A man named Phanindra Sama once couldn’t find a bus to go back home, and decided to never let this happen to anyone else, and ended up finding a million-dollar company. This is the story of redBus!
redBus initially started to solve a problem, and in spite of some initial hiccups, it has now become a name synonymous with bus bookings. One can notice how they have made use of the digital world to market themselves and become visible to people who were having trouble booking a ticket.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the ways in which redBus has utilised the online medium to create and market campaigns. Readers will get an in-depth understanding of how RedBus used various platforms to make its campaigns effective and get more people to use their software.
redBus was pioneered by three BITS Pilani alumni – Phanindra Sama, Charan Padmaraju, and Sudhakar Pasupunuri. redBus is an online bus ticketing platform that lets people book their bus travels online. They started this platform in August 2006 with only one bus operator, selling a few seats.
Today, over 6 million people have booked as many as 6 crore tickets on redBus via different mediums like apps, websites, and agents. They are now associated with over 2,300 bus operators and 80,000 routes in over 30,000+ outlets. The growth of redBus is one that can teach budding entrepreneurs and marketers how to become successful through creativity, strategy, and hard work.
Why Should Marketers Study redBus’s Digital Marketing Strategies?
Marketers should study redBus’s digital marketing strategies so they can infuse similar strategies and plans for their own business and experience the kind of growth redBus did. Since redBus primarily relies on the online platform for their sales, they require a set of digital marketing strategies that can help them get the most profits.
redBus’s Digital Marketing Strategies
Red Bus can be taken as a great example for companies who wish to optimise their digital marketing strategies. Let’s look into each of the platforms redBus uses to make the most out of the digital world.
The home page of redBus can be divided into seven parts:
The first part of the home page allows you to book your tickets. All you need to enter is the two cities you’re traveling between and the dates. You will then be guided to the next page, where you can find all the bus information.
The second part of the home page states some reasons why one should book with redBus. The following are the pointers mentioned by redBus as their USPs:
- Multiple bus services
- Secured payments
- Global Coverage
- Superior customer support
The third part of the website is where redBus gets their customers to trust them, showcasing the reasons behind their USPs. This section comprises all their awards and recognition.
The fourth and fifth section of the homepage showcases different countries redBus is present. These two sections are a testament to their growth and how much they’ve grown to become the top bus operator.
In the next (6th) section, redBus talks more about their company, what they do, how to go about booking a bus on their platform, and so on.
The next section comprises exclusively of their Europe tours.
Overall, the website is structured well. If a customer has come with the intention of booking tickets, they can do so conveniently and get their job done. On the other hand, redBus has also considered first-time users who may be doubtful to make bookings on their platform. Hence, they have enough information on their home page to convince new customers to book their bus journey with them and establish their reputation.
Moving on to the booking page, the design of the page is easy-to-follow and user-friendly. They also have many filter options that can help customers find the buses they need within no time.
The entire process is simple and designed to ensure it is done quickly. The application is also designed to provide maximum functionality and is user-friendly.
redBus’s Social Media Marketing Strategies
redBus has a strong social media presence on different platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Here is the gist of how they perform on all these other platforms:
|Platform||No. of followers||Engagement rate|
redBus’s Instagram Marketing Strategy
redBus’s Instagram marketing strategy revolves around engagement and interaction. Initially, their posts on Instagram focused on posting product-centric posts majorly. However, off-late, there has been a shift in their content bucket, and they have started experimenting with different kinds of posts.
As of April 2021, they currently have 15.1k followers on Instagram with their bio reading
🌍 World’s largest bus ticketing platform
🎫 180 mn tickets sold to date
👥 20 mn customers globally
Bus yani redBus!
Their posts focus on engagement and prompt their followers to comment and interact with them. However, the response is quite limited. They receive an average of 7 comments per post.
Memes are another post that can be noticed on redBus’s Instagram page.
They also post many product-related and festival posts for their Instagram family. However, it can be seen that redBus’s Instagram comments are often filled with comments and backlashes from unhappy customers.
Out of all the comments on the posts, redBus replies to one comment with a promise of rectifying their issue. However, a good marketing strategy would mean responding to all comments to ensure goodwill.
What is redBus’s Instagram engagement rate?
redBus’s Instagram engagement rate is 1.85%, and they receive an average of 274 likes and 7 comments per post. (Source)
redBus’s Facebook Marketing Strategies:
Considerably ahead of redBus’s Instagram page, redBus’s Facebook has over 1,174,803 followers. Their posts on Facebook are quite similar to those on Instagram. They also started a redBus travel content to generate user-generated content and get more traffic and content for their posts. In return, they offered discounts.
Their Facebook, too, like Instagram, receives many negative comments and backlashes. Their replies to these comments are limited to 1 per post.
What is redBus’s Facebook engagement rate?
redBus’s Facebook engagement rate is 0.02%. (Source)
redBus’s Twitter Marketing Strategies:
redBus’s Twitter account has over 16.7k followers (as of April 2022). Their post on Twitter is also very similar to that on their other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. They also post the same contests, engagement posts, and updates on Twitter.
What is redBus’s Twitter engagement rate?
redBus’s Twitter engagement rate is 0.01%, and they receive an average of 2 likes per post, with no retweets. (Source)
redBus’s YouTube Marketing Strategies
redBus’s YouTube marketing strategies involve posting a range of videos to keep their audience engaged.
Evidently, they have also posted content in local languages to attract an audience across various regions. They have 139K subscribers on their YouTube page.
redBus’s SEO Strategies
redBus uses many SEO strategies to ensure that anybody who wants to book a bus books only on their platform. Their SEO strategies have helped them get a domain authority score of 61 and organic search traffic of 7.5 million.
They employ various methods to keep their SEO game strong. The first one on the list is through keywords.
redBus optimises its website by adding relevant keywords wherever required. They perform in-depth research on the appropriate keywords and what people search for and use it on their website accordingly. As a result, these are the keywords Google targets to gain better insights for their website.
After completing their keyword research, redBus thinks about how they can structure the content in their title, description, URL, and home page in that sequence. They also ensure that they rank higher than their competition through SEO strategies. They ensure not to cram all of their keywords into a non-meaningful or desperate manner. It’s a battle of quality versus quantity, and redBus prioritises quality over quantity.
redBus stays away from keyword stuffing and optimises all the URLs on its site for different keywords. Hence, all their keywords aren’t stuffed in the homepage alone. They maintain a good balance between their content and form, which holds a good design for their websites.
redBus also maintains a blog through which they keep adding content to their website. Their blogs use keywords that help them rank and structure them in a way to increase readability – they use the right font and colour to ensure that one can read the blog properly and spend time reading it entirely.
Here is a glimpse of redBus’s blog page
They write on blogs related to travel and the regulations involved. Here are some of their blog titles you can take inspiration from:
- Unknown Indian Railways Luggage Rules
- 5 Biggest Railway Stations in India in Terms of Platforms
- What is a Waiting Ticket? Are waiting tickets allowed on Train?
- Top 10 Festivals in Gujarat that You Must Attend
- Difference Between EC and CC in Train
Top Digital Marketing Campaigns of redBus
1. “What Happens Next” Campaign
A video-based campaign was built around Raj and Simran. They meet at a bus stop to board redBus. The goal was to keep redBus in the spotlight while presenting bus travel differently. redBus attempted to instill the idea that bus travels might now be a source of love and adventure by using a pair familiar to everyone familiar with Bollywood and synonymous with love and adventure.
2. #Journeybegins Campaign – 2020
This campaign run by redBus was run as traveling resumed after the pandemic hit. The video was released on August 2, 2020, which was the same time when people could travel back to their homes, or go back to work. redBus introduced their “Safety+” buses. These buses guarantee the use of sanitisers and other safety measures to ensure to keep COVID19 at bay.
This campaign was successful because people were still reluctant to travel, and safety was their primary concern. By giving people the confidence and promise of safety, they increased their number of bookings for buses. The story was innocent, relatable and a conversation that people may have had in their households too. It’s what gave them the positive response they very much deserved.
3. Campaign with MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni is the focus of a large-scale, 360-degree integrated marketing campaign launched by redBus. The campaign, which McCann Worldgroup – Bengaluru conceptualised, underlines important platform propositions with a strong story given by Dhoni, who was recently selected as redBus’ brand ambassador.
The campaign highlights key parts of bus travel that annoy passengers, affecting the total experience of the journey — from booking tickets to arriving at the destination. Most traditional and illegal booking agencies provide passengers minimal options in seat selection or extra legroom while charging exorbitantly, leading to an unpleasant or disturbing voyage.
Passengers who reserve their seats on the redBus platform, on the other hand, are spared from such anguish since redBus not only allows passengers to select their preferred seat but also offers the best prices, in addition to a slew of additional features that make bus travel more simple. With two engaging and imaginative films starring the cricket legend, the ad powerfully illustrates these aspects.
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! If you want to establish great digital marketing tactics for your brand, you can enroll in Digital Scholar’s online digital marketing course. This course is designed for students who want to learn all about digital marketing and how to use it to grow their company.
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