Battle of the Brands: How Rideshare Companies Use Digital Marketing

Ridesharing started a new era in the transportation industry, and it’s not going away any time soon. Uber and Lyft rose above any other form of ground transportation – making both rental cars and taxis close to obsolete. 

Many other startup ridesharing companies have jumped on the bandwagon, but how will they grow in an already established market against two other rideshare giants? Fortunately, there’s more than one way to promote a ridesharing company, and with digital marketing, it’s more affordable than ever. Here we’ll look at some of the tactics 

Ridesharing in the SERPs

If you look here for tips and tricks on SEO and paid advertisement, you’ll understand that it’s challenging to target passengers. They are only focused on finding a quick and safe way to get from point A to point B.  

According to a survey, Uber has the highest brand awareness when compared to any of its ridesharing competitors. Despite it being the largest ride-sharing company in the world, anyone that does a quick search will find concerning results. Why is SEO reflecting negatively on a successful ridesharing brand? 

Uber’s marketing team did a remarkable job raising brand awareness. However, due to the volume of customers and high conversions, this translates to many news reports involving Uber drivers. Also, their brand-related keywords work wonders for those who are already familiar with their brand. The downside is neither the non-brand searches nor their ads address consumer concerns. 

While Uber was dealing with its many scandals in 2017, Lyft took the opportunity. They had the spotlight to use effective SEO and meta description to their advantage. They also have the upper hand by being more strategic in the search department and attracting new customers. 

Affiliate/Influencer Strategies

There are celebrities and influencers for every industry – including ridesharing. Lyft accomplished this in their “Undercover Lyft” series. The company recorded YouTube videos with some of the biggest celebrities in the world, from Demi Lovato to Chance the Rapper and Odell Beckham Jr.

This strategy can be accomplished with smaller ridesharing companies as well. All they need to do is reach out to someone with a large following. Since the majority of people use and benefit from ridesharing experiences, the niche is suitable for a broad audience. Then the company and influencer can strike a deal and create a sponsored post. 

Social Media Presence

Social media marketing consists of many forms of advertising: paid ads, story-telling, content creation, customer engagement, and more. Plus, passengers can promote businesses by themselves through shareable content and word of mouth by liking posts and tagging friends. Ridesharing companies of all sizes can benefit from these networking platforms. 

Referral Codes and Promos

Uber has an extensive referral program, which at a small loss of a free ride, invites many new passengers onto the platform. Through personalized referral codes, the company has been able to use their drivers as a walking advertisement for Uber. In this, everyone wins except for smaller rideshare startups who don’t have the funding to support that marketing strategy. 

Raising Awareness

The rideshare giants have their own way of raising awareness of issues that matter to them. Lyft has taken the eco-friendly approach by introducing carbon-neutral rides, bike-shares, and other modes of public transit. 

The company also included a series of other programs. One is the Round Up & Donate, a feature that lets you round up your change and donate it to a cause. Another is the Jobs Access Program. It launched last year to offer free or discounted rides to passengers going to job interviews and beginning employment. 

The Future of Rideshare

While Uber and Lyft are the most common apps on any phone, there’s no guarantee it’ll remain that way. With new tech around the corner, ridesharing giants will stay on their toes if they want to guard their position from upcoming startups. In the meantime, we’ll see Uber and Lyft take over other means of transportation, going as far as being driverless or in the sky.

Author: Mike