It doesn’t matter if you are a general contractor, HVAC company, home remodeler, roofing contractor, painting company, etc. – these tactics are applicable to most trades.
The first thing I would like to explain before I get into the details is that there is no magic bullet or secret online sauce when it comes to marketing your business.
Like remodeling a home, repairing a 3-gable roof, or installing a new HVAC system, it takes expertise, talent, and hard work.
Creating a successful marketing campaign for your company does not have to be difficult. You could pick 2-5 ideas from this list below and learn how to do them yourself or if you are too busy running the business operations, you could hire an agency like ours to handle the work for you.
That way you can focus on your talents, sales, and leading the company.
The end goals with any marketing campaign are to:
1. Create the best digital marketing profile for your business online
2. Brand your business to the right customer base
3. Create great content on your specialty and service
4. Get more traffic to your website and calls
5. Get more leads and business
6. Maintain a great reputation in your community and online with good reviews from past customers
7. Rinse and repeat
After reading this guide, you will learn about some of the best modern marketing ideas for contractors that will get you new business. By no means do you have to employ all of these strategies. You can choose 3-5 of these ideas to implement and test and then add more as you progress.
Once you have some experience and results, pay attention to what’s working and what is not. Then you can double down on the proven methods that are generating the most leads and revenue.
Let’s get started!
1. Modern Website Design
Approximately 97 percent of consumers search for information about local contractors and businesses online before making a buying decision. That is why the first thing that any contractor needs is a domain name and professional-looking website that is SEO (search engine optimized) and mobile-friendly.
Homeowners or your target market will be visiting your website for a closer look at your company. This is where people can learn about your company, services, and easily contact you online.
Your website is your digital business card, brochure, sales tool, and portfolio all in one. It can generate organic traffic and also act as a funnel for advertising and other marketing campaigns.
To get your website built, you will need to create content about your company to educate, brand, and sell potential clients on your services. At a bare minimum, you will want to build a home page, service page, about page, and contact page. You can also create a blog page where your articles and videos can be displayed.
This content should be search engine optimized (SEO). Meaning that it is written nicely to educate people and is also optimized properly to rank in the search engines.
Your website design should make it easy for people to navigate and contact you. You will need to have your phone number and contact forms displayed prominently where people can easily see them above the fold and in other locations on your site.
Having some original photos and/or videos of you and your employees at work will help build credibility and trust. It will also make you stand out from your competition.
2. Google My Business
Properly setting up your Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the best things you can do for your business.
When someone searches on Google, for example, a “Los Angeles or San Diego contractor near me”, or “kitchen remodel Austin,” after the advertisements, the next thing people will see is the three-pack of Google My Business listings. These listings generate a lot of clicks and traffic. You can get high-quality leads without spending a dime on ads.
In working with our contractor clients, we have found that, for example, when a homeowner is planning on getting their home remodeled, they will want to research local home improvement companies to see their past work and reviews. It will also give your company local credibility and visibility.
Google My Business allows you to choose one primary category and up to nine secondary categories. Make sure that you set it up with your main service offering as your primary category and then list your other services as your secondary categories.
If you need help listing and ranking your Googler My Business listing. Please let us know. We can set it up properly and optimize your profile to assist in collecting reviews and local citations.
3. Paid Advertising and Google Ads
Paid advertising is also sometimes called biddable media or PPC advertising. PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click advertising because you normally pay every time someone clicks on one of your ads, which is called Cost Per Click (CPC). Most advertising platforms such as Google, Bing, and Facebook use the PPC model.
Google Ads is one of the best online marketing channels for contractors. It can be competitive and expensive, but it can be a great way to bring in consistent leads and business if you know what you’re doing.
You can set your daily and monthly spending budget on the maximum amount of money you want to spend, and Google will not exceed that. As you see results, you can increase your spending to drive more traffic to your website.
Google Ads optimization focuses on maximizing “conversions” or “conversion value,” which can be a lead form submission, phone call, or email to your business.
Google assigns a quality score to your ad, which is dependent on CTR (Click Through Rate), relevance, and the landing page your ad sends traffic to. This quality score factors into the bid rate. Higher scores will lower bid costs and a lower score will raise them.
If you utilize proper ad optimization, search criteria, and on-page SEO, you can bring your ad costs down over time.
Google Ads offers three campaigns – Search, Display and Remarketing.
Search campaigns show ads to people who are searching for products and services in real time, which normally drive the most leads, sales and revenue. We recommend that contractors focus most of their Google Ads budget on search.
Display and Remarketing campaigns work along with search ads by displaying your ads on 3rd party websites to people who may have clicked on your ad but they did not contact your company or they visited your website, but were not 100% ready for your services right now.
These campaigns keep your company in front of their eyes when they surf the web and will build familiarity and authority for your company. When they are ready to use your service and you have done this correctly, they will contact you because of your remarketing efforts.
4. SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization.” Contractors often overlook SEO in their overall marketing, but as a business owner, you can’t afford to neglect SEO.
The reason why is because 90 percent of consumers search online for a product or service prior to making a purchase.
If you do not have a website with proper SEO, it will not show up in the search engines and you will lose out on a lot of potential new business.
Google’s algorithms favor local companies in its search results to deliver highly relevant search results. A well-planned SEO strategy targeting your main keywords will put your website at the top of the search engines, which will equate to increased organic traffic and leads.
For most contractors and home service-based businesses, you will need to create what is called “local SEO” and this means that you optimize your website to make sure people who live in your service area are able to find your website when they are searching for the services that you offer. Determine the main service offerings that you want your business to rank for. This will be based primarily on the services your company offers.
The two main goals of local SEO are to rank for the services you offer and outrank your local competitors. If you can do that, you will get what is called organic and free leads. They are the best exclusive leads that you can get.
Bottom line – Local SEO will help increase your company’s visibility online to residents in your service area to drive your potential customers to your site in order to get more leads, better conversions, more sales, and more revenue.
5. Content Marketing
Content, as it relates to digital marketing for your business, is either the written word, video, or audio. For your website, you will want to create pages that are mainly the written word and use SEO to build them properly so they rank in the search engines.
This content will detail information about your company, the services you offer, and contact information. You are using this content to educate people who find your website and are looking for your services. The idea is to convince them that you are the best company for the job so you can convert them into a customer.
When you create the pages for your website, make sure that you write for your potential clients. You know your customers best so you will want to address the services you offer, but also your potential clients’ pain points and the solutions your company offers.
You will need to create quality content that is well written and is detailed in order to rank in the search engines than your competition.
You can also add embedded videos to your pages for people who like to watch videos and also for Google who loves videos as well. This will also improve your SEO.
If you really want to stand out from your competition and get more business, you will need to create great content around your company and services on a consistent basis. You should have a company blog with great content, a YouTube channel with great videos, and post them regularly to Facebook and Instagram.
This is what content marketing is really all about.
6. Social Media Marketing
These days, billions of people spend a lot of time on social media. In order for these people to learn about your business, you need to be engaged in what is called social media marketing.
It is one of the most affordable forms of marketing that you can engage in. If you’re willing to invest the time and leverage your social media accounts, they can bring new traffic to your website and customers for your business.
Interacting with consumers on social media helps you build brand awareness and connect with potential and current customers.
The key is to choose the right platforms where your target customers are active and post regular and consistent content with your website link to drive this traffic to your website. For contractors, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram will be the best platforms to use. If you stick to these three and share great content, you will find success.
Researchers have found that the retention rate for visual information is approximately 65% vs. 10% for text-based information. According to HubSpot, 72% of consumers prefer video to text for receiving branded marketing information. 86% of video marketers say video has been effective for generating leads, and 81% of marketers feel that video has a direct, positive impact on sales.
Today, more than four in five businesses are using video in their marketing strategies. Video is simply one of the best marketing strategies that you can use to promote your company and services.
Videos help promote awareness about your company, build trust, and help increase sales. This is part of your company’s content marketing strategy so you will create great videos around your company and services. They can also be inexpensive and easy to produce.
The best place for contractors to host and market your videos is YouTube. This is where most people visit to watch and learn from videos.
7. Email Marketing
Not many contractors or home service-based3 businesses are utilizing email marketing, but they should, and here’s why.
Email marketing to past and potential clients is a great way to get business for a minimal investment.
Most people who visit your website will not contact you immediately. Capturing their contact information for additional marketing and “lead nurturing” is the best way to keep in touch with them until they are ready to use your services.
You do this by having a “lead capture form or magnet” on your website to get their name and email. The lead magnet is a compelling offer on your website such as “Get $250 off new Air Conditioning Installations” and to get the deal they need to leave their name and email address.
These new leads are then imported into your marketing funnel, which is just a fancy way to put them in your CRM to nurture your leads. Lead nurturing is all about sending weekly or bi-weekly emails to these people in order to keep your company in front of them and also educate them about your services or give them free tips and coupons until they are ready to use your services.
8. Coupon Marketing and Coupon Deal Sites
Coupons are a great way to get potential customers to use your company when they are shopping online for services. They can help take someone off the fence who is thinking about using a competitor and then choose your company.
You can have coupons on your website’s homepage and use them in online advertising.
Coupon deal sites like Groupon can help promote your business to massive audiences, grouped by location, to offer limited-time discounts to their members. Please be warned that you are required to discount your service by at least 50%, and at least 50% of the revenue goes to Groupon.
Obviously, this is not a good marketing tactic for every contractor and home remodeler. They work better for home service businesses that have lower-priced service offerings such as HVAC and plumbing repairs companies.
The main purpose for using coupon deal sites is not sales and profits. It’s essentially paid advertising with the goal of getting more people using your services and to get more reviews.
That is why you need to have awesome customer service during and after running your deal.
9. Collaboration and Joint Ventures With Other Contractors
The contracting business is booming and finding good help right now is extremely difficult for most contractors and home service-based businesses. Many companies are short-handed on their job sites and are regularly looking for good companies that they can work with or subcontract jobs to.
That is why collaborating with other contractors can get you some work, new business and help build your reputation. Helping another successful company when you first start out or when your slow can help you do things you could never accomplish on your own.
It’s always best to target businesses in your local area to work out a complementary arrangement that provides mutual benefit for both companies.
For example, let’s say you are a plumbing, HVAC, or electrical contractor. The idea is to simply identify a non-competitor such as a general contractor, home builder, or remodeler and then find a way to help them with your services in a mutually beneficial way.
Many homebuilders and remodelers are almost always in need of good contractors that they can subcontract some work to and will throw you a job to test out your skills and prices. If you do a great job and charge them a slightly reduced fee so they can also make a profit, then you will get more work and referrals.
You can pick up the phone, mail them a nice self-addressed letter or drop by their office to introduce yourself with some of your business cards. You do not want to do this just one time. Familiarity and people skills build trust, so if you do this as part of your marketing efforts, make sure you do it on a consistent basis without being a pest, spamming, or appearing desperate.
You can see results and new business from these contractors pretty fast if you do this right!
10. Join Local Business Groups
Joining local business and meetup groups will give you the opportunity to meet up with other business owners to share referrals and identify new marketing opportunities.
Business groups can be a great way to expand your network around the area in which you live. You can leverage these in-person business connections into joint ventures and profitable partnerships.
This is where you will be developing your long game and these people can become lifelong referral partners if you do great work and give excellent customer service.
They just take some time to be effective and produce results. But if you are patient and you really put in the effort to get to know the members, you will see some great returns on your time investment.
Your local Chamber of Commerce, Business Network International, or BNI, and Realtor groups can be a great source for contractor referrals in your area.
11. Direct Mail Marketing
Contrary to popular belief, direct mail marketing is not dead.
As more of your competitors are focusing their marketing efforts on the internet, fewer of them are utilizing direct mail and this means there is less competition and more opportunity for you.
Like with any marketing strategy listed here, you need to be creative and target the right potential customers who will need your services. For targeting, you need the right list of people to mail to, so you need to make sure that you send direct mail to prospects who are more likely to respond to your offer.
There are some great data brokers who sell targeted direct mail lists.
12. Seasonal marketing
Seasonal marketing is any promotion that businesses create for certain times of the year or sales seasons. These marketing campaigns leverage the monthly and yearly events on a calendar and planning to generate high traffic around specific times of the year, such as holidays, observances, and weather.
There are plenty of weather events and holidays around the year where you can create deals, coupons, articles, videos, social media posts, advertising campaigns, and more.
For example, you can create a holiday email and/or a direct mail campaign to your existing customers wishing them a great holiday so you stay on top of their minds and include a holiday coupon with a call to action, sending them to your website for more information.
You can update your website with a dedicated space for your holiday offers and specials.
Another great method is to create articles and videos that are holiday-centric such as:
HVAC: 11 Tips to Keep Your Family and Guests Warm During the Holidays
Plumber: How to Winter-Proof Your Pipes When You’re Gone for the Holidays
Electrician: How to Save on Your Electric Bill During the Holiday Season
Roofer: How to Safely Hang Your Christmas Lights
You can also share this content on social media with a link back to your website.
CONTRACTOR MARKET PRO CONCLUSION:
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, you do not have to employ all these marketing ideas at once.
Depending on your budget and time, the best method is to choose 3, 4 or even 5 ideas to implement and test to see what kind of results you can obtain. Once you see results, double down on what is working and discontinue what is not.
Remember that most of these marketing strategies take time, effort, and tweaking to see results, so please be patient. Give yourself at least 6-12 months before you discard a strategy.
If you need any help with digital marketing such as website design, Google My Business, SEO, social media, or paid advertising, please contact us today and learn how Contractor Market Pro can create a great marketing strategy that will help you dominate your local market.
The Contractor Brotherhood | Helping Contractors Get More Leads With Digital Marketing, SEO, and Paid Ads | I post about the process