Autumn is an important time for a cycle shop. With winter around the corner, shops need to take advantage of the nice weather when building their campaigns. In particular, these marketing initiatives should be hyper-local, focusing on broadening an impact within your specific community.
To make your job easier this year, I pulled together nine marketing campaign ideas to try at your cycle shop this season. Packed with tips and tricks, they’ll help you to widen your impact and strengthen sales before the holiday season rolls around:
1. Back-to-School Campaign
With autumn underway, it’s the perfect time to launch a back-to-school campaign for your cycle shop. A lot of people set aside money for these kinds of purchases in September, as it makes sense to invest in a new bicycle as a ride to school. Offer special deals that give families an opportunity to buy new bikes for their kids.
Compliment this back-to-school campaign with flyers you can post in community centers and local schools. Old-fashioned marketing goes a long way when you’re selective about the location of your advertising.
2. A Ride Group
Imagine creating a ride group that gets together on a weekly, biweekly, or daily basis at the shop. They ride together, bringing a sense of connectedness to the sport while making your spot a hub for bikers. Create a group on Facebook and Strava for your favorite cyclers to join and advertise casual 30-60 mile rides. Before you know it, you’ll have a consistent group on your hands!
3. Instagram Contest
Social media is a key way to connect with your target audience. Create a hashtag that encourages cyclists you know to take photos of their autumn biking adventures. Repost your community’s images, which is a wonderful way to acknowledge their presence as an important part of your network.
Last year, an American company, REI, had great success with their own version of this idea: #OptOutside. This hashtag encouraged members of their community to go on outside adventures. By carving out your own unique approach to the season through social media, you can elevate your cycle shop within your community.
4. Bike Lessons
A lot of children struggle to progress past kiddie wheels. One weekend this autumn, plan a day of bike lessons at your cycle shop. Promote the event through your newsletter and keep a sign-up sheet available at the check-out. Offering lessons creates a sense of trust and a personal relationship with your business, making it the go-to spot for bicycles. Plus, through lessons you can inspire a younger generations of cyclists to take up the sport.
Plus, through lessons you can inspire a younger generation of cyclists to take up the sport.
5. An Environmental Campaign
In London alone, the number of bike commuters in the UK has doubled over the past ten years. This kind of statistic isn’t just good news for cycle shops, it also means great things for the health of a community and the environment. To boost sales this Autumn, connect the dots between bike commuting and its impact on the world.
Share relevant articles on the impact of biking on reversing climate change through social channels, and engage customers in a conversation on their motivation for cycling as a sustainable habit.
6. Partnerships with Bike Schemes
Bike schemes are the ideal partners for spreading a message. Jump on their marketing bandwagon by creating shared deals that promote community wellness and biking. Quinns Bike Center in Liverpool partnered with Halford’s Cycle2Work, Bike2Work Scheme, and Cyclescheme to offer bicycles as a tax-free, employee benefit. Workers whose employers participate can save up to 42% on their bikes. By participating in these schemes, you exponentially impact the reach of your own brand.
7. Maintenance Classes
Serious cyclists want to strengthen their understanding of their bikes. Given a minor problem on the road, they need a skillset that allows them to solve common issues in a pinch. Maintenance classes are a clear way to build a following among avid cyclists who devote time and resources to the sport. Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative, for example, offers both foundation and intensive maintenance classes. The same community that attends the repair classes also patrons its shops for everything from helmets to servicing.
8. Bike Giveaway
If you want to create a campaign for a new product you’re carrying, consider starting with a bike giveaway. Everyone loves a good giveaway — it helps people to associate your brand with generosity, inspiring a feeling of excitement.
Offer an opportunity for customers to sign-up for the giveaway online and in person. As always, promote the campaign through social media channels and word-of-mouth marketing. Give these tools a shot to help promote your giveaway:
You can also ask your salespeople and managers to mention it to people they interact with in the shop, as customers are more likely to sign up if they have a personal interaction. At the decided end date, make a big reveal about the winner — it will help bring attention to the new model or product.
9. How-to-Choose a Bike Guide
Content marketing is a tool that cycle shops can use to tap into their own knowledge base and assert themselves as industry leaders. Content marketing company Hubspot, which works primarily with small-to-medium sized businesses, suggests that brands take a specific approach. By creating an e-book or a guide, they can encourage readers to sign up for their newsletter. Through follow-up email marketing, the business builds an authentic relationship with the potential customer.
For cycle shops, the ideal gated content focuses on what they know best: how to choose a bike. Customers can use this detailed content as a roadmap for their own purchase, informing themselves before they even set foot into a shop. Because 57% of the sales funnel takes place before a customer even reaches out to a salesperson, amping up these resources helps inform the buyer.
These nine ideas are each starting points for a cycle shop marketing campaign. To make the most of these initiatives, get creative. You can mix and match these ideas to come up with the best option for your brand.