Digital Marketing for Contractors
Social Media Marketing, SEO, Content Marketing
Online Marketing for Contractors
Every contractor knows that in order to remain in business they must have a steady flow of incoming projects. From residential to commercial remodeling projects, a constant stream of new and returning customers will ensure the longevity of the business. Typically, contractors have used traditional means of advertising to get the word out about their business. This includes marketing through word of mouth referrals and direct mailers. While these modes of marketing have helped many contractors obtain results, there are also other results-driven forms of marketing that can augment these traditional approaches to marketing. The great news is that these convenient alternatives to marketing are not only cost-effective but they provide a great return on investment. This is where digital marketing for contractors comes into play. Digital marketing for contractors, or online marketing, is an easy way for contractor to reach new customers. Read on to learn more about how digital marketing can help a contractor grow their business today.
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What is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is the process of marketing entirely online through internet technologies. The marketing landscape has been drastically altered by the widespread acceptance of the internet. The internet and its continued development has resulted in new, innovative ways of reaching and targeting prospective clients. Reliance on some of the most popular forms of advertising has diminished in recent years as many customers are shunning more obtrusive advertising techniques. Disruptive television commercials, bothersome magazine advertisements and endless series of direct mailers are often ignored by customers who do not like such aggressive sales tactics. This is where digital marketing has made its mark. Digital marketing takes a subtle but calculated approach to marketing. Instead of focusing on immediately closing sales through content, digital marketing focuses on building lasting relationships and then closing sales later.
Digital Marketing Channels
Digital marketing is comprised of a number of different online channels that are all known for helping a contracting service obtain results. Digital marketing includes: well-designed websites, blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and email marketing to name a few. Each of these techniques has its own unique set of benefits and savvy contractors around the country are taking advantage of the opportunities created by these digital marketing outlets.
Visually appealing and well-designed websites are a great starting point to kick start a new digital marketing campaign. Websites are at the core of digital marketing since websites are the go-to structures retrieved from internet searches. When a prospective customer performs an internet search for contractors in their local service area the list of websites that is generated will be scrutinized on a number of different criteria. Websites that have attractive layouts as well as useful information will be front runners to receive phone calls from leads. It is important to mention that contractors’ websites and their capabilities are often underutilized. Many contractors simply build a website, publish it to the internet and hope for the best. This is not an ideal strategy. Websites should be used strategically to attract visitors, engage them and then convert them into paying customers through digital marketing techniques.
Blogging is another underutilized area that most contractors do not take advantage of. Blogging on a regular basis can go hand-in-hand with a well-designed website because search engines will recognize the fresh content that has been published, in turn ranking the website higher in search engine listings. What’s more is that blogs are a great way to deliver value to customers. How-to blogs and other informative content is a great way to differentiate a contractor’s service from the competition. Well-written blogs allow the contractor to display their expertise as they position themselves as a thought leader within the industry. Consistently posting blogs with helpful information aids clients in making purchasing decisions.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization is a very important means of increasing website traffic and exposure of the business. SEO is the process of optimizing a website with the current best practices in order to rank on page 1 of search results. Current best practices include high quality content, with proper keywords, and much more. The objective of SEO is to improve the website’s page rank during internet searches. For example, if a customer types in a search for “Contractors in New Jersey”, a list of websites that include these exact keywords will populate. It is important for contractors to have a good understanding of popular, industry specific keywords. This is also where the expertise of a professional digital marketing company comes in handy. Professional marketing professionals can provide the clarity needed to define the exact keywords that prospective customers are looking for.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing uses popular networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to boost the marketing and outreach efforts of contractors. Social media has taken the world by storm as it connects people both near and far. Social media is also popular because of its ability to quickly share information in real time. A contractor can find social media marketing quite useful for a number of different reasons. First, social media allows contractors to share important information and content that prospective customers may find useful. Social media also improves customer service as inquiries and concerns can be addressed right away with many social media platforms offering chat features that promote real-time discussions. Social media also helps to create a presence for the company’s brand. Branding is one of the top benefits of digital marketing as the internet places the brand right in front of its target audience.
Email marketing is another area of a contractor’s marketing plan that is often overlooked. Email marketing includes the use of monthly newsletters and other automated announcements directed towards the contractor’s contact list. Email marketing coincides with lead generation as leads are given the opportunity to provide their email addresses on a contractor’s website and then opt in to receive updates from the company. These updates can be customized with the customer’s name and they can be used to send out special promotions to loyal followers of the business.
Additional Benefits of Digital Marketing
Here are some of the other top reasons why contractors should include digital marketing as a part of their overall marketing plan and strategy.
Digital marketing generates leads; this has been proven. Digital marketing utilizes the internet for the benefit of the contractor. By employing any of the aforementioned marketing channels, a contractor can be sure of attracting more visitors to their website, thereby increasing the chances of a lead converting into a paying customer. The key here is to engage the prospect with relevant content so they will be compelled to want to learn more about the contractor’s services.
Branding & Reputation Management
Digital marketing is content driven. As such each piece of content that is published by the company should be branded. This can include the company’s logo, slogan or company colors for a unified look. Over time, prospective customers will come to recognize the brand. They will also associate the brand with the helpful messages the company provides regarding their contracting services. Often, customers refer to content provided by a company digitally when making decisions on who to hire as their next contractor. This content helps to make the brand more recognizable and also positions the company as a reputable player within the home improvement industry.
Customer engagement is another benefit of digital marketing. An engaged customer is one who seeks out the content and information provided by the contractor. This can include both passive and active followers who recognize a benefit in the content and who then interact with it in some way. Engagement can take the form of online discussions such as blog comments or comments made on social media pages. Engagement can also take the form of a prospective customer sharing the content with their own networks because of the perceived benefits of the materials. Customer engagement is important because it represents one step closer to actually converting the lead to a paying customer. This can result in increased sales over time, therefore demonstrating a great return on investment (ROI).
Data & Analytics
One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is its ability to produce data that can be analyzed. The internet produces all types of data including the number of website visits, the exact pages on a website that have been clicked on, the geographic locations of leads as well as the number of views a social media post has received. All of this information helps contractors tailor their marketing efforts as it provides insights into who their prospective customers are and what they need in a contracting service. Popular tools such as Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are great programs that can help a contractor stay abreast of their data and track their online progress.
Without a doubt, digital marketing for contractors works. Digital marketing is a worthwhile investment in that it increases exposure of the business resulting in increased interest in the business. At the heart of online marketing is the strategic use of content to convert prospective customers into closed deals and sales. Today’s contractor can truly benefit from a digital marketing strategy since digital marketing produces so many results. For contractors who are ready to take the next step in their marketing journey, contact a digital marketing company today to discuss the best ways in which the contractor’s services can take advantage of internet marketing.