Today’s business owners are continually looking for the most effective and relevant marketing strategies that will best grow their business. As short as ten years ago, customer acquisition was much more linear. Today, there are multiple touch points and multiple strategies. If you’d like to focus your time on the top six, take a few moments to read our suggestions.
A quick background on our business. We primarily work with individuals interested in HVAC, Plumbing or Contractor Marketing, but we feel this article is applicable to all business owners who want to learn a few key steps that can keep your “sales funnel” consistently fed with new clients.
STRATEGY #1: KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER
Sure, you may serve a broad range of customers. But, consider thinking about the customer who’s interested in the most profitable products and/or services that you currently offer – from a net profit standpoint. Exactly who do these products/services best serve?
Describe this “primary” target audience by age, income range, occupations, zip codes and any other factors that may make them unique, i.e. organizations they may belong to, schools their children most likely attend, sports teams they may follow; the more detailed you can get, the better your chances at connecting with them.
Understanding your existing and target customers are critical to consistent business growth.
STRATEGY #2: DEVELOP YOUR UNIQUE SELLING POINT
What do you believe to be the top three (3) reasons why your core customers choose to buy from you? What is it that they value most about you and your company and how is this different from the competitors in the market? Once you’ve established this, write it down and remember to share this information when you’re getting ready to implement any new strategy.
Remember – providing customers with “information” about your products and services won’t convert them into customers. “Informing” and effectively “communicating” are two completely different tasks. Without creativity, you’re wasting valuable time and money.
So, make sure that you incorporate your USP, your “why” into your message in a relevant and creative manner before you start any new website design, SEO marketing, video marketing, social media campaigns or other marketing strategies.
STRATEGY #3: INVEST MONEY WHERE IT MATTERS
One of the greatest challenges you will face as a business owner is getting your business found on page one of Google. You want your business listing and/or website to rank high in the Google search results when people are searching for your products and services – or in other words, you need to rank for your top keywords related to your business and industry.
It’s all about being found. If customers aren’t coming to you by referral, they’re most likely coming via Google. Working with SEO (search engine optimization) professionals who understand the algorithms – AND your industry is critical to being ranked organically within your market area.
In addition to organic rankings (unpaid), it’s important to note that Google Adwords has become one of the most powerful digital advertising medium in today’s digital marketplace. You’ll consistently find at least 2-3 paid ads on the Google search pages today. The cost of these ads vary depending on how competitive the keywords are within your market.
What can you do to support your SEO efforts? Create social media accounts (Facebook, Insta, Twitter, LinkedIn just to name a few) and create a plan to regularly post with fresh content every week, ensure all your online business directory (yelp, yahoo, bing, Angies List, BBB, etc..) listings are accurate, and build-out your business profile on all Google products, including Google Maps, YouTube channel.
By having your online content created on multiple online platforms, you will be creating a powerful driving force that significantly supports SEO for your business. But remember, investing in SEO means a combination of time and dollars. The amount of money you should allocate for monthly SEO could range anywhere from $500/month to $3000/month (or more!). Understanding this budget will be dependent on the size of your market and your competitive keyword rankings.
SEO marketing is not a job for amateurs. Today’s search algorithms are sophisticated so if you don’t have the time to fully learn and understand how to effectively implement, leave it to the experts. We’re always happy to provide a complimentary Keyword Ranking Analysis for clients if you need a good starting point, (757) 756-1798.
STRATEGY #4: ROLL-OUT REFERRAL MARKETING GOALS
Customer referrals are always an important source of business growth. Today, they come from word of mouth – as well as from “trustworthy” testimonials and reviews. What your customers say about you and your business can be one of your strongest marketing tools – no doubt.
What do your customers think about your products and services? Are they satisfied? As soon as you have a happy customer, are you making a point of asking for a short Google or Facebook review ? Ideally, seeing a real customer’s review (and photo to go along with their review) is a HUGE converter for new customers. Why? Because having your customer’s photo and real name beside a testimonial in this world of “fake news” increases the trust value tenfold.
So, make a goal to collect a minimum of 10 customer reviews every month. Supply the testimonials to your marketing partners and make sure they use them on your website, social media platforms, online directories, in print ads, signage, etc.
Knowing that you have fully satisfied customers will bring more and more customers to your business door. We provide a Reputation Management service that helps you regularly capture your customer reviews so give us a call with any questions you have, (757) 756-1798.
STRATEGY #5: EMBRACE VIDEO MARKETING
If you have not yet tried video marketing for your business, give it a try. Videos can be one of the most effective tools to reach new customers and earn their trust.
Contrary to popular belief, video marketing does not have to be expensive to be effective. Many top-rated companies utilize video to support the following strategies:
- Provide an overview of their services (i.e. cooling, heating, and air systems…)
- Provide “How to Tips” or FAQs (How to reduce your energy bills…)
- Tell their company story (i.e. family owned in its second generation…)
YouTube has excellent exposure and features, including tags, display advertising, on-screen call-to-action buttons, and automatic transcripts. Did you know Youtube is the world’s second largest search engine behind Google?
A recent (2018) survey found that more than 80% of customers say they would rather watch a video about a product than read an article.
STRATEGY #6: INVEST IN A WELL-DESIGNED WEBSITE
The design of your site can have a significant impact not only on attracting the right customers to your business – but converting them to customers. Of course, a mobile-responsive design is critical today and ensures that your site will look great on any device, from a smartphone to notebook to laptop to desktop computer.
Other elements that can impact the success of your website include:
- Easy, Simple Navigation: Your site should have an easy-to-find menu with clear contact information front and center. Make sure people can easily find what they need and your website loads quickly.
- Relevant Design: Your website should have a look and feel that’s consistent with the look and feel of your business. Is it welcoming? Modern? Playful? Colors and “personality” should be consistent.
- Call-to-Action: When your designer creates a page, make sure people are lead through an effective sales funnel. We believe in not overwhelming prospects when they visit your site. Don’t ask them to do too many things on a page. Content should easily lead them into a specific action. If the goal is to have them call your business, make sure the top 2 compelling reasons for them to call you are crystal clear.
- Contact Info Clear: Make sure an additional link to your phone number is on the sidebar or at the bottom of the page for easy access as well.
- Designed to support SEO and SERP: Keyword optimization on a website is so critical today. In addition to keywords, include pages for service areas. You could have the best “designed” website in the world, but if people can’t find it, don’t expect it to deliver new customers.
If you already have a website, a quick review of your site’s design can work wonders. At seelutions, we’re always happy to provide a quick review as well, (757) 756-1798.
As a small or mid-size business owner, you most likely wear multiple hats. Being an advertising or marketing expert may not be a hat you’re ready to wear – or want to wear? If you’re interested in how our team can support you with your goals, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation.
If you’re an HVAC, Plumbing or Contractor – we specialize in your industry. We’ve taken the time to understand your specific needs, what works and what doesn’t – including effective HVAC Web Design.
Once again, if you have any questions give us a call at (757) 756-1798