Switched-on IBDs know that marketing is fundamental to success. Marketing engages and informs customers, builds brand awareness and relationships, helps maintain relevance, informs important data, and, of course, drives sales. As more and more IBDs turn to an online presence, understanding the potential and power of digital marketing is crucial. Although plenty of AI options help lighten the load of your marketing campaigns, this particular business activity merits your time, respect and effort. Marketing makes money – that alone should be an impetus to invest the resources. Granted, some digital marketing channels are free or low cost. However, it could be worthwhile allocating a spend to understand the full potential of particular channels and gauge their ability to bring in the sales. Let’s find out…

Is funding available to you?

Before we dive right in, asking this question could save you money before you even begin. In an effort to encourage more businesses to go digital, local councils and governments often provide grants, funding or free access to specialist mentors. So it’s a great idea to check what could be available to you. That said, the team here at BikeExchange is always happy to help where and how we can, so don’t hesitate to ask us any digital marketing questions – we’d love to have a chat!

What digital marketing channels are available to your IBD?

The good news is you have plenty of opportunities to explore! Below are just some of the digital marketing channels available to you:

Social channels

Be sure to understand your market and where they naturally gravitate online. Consider options such as:
  • Facebook
  • Instagram 
  • Pinterest 
  • YouTube 
  • TikTok 
  • LinkedIn

Performance channels

Analytics informs the best digital marketing strategies; it is the difference between groping in the dark versus hitting the bullseye (or getting very close to it, at least!). Accessing data enables you to truly understand your customer and their preferences and behaviours. Armed with this knowledge, you can then begin to make informed decisions. The natural go-to here is Google Analytics, although partners such as BikeExchange can provide not only data reports specific to your online store but more broadly. Indeed, tapping into our big industry data is an opportunity to unlock a treasure trove of insights that you can then leverage. A word of warning – don’t get lost in data. It can be a slippery slope, and before you know it, you’re neck-deep in detail, much of which might just overwhelm and add obscurity. To help cut through and crystallise, below are some compelling questions you should ask when gathering data:
  • How do potential customers find my bike store online?
  • What is the one-time-only versus repeat visit ratio?
  • Where do I lose my customers in the sales funnel (abandoned shopping, abandoned cart, immediately upon arriving on the page?)
  • What are the most popular pages on my site?
  • What type of posts elicits the greatest engagement on my social media?
  • What is my email click-through rate like – what sections of my email prompt the best conversion?

Email marketing

Don’t make the mistake of thinking email marketing is a dead-end. Bad email marketing is, of course, useless. However, if you can hit your customers’ sweet spot, then your email marketing should become one of the best marketing channels at your fingertips. Software such as Klaviyo provide opportunities to “A/B test” your emails. This means creating two different approaches to analyse your data to determine which are the most lucrative. BikeExchange has drawn on 15 years of email marketing experience to provide our IBDs with intuitive templates that help you quickly and easily build effective campaigns. In addition, our marketing specialists can provide you with insights, tips and advice on how to develop emails that engage and convert.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

SEM is the acronym given to any activity that involves advertising your bike store to increase its visibility across Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) such as Google or Bing, for example. For a thorough insight into SEM, you can’t beat Search Engine Land. BikeExchange is the world’s largest online marketplace, largely thanks to our SEM and SEO expertise. Over time, we have invested significant resources to become an industry leader in this field. Our team is only too happy to share our knowledge and insights to help you spend as effectively as possible.

Display advertising

Display advertising uses images, videos or animations to feature your bike store on third-party platforms. The pricing structure is usually based on a Cost Per Click (CPC) or Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM). This is one area that requires knowledge before dipping your toe in the water to ensure you understand what you’re doing and where your money is going. Be mindful that, particularly in the early days, display advertising can involve a process of trial and error. Speak to BikeExchange – we’re happy to offer some guidance and more insights to get you going. Moreover, find out how our Design department can assist by developing your IBD’s display advertising at a subsidised cost.

Retargeting (also known as remarketing)

Retargeting occurs when your visitors look at something on your website, and you subsequently target them with display ads. Perhaps you’ve experienced this yourself when researching that fantasy cycling holiday, only to find your social feed sprinkled with ads from the travel provider…?  A powerful lead generation tactic, retargeting helps maintain interest and ideally convert it into a sale.

Be smart with your digital marketing money

When it comes to digital marketing, many first-timers make the mistake of throwing money at something they don’t quite understand. Not with BikeExchange by your side. We understand digital marketing inside and out. We know the cycling industry like the back of our hands. Our expertise means we are clear about not only where to market but how to market. Contact our team today to see how we can help you navigate through and thrive in the world of digital marketing.