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Digital Marketing Do’s and Don’ts for Contractors

Hate it or love it—marketing, specifically digital marketing, can be a powerful tool in growing your business. It can also be confusing, overwhelming, infuriating, and feel like a waste of money!

This may seem like a crazy thing for a marketing company to tell you, but advertising spend absolutely can seem like a waste of money if you don’t have the leadership and business model to support that growth.

The sad truth is, most of the contractors we work with come to the table with some horror story about a vendor or medium they’ve used in the past. Comments like “I’ll never do PPC again, Yelp is nothing a racket, Social Media is a waste” often stems from a lack of transparency, poor delivery, or push for more spend.

If you want to grow your business, you have to market your company. However, if you want to reduce your marketing cost and improve your marketing performance you have to optimize your strategy. As specialists in digital marketing for contractors, iMarket Solutions is interested in being your partner in this process.

A vendor might promise you an easy, “set it and forget it” marketing plan, but a partner will create opportunities for education, training, and growth. When you’re in a partnership with iMarket, our specialists invest in your evolution. 

We believe a successful marketing model is a three part approach

External Marketing & Advertising (The Megaphone for Your Brand)

  • Brand consistency across all campaigns
  • Digital marketing trends applied to your industry

Internal Marketing (Internal Communications and Leadership)

  • Training opportunities
  • Business coaching

Operation Marketing (Business Processes that Support Lead Conversion)

  • Service agreement growth
  • Call handling

The right marketing partner is going to bring harmony to all three legs of the marketing model—advertising and external marketing cannot stand strong without the support of the other two legs.

Investing in the New Age Digital Market

Digital marketing has completely transformed the way that consumers engage with a business. For example, did you know that 46% of consumers say a website is the biggest determinant of whether they trust a company or not? The Internet is an incredible force. If you’re wondering why you should take the time to invest in this new age digital marketing landscape, here are three key reasons:

1.      Maintain Your Brand and Reputation

If you’re a contractor then you know that word of mouth is paramount. When directories went online, one of the biggest changes was the increase in real estate. Traditional word of mouth- spreading from one person to another- can now be massively amplified to huge audiences in a matter of seconds. 71% of consumers who have a good social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend your service to others.

2.      Acquire New Customers

Digital marketing allows you to study the rankings and campaigns used by your competitors, establish the best opportunities for visibility, and build your audience in the markets that matetr most! We can help you tap in to demand and search data to saturate results pages within your service areas. We can even utilize content marketing through social media and SEO to build your audience in new towns and cities.

3.      Engage with Your Current Customers

This is one area that many contractors overlook. You shouldn’t think about this as “paying for customers you already have.” We know that you want new customers but losing sight of your current customers means that they’ll become your competitors’ new customers. In fact, an estimated 20% of branded searches are lost to competitors when searching online. Direct interaction with your customer base keeps your brand in center focus, and is yet another opportunity to collect data to maximize conversions and increase customers’ lifetime value.

Let’s Talk Strategy

So now you understand the marketing model and why it’s so important to invest in the digital marketing world… but how does all of this apply to optimizing your digital marketing strategy? 

The Do’s

DO align your marketing plan with your financial plan

It  is not easy to create a profitable, growing company. A major consideration in creating a profitable company is marketing “overspend”. Different authorities say very different things (3- 5%, 8%, others may push 10% or in many cases more). 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but we can point you in the right direction with the following guidelines:

  • Set annual marketing goals to support your company’s budget and growth
  • Conduct monthly lead planning with marketing mediums mapped to lead funnel
  • Identify how you’ll measure results—choose a method and stick to it
  • Focus on reducing your Marketing Cost %, instead of focusing on your Marketing Spend $

DO maximize conversion with customer segmentation

Segmentation is key for conversion and optimizing your marketing ROI, data is key for segmentation.It’s important to How can you apply this data to optimize your strategy?

  • Make sure you’re gathering valuable information like emails and continuously growing your list. “Data-tize” by evaluating your customer database by demographic (household income), geographic (location), psychographic (lifestyle), and behavioral (needs) measurements. 

Maximize the effectiveness of manipulations (discounts, deals) where it is most likely to maximize conversion with targeted manipulation: Have you ever shopped online, put something in your cart, exited out of the tab, and then received an email from the company a short while later prompting you to complete the purchase? 

  • Strategic outreach: It makes perfect sense that is a homeowner previously had a positive experience with your brand they are likely to think of you the next time they need your service. Don’t wait for them, use data to drive your segmentation and take action with strategic outreach. 

DO understand the value of multi-channel marketing

Don’t limit your visibility and potential engagement online! It’s important to keep the following in mind:

  • Recognize that 67% of all customers use at least 2 channels before converting
  • Focus on campaign conversion vs. channel attribution
  • Understand the purpose of each and plan for multiple channels in your marketing budget

DO focus on local partnerships and brand awareness

Digital users in your local area are more likely to engage with your company online if they recognize you from real life.

  • Consistently participate in your community—integrate marketing with traditional and digital to create authenticity. Your digital users come from your local area, so make sure you’re engaging with them in real life as well.
  • Establish local partnerships and affiliations for powerful cross-marketing campaigns.

DO ensure consistency with internal marketing

It’s important to ensure that you’re consistent with internal alignment through the following methods:

  • Educate your team on your marketing goals and campaigns.
  • Develop a culture committed to operational excellence. Make sure that everyone on your team is helpful, responsive, and compassionate so that you can instill trust in your customers.
  • Find ways to demonstrate your values and brand. Think of ways that you can demonstrate your story and let customers know who you are. 

The Don’ts

Don’t undervalue your current customer base

It’s crucial to remember that digital marketing isn’t just for new lead generation. If you don’t value your current customers, they’ll end up going elsewhere, so keep the following in mind:

  • Prioritize and grow your service agreement membership
    • If you want to decrease your lead generation cost and prepare your business for shoulder seasons you MUST prioritize the growth of your service agreement membership. 
  • Create a community of customers—engagement and brand loyalty
    • The key difference between companies that grow and companies that don’t is customer retention. Make sure that you’re staying in touch with your current customers and using defensive and engagement tactics like branded PPC, email marketing, and social media.
  • Focus on share-of-wallet during low-demand season
    • Train your team on the value of complementary products and services that you can market to your current customer base like upgrades, IAQ accessories, etc.

Don’t forget to tell your story

A whopping 70% of consumers want to learn about products through content as opposed to traditional ad methods. You can tell your story by doing the following:

  • Differentiate yourself—when it comes to brand promises you have to level the playing field but it’s important that you always focus on what makes you unique. Talk about your involvement in the community or how long you’ve been in business.
  • Constantly source new visual content—an image or video is worth 1,000 words. Your clients want to feel connected to you. Share content of your team members, shots of your holiday parties, team gatherings, and daily operation.

Digital marketing doesn’t have to be a hassle. You can contact our professionals at iMarket Solutions for the expertise that you need. We’re here to ensure that you’re successful in all realms of digital marketing. We’re dedicated to contractor success. 

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