By Tammy Vasquez
For those in the home service industry, it’s vital to have an established marketing plan. It is essential to the survival of the company because of the abundance of contractors in any given area. To be successful, customers must know who you are, where to find you, and what services your company offers. Having a top-notch marketing strategy can set you apart from the competition and have your phone lines ringing off the hook with people making appointments.
For some in the home service industry, the idea of creating an effective marketing plan may instantly cause stress. The truth is marketing doesn’t have to be a complicated part of running your business. In many cases, the best option is to outsource overly technical or specialized elements to companies that specialize in the field. SEO or SEM services can be complex, so finding a trusted business with expertise is beneficial and provides business owners peace of mind.
The same applies to website management. Managing website updates, content creation, responding to comments and other digital marketing components can be overwhelming and time consuming. This takes business owners away from what they do best—running a business. Running a cost-benefit analysis can help you determine whether you should keep marketing development in-house or outsource the job.
No matter what is decided, there are several elements a business owner should consider when developing a go-to-market strategy for their business. Whether you are unveiling your brand to your community, introducing a new product or service, or going through a rebrand, these tips will help separate you from the competition and generate more leads for your home service company.
Focus on the Messaging
Before you start sending out marketing materials, ask yourself whether the message supports your sales goals. Is the message consistent with the brand’s mission and does it create a positive brand image? Are you staying true to your brand? All these questions are important because you want to ensure the customer understands who you are as a company and your values. As a business owner, you want to sell more than just a product or service, you want to sell who you are as a company. This helps create loyalty with the consumer.
Embrace Social Media
In many cases, contractors are enamored with pushing products or services on social media. This is a common mistake because users just ignore these types of posts because they see them regularly. To set yourself apart and be recognized, use social media differently. Use it to showcase your company in a fun way. Customers enjoy seeing their technicians on the job. A selfie with the client or a positive post about a successful installation will garner more attention than a post about the next product you are trying to sell. Posting pictures is a great way to connect with the customers and build your brand at the same time.
Keep Your Website Up to Date
A company’s website is its visual representation online. Before ever stepping foot near a physical location, customers visit a company’s website. It’s important for business owners to fine-tune their website as part of their marketing efforts. Make sure all your services are listed and explained, phone numbers are accessible and service hours are displayed. Most importantly, ensure your brand message is present on the website. People should be able to visit your website and get a clear understanding of who you are as a company.
Claim Your Google Business Page
Claiming your Google Business page is one of the easiest things to do as an organization. Google is the most used search engine on the internet, and it’s paramount your company has a presence online. When consumers search for something online, local businesses pop up. This helps make your business visible when customers search locally. The Google My Business page gives consumers access to your business name, location via the map, star rating and reviews, phone number, and hours. Consistently updating your Google My Business page is an easy step and a great asset for expanding your consumer reach.
Utilize Outbound Marketing Calls
Calling existing customers regarding updates, service recommendations, and product news makes them feel valued. It also helps businesses stay in constant contact with their customer base. Not only can this potentially generate leads and repeat business, but it will also make the customer feel valued. Outbound calling programs are a great investment into your company’s future and can help your team develop an ongoing relationship with your customers. Simply calling the consumer and reminding them of necessary maintenance goes a long way.
A tool that can be utilized in all facets of your marketing efforts is videos. According to a survey by Social Media Today, 69% of respondents preferred to watch a short video and 87% of marketers said video provides positive ROI. Contractors can use videos as a marketing tool via social media, their website, or through other marketing avenues. A short video on HVAC safety or explaining tips for preventing frozen pipes will garner more attention than a simple post on the topic. Not only does it establish the contractor as a thought leader, but it can also make the company more recognizable to clients by attaching faces to the brand.
Marketing is a key opportunity for any home service company to expand their reach and build brand identity in their market. While some tools are more expensive than others, investing in the process can help the company grow exponentially. For a business owner, utilize different marketing tactics to boost brand exposure and increase leads. Whether it’s making more calls to customers or posting a video of an installation, keeping your brand in front of the consumer will help your business be profitable over the years.
Tammy Vasquez is senior head coach for Business Development Resources - the premiere provider of business training and coaching to home service contractors across North America.