Marketing Tactics That Work for Contractors
There’s no shortage of marketing tactics that you can choose for your business. Here are some of the most popular — and successful — tactics for contractors, broken down into three categories: proof-ofvalue, digital and traditional/in-person marketing.
Before you start to choose marketing tactics to be part of your overall plan, you’ll want to think about how you can prove the value your business provides.
Here are two ways to start: Create a Value Proposition Your business’s value proposition — the promise of the value your company delivers to your customers — is the most important element of your marketing efforts. It tells your prospects why they should do business with you and makes the benefits of your services crystal clear. To create a value proposition, you’ll need to think about four pieces of information your customers need to know:
- What services do you offer, and how do they solve your customers’ problems or improve their situations? Don’t be too literal when thinking about your services. You’re selling more than a new roof or siding — you’re selling a solution, feeling or outcome.
- How does your business benefit your customers? Emotions are tied to purchasing decisions. Think about the emotions your customers experience when they receive your services, and factor them into your benefit.
- What differentiates your business from your competitors? If you understand what your competitors offer, it will be easier to talk about how you’re different or better. Even if a competitor’s services are similar, you might have more experience or use higher-quality materials.
- Who is your target customer? Think beyond age, gender or income level — consider what they do for fun, what makes them happy and what their goals are. Then think about how the answers to these questions can factor into their experience with a contractor. Ask for Case Studies and Referrals One of the most powerful ways to prove you can do the job is to share examples of success stories from satisfied customers.
After you finish a job, ask them the following questions and see if they’d be comfortable with you sharing their review with prospects:
- What problem or challenge were you looking to solve with this project?
- Why did you choose our business?
- Were you satisfied with our work? Why or why not?
- How would you describe your experience working with my team?
- Was my team responsive and accommodating?
- Is there anything else you’d like to share? These case studies and referrals can be used in multiple ways: in a presentation where you’re pitching a similar type of job, as a regular part of your social media or featured on your website with a brief writeup of your customer’s answers. Digital Marketing 64% of small businesses have a website, while 35% of small businesses without a website believe they are too small to have one.
Give Your Website a Tune-Up Most consumers research before they buy — and in our digital-first world, that often means they’re searching for a potential contractor online.
For that reason, a website is a must — it provides a window into your business, ensuring your customers can learn more about you, the services you provide and how to contact you. No matter if you have a fully built-out site with eye-catching photos of past projects and customer testimonials or a simple website with a brief description of services and your contact information, it’s critical to always make sure you have the most up-to-date website possible.
SEO is a way to ensure that your website (and business) gets more visits and ranks higher in search engine results. You can increase your website’s SEO value and traffic over time by including relevant keywords that your prospects are searching for. Learn more in this SEO guide. 74% of consumers rely on social media to guide purchasing decisions.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for contractors to be active on social media — it’s one of the best places to reach prospective customers in an efficient and inexpensive way.
Once you’ve established the social media accounts you’ll use, you’ll want to make a plan for what you’ll post and how often.
Post ideas for contractors could include in-progress project shots, photos of completed projects, testimonials from satisfied customers, relevant industry trends and company news, including any community volunteering or support efforts. You’ll also want to establish how you’ll interact with followers on your accounts and what you’ll say when someone posts a positive — or negative — comment.
Here are some additional insights on how to use Facebook and LinkedIn to build business relationships. In addition to the organic content — the free posts, photos and videos you can share with your customers on your social media platforms — there are also opportunities to engage in paid promotion for your posts.
Paid promotion is becoming increasingly important as social media algorithms make it harder and harder for non-paid posts to show up in people’s newsfeeds. Paid promotion allows you to pay — similar to an online or print ad — for a specific audience to see your post. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation . Embrace Review Sites Review sites like Nextdoor, HomeAdvisor, Yelp, Angi, and Google My Business can help you keep a pulse on the public perception of your business.
Second to personal referrals from friends and family, they’re likely one of the first places homeowners and commercial property owners go to learn about and hire potential contractors. It goes without saying, but customers are much more likely to hire a contractor who has positive reviews. Review sites build trust, and in a crowded marketplace, that matters.
WHAT TO CONSIDER TO MAKE YOUR COMPANY STAND OUT
Getting started with review sites is easy — most of them are free to use, and they only take a few minutes to set up:
- Edit your profile with your contact information, photos and any existing testimonials you already have permission to use.
- When you receive a new review, do your best to respond within one to two business days.
- Make a plan to monitor reviews twice a week, so you don’t miss anything.
- Ask for reviews by directing satisfied customers to the sites you have set up. At 54% use, email is the top marketing tool used by small businesses. Email marketing’s average return on investment (ROI) is 122%.5 Consider Email Marketing Email marketing seems like it’s exactly that — marketing conducted by email — but at its core, it’s another way to build relationships. It gives you a chance to speak directly to potential and past customers, in their inbox, at their convenience.
Here are just a few of the ways email can help small businesses:
- Most subscriptions to email marketing platforms are inexpensive compared with other marketing initiatives, making it big on return — and little on investment.
- Email marketing platforms make it possible to personalize and segment messages based on characteristics — types of customers, geographic locations and more.
- The data available within email marketing platforms creates an opportunity to draw useful data about how your audiences are interacting with your emails. This makes it possible to measure your campaigns and replicate what’s working.
MANAGING NEGATIVE REVIEWS
Reading online reviews can feel a bit like riding a roller coaster, especially if you receive a negative review. Here are five tips to help you manage less-than-impressive online customer reviews:
- Respond promptly and thank the customer for sharing their concern or experience.
- Take the conversation offline by either asking for their contact information and following up by email/ phone or directing them to an email/phone number they can reach you at.
- Listen — even if you don’t agree. Listening can alert you to issues you need to address in your business.
- Stay poised and professional. Know how you respond will be seen by future customers.
- Share how the issue will be resolved. If you offer to redo or fix the work, follow through on that promise. Opening an email signals a personal commitment:
Someone who clicks on your email wants to know about your business. If you focus on having well-written, visually appealing email campaigns, there’s no limit to how you can use this channel. Traditional and In-Person Marketing Wear Professional Apparel It’s important to dress for success when you’re heading into a customer meeting — whether it’s in-person or virtual. Always change into clean, professional apparel when you’re coming from a jobsite, and if you’re able, wear something that’s representative of your business and its brand.