The Contractor’s Marketing Guide: How to Close More Deals
From labor and supply shortages to rising competition, there’s a lot you have to keep up with as a contractor in this day and age. Whatever challenges you’re facing in the field, if you can rely on a steady flow of customers, chances are the rest gets easier to handle from there.
So how do you bring in new leads and customers on a regular basis?
The answer: there are plenty of ways, and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which methods are worth the time or result in the greatest ROI. The key is picking the best strategies out there and optimizing the ones you’re already using.
In this article, we’ll be covering just that, with 5 marketing strategies you can use to expand your business, boost exposure, and get more customers.
Contractor Marketing in 2023: Going In With a Plan
Many contractors do marketing with a hit-or-miss approach. They’ll do one-off ad campaigns, maybe upgrade their website, or even post a video on YouTube.
These are all good things to do, but without a detailed marketing plan, consistency, and careful tracking of analytics, you won’t be able to know which approaches are the most effective in bringing in customers and which ones need tweaking.
Here are key pillars to note down when creating your marketing strategy.
The ultimate goal is to drive more sales, but perhaps you’re a new contractor prioritizing gaining exposure instead of closing more deals. If that’s the case, then focusing on creating digital content that has a chance of going viral may be a better approach than, say, email marketing.
Common contractor objectives are:
- Building brand awareness
- Generating leads
- Closing more deals
Knowing your target audience will play a major role in how you market yourself and your brand messaging. The more you can learn about your customers, the better.
Consider the following aspects of your target demographic:
- Age range
- Approximate income levels/social class
- Where and how they spend their time online
- The most common methods they use to find contractor services
By building a clear buyer profile, you’ll be able to tailor your messaging and ad campaigns to better target the needs and pain points of your target audience.
Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) should hold the core message behind your services.
The way you word and frame your UVP will be pivotal in how you close more deals.
An effective UVP addresses:
- Customer pain points
- Makes clear the benefits of your offer or service
- Describes the value of these benefits and how they connect to the buyer’s problem
- Shows how you stand out from the competition
For the last point mentioned, social proof in the form of reviews or a robust social media presence are powerful ways of boosting your UVP and differentiating you from the rest. You’d be surprised what having a YouTube channel can do in terms of building authority and a sense of trust in customers.
There’s no shortage of marketing channels out there. Based on your objectives and target audience, you’ll know which channels are better than others.
Marketing channels can be broadly categorized as:
- Social media content
- Paid ads
- Organic traffic from SEO (search engine optimization)
- Email marketing
- Referral marketing
Consider your competition and the methods they choose to market themselves. What’s working for them and what channels are they not using? What channels can you outperform in? If you have the capacity, help, and budget to tackle all the above categories, then shoot for the stars.
Content creation is crucial for brand awareness and lead generation. Where does your target audience consume the most content? What can you offer to bring in more leads?
Here are the common forms of content you’ll likely be creating at some point for your business:
- Blog posts
- Posting on social media
All of these forms of content are helpful, but some can be prioritized over others depending on your skill sets and the stage you’re at in your business.
5 Powerful Contractor Marketing Strategies and Tactics
Now that we know what should be included in your marketing plans, here are 5 strategies you can use to take your business to new levels. You may already be using some of the methods below but it doesn’t hurt to explore room for optimization and new approaches.
Optimize for Mobile
Over half of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile devices, and if your site doesn’t look good to mobile visitors, your prospects will quickly bounce. Optimizing your site for mobile devices also means having a relatively updated site that doesn’t look like it came from the internet stone age.
Keep in mind that your website sits at the heart of your marketing efforts and will be critical in converting visitors into customers.
A great contractor website design will include:
- Professional-looking landing pages
- Clear contact information
- Simple design and easy to navigate
- Pages and layouts optimized for mobile devices
A well-designed site will do wonders in terms of SEO and gaining new customers. It’s your digital business card and where many customers will get a first impression, so be sure not to cut corners on this one.
Build Your Brand Through Social Media Marketing
Alright, even if your target demographic is rarely on social media (which is highly unlikely), it’s hard to give social media marketing a pass. Service-based jobs are an absolute gold mine of content that can be used to drive users to your site.
From landscaping to beehive removal, you’ll find videos about these services generating tens of millions of views on social media. This short lawn edging video received 82 million views and was only posted in 2021.
Short-form videos currently dominate the social media landscape, with 54% of companies leveraging short-form videos in 2022. But not all your content has to be video.
Some other content examples are:
- Posting educational insights for homeowners on Twitter
- Sharing before and after photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
- Making posts about running a contractor business on LinkedIn
- Creating how-to guides on Pinterest or as Twitter threads
You’re already out there putting in the work, so why not take the extra step to document and share your journey? The content possibilities are nearly endless. With the potential ROI as your north star, you’ll quickly rise above the competition
Dominate Local Searches
This section is known as Google’s Map Pack or 3-Pack. The listed businesses are Google Business Profiles that rank based on certain criteria. Often many local businesses rank arbitrarily without really trying. SEO for contractors is highly effective because it draws attention from people who are actively looking for your services. However, to rank highly for local search results (known as local SEO), there are many steps involved.
Here are the main ones:
- Create or claim your Google Business profile for your area
- Follow Google’s guidelines on how to set up your profile
- Fill in all the details possible like name, address, contact info, website, working hours, etc.
- Regularly add relevant geotagged images to your business profile
- Create citations and profiles in local online directories like Yelp, Facebook, Yellowpages, and others (more on that in a second)
- Get customer reviews (and engage with them regularly)
You can further optimize your Google Business Profile by:
- Using Google Posts
- Activating appointment bookings
- Filling out your profile’s questions and answers page
- Enabling the messaging “chat” feature (keep in mind response time is visible to users)
- Including a detailed business description
Gather Social Proof
Contractors all know there’s the good, the bad, and the ugly in their line of work, which is why social proof and customer reviews are more important than ever. Over 80% of consumers reported that reviews are ‘important’ or ‘very important’ when deciding on service businesses and tradespersons.
Reviews also boost your local search rankings and help you build your Google Business Profile when you respond and engage with reviews. Nearly 90% of consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ likely to go with a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
So how do you get more reviews? By simply asking for them! You may feel tempted to offer an incentive in return for reviews but keep in mind this is not recommended by Google.
Monitor Analytics, Track Results, and Grow
You can make all the right marketing decisions but without tracking results, it will be like shooting in the dark.
Many contractors are unaware of the analytical tools they can use to measure important metrics like:
- Website bounce rate
- Top-performing webpages
- Top-performing content
- Clickthrough rate
- Conversion rate
Not converting enough traffic into leads? Perhaps your landing page copy needs changing. Have a low clickthrough rate on your ads? Consider using titles and descriptions that address your prospect’s pain point.
Monitoring your analytics for both social media and paid ads will point you in the right direction and help you make informed decisions that guarantee growth.
Marketing as a contractor can be overwhelming and a challenge on top of everything a contractor has to handle. But with a clear marketing plan and the high-ROI strategies outlined above, you can quickly boost your exposure, drive traffic, and generate leads.
If you’re looking to rise above the competition and build a consistent client base, be sure to:
- Have a contractor website design that’s optimized for mobile devices
- Perform local SEO to rank highly for local searches
- Share your work, experience, and customer reviews across social media
- Make informed decisions based on your content performance and analytics
Aaron R. - CEO
Entrepreneur with 20 years experience launching and managing successful web design and marketing companies. As seen in New York Times, Inc.com, Smashing Magazine, Home Advisor and other various mainstream media.
Passionate about #seo #marketing #webdesign #socialmedia #blogging #family #texasbbq