10 Proven Strategies to Market Your Agency & Increase Rides Per Day
Whether you’re looking to grow your existing NEMT or Paratransit service or start a new company from scratch, these ten marketing tips will give you a good idea of where to begin when it comes to getting your organization’s name out!
Turns out, the marketing strategies we’re talking about have to do with both digital and traditional pathways to engage with potential riders. Although many NEMT and paratransit services may be primarily geared towards Baby Boomer and older generations, don’t assume that this group of people isn’t internet-savvy! This is why, at the end of the day, it’s good to diversify and make sure that you’re reaching out in as many possible ways to the audience whose business you want.
Read on to learn our top-ten, field-tested marketing tips for NEMT and Paratransit Providers.
- Have a Website That Works. This means that the site needs to be relatively simple to navigate, be mobile-friendly, and clearly state both the phone number and address of the company. Additionally, make sure that the service area is easy to find on the site. Without a good website, the rest of your business looks shady or old-fashioned, which could turn potential customers off.
- Understand How to Use Adwords. Most of your potential clients are using google when searching for a service, and most of those people are going to click on whichever provider is at the top of the search. Besides helping your website’s natural rankings by following #1 above, dominating the paid-search results in Google is worth it. Either learn yourself or bring on someone who can help you set up call campaigns to get leads, monetize traffic, and grow your email list.
- Use Email. Once your company has built up a serviceable mailing list, it’s important to make sure you’re engaging with those people on a regular basis. Email messaging is a great time to distill some of your companies most important ethos: what are your key value propositions in comparison to everyone else? Email campaigns are also a great time to mention important metrics like on-time rate or safety record of your drivers.
- Learn About Facebook Retargeting. The average age of Facebook users was 40.1 years during the last major study done. Once you learn how to use it, Facebook advertising is quite a powerful tool: you can build custom audiences with everything from gender and location all the way to industry-specific interests. Facebook retargeting is a great way to engage directly with communities that you could potentially be providing valuable services to.
- Control Your Online Presence. Besides making sure your company has a Facebook page and is involved in retargeting, you need to make sure your company is “claimed” on google my business. Yelp, 4square, and other directories should also be checked for accuracy. It’s always great to encourage present clients to leave great reviews if they’ve been satisfied with their service--this could even include offering specials or discounts to people who leave reviews. Any negative reviews should be addressed immediately.
- Get Video and Multimedia. These days, it is fairly easy to produce quality videos with limited equipment or specialized knowledge. Your company should also have a Youtube channel; these same videos can be embedded into your website so that you get the most out of this valuable resource. Wondering what might make a good video? Try an intro to the drivers, the story of the founder(s), or, even better, testimonial from satisfied customers.
- Take Initiative in the Community. Once you have a great website and some in-depth content to back up your business, it’s time to reach out directly to providers. This could be anyone that regularly could benefit from NEMT or Paratransit, like Physical or Occupational Therapy offices, assisted living, etc. Remember, make sure that your software is good so that you can provide them <a href=”switching software providers”>industry-standard answers</> quickly. Although many small businesses in 2019 aren’t thinking about direct-mail advertising, sending some information on paper is a different way to catch the eye of a potential customer.
- Become a LinkedIn Master. Although much different from Facebook, Linkedin is still an important social media player in professional circles. Especially if you have common connections, in-mailing the same kind of providers as we listed above is another creative way to get your foot in the door and the name of your company out there!
- Don’t Forget Charity and Visibility. Use your clearly-labeled NEMT vehicles in charity parades or community events to forge a connection to the very people who may be in need of your services. Plus, this gives employees a chance to give back and enjoy themselves.
- Give a Voice to it! Radio advertising is still a viable way to reach potential clients--especially when you consider that the majority of radio consumption happens in cars. What if your commercial is heard by someone who has been taking their grandmother to weekly treatments all year and is looking for other options?
In conclusion, marketing in 2019 is a surprisingly diverse mix of older techniques like the radio with cutting-edge social media campaigns. The key is to remember that people of many different ages and abilities will be seeing your NEMT/Paratransit marketing campaign, so diversity is important in terms of both content and delivery. It’s also important to make a plan for how you’re going to fit your direct marketing efforts in with other steps like looking for contracts.
At the end of the day, all of the steps listed above are actionable. We suggest in particular that you don’t shy away from the digital/social media aspect of reaching out to new customers. Especially if you’re operating in smaller communities without much competition, doing something as simple as verifying your business in Google can have profound implications on your ridership numbers when a local person searches “NEMT near me.”