As a skilled trade professional and an expert in your field, you are confident in your ability to tackle any building and renovating project. However, are your services and skills demonstrated online? Are potential customers able to see proof of your expertise with a quick online search?
By implementing the key marketing strategies discussed in this article, you will be able to answer yes to the above asked questions – you’ll be able to market yourself online in a way that will get you more exposure, generating leads and grow your business and client base.
Setting up a Digital Marketing Plan
Nowadays, any potential client expects you to have a digital footprint. Home improvement services and construction businesses without an online presence can lose out to competitors. That’s why it is important to start planning a smart digital marketing strategy for your business.
A local business needs a strong digital marketing strategy to reach new clients. Setting up a digital marketing plan for the construction business is a vital process that needs dedication and commitment in order to reach long term success. In the construction industry, a steady flow of leads is needed to stay in business. And having to focus on getting that next job lined up can distract you from focusing on the project at hand.
Therefore, it is recommended that you set up an effective marketing plan and process that will consistently bring new leads and potential clients with minimal to no effort on your side.
Note: You can do this yourself or hire a marketing agency to do it for you!
Why Digital Marketing is Important
Imagine yourself as a potential client. You’re planning to renovate your basement, kitchen, or bathroom. You have your plans and budget ready. Now it’s time to book a professional contractor that would implement your plans.
So, you grab your smart phone and get on Google, Facebook or Friendly.biz. You’ll search for a local contractor near you and go through the pages of businesses listed. You’ll find a promising business with a good website, you’ll try calling them, their phone number is outdated and out of service. You move to a competitor’s listing; you will be happy with pictures of previous projects they’ve uploaded on to their listing page. However, their business hours say they are currently closed.
So, you move to the next competitor; you find all the necessary information is accurate and updated. You’re find recent customer reviews; you’ll find links to their active social media. You call them, they answer. You book a service.
Over 97% of customers say they research about a local business online before booking a service (SEO Tribunal). They want to learn about your business, see previous works, read customer reviews. So, they check your online information and if they can’t find anything about you online, it is more than likely they will look for a different company. So, you see… digital marketing is very important.
Digital Marketing Strategies
The following key marketing strategies are the first steps in growing a strong and trustworthy online reputation and generating a consistent stream of work for your business. Implementing these strategies will increase your chances for a successful marketing campaign.
Strategy 1: Market Research
Market research isn’t something you do once at the start of your business. The digital world changes regularly, so your research should be continuous as well. Otherwise, you run the risk of making marketing decisions based on outdated information, which can lead to your business gaining a bad reputation.
Successful business owners use market research to keep up with upcoming trends and make better business decisions. Using market research to gain powerful knowledge and insights into your industry, can lead to success and allows your business to survive and thrive in this competitive market.
Your research should create a detailed understanding of what clients are looking for, what they are expecting and which of your marketing campaigns attracts the best leads.
If you do decide to cut corners in your initial planning stage, your campaigns will most likely not perform well. The more valuable information you gain, the more successful your online marketing is.
You should start by conducting a market analysis in your geolocation and vertical, studying and understand your competitors’ performance and testing various marketing tools to see which brings in the highest ROI (Return on Investment).
Strategy 2: Enhancing Your Digital Footprint
Make it easy for new clients to find your business. One of the first steps a construction business owner should make is to claim all business listing and citations, starting from Google My Business to Yelp and of course Friendly.
You can do a quick search of online directories that specialize in your industry. Either claim your business (It’s easy and free, all you need to do get a verification code through email or phone and the page’s ownership will transfer to you and you’ll be able enhance the information on the page). Or, if you’re business isn’t listed, you can simply add it for a small fee.
Claiming listings are a huge part of your digital marketing. When you claim your business, you have control over your business’s online presence, and the information you present to your customers. Make sure to include keywords that target your idea customer and rank you higher in Google searches.
Note: Claiming your business is free and can help you gain the best free online exposure.
Here’re some optimization tips to help you enhance your Friendly business listing:
- Check if your business information is accurate and up to date – phone number, operating hours, etc.
- Add a preferred email for receiving Submission Forms, preferable an email you can regularly check for customer inquiries.
- Add website and social media links.
- Add up to 2 categories, 10 services and 10 brands – the more you add the more likely a potential customer will find your listing.
- Fill out the About section – we suggest around 50-100 words describing your business.
- Pick some Friendlies & Amenities badges – easy way to spice up your business listing.
- Add a logo and attractive pictures of previous projects – highly recommended!
- Promote your listing by signing up for our Friendly Priority Listing – this is the most cost-effective way to gain maximum exposure.
Tip: Once your online presence is updated, make it easy for customers to choose you by adding a Call to Action, discount code or special promotion!
Strategy 3: Website and Landing Pages that converts
It isn’t debatable that having a professional and user-friendly website is the heart of your digital marketing efforts. Online directories listings, paid advertising campaigns and your social media all links back to your website. If your business doesn’t have a website, then you need to have it made as soon as possible.
If you don’t have a website yet, a professional one is a critical piece of your digital marketing plan. Here are a few ways you develop a good website fast:
- Hire someone to design a professional website then manage it yourself. Marketing of the business will then land on you.
- Have your website professionally built and managed by an external marketing team. You can add marketing packages like SEO and PPC campaign plans. This will free you up to providing great service to your customers, however, the marketing team would take control over your digital reputation with little to no transparency of their process. We recommend that you hire a team you trust to take over one of the most important parts of your business’s success.
- Use Friendly Landing Page, when adding or claiming your business on Friendly.biz, you’ll have access to our user-friendly dashboard and will be given a free landing page that can be used as a standalone website. Friendly also overs paid campaign plans as well as a tracking system to keep an eye on your performance and leads.
Strategy 4: Social Media
Social media is an important part of the digital journey your business needs to take to solidify your spot in the digital arena. Social media serves as point of contact for potential customers, and an effective way to promote your business. By sharing your posts, videos, and photos through social media, you can organically increase your exposure and expand your customer base.
Social media is regularly used by over 77% of all adults; any contracting business can benefit from creating a social media presence and testing social media marketing campaigns. Customers depend on social media recommendations before making a big purchase. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allows you to target customers actively searching for contracting services.
Social media can generate a good number of leads and sales and is an ideal place to launch a paid advertising campaign. Currently there are over 2.5 billion active users on Facebook. Creating a Facebook ad is a simple and effective way to generate leads.
If you are not currently using social media, you are missing out on one of the most effective ways to reach and engage with customers online. An active social account can help increase brand recognition and awareness, and social media advertising can increase your sales and revenue.
Strategy 5: Local SEO Campaigns
So, you’ve set up your website, claimed your directory listings and signed up to the biggest social platforms, next comes the ongoing task of improving your local ranking and search results visibility.
Google algorithm ranks your site based on their metrics of relevancy, accuracy, and authority. To maximize your business’s visibility in local search results, it is important that your online business information is accurate, consistent, and complete.
Here are some tips to improve your local search visibility:
- Fill in a much information as you can across all websites, business listings and social media. Make sure your business information is consistent on all platforms (address and phone number, operating hours, etc.) – Inconsistence information can hurt your Google ranking.
- Add a lot of pictures to all your profiles. As a contractor; a visual representation of your completed work can be a huge benefit in impressing prospective customers.
- Encourage loyal customers to write positive reviews on all directories and social platforms.
Strategy 6: Paid Advertising Campaigns
Let’s be honest here, the Google search results competition is fierce. Fighting for a position on the first page is a war many tackled but less succeed. Therefore, leveraging your business opportunities with paid advertising can be successful. If done correctly, paid ads can allow you to promote your business to key targeted market and streamline your investment towards success.
If you’re looking into paid advertisement as a contractor, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is one of the best strategies for your construction business. PPC is an advertisement campaign where you only pay a fee when the ad is clicked.
With a PPC campaign, the advertiser (you or a marketing agency) can attract quality traffic to your page. Depending on your budget, the marketing team can design a campaign that generates leads based on demographic, location, interests and most importantly keywords.
The best online advertising for contractors is Google Ads. As mentioned, a large percentage of customers look to hire a contractor search online and believe it or not, 99% of them won’t search on Google page 2.
Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are the most popular platforms for Pay Per Click campaigns. PPC allows advertisers to bid for ad placement on Google’s sponsored links. So, when a customer searches for your business using a keyword related to your business, your website pops up at the top of Google’s search results. And every time someone clicks on the ad, it directs them to your website or landing page and Google charges a small fee. When PPC is done correctly, the fee is considered marginal to the value and ROI these clicks generate. For example, if a click cost $2 and every 3 clicks results in a sale ticket of over $500 dollars. So for a $6 investment, you get a $500 return, then we’d say that’s a good ROI.
However, building a winning PPC campaign is not easy. Starting from market research, to selecting powerful keywords, to setting up a landing page that converts, to tracking results. Google rewards expertly created PPC campaigns by charging less for clicks. If your ads and landing pages are useful and relevant to the user, Google charges you less which leading to higher profits. So, if you want to start using a Pay Per Click campaign, it’s important to do it right.
Final note: Investing in a good digital marketing strategy can increase your business’s exposure and lead to opportunities and continuous growth. If implemented correctly, developing a winning digital marketing strategy for your construction company is a journey that takes time, effort, and continuous testing. With a range of marketing tools out there, it is important to track results and see what your target customers react to. A good marketing strategy should not overlook the testing and tracking of results. Simply said: better data leads to better results.
Learn more about how Friendly.biz can create a strategic digital marketing plan for you. Book a Friendly call here.
Use Subject: Digital Marketing