As a disaster mitigation or home services contractor, you know it’s important to have the right tools for the job. This is also true then it comes to your marketing strategy. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to grow your business, we look at the best lead generation channels for small businesses.
What Are the Best Lead Generation Channels for Small Businesses?
Here are the most effective lead generation channels for small businesses. While you don’t need to use all of these, consider trying a few and find the right combination that works best for your home service business.
1. Online Advertising
Online advertising is one of the most effective ways for small businesses to generate leads. Although there are many types of online ads, paid search or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising should be at the top of the list for home service contractors.
With PPC advertising, prospects are targeted using specific keywords. This is a great way to get traffic to your website or even have them call your business directly.
Aside from paid search ads, there are also several other types of online advertising. Display ads or banner ads are like billboards that appear on websites. Remarketing ads target customers after they visit your website or social channel. Other types of ads include paid social and video advertising.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses keywords in the content to organically increase traffic to your website. While SEO doesn’t have the fixed cost of ads, it still takes time to create and revise content.
You’ll need to do keyword research to make sure your website appears near the top of the search results. Include those keywords in the content you write. However, avoid overusing keywords. Often called keyword stuffing, this actually has a negative impact on your SEO and can lead to lower rankings.
While content is the key to a good SEO strategy, you also need to worry about technical factors like page speed. This is how fast your website loads for customers. Search engines give the highest rankings to the fastest websites.
One often overlooked aspect of SEO is map searches. A local SEO strategy makes sure your home services business appears in the results of map programs. For this reason, make sure your address and phone number are consistent on your website, business listings, and social media profiles.
Also, make sure your business is categorized correctly. This will help you show up in the results when a customer does a search, for example, “fire restoration contractor near me.”
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great marketing channel to get more leads. However, there is a misconception that social sites like Facebook and Twitter are completely free. Some small businesses even think they don’t need to advertise at all because of social media.
The truth is, social media sites have made it difficult to reach a large audience without paying. For this reason, you should also use free posts, promoted posts, and ads to reach your customers.
You should never post the same ad or very similar messages over and over. Instead, mix up what you post. Share before and after photos as well as articles about preventative maintenance or upcoming storm alerts. Not only will this help with repeat customers, but it also shows new customers you care about them.
Even more important than posting content is remembering to listen. Always treat social media as a conversation and respond when prospects and customers leave comments or ask questions.
Depending on the services you offer, email marketing is another lead generation channel to consider. Although it usually works best for home improvement services, you can use it for disaster mitigation as well.
While most email marketing systems are very similar, consider the cost and how easy it is to add to your website. After you’ve got your system in place, the best way to get potential customers to sign up is by offering a free guide or quote.
Add new email signups to a welcome campaign that sends them a few different emails over the course of several days or a few weeks. Add these contacts to your regular marketing communications so they get your latest offers.
5. Customer Referrals
Although referrals might not seem like marketing, word-of-mouth marketing is a great way to get more leads. Especially since 84% of consumers trust referrals from their friends, colleagues, and family members.
The best time to ask customers for referrals is after finishing a job and the customer is happy with your work. Thank them for their business and ask them to recommend you to friends and family if they need your services.
Although you can leave behind a business card or a magnet, a stack of brochures are just clutter. Even better, just text them your contact card. This way they can send it along to whoever needs it.
The biggest benefit of referrals is getting new jobs without spending additional marketing dollars. In addition, referrals also give you a chance to resell to your existing customers too.
Make sure you follow up with the original customer to thank them for sending you a referral. While you don’t want to be pushy, you can see if they need any services as well.
6. Customer Reviews
As with referrals, reviews may not seem like a marketing channel. However, 85% of customers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Plus, they can also boost your SEO, PPC, and social media campaigns.
The biggest hurdles to getting more positive reviews are remembering to ask for the review and making sure the customer actually leaves one. Although you can do this on your own, there are also programs you can use to help manage the process. Not only do they contact customers about leaving a review, but even follow up if they don’t write one within a set timeframe.
Remember to reply when your customer leaves a review. Regardless of what they said, thank them for the review and for using your company. If they mentioned a problem, let them know you’re working to resolve it right away.
While you also need to reply to negative reviews, arguing with a customer always makes your company look bad. Instead, try to resolve the problem with them directly and then ask if they can update their review.
7. Lead Generation Partners
Another lead generation channel for small businesses to consider is a lead generation partner. Unlike hiring a marketing agency that charges you no matter how they perform, you are paying for results with the right lead generation partner. Plus, lead generation works with your existing marketing strategy.
Lead generation companies use many different strategies to generate leads you are unlikely to get with your own marketing. Plus, they have the marketing expertise necessary to compete with major brands.
However, not every lead generation company is the same. Compare your options before making a decision and make sure you’re only paying for valid leads on the services you offer.
They should never charge for wrong numbers and they should have a process for handling billing disputes. Avoid companies that require long-term commitments, have set-up fees, and monthly fees.
Get the Leads You Need to Grow Your Home Services Business
While there are many lead generation channels for small businesses, most take time, patience, and skill before they perform. Whether you’re waiting for your marketing to pay off or need a few more leads each week to keep your crews busy, 33 Mile Radius can help. Apply now for high-quality, flat-rate home services leads today.