Every business needs to expand its customer base in order to grow, and local contractors are no different. As long as we live in houses and apartments, people are going to continue to need the services of contractors and home developers. The customers are out there; it’s just a matter of reaching them and convincing them to choose your business over another.

If your sales aren’t contributing to steady growth for your contracting business, you may need to step it up in the marketing department.  The rules of marketing may have changed over the last 20 years, but the need for general contractor marketing and an effective marketing strategy has not.  Remodeling and home improvement are incredibly competitive fields, so contractor marketing is a necessity no matter where you’re located. 

Digital marketing is the best way to reach your target audience, as most customers are now searching for contractor services online. In order to attain more and more customers, you’ll need to have a strong online presence and a mastery of digital marketing. In this article, we’ll discuss effective digital marketing for contractors and how to get started.

What Does Digital Marketing Mean To A Contractor?

Digital marketing is essentially a sales rep for your company that works 24/7 to attract and engage with customers. It not only allows you to attain new customers, but it allows you to continue engaging with your existing client base and increases customer retention.  Computers have replaced the need for phone books and print ads, so making the transition to digital marketing is required if you want your contracting business to remain competitive.

Having an online presence, a personalized brand and a consistent way to engage with customers are all ways of effectively digitally marketing your contracting company to the world so you can leverage the growth of your business.  Below are some contractor marketing ideas you can implement to effectively leverage digital marketing to grow your business.

Website Design

Designing a website is the first step you’ll need to take to reach your customers online, as many customers won’t engage with a business that doesn’t have a website.  Your website should be the hub of your business, where everything gets directed to.  If you don’t have a functional website, your business doesn’t have legs to stand on.  A website is necessary to show customers what makes your business special and why they should choose you instead of the closest competitor.

The best websites are fast, loading in three seconds or less.  No one is going to sit through endless loading symbols and blank pages, so you need your site to keep the customer’s attention at all costs.  It’s also important for your site to be functional, with a solid structure such as optimized images, titles, and meta tags that allow users to navigate your site.

Your website should be mobile-friendly as most people now use their cell phones to browse the Internet.  Optimizing your site for mobile viewing will help you reach more customers by making your website look just as good on a phone as it does on a computer.  Security is another important factor in your site as Google favors HTTPS sites on the first few pages of their search results. 

Making your site as user-friendly as possible will help you attain new customers as people are more likely to forgo a company with a site that’s too difficult to use.  Things like testimonial pages and photos of past work allow your customer to verify the history of your company’s work, and including ways for customers to contact you quickly and easily is critical for customer retention.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing website traffic to your company’s website by increasing visibility via web search engines. Having optimized SEO allows your website to show up earlier in search results online so that customers are more likely to find you. Since most consumers seek services online, and most online experiences involve the use of search engines, SEO is critical to effective digital marketing.

If you’re anything like me and want to jump on this right away, here are 5 things to help you improve your SEO which you can start implementing right away!

You can start with ranking for the base keyword “contracting service + service area” and optimizing your homepage by using that keyword somewhere on the page.  Putting the keyword in your title tag, description tag or somewhere in the on-page content will increase the likelihood of customers clicking on your site.

Optimizing your site for SEO helps you to define your target services and service area, reach a larger audience of customers, drive leads for specific services, and improve the quality of leads you get.  Your competitors most likely have an established SEO strategy, so developing a solid SEO marketing strategy is vital to staying competitive.

Pay Per Click Advertising

One way to quickly get your business on the front page of search results is to utilize pay per click advertising (PPC).  PPC allows you to pay to have your ad placed in front of people who are actively searching for your services, bypassing other results and increasing your chances of being selected by customers weighing their options.  Hyper-local advertising is vital to target a specific customer base in your area, as you don’t want to waste money advertising to customers you can’t service.

These ads usually show up either at the top of the screen or on the side and will depend on what keywords the person searches for on the search engine.  Your ad will rank higher based on the relevance of the advertisement to what the customer is searching for as well as the quality of your landing page.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the greatest ways for you to stay in contact with previous customers and reach out to unclosed prospective customers.  Most businesses rely on their existing customer base to provide them with a steady stream of income, and email marketing allows you to generate more sales from that existing customer base.

Through email marketing, you can keep in touch with customers, reaching out to them to let them know about any upcoming events.  You can also inform them about any services you provide that they may not know about, and potentially take care of all of their contracting needs.  Email marketing improves your brand’s awareness while requiring minimal investment, and is a great way to grow sales from new and existing customers.

Email marketing also allows you to advertise specials and coupons, providing exceptional customer service by going the extra mile for your customers.  It doesn’t take much to make customers feel special, but it does ensure customer retention.  Promotional emails have a high amount of return, and customers are much more likely to reengage with your business if they’re being offered a special deal. 

Social Media

Social media has become its own category of digital marketing, with the rise in popularity of various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.  Building a social media presence among a variety of sites allows you to grow a following and engage with consumers on a more personal level.  The more present you are on social media, the higher you’ll rank on search engine results as well.

Two of the most important sites for contractors are Facebook and LinkedIn.  Facebook helps you to engage customers looking for home-based services, while LinkedIn helps you make peer and professional contacts.  Updating with posts about your work, tips on home maintenance and articles about topics related to your services will attract people to your social media sites.

The key to having a strong social media presence is to consistently update your sites to show that you’re engaged and present.  Inconsistency will result in followers dropping off, so routine updates are a must if you decide to go the route of social media.  Be sure to include your social media in your other business operations such as your website, marketing materials, and any business cards you have.  The more you can push your social media, the more followers you’ll attain.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is an especially important type of online marketing for contractors, as videos build a substantial amount of authority for your website.  If you invest in a video marketing campaign, you can increase the amount of customer engagement online and establish your personal brand.  The more information about your business that’s available, the better, as customers love to see actual footage of your company at work.

A video commercial is a great way to help your business stand out and show exactly what it is you have to offer that sets you apart from everyone else.  It may be somewhat of an upfront investment, but it will provide you with years of use and can be something you implement on your website, social media, and YouTube.

That being said, keeping your videos to less than two minutes will increase the likelihood of customers watching, as anything longer than that will lose their attention.  Putting your videos on a landing page will increase your website’s chances of showing up on search engines, so effective placement of videos is an essential part of video marketing.

More Tips For Digital Marketing

Get as many reviews as you can.

Reviews are a vital way to build trust and reputation with customers.  Many people are reluctant to choose a company to work on their home that they haven’t heard of and don’t have any experience with.  Getting multiple positive reviews from loyal and happy customers will show new customers that they can trust you to provide them with quality service.  In order to build positive reviews, you need to ensure that the service you provide is of the utmost quality all across the board.

Be on top of the intake process.

Generating leads is only important if you’re capable of keeping them, so make sure that you’ve got a system in place for the intake of new customers.  Having someone to take phone calls and respond to requests on your website will show customers that you’re responsive to them and will stop them from choosing someone else when they can’t get ahold of you.  Clear communication and the ability to sell your service over the phone is the critical next step in digital marketing.

Have a client retention strategy.

Being able to market to customers who already know you and your work is a vital way of maintaining your business and helping you grow.  Competitors are always looking to pick off loyal customers, so having a set client retention strategy will keep you from losing customers because of a promotional deal offered by your rival.  Keeping in touch with them and letting them know you appreciate their business will keep them from straying because of the offer of discounts or aggressive advertising.

Figure out what your business’ specialization is.

With so much competition out there, your business needs something that makes it special.  Your customers need a reason to choose you over someone else, and that reason needs to be more than just because you’re the cheaper option.  Developing a specialization in the contracting field will help you draw in customers and provide you an edge over the competition.  If you highlight that specialization in your digital marketing and advertising, you’ll be able to stand out as the best in something and attract customers looking for that exact service.

Utilize a contractor marketing service.

Embarking on digital marketing for your contracting business can be overwhelming.  There are so many things to keep in mind about how to effectively market your business and attract customers that it can take years to truly have a handle on it all.  Finding the right contractor marketing services will help you to bypass the arduous task of doing it all on your own.  With an effective digital marketing team, you can master the art of online advertisement and increase your business’ growth year after year.  A strong digital marketing strategy is key to your success, so investing in quality contractor marketing services is an investment well worth making.

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