Whether it’s roofing or full remodels, competition between home improvement contractors is at an all-time high. In this reputation-based industry, deals often come down to word-of-mouth and referrals. Even so, there’s still a lot you can do to take your marketing to the next level and win more business.
Here are seven marketing strategies you can start using today:
This is a simple first step that you can take immediately. Look at your current digital presence, from your website and social media accounts to places like Angie’s List, and make sure that your business information is correct and consistent across each.
When it comes to local markets, search engines value consistency above all else. You don’t need to have a complex website, but if your business information is consistent across every site you do show up on, that sends a strong signal to engines like Google and Yelp and makes it more likely that they’ll surface your info to users.
For your business to grow, you’ll have to look beyond the contacts that are already in your inbox. That means building a formalized email list to help you capture, nurture, and convert leads into customers.
Building an email list pays off in multiple ways. First, email is 40 times better at attracting new customers than social channels like Facebook or Twitter are, according to McKinsey. And as QuickSprout discovered, email subscribers are often more likely to share content via social channels, helping your message spread.
You’re very busy growing your business—and that’s before you even open your inbox. If only emails could write themselves…
The next best thing? Write an email once and automate the rest. Both Mailchimp and Constant Contact can help you create a series of “lifecycle” emails to reach customers at just the right moment, automatically.
Don’t get stuck writing the same message again and again. Look at the emails you tend to send frequently (or that you should be sending frequently) and identify good candidates for automation. For example, you can set up automated emails to follow up with leads after a consultation, request feedback once a job is complete, or welcome people who have signed up for your email list.
In the 1930s, Hollywood advertisers determined that they needed to send a promotional message seven times before it finally got across. That was then. Now that the average person sees thousands of ads in a given day, that number is probably much higher.
That’s why posting on social media is a great way to get visibility for your business. Repeated exposure can help your message reach—and eventually resonate with—your audience. Whether you’re a business owner or a salesperson, posting on social media is an essential way to get more exposure.
But where to begin? Try this: post videos or pictures that you can tag others in. When you do that, everyone else in their social circle can also see your post, giving you the benefit of social proof, building brand awareness, and helping you win more business.
Print advertising in local papers can get pricey, but digital advertising is accessible to almost everyone and can be a great way for small businesses to build brand awareness. In fact, you can run Facebook ads for as little as $1/day!
But when you create these ads, don’t just put your name out there and hope that people notice. Instead, offer them something of real value in return. Even if people aren’t ready to buy from you, they may be interested in a free consultation or a report on how to increase their home’s value or protect it from damage. Ads that offer value perform the best. Just be sure to target correctly: Facebook, Google, and Instagram all let you get very specific about the audience you want to reach.
After investing valuable time and money to get a person’s attention…why contact them only once? If you’re connecting with your leads once and not following up, you’re leaving money on the table. Effective follow-ups can result in business that would have been lost if you had given up on the first try.
Even if a lead doesn’t buy from you at first, you can follow up to find out why and if there was anything you could have done better. This technique is called rehashing. It may feel redundant, but that’s time well spent: even if you win just one additional job from every 20 leads you rehash, that’s thousands of extra dollars in your pocket.
As papers and newsrooms shrink, local reporters are under more pressure to put out quality reporting with fewer resources. Help them out by alerting them to stories they may be interested in.
For example, if your company has been involved in community service or has hosted a local event, send a brief and respectful email to your local paper to let them know about it. Explain why you think the story would be interesting to their audience and include key facts and details. Coverage in your local paper can do more than create brand awareness: it can also boost your credibility and reputation in the market.
Most contractors aren’t doing any kind of effective marketing—let alone doing it from multiple angles. Try to implement just one or two of these strategies at first and see the ROI. Once you see how effective they can be, you’ll want to do more!