If you’re running a tow company, there’s probably a good chance that you’ve thought to yourself “How do I market my business and generate new leads?”. That’s the question that we will be answering today. You’ll learn 6 different aspects of tow truck marketing that you need to be paying attention to to properly generate leads. Most of these tactics don’t require a crazy amount of technical knowledge, with the exception of one or two.
1. Utilize Social Media
Social Media has become a key component of most companies’ marketing plans in the last decade, and for a reason. The usage of social media has been on an upward trajectory since its inception.
The most important social media channels you should look into are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Facebook has 2.27 billion monthly active users, Instagram has upwards of one billion monthly active users, and 67 million monthly active Twitter users.
If you use social media and interact with people that are in your target market, the next time they need a tow truck, who do you think they will call? That’s right, probably the company who just shared a picture of something that just happened on the job (e.g. a funny picture of a car they recently towed which was parked strangely).
You should create completely separate profiles for your towing business and for yourself (if you’re currently on social media). It’s not enough to post every once in a while about your business on your personal account.
If you’re getting nervous about the time investment required to grow your social media presence, take a deep breath, there’s solutions. You could outsource this task to a company that specializes in social media marketing. Many companies offer reasonable pricing for this task, and can get you results.
The second option is to focus your efforts effectively. Based on the 80/20 rule, if 80% of your results are coming from 20% of your effort, you should invest more time into whatever is working. It is not 100% necessary that you use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Maybe your local market is super into Instagram. Spend the next few weeks growing your Instagram profile and don’t worry about your Facebook or Twitter profile yet. You can always grow these later.
2. Make Sure You Have a Website
In today’s world, a website is a necessity for any business. If you’re telling someone about your business and they ask “what’s your website?”, you don’t want to have to say “Oh sorry we don’t have one.” Many consumers don’t feel safe picking you as a service provider if you don’t even have a website when all of your competitors do.
Web design may be something that you want to outsource, but it’s definitely possible to build a website yourself, depending on your technological know-how. Or maybe you have a nephew that knows how to build websites and can build you one for $20 (this is what I did for my uncle when I was 16).
If you’d like to try your hand at building a website for your company, I’d recommend using Wix or Squarespace. If you have a day to invest in learning and building your site, you can pump out a site that will do the job.
What to Include On Your Website
Have a call-to-action
Ensure that you have a call to action on your homepage that lets them know what you want from them. On most tow truck websites your main CTA will be to give you a call. You can make a button on the homepage that says “Give us a Call!” which, when clicked, will automatically start calling your company phone.
Include a NAP (name, address, phone number)
The NAP is important to show the consumer that your business is legit, and to build credibility with them. It also plays into SEO, which we will be going over a little later. Having your phone number listed again will remind them what you need them to do, which is call you.
Briefly go over services you offer
When a potential customer makes their way onto your website, they should be able to understand what you can do for them within a few clicks. Maybe include a “Services” subcategory on your navigation, which is a drop down with services that you offer. For an example, hover over the “Services” menu item on this site right now. Instead of SEO and Web Design, you could write “Towing”, “Recoveries”, “Winching” and any other services you may offer.
Your consumer shouldn’t need to question whether or not they can call you at any given time. There hours should be listed in plain sight, and maybe an icon that let’s them know if they are open or closed at that given time. This is possible but may require some outsourcing if you’re not technologically advanced.
3. Get Listed on Directories
Local directories are important for you to maintain for a variety of reasons. They are a source of leads in and by themselves, and when utilized in addition to a website, can provide customers for a full day’s work. Local directories are very important when it comes to local SEO, which is something we will be going more in-depth into later.
There are several subcategories that you want to look into and get on;
This would include your local chamber of commerce, and depending on your service range there may be general local directories to look into. For example, if you’re based in Dallas, maybe there is a directory called “dallasbusinessdirectory.com”. Finding these may take some digging.
These are probably the most important directories to list yourself on, since the majority of available leads come from these sites. They also work towards creating authority for your company locally.
Here’s a good base list of directories:
- Google My Business
- Bing Places
- Better Business Bureau
- Yahoo! Local
You’ll want to be on the directories that are popular in your local market, so you may need to do some research to determine what local consumers are using.
For most niches, there are directories that exclusively list businesses that are in that specific niche. Although there are not terribly many in the towing niche, there are a few, and it doesn’t hurt to list your business on here. The following list were the directories I found;
https://www.truckstopsandservices.com/get-listed.php — Although it is a trucking directory, they also have tow truck companies listed.
4. Utilize SEO
This is the strategy I enjoy the most, and the most effective (in my opinion). If you read this blurb and are confused to no end, please click here to start a discussion about how I can grow your towing business.
This is my favourite tow truck marketing channel to use, and one I think you should work on. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process in ranking a website on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). The main search engine you need to look into is Google. Bing and Yahoo don’t generate half of the searches that Google generates.
There are a few places you want to be when someone in your local market searches “tow truck near me”;
The Map Pack
This is the map pack (Yes, I am writing this on Christmas Eve). It’s generated based off of your Google My Business listing (remember this from #3?). There are a lot of factors Google uses to determine which 3 tow truck companies get on the map pack, but here’s a few.
NAP Presence, Consistency and Volume
If you remember from earlier, NAP is your business’ name, address and phone number. It’s extremely important for you to have this on your website, for both the consumer and Google. These are called citations when built all over the internet.
There’s a few things to remember when building citations. The first and most important thing is to keep them consistent. If you build a citation on site X and your address is 1234 Main St, but on site Y your address is 12345 Main St, Google doesn’t like it.
I know the difference doesn’t seem like it should bomb your rankings, especially if you mess up the zip code/postal code, but it’s important! It doesn’t look good to consumers either.
Google My Business Profile
Your Google My Business profile will play a big role in whether or not you are listed on the map pack. The first thing you need to make sure to do is fully complete your profile. Anything you can include on your listing should be complete.
Include all the obvious stuff like your phone number, zip/postal code, address, website and anything they ask for. Make sure you have several high quality pictures to do with your company. These could include pictures of your office, some of your tow trucks, and maybe some pictures of your staff.
Work on growing your reviews on your Google My Business page, talk to people that you’ve already built rapport with and ask them to leave you a review, and ask people in the future if they were happy with your services. Also respond to your reviews, which we’ll be going more in depth on later.
Organic Search Listings
These are the results that appear after the map pack (assuming there is one for the given keyword). You’ll want to optimize your website for a few “keywords”, which are what people type into Google to find (hopefully your) tow truck;
- (city) towing company
- (city) tow truck
- (city) towing service
These are the main search phrases people will search when they’re in need of a tow. If you optimize your website for these terms, you’ll have the best opportunity to be building a consistent stream of leads for your business.
How Do You Optimize Your Website?
Although SEO is a long and technical process, there are certain steps you can take with limited technological knowledge. Here’s a few of those steps;
Optimize Your Website Meta Title and Description
These are the title and description that people will find after they search for something on Google.
Title: Best (City) Tow Truck Service | (Your Business Name) Towing Company
Description: If you’re looking for a tow truck in (city), look no further. We are (city)’s #1 rated towing company and are available day and night for your towing needs.
You don’t want your title and description to seem like they were generated by a robot to include your keywords, because Google picks up on this and doesn’t like when automation is used too much.
A backlink is a link on a webpage that, when clicked, will take you to another page. If you hover over the word “backlink” earlier, you’ll see that I am “backlinking” to an article from Brian Dean. These help Google to understand that you are an authority site in your niche, and you’ll see increased rankings in the SERPs because of it.
One way for you to build backlinks is by getting listed on directories. This is another reason why directories are important. They’re helpful for your map pack rankings, as well as organic rankings, so make sure you get listed!
Other ways you can build backlinks include guest posting, which is where you write an article on a blog in your niche. You could google anything related to towing and contact the people who run the site. Blog owners are always wanting to put out more high quality content.
Another way to get backlinks is by writing high quality content that other people in your industry want to link back to. Although this is more of a long-term SEO strategy, it is something that many business owners should look into.
5. Online Paid Advertising
Online paid advertising is exactly what it sounds like, online advertising where you pay based on a certain variable. Most often in paid advertising, it is PPC (pay-per-click). Your ad may be shown to 1000 people, but if only one person clicks on your ad, you’ll only have to pay for that one click.
Although there are lots of paid advertising channels you should look into using, there are a few that are more important than others.
Google AdWords is the PPC component of Google Search. This is the most important online advertising platform to be on. It’s because as long as you live in a city with a decent population, there is almost a guarantee that people are searching Google for a tow truck.
Here’s a list of 7 randomly generated cities in USA and their respective search volume for (city) tow truck:
Mesa Tow Truck – 70 searches per month
San Diego Tow Truck – 260 searches per month
Miami Tow Truck – 480 searches per month
Milwaukee Tow Truck – 320 searches per month
Houston Tow Truck – 720 searches per month
Kansas City Tow Truck – 90 searches per month
Baltimore Tow Truck – 140 searches per month
These cities were generated at random, and they produced on average about 300 searches per month. When I Googled most of these phrases, there were no companies advertising, which means that the CPC (cost per click) would be cheaper because the demand for companies to advertise outweighs the supply of companies currently advertising.
When I looked over the average CPC that people were paying per click, the average came out to be around $4 per click. This is why you want to use SEO and PPC in conjunction with one another, especially while trying to earn your #1 rankings. Although $4 per click is a pretty cheap price per lead, if you can earn the traffic for free through SEO, that’s much better!
Yelp is one of the most expensive platforms for a company to advertise through, so it won’t fit into many company’s tow truck marketing game plans. Although it is expensive, if you can afford it you may want to look into it.
The leads you can generate are very hot, because someone on Yelp is most likely someone with their wallet open ready to pay.
We talked about using Facebook in #1, but now we’re gonna talk about using it in another way, for paid advertising through Facebook Business. You can create facebook ad campaigns with a wide variety of “objectives”, which is what Facebook uses to classify how you pay for the ad.
A Facebook campaign for a towing company would mainly be used to bring awareness to the public of your business. I would not recommend this paid advertising channel until your business is generating money that you can afford to play with.
This is because when someone is on Facebook they have not shown any need for a tow truck, they’re just socializing with their friends. The sale will only come in the future when they’re on the side of the road and remember that ad they saw from your company on Facebook after watching a funny cat video.
The best objectives for a tow truck marketing campaign are video views, traffic and engagement. You would use video views when promoting a video you posted on your page. If your goal is to send them to your website, you’ll want to use traffic. And engagement is for growing your facebook page, as you pay per like on your post.
6. Online Reputation Management
Online reputation management is when you manage your business’ reputation online. Duh… thanks for the valuable insight, you may be saying to yourself. Okay it’s not quite that simple.
Part of online reputation management is responding to reviews you get across various platforms, most often these would include; Google My Business, Yelp and Facebook. A big key here is responding to positive AND negative reviews. A potential customer will take into account your response to a negative review just as much as your response to a positive review, more likely, even more.
You also want to make sure that when people try to Google you (as in your personal name), your business, or any of your employees, that what shows up is beneficial to your company. This takes some more advanced SEO knowledge, but for now you should just Google the above mentioned entities, and be sure that you like what shows up. If for some reason you don’t, contact me and we’ll see if I can help you out.
A tow truck marketing plan could consist of a whole multitude of advertising platforms and marketing strategies, but today we went over just 6 of the keys to remember when looking at your current marketing plan. I hope you’ve learnt a new aspect on how to grow your towing business today. If you’d like to learn how I can redesign your tow truck marketing plan, please reach out to me here, and we’ll have a chat about what I can do for you.