Planning your marketing? Search online for ideas and you’ll be overwhelmed with marketing tactics from A to Z. But which would work best for you?
Having worked with contractors and home service businesses, we’ve seen which marketing tactics work and which are a waste of time. We’ve put together a list of tactics that are working NOW to get results, so keep reading.
Before we start, we should mention that your first step should be setting up your marketing strategy and goals. This will make it easier to choose the steps that’ll help you reach those goals.
Don’t have a strategy yet? Take a look at our post on why your business needs a marketing strategy. It lists the top elements that should be included.
Now let’s get started with marketing tactics for home service businesses.
It’s all about trust
Let’s remember one of the top reasons why someone hires a business like yours: trust and reputation.
Of course, the quality of your work is what gains trust and strengthens your reputation. But you can also show how much trust you’ve gained from past customers to help gain the trust of new ones. You do this with reviews, testimonials and referrals.
Because for service-based businesses, trust is what gets you that first phone call.
First, how’s your online salesperson?
You have a good website, right? This is the first order of business, because a website serves as your “online salesperson.” A good salesperson is friendly, knowledgeable, trustworthy, can relate to potential customers, and is good at closing the sale. Your website should do the same.
Anything else you do online, from promotions to directory listings, review sites and social media, should lead people back to your website, which will work to convert them so they contact you. Once your website is solid, you’re ready for specific tactics.
Here are 7 that will help you gain trust and boost your visibility online:
1. Get more reviews with reputation management
Reviews are vital to a home service business. And by vital we mean you’ll get more calls (and sales) with more reviews. That’s because they help you close the sale. Good reviews tell visitors “it’s safe to put your project in our hands.”
With a reputation management service, you’re not just keeping track of reviews, you’re proactively getting more across different sites. Read our post on how online reviews boost sales to learn why you need more reviews than you think. And keep in mind, reviews help your Google ranking as well.
2. Boosting referrals from customers
Referrals from customers are another way to show off your trustworthiness and reputation. With a referral program, you can put friend-to-friend referrals on steroids. All you need is to offer a little incentive. How about 10% or 15% off their next service? Or a $20 credit or VISA gift card? Or a free service worth less than $50? They benefit and you can potentially gain a long-term customer, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
3. Voice search: “Alexa, list top-rated plumbers near me”
Is your website ready for voice search? It’s hard enough getting ranked in search engines, whether it’s Google or Bing (which is what Alexa uses). With people now using voice commands to search, it’s more important than ever that your website keeps up. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is part art and part science, so it’s best to engage a Local SEO to get you the best results possible.
4. Email marketing: it’s very much alive and well
Email is often overlooked, but it’s a top tool in the marketing toolbox. Not only will it help carry out efforts like your referral program and review requests, it’s also great for nurturing leads and more sales from current customers. For example, an HVAC business can email past customers during slow season and offer a discount to those who get their A/C fixed or upgraded before summer.
5. Hit hyper-local areas with online ads
Advertising online has advanced to the point where you can target an audience based on their demographics, interests, behaviors and location down to zip codes. It’s possible on Facebook, Instagram and others and at cheaper rates than Google ads.
6. Use social media marketing as a long-term play
Forget complaints you may have heard about social media being “pay to play” or taking too long to build an audience. Younger generations are in social media apps all day and even use them as search engines now instead of Google. As Millennials and Gen Z become a larger part of your customer base, you want to make sure you’re on social to connect with them, answer questions and post content showing how you can help.
7. Use the power of video marketing
Today’s consumer loves visual content, which is why video marketing has become a powerful way to get attention and results for businesses. Even video from a smartphone, if done well, can tell your story in a way that’s fun, interactive and educational. Grab attention for your business with more video.
Never before has the small business owner had so many options to promote their business and, in many cases, for free. Take advantage of the many marketing tactics available. And if you’d like some help, give us a shout.