Online shopping has been steadily on the rise and customers are increasingly relying on online resources to make their regular rental and purchase decisions. As trends towards more and more consumers starting their customer journey online, it is important to establish a strong digital presence to gain a competitive advantage while significantly increasing the customer base.
Why is an online presence important for your business?
Here are some key reasons your rental business can benefit from a strong digital presence:
- Enhanced customer engagement: One of the key perks of going online is that you engage with your customers firsthand. You don’t have to rely on market data to find out who your target audience is, instead, going digital gives you direct insights into your customers. You can answer their queries effectively, solve their problems faster and can engage with them on a personal level.
- Showcase your products to maximum audience: A purpose-built website is the first step towards showcasing your products to a limitless audience. For example, if you are a party rental company, then listing your products on your website and showcasing how potential customers can use your products to put together great events can be highly impactful.
- Accessibility: As more and more consumers make their purchasing decisions by looking at business websites and social channels, a strong online presence significantly increases accessibility. Customers can get quick quotes and make rental purchasing decisions as well-populated websites would typically address common queries to help customers make the right decisions.
- Cost-effective marketing: Traditional marketing methods involve a lot of push sales, banners and brochures etc. that can be expensive. With an online presence, your rental business can harness the power of social media channels to improve your ROI. By taking a look at the analytics and correctly identifying your target audience, you would be able to target budgets and resources in a more focused way while running successful marketing campaigns.
- Efficient Customer Service: Having a strong online presence allows you to provide better customer service and your business stays online 24/7. Chatbots on your website can be the most effective way to answer customer queries and solve problems. Furthermore, you can provide online documentation for FAQs to help your customers.
Now let’s explore how you can strengthen your online presence and maintain it long-term.
1. Target social media channels
Leverage the power of social media to promote your products and build your brand. You should know how to harness the unique benefits of a particular social media channel in order to gain higher ROI. For example, Facebook and Instagram are great channels for promoting stories and connecting with your customers. Approximately 47% of Americans say that Facebook is their #1 influencer when it comes to purchases. Meanwhile, LinkedIn offers great networking and partnership opportunities and Twitter is a great platform to start conversations. To establish a long-lasting and meaningful relationship with your followers on social media channels, make sure that you post relevant and relatable content regularly.
2. Market through several forms of content
Experiment with multiple forms of content that can strengthen your online presence, entertain your customers and showcase your products. For example, a dedicated company blog is a great way to engage customers.
While your own blog can be a great place for valuable content, you should cast a wider net to increase your brand visibility. Posting content on big authority websites doesn’t only bring attention to your rental business but it allows your website to rank higher on Google search engines as well. However, while writing a guest post for a big authority website, make sure that it delivers value and you don’t just promote your brand. Other effective forms of content can be promotional videos and visually impactful infographics.
3. Listen to your customers
Bringing in the human factor is important to building a strong customer community. Make sure that you gather customer feedback and take action accordingly. For example, according to a Forbes study, 71% of the consumers say that if they receive a quick brand response on social media, they are likely to recommend that brand to a friend. Starting a hashtag trend or asking your customers to share their stories is a great way to keep them engaged and interested.
4. List your rental business
Due to the highly competitive nature of the rental market, it is absolutely essential to maximize your online presence by listing your rental business on major directories. By listing your business with relevant websites, you will be able to reach a wider audience, boost traffic and increase sales. There is a large market out there that uses reviews and/or recommendation sites to choose the company they want to do business with. Establish your business profile on such platforms to enhance your online presence and get more customers.
5. Learn from your website analytics
Always check your website analytics from time to time. It gives you in-depth knowledge of users’ behavior and facilitates decision making. By looking at your analytics, you can focus on what your customers are interested in. You can leverage A/B testing for important web pages to identify which pages are performing better than others, which products are customers more interested in and shape your marketing and sales strategies accordingly.
6. A mobile friendly website
The entire reason for building an online presence is to connect with your customers, promote your business and get more sales. A key factor for success – mobile friendly website. Studies suggest that 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales. On the other hand, 48% of the users believe that if the site isn’t working well on a mobile device, then the business simply doesn’t care about the customers. As most users these days access websites via smartphones, you should ensure that your rental website works well on the phone or it should have a mobile app for customer ease.
7. Increase your website with positive reviews
Positive reviews and testimonials from previous and existing customers are a great way to gain the trust of the potential customers. You can make your testimonials interesting by creating customer success stories so people can see how your business is impacting other businesses or customer lives.
8. Offer attractive giveaways and deals
Offering online deals, discounts, and offers can add a lot of value to your business. You can either introduce seasonal discounts or coupons on your website or you can partner with a website like Groupon or Living Social to promote your business and further your digital presence goals. It would also help you to stay relevant, active and get more traffic on your business. According to a study, 24 to 36% of the first-time customers are motivated by a deal or a discount to make a purchase.
EZRentOut, a cloud-based equipment rental software can help. EZRentOut offers companies in numerous industries seamless rental management along with a host of other features. You can integrate your website with our EZR plug to keep track of all your rental assets and operations. Try us out today!