Taking the Cyber-Leap: Digital Marketing for Home Services Contractors
It’s no secret: if you want to grow your home services business, you have to showcase your wares and services to the public. But for cash-strapped companies, generous advertising allocations are a tempting target for budget cuts. However, there’s a smart way to get the best of both worlds: pruning publicity outlays while pumping sales to new heights. It’s called digital marketing.
For the better part of the past two decades, businesses are built online with the help of digital marketing.
Making it easy
It’s relatively new, it sounds complicated, and even a little scary, right? But here’s the good news: as a specialist in digital marketing for contractors, CI Web Group is well qualified to take you through this entire process, plumping up your bottom line and expanding your loyal customer portfolio.
To start with, do you know that 46% of consumers say that the main reason they trust a company (or not!) is its website? That’s a really good incentive for establishing your HVAC business as a landmark on the digital marketing landscape.
Investing in the Digital Space
How about some more eyeballs for your advertising dollars? Over the past few decades, the Internet has transformed the way that current and potential customers engage with businesses. Incredibly powerful and universally available, the digital world keeps your ‘store‘ open 24/7, just a fingertip away for customers seeking information, booking services or buying products. The best part? These are targeted leads, people who are actively looking for your products and services and who are ready to buy from the most trustworthy provider.
If that isn’t enough to confirm the importance of digital marketing, here are four good reasons for HVAC contractors to invest in their future by implementing the 12 Step Roadmap and manage to get their business in front of the right set of eyes, when it matters the most!
- Staying Ahead of the Competition
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there on the HVAC, plumbing and electrical market. Competitors are fighting for customers who are constantly seeking the best deal:not necessarily the cheapest price, but certainly the best value for money over the longer term.
This is where a great website is your strongest ally. Strategically placed keywords quickly attract the attention of search bots scouring the Internet, with closer matches and appealing content boosting your search rankings through cutting-edge Search Engine Optimization and Content.
A simple step – like an eye-catching favicon next to your company name in search results – attracts immediate attention, leading to more clicks, more leads and more sales. Although this seems like a low-cost no-brainer way of spotlighting your company, it needs to be skillfully designed, and then implemented expertly by a digital marketing specialist, in order to gain the full benefit.
- Attracting New Customers
When properly set up, a state-of-the-art digital marketing system pinpoints prime opportunities for visibility, helping build your audience in the markets, cities and locations that matter most to your HVAC or plumbing business. Listing competitor campaigns and rankings, it lets you pursue a steeper learning curve at lower cost, by exploring what works (and what doesn’t) through their hits and misses.
Posted regularly on social media, fact-rich content packed with carefully designed photos and other media reaches out to new markets, while keeping followers engaged and entertained. And high-quality content in more channels boosts the chances of search bots homing in on your keywords faster, reflected instantly through higher rankings on results pages listing only your service areas.
- Pampering Your Clientele
No customer is automatically yours forever. Remember, the competition is constantly jockeying for their attention, waving coupons, flashing bargain offers and trying to grab their attention through special promotions. To keep your customers loyal, you must constantly show your appreciation, reaching out to them through direct actions that keep them focused on your brand. An added bonus: these contacts are great opportunities for collecting data that you can use later on to maximize conversions and multiply lifetime value for customers.
Creative rather than costly, these activities should not be viewed as paying for customers that you already ‘own’. Instead, they are smart moves that discourage pennywise consumers from switching to an eager competitor. This protects all your earlier investments of time, money and effort expended to add a new name to your client portfolio. Confirming the fragility of customer loyalty in today’s competitive market, an estimated 20% of branded searches are lost to competing firms during online searches.
- Burnishing Your Brand and Reputation
For any contractor, the best publicity is always word-of-mouth recommendation. Today reflected in reviews as well, traditional person-to-person praise (or criticism!) can now be conveyed to massive audiences in mere moments. One of the advantages of online directories, good social media experiences with a brand may be shared by 71% of consumers – massively expanding your prospects pool.
This is why digital marketing is such a powerful tool for growing your business in the dynamic home services market. Although it may seem confusing, overwhelming and even infuriating, carefully designed interactions with customers are business boosters that can now be measured through trustworthy metrics.
However, there’s little point in working hard to grow your business if you don’t have the necessary staff structure and business model to support this expansion. Here are a few suggestions on bridging any gaps in your corporate framework.
Strategic Marketing is grounded on a long-term business strategy, underpinning sustained growth. This involves analyzing markets to see what new products or services would fill unmet demands and seeking out demographic niches, all aligned with your corporate values and community standards.
Every opportunity must be seized and exploited to the full extent, particularly when intangible benefits brighten corporate reputations; threats must be foreseen and dealt with fast and effectively, for minimal damage.
This is where solid data is worth its weight in gold. Careful scrutiny of competitors and their actions is a necessary step on the competitive HVAC market; in-depth knowledge of fickle consumers is crucial for keeping pace with fast-changing preferences, requirements and demands.
This is where a well-designed digital marketing strategy pays generous dividends. When implemented by a trustworthy partner like CI Web Group, it provides fast and accurate feedback on customers and competitors, while tracking markets, trends and developments through regular reports that are easy to understand.
Operational marketing is focused on converting leads into prospects and then sales, through streamlined business processes. Customer-facing, its goals include effective call handling and rapid responses to contacts, queries, comments and complaints in all channels, building up a positive image of your business as a responsible corporate citizen.
Directly generating sales, operational marketing focuses on maximizing performance while minimizing costs, drawing up product policies, tweaking price structures and streamlining distribution and delivery networks. Its goals include service agreement growth, portfolio expansion and enhanced customer loyalty.
With a short to medium term horizon, it works with day-to-day communications decisions: planning seasonal promotions, running campaigns, placing advertisements, selecting channels and directing mail shots. A skilfully designed digital marketing program integrates all these actions into a coherent whole, processing data from a wide variety of channels into regular reports that provide solid guidance on how to expand your slice of the home services market.
Internal marketing is just as important as selling your HVAC services and goods to the world around you. This needs inspiring leadership and an in-house communications system that inspires and encourages every employee to do their best, with guidance on the most appropriate conduct for every occasion.
Dealerships should grab every training opportunity offered by HVAC equipment manufacturers, keeping sales and technical staff right in step with the latest developments in this dynamic industry. Other courses may be offered by local institutions (often at low cost or sometimes free of charge), which also great options for boosting staff morale while upgrading customer service levels.
Local mentoring programs are another great resource, particularly for managers, and may blur into coaching, helping owners set goals and holding them accountable for hitting targets, thus taking their businesses up to the next level.
All these steps can be woven into a comprehensive digital marketing program that measures the effects of every step along the lead conversion pathway, from call-to-action placements on your website through to response speed, follow-up, upselling and completion.
External Marketing as the public face of your business. A showcase for your HVAC services and products, this ranges from regular advertisements (particularly Google My Business, Local Service and PPC Ads that own the top half of search results pages) to rich snippets (spotlighting specific aspects of your business) and even community involvement through coupons or promotions that support local good causes.
Through skilfully placed keywords, your business reaches out seamlessly to your customers through all their favorite channels. Eye-catching calls to action attract potential and current customers through direct contacts that build up your marketing database with valuable information. Top-quality photographs and videos showcase your products and services,spotlighting notable projects and specialized skills.
The key factor here is consistency, keeping your brand identification uniform across a broad range of platforms for faster recognition. Your name, logo and livery should ring a bell with consumers every time, so they feel confident about clicking to contact your company.
Spotlight on the bottom line
Tracking seasonal peaks and troughs year by year throughout the HVAC services industry, breaking down monthly figures, assessing campaign results and even measuring individual keyword placements, a cutting-edge digital marketing program puts you in full control of your business immediately, with no profit-damping delays.
The unique characteristic of digital marketing is its dynamic configuration. Unlike traditional advertising – where the same ad might run for six months on the same page of the same publication, with little hope of measuring its true value – Internet publicity is dynamic and instant. All search results, each post and every website update prompt immediate responses that can be collated and measured as they stream in. Instant tweaks can boost responses overnight, for faster paybacks on your investment, with overlapping effects of lower costs.
This is why harmony and consistency are crucial factors for showcasing your business, as consumers access the Internet through a wide variety of channels. Every aspect of your marketing model must present your business in the same way, with each marketing area – Strategic, Operational, Internal and External – supporting the others.
Centered on the customer
Far more sophisticated (and demanding!) than they were even a few years ago, today’s knowledgeable consumers have little patience for businesses that fail to provide precisely what they want, exactly when and where it is needed.
Fast brand recognition and positive impressions among consumers mean more clicks and more data, translating into more leads, more prospects and more sales. This is why Internet-savvy contractors opt for digital marketing programs that open up exciting opportunities for growth through solid feedback, underpinned by trustworthy reports that steer corporate planning, executive education and staff training.
Without adequate response capacity, customer reviews slip by unnoticed; uncounted pay-per-clicks are a waste of money; and social media placements may lack transparency or be poorly delivered by inexperienced vendors.
Talk to our team
A well-qualified digital marketing partner like CI Web Group is a priceless asset, spurring the growth of your business through cutting-edge technology and innovative techniques that keep you ahead of the competition. So if you want to turn your company into an Internet star attracting a steady stream of new business, get in touch with us today.