

This might look like a matter of small importance but think about the hypothetical situation where an angry customer (or even worse — a competitor) pays a bunch of low-cost freelancers to post negative reviews on your Facebook page.

Always make sure you have full control over your main media outlet — i.e. your website.

Having your own website allows you to rank on Google

There’s another important reason why you need a website — not just a Facebook page or a Twitter account.

Example: You run a bus charter company in New York City. Your website ranks in first place for “bus charter NYC”. People looking for this are clearly ready to make a purchase, so ranking for this term is highly profitable.

digital marketing tools for charter bus industry allow you to rank on Google

Search traffic is of great importance for any type of business. In the example above, you’d never rank with a Facebook page — therefore, you need your website.

Pick a content management system (CMS) for easy management

The days when you needed a team of wise sages to build a simple website are gone.

WordPress, Squarespace, and WIX and some of the most popular systems that most business sites are built on.

Make your site available on several formats

Discussing the pros and cons of these is beyond the scope of this blog post, but if you want to learn more about the various options, there’s some great research on the topic.

2. Perform conversion rate optimization (CRO)

Having a website is not enough — your website needs to be a tool for selling, not a business card for your business (I still see way too many of those).

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to learn about website builders and choose one — down the road, you’ll be working with it on a daily basis, so it’s good to make sure you’re happy with your choice.

You could (i.e. should) use tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar to keep an eye on what visitors do on your site — how far they scroll, what links they click on, etc.

This practice is called conversion rate optimization and is one of the best ways to maximize the impact of your website on your business’ bottom line.

conversion rate optimization is a vital marketing tool for the bus charter industry
Source: Conversion-Rate-Experts.com

Check out the resources below to become an expert in CRO — it will repay the time you put in it manyfold.

Resources on CRO

3. Invest in local search engine optimization (SEO)

Seo digital marketing for bus charter industry

Even though SEO has been around ever since Google emerged as the dominant search engine at the beginning of the 2000s, it still remains one of the most trusted and profitable ways to generate business.

The downside?

So what do smart marketers do? They look to explore opportunities where there’s less competition.

Even though optimizing for keywords like “nail salon in Long Beach” has been around forever, Google is gradually improving its offering when it comes to local businesses.

For example, this is what the search page for “coach hire NYC” looks like:

charter buses near central park
coach hire near central park
  • It shows them charter bus companies that are close to the location they specifically asked about (Central Park in NYC).
  • It shows scores based on the reviews customers left about each company — reviews are becoming increasingly important, we’ll get into them in more detail in a minute.
  • It shows additional information in the “People also ask” section based on actual questions people ask. This content doesn’t come from Google but is instead pulled from various websites that contain that sort of information.
  • Make sure my business is listed on Google along with the exact address(es) of its location(s).
  • I can run a campaign to solicit positive reviews from happy customers (more on this in the next section).
  • I can create detailed content that answers some of the questions people ask (thus hoping to replace some of the current ranking content with mine).

4. Engage in review marketing

Review marketing

Sounds really fancy, doesn’t it?

In reality, it’s just a posh name for the practice of trying to optimize your presence on sites other than your own.

Google Business pages, TripAdvisor, Yelp — there are many websites that focus on generating reviews from their users.

using TripAdvisor is a marketing tool for charter bus industry

Send your customer a message asking them to leave a review about their experience on a site of your choice.

Make it super easy for them — give them the direct link where they have to leave the review rather than asking them to do work and look for it on their own. This will maximize the chance they fulfill your ask.

Check out this guide to learn more about using review marketing for your brand.

5. Use a shared inbox to engage customers

If you remain deaf to the wishes and complaints of your customers, it’s not going to take them long to find another place to share their opinion about your brand.

Customers today expect to be able to quickly connect with a brand and have their issues resolved.

pie chart showing how long social media users expect to wait for support response
Source: Groove HQ

This allows your team to stay on top of customer interactions and never miss an important message.

To learn more about getting started with customer service, check out this guide.

6. Use professional software to run your charter bus company

The last of the 6 marketing tools for the charter bus industry concerns software.

Software is eating the world.

Even 8 years later, this is still the case with more and more industries getting re-arranged (or disrupted) by the changes brought by technology.

I’m not saying you should give up on your business and try to build the next “Airbnb for bus hire”.

But you should definitely always be on the lookout to improve your operations.

At Sengerio, we’re building exactly that type of tool that allows bus charter companies to manage their business from one central hub.

Charter bus management software screenshot
Source: Sengerio.com

The platform allows you to complete the full set of activities related to running a transportation company — from providing quotes and tracking expenses, to running your monthly reporting about vehicle and driver utilization.

Getting started with digital marketing in a “boring” industry

A huge thriving market with hundreds of nimble companies fighting to survive and thrive.

The bus charter industry is anything but boring.

man stood in front of charter bus

On the contrary, sometimes it might seem too dynamic to experiment with shiny new things like online marketing.

In this article, I tried to distill the tactics using marketing tools for the charter bus industry that have the highest potential for a quick return on your investment:

  • Picking a CMS and building your website
  • Turning it into a selling machine with CRO techniques
  • Investing in local SEO to generate new business
  • Managing and improving your reputation online
  • Serving customers with a shared inbox
  • Running your company through a professional platform

The good thing about all of these is that they don’t require a long setup time to get started.

But you can spend a few hours to a day or two and get started with any of them.

However, keep in mind that it might take a while before you start seeing results with SEO and the rest of the tactics.

Michele Zaccaria

Michele Zaccaria is the CEO & Founder of Sengerio. With his desire to improve things, Michele loves to build Sengerio (simple passenger transportation software). Being a minimalist, he loves to surround himself with interesting people and to listen.