UK cycle shops are in a unique position to drive unprecedented traffic to their websites, both during and after the UK lockdown.
At the start of the lockdown on 28 March 2020, bike shops across the UK were deemed essential businesses and were allowed to stay open.
New guidance released by the government sets out five steps necessary to safely open businesses.
Bike shops and IBDs are in a unique vanguard position as small local businesses start opening up around them. Whereas businesses newly opening might be considered new recruits to the frontlines, bike shops and other essential businesses have been working in the trenches since the beginning.
As such, bike shops and IBDs have a golden opportunity to take a leading role in their communities and deliver a content marketing strategy that drives unprecedented traffic to their websites, and people into their stores.
What is content marketing and how can cycle shops use it?
“A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.” (source)
Content marketing is limited only by the imagination of the person creating the content. The trick to content marketing is to stimulate interest without promoting your brand.
The great thing about content marketing is that it also adds value to business and society because it offers useful and helpful content that improves some aspect of people’s lives.
This is one of the things that makes content marketing “one of the most effective marketing techniques” around.
Suggested content marketing strategies for bike shops after COVID-19
Lead generation is by far the number one goal for content marketing strategies.
To get leads, people must first know you exist.
Content marketing doesn’t only have to be done online. It can also be done offline.
Offline content marketing
Handing out leaflets on the lessons you’ve learned while remaining open during the lockdown will be information people will respond to, generating word of mouth.
You could also put up a poster offering helpful information, and place it strategically next to one of your top bikes.
Online content marketing
This is where your IBD can really shine.
The trick is to focus on highly specific and local keywords because “46% of all Google searches are linked to something local” (source) and an overwhelming number of those searches convert into a sale.
Unless you ship bikes and parts, it’s unlikely that appealing to users halfway across the country will be beneficial to you.
Sure, social signals can bring you more visibility on the internet.
But the other beauty of targeting local search queries is that it’s so much easier than going broad — because there’s less competition.
Of course, whatever you write about should in some way be related to what you’re selling, otherwise you’re unlikely to get leads from site visitors.
Some example keyword ideas for local bike shop blog posts
There are numerous tools to find the right keywords to target. But right off the bat, the keyword pair you could start immediately focusing on is [COVID-19] and [bike shop], or any synonym of each.
And, of course, you should append your location to that pair to increase chances of being found locally.
So, if your bike shop is in Neverland, UK, here are some blog article titles you could consider:
- How a Neverland Bike Shop Combated COVID-19
- COVID-19 and Your Business: Learn Something from This Cycle Shop
(This title is actually too long, but I’m just writing down quick examples.)
- You’re Safe from COVID-19 at This Neverland Bike Shop
- COVID-19: Free Soap Available at Neverland Cycle Shop
- COVID-19 Tips from a Neverland Bike Shop That Saw It All
These are just quick ideas. With a bit of time and planning, they could be made far better.
Each of them has the makings of a great article, both for humans and for search engines — which is the recommended way to write on your blog.
Provide useful information
Content marketing must be useful.
Before they become your customer, they are leads, and before they become leads, they are just people searching for useful information on the internet.
Sure, there are also people searching for bike shops as such. But that’s covered under the general heading of marketing.
If you’ve been doing your day-to-day marketing and business blog-writing you’ve probably got that covered already.
Never forget that you have experienced something that people in the UK are eager to learn about: You were open throughout the lockdown. You actually stepped outside!
You are the authority. Your experience is useful. Tell people about it. They’ll be eager to read it.
The upcoming biking boom
Biking is going to boom as a result of plans such as Streetspace For London which intends to “identify places…that would benefit from cycling and walking improvements”, thereby giving people more space to cycle and walk in London.
Other cities are following suit.
Now is the time to capture all those growing internet searches for bike shops.
Google prioritises “original reporting“, so it’s best to get in early on your content.
There is no limit to the creativeness possible in Content Marketing.
As businesses which were open throughout the lockdown, Cycle Shops are, willy-nilly, the new authorities on opening up for business during the coronavirus threat.
If they were to utilise that position of authority to provide useful content to fellow businesses and potential customers, they would start to gain traction in the realm of local search engine results, leading to a potential juggernaut of website traffic if the job is done well and sincerely.