For most of February, I’ve been talking with bike shops about how they are getting ready for the upcoming season. Most of what I’m hearing are physical projects like expanding service workshop areas, painting, updating their point of sale systems, and other projects you really can’t do during the heat of the season. A few shops that are really good at marketing have been talking to me about their off-season marketing goals and how I can help as their marketing contact at Tern Bicycles.
Below are my annual check-ins for marketing that I did as a bike shop owner and bike shop marketing consultant during the off-season. If you are reading this and an avid cyclist, think of it as your base period to build on as you enter the season. I’m listing them by priority of what is the most important in my opinion.
Think of your website as your home base for all things marketing. When you market externally, you need your house ready for that guest. If you talk about ebikes on your Facebook page, is it easy to find ebike info on your website and then convert to a visiting customer?
BASELINE WEBSITE NEEDS:
- What is the goal of your bike shop and general location? Make that prominent (Denver Cargo Bike Shop) When people land on your website make sure you stand out and not just another bike shop that sells everything to everyone.
- Do you have hours or by appointment? This is the next prominent thing. Make it easy to click through to a map or appointment page.
- How do people find/contact you? Address, phone & contact form should all be easy to find.
- What do you carry? During COVID and shortages, make this a focus on what you actually carry in-store.
- Think about search engine optimization. This is a post all in itself but the basics are to get Google Analytics on your website and start creating content on what people are searching for in your area that you sell. “Cargo Biking in Denver or Top Denver Gravel Bike Rides”. Once you have traffic we can optimize your website better.
- Be a resource that people want to come back to, not just a transaction of a product. Do you have support pages, tips for riding the type of bikes you sell, maps for your favorite rides?
- Use your home base to create riders, not just consumers. Think about all of those bikes you’ve sold in the last 2 years. How are you keeping those people on their bikes riding and then coming back into your store for service, accessories or upgrades?
- All marketing should start from your website. Before you post on social media think about where you want that person to head to once they see the post and it should be your website.
Who’s Owning Marketing This Season?
As I finish the website audit and move into the build of the website I am then thinking about who will be owning the actual marketing for the season. It is very easy to forget to post to social media, update the website with information, and send that monthly email during the heat of the season. What employee can be tasked with owning this, carving out 5-10 hours a week to plan, create and publish? They should be part of the build of your website and future external marketing plans.
Next week I’ll talk about a high-level seasonal marketing plan. Let me know what you like to talk about for these “Monday Marketing Musings” for your bike shop or local retailer.