Is your marketing for your contracting business as effective as it could be? The digital arena is, in many ways, very different from traditional advertising venues. Understanding the changes can help you navigate these waters and find better success with advertising both online and offline. A few tips and tricks:
1. Create a series of buyer personas.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional composites that represent a number of prospects for your business. There are a number of worksheets available online that can help you flesh out your personas. By looking at the demographics of past customers, you can give each persona some characteristics that include age, spending range, contracting needs and other qualities. Then, each time you begin crafting a new marketing campaign, write with these personas in mind. By speaking directly to them, you can better appeal to customers' needs and make a connection.
2. Spend a bit of time online each day nurturing social networks.
Send a couple of Tweets and respond to what others have posted. Look on Quora to find people needing advice about your specialty. Participate in a local message board or Facebook group. By participating in communities without being promotional, you can increase awareness of your services in a friendly, non-confrontational way. When readers are looking for someone for contracting services, they will be more likely to choose you. If you don't have time to do this yourself, hire someone well-versed in social media to do it for you.
3. Send a helpful weekly email.
Add an opt-in email list link to your website. Then, each week, send a brief email with tips that are useful to your core customers. These can range from maintenance tips to how to tell when repairs are needed.
4. Don't neglect past customers.
People are far more likely to do business with a company that they have gone to before. Capitalize on this by periodically reaching out to past customers. You can do this through physical mailings, quick emails or through phone calls.
5. Use unusual promotional giveaways.
Everyone gives out pens. To set yourself apart, offer an item that is useful but different. If you do a lot of work on decks and patios, for instance, consider commissioning promotional koozies or outdoor glasses. This way, every time your customers use the space you helped create, they can enjoy a beverage that bears your company's branding, as well.
6. Give every online presence a regular check-up.
Abandoned and out of date profiles can make your company look unprofessional; or, worse, like you have gone out of business. Every three or four months, go over all of your online profiles. Check to make sure that all of your contact information is up to date. Update photographs to showcase the work that you are currently doing. Make sure that your list of services is accurate. This way, even when someone stumbles across a profile that you do not use often, you can be sure that they will have the most accurate information. Worried about forgetting one? Make a spreadsheet that tracks all of your online accounts. Each time you add a new one to the mix, record it on the sheet so that you can be sure that you give it proper attention.
7. Create short explainer videos.
Every professional wants to ensure that prospective customers know how to spot quality work. When you are working on projects, occasionally pull out your phone and shoot some video. Explain what you are doing and why your process is better. These videos can be posted on your Facebook or on video hosting channels like YouTube and Vimeo. The visual proof of your expertise can go a long way toward convincing customers that you are the right one for them.
Contracting is competitive. By incorporating these smart marketing behaviors into your everyday business practices, you can rise to the top of your local market.
P.S. - Download the case study below to see how we helped Wallboard Supply Company, a construction materials supplier, increase their website traffic by 283%.
Photo credit: kennymatic / Source / CC BY