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As a contractor, you already know the importance of having the right tools for the job. This is also true for marketing as well. A strong digital marketing strategy will help you grow your business and generate more water damage leads.
We’ll walk you through the most effective digital marketing techniques, briefly outline their pros and cons, and share a few ways you can use them in your marketing strategy.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses keywords in content to organically increase traffic to your website. When customers search a specific keyword, such as “water damage,” the search engine ranks your website content against that keyword using a variety of different metrics.
A well-implemented SEO strategy will ensure your content appears near the top of search results, greatly improving the chance a potential customer contacts you instead of a competitor. Of course, this does require a consistent supply of quality content for search engines to index.
Strictly speaking, SEO is free, however managing an effective SEO strategy can take a great deal of time. While you could do it on your own with moderate success, it may require a digital marketing expert to show the best results.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)In search engine marketing, you pay to have your ad appear in relevant search results. Similar to search engine optimization, paid search relies on keywords to target ads to customers. Usually these campaigns are pay-per-click (PPC), so you only get charged when a customer clicks your ad.
The benefit of paid search is that it can almost instantly drive traffic to your website and, hopefully, land more jobs. Unfortunately, the biggest downside is that there are no guarantees that a customer will follow through once they get to your website.
Call-Only AdvertisingCall-only advertising is very similar to search engine marketing, but instead of directing customers to your website, they prompt them to call you directly.
Since most customers are always in reach of their phones, so it’s a great place to target them with ads. It’s especially effective in emergency situations – and when isn’t water damage an emergency? Customers search, see your ad, and call.
Lead GenerationLead generation may seem like an unconventional form of marketing, but it has a number of benefits over traditional marketing. In effect, you are hiring a marketing agency to do all the hard work for you. This allows you to focus on your business, instead of complicated marketing campaigns.
The biggest misconception about lead generation companies is that you could land those jobs on your own. By creating quality content and managing a variety of advertising strategies, they generate leads from a customer base you are unlikely to reach with your own marketing. Plus, customers you get from those leads will call you directly in the future and refer you to friends and family.
Not every lead generation company is the same, so we recommend you compare them before making a decision. Make sure you’re only paying for valid leads on services you offer. You should never be charged for wrong numbers and there should be a process for handling billing disputes. Avoid companies that require long-term commitments or have setup or monthly fees.
Social Media MarketingSocial media is a great way to interact with your customers and improve brand awareness. While it was initially seen as a way to get free advertising, most sites have made it increasingly more difficult to get your message in front of your audience without paying.
Still, social media continues to be a valuable resource for marketing your business, especially if you play within the rules. First and foremost, it should be seen as a way to communicating with your audience, not as a way to shout at them.
Before and after photos are especially effective on social media. Make your post about how you helped your customer and skip the sales pitch. This type of content has a strong audience benefit, which helps increase the organic reach of that post.
Video MarketingVideos are the new photos. Customers are four times as likely to watch a video than read about your services and lead to an 80% increase in conversions. Most importantly, videos give a face to your company and help to build trust with customers.
Showing your customers is always better than telling them, so don’t treat your videos like TV ads. Like social media, focus on engaging with your audience. Filming on the job site allows you to showcase your skills and expertise. You can even include some personality, just make sure it’s appropriate for the situation.
Reviews85% of customers trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation, so reviews are vital to the success of your digital marketing strategy. They can help boost your search engine optimization and search engine marketing campaigns and even play a role in your social media marketing.
The biggest hurdles to getting more positive reviews are remembering to ask for the review and making sure the customer actually leaves one. While you can manage this process on your own, it may be worth using a review acquisition program that reminds customers to leave reviews.
After customers leave a review, thank them and try to resolve issues raised in unfavorable reviews. By showing a personal interest, you are demonstrating to future customers that you are willing to go the extra mile to make certain everyone is satisfied with your work.
But Which One Should I Use?The days of running one type of ad or sticking to a single strategy are over. Two-thirds of your customers use multiple channels before making a purchase, so you should be using most, if not all, of these marketing strategies to grow your water damage business.
That doesn’t mean you should treat each strategy equality and finding the right balance for your company may take a little time. Remember to measure your results and adjust your business strategy based on what has proved successful for you.