iMarket Solutions Blog : Archive for the ‘News’ Category

A Contractor’s Guide to Choosing the Right Marketing Agency

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

There are limitless companies that provide marketing services. In fact if you were to do an Internet search, not only would you find dozens of seemingly relevant results for what you need, but you’d also start seeing ads on websites you visit and on your social media pages for these marketing companies as well (this is called remarketing, or retargeting).

Does that mean any of those companies are the right choice for you? Maybe! But you have to know how to sift through these results and find what truly makes not only the right marketing agency, but the right marketing agency for contractors. We’ve provided some guidelines below on what to look for.

They Offer Versatility through Comprehensive Services

When you’re working with a marketing agency, you want one who does it all. Just like your customers likely don’t want to go to two separate contractors for AC installation and AC repairs, you don’t want a company who only offers SEO services or only helps you build your social media presence.

These are both vital parts of your digital marketing efforts, but independently they cannot provide the kind of lead generation that makes a true difference. You need a team who will look at every aspect of what you have to offer and bring it all together in a cohesive campaign, through SEO, social media, paid advertising, blogging and more. Even if you aren’t ready to invest in every single service the agency has to offer yet, having that option to upgrade means it’ll be a seamless transition when you are!

They Ask the Right Questions

An amateur company may ask some questions. Maybe, “How big is your company?” “What areas do you service?” “Do you offer emergency services?”

These are important questions. They barely scratch the surface, however, in engaging conversations that will help inspire ideas to drive your business forward. Asking the right questions means really digging in to what your business goals are, what your challenges have been in the past—both with lead generation and your previous marketing agency—and how the marketing agency manages expectations.

Your marketing agency should be interested in your overall success and their inquiries should reflect this. Ultimately, your marketing agency should show that they:

  • Understand your industry and the specific needs, challenges and opportunities of your business.
  • Have a track record of success for helping their clients dominate the search rankings for their industry.
  • Have a high ROI of the websites designed by the agency.

You should do your due diligence on identifying potential agencies and choosing between them in order to find the right fit for your business. Put iMarket to the test! We’re willing to bet that after you’ve explored your options, iMarket Solutions will be your top choice.  

The iMarket Difference

Why should you choose iMarket Solutions as your marketing company? First off, we’re more than just a marketing vendor, we’re a partner. We specialize in contractor marketing specifically, which not a lot of marketing companies can say, nor can they do well.  

  • We listen and start with a contractor’s goals in mind. No two businesses are the same, so we take a consultative approach to learn about the contractor’s lead generation needs, pain points and business goals to develop the best recommendation to help them reach their goals. 
  • We prioritize digital strategies that are the right fit for the contractor and their needs/goals (as opposed to selling them anything and everything).
  • We believe in transparency – we want contractors to be engaged with us, understand their marketing results and ask questions.
  • We support our clients beyond the scope of their digital marketing. We share resources and host an annual boot camp designed to help contractors create their business, financial and marketing plans so they have a clear path forward for a successful year. 
  • We only work in home services, so our team truly is the expert on the complexity of contracting businesses. We understand your unique business models, pain points, challenges and opportunities within the industry and how digital marketing can best support them.  
  • We innovate – we continuously seek market-leading strategies and best practices to help our partners succeed.

If you’re ready to start working with a team “Dedicated to Contractor Success,” or want to explore our services, contact iMarket Solutions!

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What You Need to Know about Google Ads and COVID-19

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Summary of Google Changes

In an effort to curb the spread of misinformation, Google is suppressing ads across multiple platforms such as Google Ads and YouTube, that contain any term relating to COVID-19 or coronavirus, regardless of whether they are “approved” in the interface. This applies to keywords, ad copy, and creative. Further details can be found below. 

What Does This Mean? 

It means that even if you put keywords or ads targeted for the COVID-19 pandemic, you would see zero search volume on those pieces because Google is actively blocking them.

Why Is Google Doing This? 

Google is working to protect users from being capitalized on by companies trying to cash in on the virus, and to also ensure that information provided related to the virus is accurate and timely to help searchers in the best way possible. You can read more here about Google’s efforts to protect users.

Are We Using Those Terms in Our Ads? 

iMarket’s paid search team has reviewed all client ad copy to ensure there are no references to coronavirus or COVID-19 related keywords that would impact the visibility of your ads. 

We have been adding sitelink extensions to some ads that direct your customers to your blog post(s) regarding your business operations and safety precautions to help educate and reassure your customers during uncertain times. 

What Does This Mean for Other Digital Mediums?

Local Service Ads by Google 

The Local Service Ads by Google (LSAG) platform does not allow contractors to add language related to COVID-19. The biggest impact COVID-19 is having on LSAG is actual strategy adjustments where a contractor may change their business strategy, for example, to focus less on maintenance and instead focus primarily on replacement/installation. 

YouTube

Google is actively working on removing any content that spreads false information about COVID-19 or makes claims about preventing the virus instead of seeking medical treatment. If you are creating content about Indoor Air Quality, use caution about what you claim these solutions can actually do to mitigate the transmission of the virus. 

Facebook

Facebook has updated its advertising policy to protect users from individuals and companies trying to exploit the pandemic for financial gain. This means Facebook is prohibiting ads for products that refer to the coronavirus and COVID-19 in ways intended to create a panic or imply that their products guarantee a cure or prevent people from contracting it. For example, ads for face masks that imply they are the only ones still available, or claim that they are guaranteed to prevent the virus from spreading will not be allowed to run on Facebook, Instagram, or Facebook Display network.

Google Pledges Google Ads Credits

Google announced March 27 that they are pledging $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and medium-sized businesses in an effort to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Details have not yet been shared regarding how much a typical business will receive or how far the credits will stretch, but they will be notifying eligible advertisers about available credits in the coming months. You can read ongoing updates from Google here

We Will Keep You Informed

The team at iMarket is evaluating other platforms and digital marketing mediums, and will continue to provide updates and adapt strategies as other changes come to light. Please contact your Marketing Coordinator with any questions, or contact us at 800-727-3920 to learn how iMarket can support your business. 

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A Note to Our Contractor Partners about COVID-19

Friday, March 13th, 2020

At iMarket, the health and well-being of our team members and our clients is our top priority. Like all businesses, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, and wanted to share several steps we are taking to ensure the continued health and success of your business. 

iMarket has instituted an optional “work from home” policy for all team members. You may experience Marketing Coordinators and specialists working from different locations over the next few weeks, but rest assured all operations, client meetings and product strategies will continue as usual. 

There is an overwhelming amount of information online, and we wanted to share a resource we find useful and fact-based in understanding the impact of COVID-19. This article from Harvard Medical School provides valuable links and continuous updates from the CDC and WHO regarding transmission and prevention measures. 

Keeping Employees & Customers Healthy

We understand the impact this is having on many of your businesses, and that many contractors are experiencing service cancellations from customers. Here are several recommended precautions to help keep your employees and customers healthy: 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and warm water.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Wash uniforms every day to ensure cleanliness and reduce the spread of germs.
  • Do not send technicians or installers to customers’ homes if they are feeling ill.
  • Avoid shaking customers’ hands – offer a smile and warm greeting instead.
  • Ask technicians to wipe down any surfaces or equipment touched in a customer’s home with disinfectant wipes.
  • Have each technician or installer carry hand sanitizer.
  • Ask each technician or crew to wipe down door handles, steering wheel, gear shift lever, tools, etc in their truck with disinfectant wipes every day.
  • Wipe down pens, clipboards, tablets, cell phones, or anything else that may be passed back and forth between techs and customers.

Understanding IAQ Solutions

Lastly, many of our HVAC clients have asked about promoting Indoor Air Quality products and systems as a way to help homeowners combat the spread of germs and viruses. It is imperative that your business share only the facts with customers and not make false claims about the extent to which these products can help with virus transmission. We highly recommend training your team on making accurate claims about what the products can and cannot do. Here is a recommended disclaimer to follow when communicating with customers:

  • There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

iMarket clients are encouraged to connect with their Marketing Coordinators with any questions or concerns. We have developed a website alert system to communicate information and updates to your customers about the precautions and care your business is taking to ensure their health and comfort. We are also monitoring any changes or recommendations from Google that may impact your business or Google My Business page should COVID-19 be impacting your business operations. 

As always, you can count on iMarket as a partner to support your business and continued success as we weather this storm together. 

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iMarket Makes Inc. 5000 List for 4th Time

Friday, August 17th, 2018

We did it (again)!

iMarket Solutions is thrilled to announce it has made the Inc. 5000 list for the 4th year in a row. Over the years we’ve shared the list with dynamic companies and alumni such as PopSocket, Peloton, Swell, Yelp, Zillow, Pandora, LinkedIn and many more.

“We are honored and delighted for our team members to have made the Inc. 5000 for the 4th consecutive year. Very few companies make it once, let alone 4 straight years. It is a true testament to how wonderful our customers and team members are, for without them none of this happens. We are very grateful to be in such prestigious company and inspired to live up to this honor,” said Gary Elekes, co-owner of iMarket Solutions.

iMarket Solutions first ranked on the Inc. 5000 in 2015, and continued to make the list in 2016 and 2017. Making the list once is a huge accomplishment, but making the list 4 times is truly a feat. In fact, a mere 1 in 6 companies have made the list 4 or more times.

The Inc. 5000 is an annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. The rankings are determined according to each company’s revenue growth over a 3-year period.

We are grateful as ever to all of our clients for putting their trust in us as their marketing partner to help grow their own businesses. And we thank all of our inspiring and talented team members who show us every day what it means to be dedicated to contractor success.

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Local Services Ads by Google – Have You Signed Up?

Friday, November 17th, 2017

It’s no secret that “change” is the only thing that ever stays the same when it goes to Google’s search results, and for home service contractors, the rate of that change has accelerated in 2017. We’re not just talking about the usual organic ranking algorithm updates, changes to the map pack, and general layout changes – we’re talking about a brand new advertising platform with prominent ad positions at the top of search results.

Local Services ads by Google

Have you seen anything like this at the top of search results recently? If not, you likely will soon, as Google announced just last month that these ads are coming to 30 major metro areas in the United States by the end of 2017 – up from a total of just 17 previously, many of which were just added in recent months.

Google Advertising for Local Home Service Businesses

If you’re a home service contractor, you’re probably (and should be) wondering:

“What is it? Where is it? And how do I participate?”.

Let’s tackle these questions one at a time:

What is it?

This new advertising platform is known as Local Services by Google, and unlike traditional paid search advertising (i.e. Google AdWords), with Local Services ads you only pay per lead, rather than per click. Do we have your attention yet? That’s right, Google is now allowing plumbers, HVAC technicians and electricians in a growing number of cities to advertise their businesses above all other search results. For maximum visibility and lead generation, all home service contractors should be be taking advantage of this product and incorporating it into a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. You still need SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing and all of the rest, but make no mistake – this is the next big thing, and those that ignore it do so at their own peril.

Where is it?

Google actually began testing Local Service ads in 2015, known then as Google Home Services, in a few select cities in California and with a limited number of industries. While testing over the last 2 years, participation in the program was limited to those who Google had contacted directly, but over the last several months Google began to open the program up to those who wanted to opt-in and in a growing number of cities. The current list of cities where Local Services ads are available is as follows:

Arizona: Phoenix

California: Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose

Florida: Miami

Georgia: Atlanta

Illinois: Chicago

Massachusetts: Boston

Michigan: Detroit

New York: New York

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia

Texas: Dallas

Washington: Seattle

Washington, D.C.

And Google as adding more cities all of the time, including at least 13 more by the end of the year, as was mentioned above.

How do I participate?

Great question! If iMarket Solutions is already your partner in lead generation, reach out to your Marketing Coordinator today to get started. But even if you don’t currently manage your digital marketing, we’d love for you to call us using the phone number above or online today! If Local Services by Google is in your city, we’ll take the hassle out of the sign up process and get you all set up and trained on how to take advantage of this new, must-have advertising product from Google.

iMarket Solutions provides digital marketing services for home improvement contractors, including website design and development, SEO, SEM, Social Media, Reputation Management, Email Marketing and Live Chat services.

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iMarket Solutions Continues to Climb the Inc. 5000!

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

inc5000-logo

Since our founding in 2010, iMarket Solutions has put together an incredible group of individuals dedicated to the growth and success of the company. There have been a lot of accomplishments in the past 7 years, and ranking on the Inc. 5000 list is certainly a highlight. In fact, it’s been a highlight all 3 times that we’ve done so!

The Inc. 5000 is an annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. The rankings are determined according to each company’s revenue growth over a 3-year period. 2017 marks the 3rd consecutive year that iMarket Solutions has made the list, and we’ve reached a higher position with each subsequent year.

iMarket Solutions first ranked on the Inc. 5000 in 2015, reaching #4,267 on the list. Last year, in 2016, we climbed all the way up to #3,665. In the 2017 rankings, we are thrilled to have achieved our highest placing yet, coming in at #3,450! Our 3-year growth of 91% earned us this slot on the Inc. 5000, and we’re ready to see what we can do to continue working our way up in the standings.

As with all of our accomplishments, we’re foremost grateful to our clients and to our hard-working employees. With the team that we’ve assembled, the customers that we’ve already wowed, and those that we’ll add to our roster in the coming months and years, we have no doubt that is just the beginning of our ascent in the Inc. 5000 rankings.

Be sure to check back in with us for more exciting news about where our company is headed!

iMarket Solutions provides digital marketing services for home improvement contractors, including website design and development, SEO, SEM, Social Media, Reputation Management, Email Marketing and Live Chat services.

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