If you run a business which relies on bookings to supply services you have a few particular issues when driving business.
Online booking software provides a fantastic modern solution to creating a hassle free and largely hands-off booking process.
But how do you drive traffic effectively?
Build a social empire
You are already aware that social media is a great primary weapon when marketing your booking-based business. I’m sure you already have a few business pages setup on Facebook or Instagram and probably posting at least something.
But how well are you embracing the full potential of this medium? Used properly the free and effective social platforms all around you are fantastic avenue to increase bookings.
You could definitely be exploiting this better. Consider the following:
- Paid posts – put some money behind your Facebook posts to boost them in potential client feeds – whether they are offers or blogs or a free trial etc. You have to ‘pay to play’ lest your posts be invisible. You can however put a small capped budget to make it a cheaper affair.
- Make sure you have a google my business page completely filled out – you will have a hard time getting found online without this (think google maps, contact details, logos and website links)
- Post consistently and make sure you always link back to your booking landing page.
- Create original and engaging content – thought leadership blogs, well designed canvasses, carousels and images. Keep in mind that Imagery are a consistently well performing type of post.
- Join groups and communities – here you will have a pool of perfectly qualified potential customers. They are ripe for thought leadership opportunities or genuine offers.
Aligning yourself with other small businesses that you know and respect is a good way to market yourself and grow your booking numbers.
For a start, partnerships allow you to offer your customers more. You may have a product that you can sell directly to your customers, but do you have the resources and skills to take it through other channels? Partnerships can help you reach a wider audience and offer your customers more convenient ways to book your services while saving money at the same time.
For example, if you run a dance class or performing arts class maybe you can partner with a local costume or makeup supplier.
These partnerships can take a variety of forms but writing content for each other’s pages, offers combining your services, dual social campaigns, combining efforts for an advertising blitz etc. are good places to start.
Sometimes these partnerships can be more direct, getting bookings and selling your services via a third party platform for example drastically widens your market.
Modernise your website
You need to invest here, you really do. If you aren’t online you don’t exist, if you don’t rank on google, you don’t exist, if your website is unattractive, hard to navigate, or doesn’t convince a customer they are in the right place, you may as well not exist either.
Keep in mind:
“Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.” ― Paul Cookson
Website design has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and constant updates are a necessity.
Consider the following:
- Booking page – is it the absolute centrepiece of your site? Is your booking link dead centre and supremely clickable? It better be.
- SEO – how do you rank for your keywords?
- User Experience – is your web design intuitive, attractive, fit for purpose, simple and easy to navigate?
- Mobile Friendly – ensure your site is multi-device compatible. Free mobile friendly tests from Google will analyse your site and report if it is easy to use on a mobile device.
- Online chat – Consider an online chat function to engage unsure visitors.
- Searchable – make sure you have indexed your site and made it fully searchable.
One important thing to remember about websites is that people have grown short attention spans, a recent study by Microsoft revealed the average human attention span at 8 seconds, so don’t waffle on in your copy or you will lose potential customers. Keep it succinct and then chop it in half again.