Posted October 16, 2023

Blueprint for digital success

Six proven online rental marketing techniques that drive growth.

by Karina Horton

According to recent reports from ActiveCampaign, companies that execute digital marketing strategies have a 13x increase in ROI year-over-yea. While statistics like this can seem broad, it’s probably no surprise that without an integrated online marketing strategy, your equipment rental company will struggle to engage with target buyers that your competition will happily snatch up.

A well-designed online presence increases company visibility and fosters trust and credibility in the eyes of prospective customers. By maintaining consistent web-based marketing efforts, rental businesses show they are responsive, relevant and ready to meet customer needs in a fast-paced, demanding and ever-changing digital market.

Here are six key strategies for promoting your equipment rental business online to attract more customers, retain your existing ones and drive growth.

1. Invest in SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is crucial for ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and especially for getting in front of your target market. Unfortunately, understanding and executing SEO strategies can also be complex, and many equipment rental businesses abandon efforts around it altogether. 

Fortunately, simple, low-hanging fruit SEO tactics can give you a big lift. In particular: 

  • Pinpoint keywords that drive traffic to your site. Conduct keyword research to understand what phrases prospective clients use when searching for rental equipment and structure your site content around them. Google's Keyword Planner tool can help you understand what people are searching for and how many times they search for it each month. Other third-party tools, like Semrush, can provide even more robust keyword research and planner tools, along with training and guidance for beginners.
  • Properly localize. Most equipment rental businesses serve a particular regional market. It’s imperative to properly set up and consistently manage your company’s Google Business Profile. You should create multiple if you have different locations. In addition, you’ll want to include localization in your content and with your keyword strategy.
  • Use meta data. Title tags and meta descriptions are the headlines and descriptions that show in a Google search query when you get a list of webpage results. Alt text is a written description of an online image that provides an alternative when the image is inaccessible to the user. All three of these are also major SEO signals that should contain your target keywords. Make sure you have proper SEO title tags (approximately 60 to 65 characters), meta descriptions (approximately 130 to 155 characters, and alt text set up for every page, including articles and forms, on your site.
  • Get backlinks where you can. Obtaining, or even purchasing, a link back to your site in other online publications is a big piece of Google’s sometimes elusive algorithm that decides how relevant your site is in search results. Consider local ones which are usually more cost-effective. Creating a long-term backlink-building strategy will give you the ultimate lift.
  • Continually feed your site. Google loves websites that are getting content fed to them consistently, continually and frequently because it tells Google that your site is still relevant and active. Constantly build your site out, add blogs or articles, add more pages, update inventory – everything helps improve your result ranking.

2. Leverage social media
Social media platforms are a potent tool for reaching a wide audience and continually interacting with your customers and advocates. Share relatable posts, engage with your audience, embrace your brand personality and leverage targeted ads to maximize your brand exposure.

If you are in business-to-business equipment rentals, you should focus your presence on LinkedIn, which is a good choice for building relationships with potential clients, customers and business partners. Depending on what markets your rental company serves, Facebook and Instagram can be worth the investment too, as these platforms are great for sharing equipment photos and creating content that people want to share.

YouTube is another excellent space where you can publish videos that show off details about the products you offer or showcase company employees talking about their jobs. This type of content will help build trust between potential clients, and the video content can be embedded in your website for even more engagement tools within your core digital home.

3. Encourage online reviews and testimonials

Consider these statistics:

  • 93 percent of consumers say online reviews and testimonials influence purchasing decisions.
  • 91 percent of people aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • 86 percent of consumers are more likely to sign a contract with a company with positive online reviews and testimonials, according to BrightLocal.

Online reviews significantly influence consumer decision-making. As a savvy equipment rental business owner, utilizing this powerful form of marketing within your online strategy is crucial. Online reviews and testimonials are a goldmine for new business opportunities. Start by engaging or asking clients to leave reviews after a successful rental experience.

Utilize online review platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and YellowPages, which offer a dedicated space for customers to share their experiences. Claim and optimize your business page on these sites and monitor your reviews regularly. Then, promote customer testimonials on your website and social media.

4. Use pay-per-click (PPC) and paid advertising
PPC campaigns are an excellent way to buy visits to your site. While it requires investment, a well-executed PPC or paid digital advertising campaign can deliver significant ROI through highly targeted traffic and new customers. The key is finding the right platform and creating effective ads that fit the platform's audience.

There are many different types of paid ads, including:

Google AdWords pay-per-click involves bidding on your target audience’s search terms and setting up ad copy and imagery that appears when you win the bids.

  • Banner ads on websites or social media platforms.
  • Sponsored blog posts on leading sites that serve your core market and industry.
  • LinkedIn ad campaigns that can target specific industry groups, company types, target business lists, or even people with specific roles within your industry.

In addition to driving site traffic and getting in front of businesses actively looking for rental products you offer when they need them, most paid advertising efforts also increase your SEO authority as explained in the first strategy discussed here.

5. Build a user-friendly website
You probably already know that a well-designed, easy-to-navigate website is essential for success with your online efforts. So, what does that look like exactly? Here are some tried-and-true ways to make sure you are fostering a digital space that encourages prospects to buy from you and your customers to keep coming back:

  • Intuitive navigation: Structure your site in a way that makes it easy for users to browse through different equipment categories. A clean design alongside a logical menu structure can significantly improve user experience and increase time on site.
  • Mobile responsiveness: Since most people will use their smartphones for online browsing, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is essential. Your website should be responsive and adapt to different screen sizes.
  • Photos and engaging content: Your visitors want access to as much information as possible without talking to someone or picking up the phone. Be sure to include easy-to-find and intuitive-to-search detailed descriptions, photos and information about your rental products and your inventory.
  • Calls-to-action: Make it easy for your website visitors to rent equipment with clear and prominent calls-to-action. Whether it's a "Rent Now" button or a contact form for quote requests, guide your users through their booking journey with a straightforward call-to-action.
  • Speed: Good website speed and loading times are crucial for providing a positive user experience that attracts buyers. This also improves your website's search engine ranking.

    Be sure to:
  1. optimize images, fonts and media
  2. minimize HTTP requests
  3. enable browser and server-side caching
  4. reduce redirects
  5. keep third-party scripts to a minimum
  6. constantly test and monitor your site's performance. 

6. Up your content marketing game
High-quality, valuable content not only bolsters your SEO efforts but also positions your firm as a thought leader in your equipment rental space. Consistently publish relevant blogs, guides, videos and product tips to educate readers and drive traffic.

Understand your audience, who they are, what they need, the questions they want answered and the type of content that resonates with them. This may include short product demos, long-form articles about different uses for your types of equipment, or curated social media posts showcasing your clients' innovative uses of your rentals. A dedication to regularly producing relevant, helpful content will increase visibility, provide better engagement rates, and acquire more rental requests from your potential clients. 

Adapt and stay dedicated
A robust online marketing plan requires regular evaluation and adaptation to changing circumstances and customer behavior. Implement and tweak these proven strategies to fit your equipment rental business model and customers. Remember, there's no silver bullet in online marketing. Each strategy serves a specific role and a holistic approach often reaps the best results.

By implementing the six vital digital strategies laid out here and staying consistent with them, you’ll give your rental business massive momentum for growth.

Karina Horton is the Marketing Manager of Open Door Technology Inc., a company dedicated to helping equipment rental businesses achieve growth through centralized, scalable business management software for more than 20 years.