Common but Toxic Contractor Marketing Mistakes
An effective digital marketing campaign is an integral part of your home service business plan. Without an online marketing campaign, you lack the ability to amplify your message and attract customers, which can have devastating results on your business.
There’s a very clear correlation between the contractors that invest heavily in online marketing and do well, and those that don’t. Despite declining confidence in the stability of the economy, home service businesses are seeing exponential growth thanks to the effectiveness of online marketing. If you have the plan and drive to utilize it, there’s no telling just how far your business can go.
Simply having an online marketing campaign isn’t enough: your plan needs to work! There are countless stories of contractors from almost every trade — plumbing, construction, flooring, you name it! — that have spent thousands of dollars on their online marketing, only for their results to be less than encouraging. Most of the time, the same mistakes are being made. Knowing about these potential marketing blunders can help you build an effective online marketing campaign that works wonders for your business.
Mistake #1: Having a bad social media strategy
It goes without saying that if you own a business, you should have some sort of social media strategy in place. A common mistake made by business owners is that they get caught in the noise and hype of certain social media platforms, and try to keep all bases covered at the same time. This is a bad approach, because you are most likely wasting time on promoting your brand to an audience that has no interest in what you’re selling.
Looking at Instagram for example, and the core audience demographic of 18-35 year-olds may not care for your plumbing business. That’s not to say Instagram can’t be useful, but you need to understand the nuances of each social media platform before you dive in. Try to build a social media business profile from the perspective of a customer: when you’re surfing Facebook, do you want to see advertisements for a plumbing business? Probably not. Try to find different ways to service that audience, perhaps by creating informative content that addresses common household issues. That way your audience can engage with your brand in different ways, and see it as more than just a faceless business. Images and short videos also work well.
Make sure your profile’s details are all up to date as well, including phone number, address, trading hours, and website address.
Mistake #2: The business website lacks important information
Your website is in most cases the first point of contact. Potential customers are more likely to visit your website first before contacting you directly, so you want to make sure your website covers the basics.
- Ensure your phone number, address and services are clearly visible on the home landing page.
- Offer alternative means of contact (contact form, email, social media).
- Use only the best quality images, and make sure your website copy is concise.
You don’t want to overload the visitor with information, and these are really the basics you need to provide, but don’t be afraid to treat your website as somewhat of a sales rep: it’s your opportunity to sell your product and service to anyone visiting the site.
Mistake #3: The website also lacks an identity
Don’t be afraid to show a little bit of personality on your website. People want to see more than just a logo, some words and a phone number. Your online presence is a digital representation of your company’s personality, so use real photos of real employees, provide a detailed history of the company and perhaps even your personal background. Anyone visiting your site probably wants to support local business, so make them feel like they’re part of a family.
Mistake #4: NAP Citations are wrong
NAP (Name Address Phone Number) citations can be utilized to provide online databases with updated and accurate information about your business. This is why it’s integral that the information you have provided to business directories is error-free. The last thing you want is for someone to be searching your business name on Google, only for your website to be buried beneath other listings because the search query doesn’t match up with the information in the directory. You might think this is insignificant, and that one little error in one small directory won’t make a difference, but data aggregators share content, and so one mistake might be shared across the web. This makes it that little bit tougher for you to get people engaging your brand and business. Go through any business directories and listings you’ve engaged, and make sure all of your information is up-to-date. If you are not familiar with citations, check out our local SEO guide to learn more.
Mistake #5: No re-targeting strategy
Re-targeting is a powerful branding tool. It improves awareness of your business after someone has left your website, essentially keeping your brand and services constantly active and in the mind of the potential customer. It takes a little bit of technical know-how, but your marketing team or webmaster should be able to set it up for you.
Basically all it does is track any visitors to your site that have “bounced”, meaning they have viewed the one page that they arrived on, and then left the site straight away. The re-targeting method then incorporates your advertisements on other platforms across the web, directly targeting that person with ads about your business. It’s extremely useful to keep your brand and product in the minds of people that may have quickly moved on after visiting your website.
Mistake #6: Poor SEO strategy
In order for people to find you online, you need a strong keyword strategy. Keywords are words or phrases people use in search engines to find specific things or answer certain questions. Your website and social media strategy should include strong keyword research, otherwise you risk just getting lost in the noise. There are many ways to find out which phrases and words related to your business are being searched online, and using these keywords will help bring people to your website, allowing you to hopefully turn them into a lead. This is called “SEO” (search engine optimization), and appearing at the top of search engine results is incredibly important. Let’s say for instance we want to work with plumbers on their marketing. A good way to reach them would be to should up for “plumber SEO“, so that we can connect when they are searching for help. In your case, perhaps you are looking for HVAC jobs in Miami. We would then work to rank you for that and similar terms, again connecting you with your ideal local client. For many contractors, servicing local clients is the goal and for this, a local SEO campaign is a strategy you should look into.