In 2023, the market size of the driving school industry is valued at a staggering $1.2 billion. While these figures imply that there’s a great potential in this market, it also means this industry is highly competitive and that if you want to overtake the competition, you need to be strategic with your marketing.
But doing that is not an easy feat especially with all the different tactics for driving schools that you have to choose from. Managing the business is one thing, but poring over which strategy works is another. It’s overwhelming. It’s exhausting. It’s time consuming. This is why we’ve put together this helpful resource where you can learn 25 digital and traditional marketing strategies that will help you succeed.
Compared to traditional strategies, digital marketing is a more cost-effective and faster means to connect with your desired audience—faster in the sense that almost everyone nowadays is on their computers and phones. Through digital marketing, you can reach them through a website, social media, emails, and ads.
Nowadays, when people are interested in learning to drive, the first place they often do is search for driving schools online using their favorite search engines. This is why creating a website and making sure it’s visible through SEO should be at the core of your digital marketing strategy. Besides giving your business a sense of “legitimacy,” it’s a tool for educating your target audience, communicating with potential customers, observing audience behavior, and so much more.
Make sure your website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and contains all of the necessary information about your business such as your address, contact information, and course offerings.
If they can’t find you through Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engines, they will search for you on social media. But which social media platform should you be in? The answer is simple, it depends on where your target audience is. Take note that Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Twitter have different algorithms and serve different content types. Each platform attracts a different audience, so study them carefully. For example, if your target audience are teenage drivers who would like to learn driving theory e-learning, your best bet is to use Tiktok.
Once you’ve identified which platform is best for your business, create a profile and start publishing content that’s helpful for your target audience. Educational resources are a good starting point and from there, you can study how your audience responds to different topics and content types (image, video, text, carousel, etc.)
Google Ads are a great way to get your business everywhere on the internet! When you run a campaign, your ads can be shown in Google’s search results pages, as well as in different third-party websites that agree to display such types of ads. To succeed with this strategy, you need to center your ads and landing pages around the different keywords that potential customers would use when searching for online driving schools. The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to those keywords, the higher your chances are at success.
Another tip is to regularly monitor the performance of your ad campaign so you can make adjustments as needed. In turn, your proactiveness will lead to more effective ads that will attract more students.
According to Hubspot, 96% of marketers say that videos have helped their audience understand their product or service. There’s no doubt in how effective video marketing is—it’s just a matter of consistency in producing high-quality videos that are not only visually appealing, but are valuable to potential students.
Create a plan that includes all the potential topics you can cover such as driving lessons, safety tips, behind the wheel lessons, and driving instructor insights. You can also optimize the videos with keywords to drive your school’s discoverability and collaborate with influencers who are followed by your target audience. Monitor and analyze your video content performance to fine-tune your approach.
Sharing your expert insights about driver education, road safety, in car lessons and practical tips to pertinent websites allows you to position your driving school as a thought leader. Craft guest articles that resonate with the target audience of the hosting website, while providing a guarantee of the credibility of your driving programs.
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Include a convincing bio and backlinks to your online driving school's website within the articles to drive traffic to your website and increase the growth of student enrollments.
Over the years, email marketing has remained an effective marketing channel. Do away with emails that are all text. Use visually appealing content, clear calls to action, and craft impactful messages by using the same language as your students. Observe how they communicate in other channels, what sort of messaging they positively respond to, and replicate that in your messages. If you don’t have any experience with writing emails, you can start with templates that are available online.
Here are some ideas—you can send them personalized emails discussing driving instructor insights, tips on how to pass the driving test, and driver education basics. You also need to filter out your email list based on the student’s level of interest in your driving school and engagement. This is to ensure that the email content you’re sending is properly targeted and relevant.
Ads are a great way to boost your presence on social media platforms. However, it requires precision that comes from a deep understanding of your target audience. You need to determine their behavior, interests, and demographics because all of this information will be useful in refining your ad’s targeting. The more you know your potential students, the higher are your chances of reaching them with your ads.
Also make sure to use clear, concise, and attention-grabbing copy along with attractive media assets such as images or videos. Experiment with different types of ads and carefully monitor the results to see what’s working and what’s not.
Infographics are a simplified and powerful tool to convey complex information. They should be visually appealing and attention-seeking. You can highlight your new driver education statistics in your city, and educate potential student drivers about the benefits of enrolling in your online driving school.You can then promote and embed your infographics through various channels like social media, blog posts, and email campaigns. The goal is to establish your brand as an authority in online driving school in an engaging format.
Paid search advertising allows you to promote your business on search results pages of other search engines beyond Google. While Google seems to be the most popular search engine, some of your students might prefer using other search engines like Yahoo or Bing. Through these ads, you can maximize your reach and your results. Same as Google ads, you need to identify the keywords being used by your target audience when searching for online driving schools. This way, you can create relevant ads and landing pages that will appear every time people use those keywords to search on the internet.
It's one of the cost-effective ways to promote your online driving school, where ad spend is utilized whenever a user clicks on your ad. Still, monitoring your ad performance and using data for further adjustments and improvements is essential for a successful campaign.
Remarketing serves as a reminder to your previous site visitors about your online driving school and encourages them to learn how to drive online. You can segmentize your previous website visitors based on their behavior on your website. That way, you can serve ads that are relevant to each segment.
Traditional marketing strategies are marketing techniques that have been around for many years. It consists of print advertising, TV commercials, direct mail, billboards, and many others. These strategies are a great addition to your marketing mix. Online driving schools can utilize this to reach out to a wider audience who's not active in the online space. For example, when someone sees a TV commercial or a billboard, they are forced to pay attention to it. It makes them interested to know more about what they have just seen.
Research shows that for every 1,000 Americans, 62% still read printed newspapers and magazines. Such is proof that despite the times, these traditional forms of media are still an effective marketing channel. First and foremost, determine what types of printed media your potential students read. If you’re focused on teen driver education, you may opt for a teen magazine or a magazine that parents usually read or look into.
Think of billboards and bus benches as the rockstars of advertising – they're impossible to ignore. When strategically placed, they give your online driving school a major popularity boost, making it stand out like a champ. Use bold visuals, crisp messages, and a clear call to action to grab attention and spark curiosity.
Sponsoring local events that align with your brand allows you to establish your local presence. You can participate in sports events, and other community gatherings to showcase your expertise on road test and safety tips for drivers, behind the wheel lessons, teen driver education, and teach an overview of your driving course engaging directly to your potential students. It does not only give you exposure but also positions your driving school as a valuable resource in the community.
Handing out flyers and brochures at community events is a straightforward way to reach people who are interested in learning how to drive. An important reminder is to ensure that your flyers and brochures are well-designed and informative. They should also include clear and concise information about your online driving school, such as the types of courses you offer, your pricing, and your contact information.
Team up with local businesses. Think of other businesses in your community that are often patronized by your target audience. For example, if you want to attract teen students, you might want to collaborate with the coffee shop where they typically hang out in or with the clothing store where they frequently purchase their clothes from. It’ll be a win-win situation. These businesses get to treat their customers to discounts on your courses, and you get a chance to showcase your offers.
By offering prizes such as free courses or driving lessons, you can incentivize people to participate and spread the word about your school. To maximize the impact of your contests and giveaways, it’s important to promote them through various channels. Share information about your contests on social media, include them in email campaigns, and advertise them on your website to reach a wider audience.
Trade shows and industry events provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase products and services to a targeted audience of potential customers. By setting up a booth or exhibit at these events, you can increase your visibility and attract more potential students to your online driving school. Look out for schedules within your area and attend regularly.
By sharing expert tips on safe driving, road rules, and tests, you can showcase your experience while introducing your platform. To leave a lasting impression, get creative. Use visuals and interactive demos—show off videos of your courses, set up quizzes, and even let volunteers take your platform for a spin. Spice things up with driving-related games and rewarding winners with cool prizes like a free access to your platform. This isn’t just about talking, it’s about captivating and connecting with your target audience.
Be visible in your local community. When it comes to traditional marketing, it’s easier to start within your own circle. So try to be active as much as you can. Sponsor a charity event, donate courses to schools, or engage in driving-related educational events. You can also collaborate with like-minded local businesses.
Word-of-mouth marketing is perhaps among the most cost-effective ways to attract new students. You don’t have to spend for ads. You don’t have to go and give out flyers either because your students are doing the marketing themselves. To encourage this, come up with a rewards system. You can offer course discounts or gift vouchers they can use in your partner businesses.
Beyond the realms of digital and traditional marketing, there's a whole world of creative strategies out there. From giving people memorable experiences with experiential marketing to teaming up with influencers who love your stuff, these alternative approaches can make your business stand out in a competitive market.
- Create a referral program. A referral program is a clever marketing move where people get perks for bringing in students. It’s like having a team of trusted ambassadors spreading the word about your business.
- Offer discounts for early bird bookings. Speed up the class filling and revenue growth by offering special deals to those who sign up ahead of time.
- Get certified by a recognized driving school association. Fulfill specific requirements to seal the approval of the driving organization like the National Driving School Association (NDSA), the American Driving School Association (ADSA), and the International Driving School Association (IDSAA).
- Offer free online courses. Give interested students a free taste of what you have to offer. This allows them to experience your platform and figure out if it’s suitable for their needs.
- Partner with other online driving schools. Together, you can tap into new audiences and fuel growth. Choose partners with similar or complementary courses, then spread the word about each other on websites, emails, and social media.
Building and managing an online driving school is one thing, but marketing it is another. It’s a whole new endeavor that seems daunting at first. However, with these strategies, we hope you’ll have the confidence to move forward towards success. Just remember, don’t do everything all at once. Take it one strategy at a time or according to your own pace. Observe what works and what doesn’t, and be quick to pivot when needed.