You need a strong digital marketing foundation for your service business.
It’s the best move you can make.
Just like when you work on a home, having a plan ensures success.
Use digital marketing to connect with homeowners in your community by strategizing your branding & identity to relate to your perfect customer.
Once you build a marketing foundation the right way, you can use more advanced strategies.
Our simple step-by-step approach can easily be applied to your local service business. As you build your marketing foundation, you can also craft your branding and identity.
The three critical components of your Digital Marketing Foundation
- Google Business Profile
- Online Directory Listings
- Mobile Friendly Website
So first, we’re going to give you an overview of the steps. Then, we’re going to break down each step in a future post. And tell you exactly what to do.
The most critical part of your local marketing
First thing’s first, make sure your profile is claimed and verified on Google. The longer you’re on Google, the better chances of ranking on page 1.
So make sure you have control of your free Google Business Profile listing.
#1 Research Your Local Market
Surprisingly, many businesses skip this step when building a digital marketing plan.
But that’s a mistake.
Learning about the people you hope to do business with helps you relate to them.
Even better, conducting local market research lets you identify opportunities.
It also helps you understand customer pain points. Problems, nobody else is solving.
Then, you can give them a better solution.
There are lots of family sizes, homes, income levels, education and cultures.
By studying the cities you hope to do business with, you’ll learn what homeowners near you value.
For example, our research shows more affluent homeowners don’t like discounts.
They prefer hearing “upgrade” or “premium” in your offers.
Use websites like datausa.io to pull local demographics.
That’s how you learn the basics about who lives in your area.
Then, do some additional research to find their biggest challenges when working with businesses like yours.
A survey is a great way to ask additional questions.
#2 Identify And Analyze Your Competition
Know who your competitors are. And, take the time to review their marketing.
How well is the competition connecting with homeowners?
If a couple of your direct competitors are crushing their online marketing, it makes things a little harder.
The longer a good Digital Marketing Plan has been in place, the more it helps.
So if you’re starting from behind, you might want to find a niche. Also known as a specialty.
For example, let’s say you’re a roofer that’s awesome at Slate Roofing. If your competitors focus on asphalt shingle roofs, focus on slate if there is local demand.
This is where knowing your community demographics comes into play.
If none of your competitors are doing a great job with their online marketing, you can take a more generalized approach.
#3 Understand Your Target Customer
Now that you’ve done some research, it’s time to define your target customer. You know your community, and you’ve analyzed how well other home service businesses are meeting customer demand.
Having a target customer doesn’t mean you only serve that exact customer.
Instead, a target customer let’s you focus your marketing efforts. You can tailor your message. Don’t speak to everyone, like with TV commercials. Tell a story that attracts the people who need your services.
For a residential realtor, your target customer would generally be anyone looking to buy or sell in your area. To stand out, get more specific.
If you know from your market research people have long commutes, offer special hours. Maybe two days a week you do showings until 9pm. By providing that additional value, you’ll set your business apart.
#4 Establish Your Company Branding & Identity
Your business has a story to tell. Every business does. A great brand story will help people relate to you. That’s what your planning your branding & identity are all about.
Your branding & identity are more than just a logo and business description.
Branding has to be compelling and memorable.
Is branding marketing?
People want to hire small businesses that share their values. Telling an intriguing story helps people get to know your true identity.
Even better, craft your branding & identity approach to speak directly to your target customer.
Then, in the branding step, you can write your story to speak to those customers.
You need an attractive character that takes your customer through your process.
That’s a Russel Brunson secrets strategy that works.
A key part of your brand & identity is consistency. The basic information about your business, and the story you tell has to be consistent.
Plus, you have to captivate your audience.
#5 Collect Your Key Business Details
It’s important to be consistent with your marketing message.
Documenting the important information about your service company helps keep it accurate across the web.
Create a master template to collect all your important details in one place. Then, when you create your online profiles, you’ll have everything you need.
Listings on popular, reputable online directories helps your business show up more online. Some directories automatically list your local business. But, it’s often not accurate.
A survey of 350 Small Businesses by ConstantContact found that 49% of businesses never update their name listings online.
Include your contact info, your website, social media handles, business and service descriptions. Plus, any other details you’ll want online.
Industry certifications, awards, special discounts and accommodation should all be part of your Master Marketing Template.
When you write your service descriptions, write with a purpose. Do some research to see what homeowners search to find businesses like yours. Including these phrases in your descriptions is a simple, but under-used strategy.
Using the search terms in your descriptions will get you faster marketing results when you’re starting out.
#6 Make Your One Page Marketing Plan
When you hire a marketing agency for small business, you’re probably going to get big, lengthy proposals.
We think there’s a better way. Your marketing plan outline should fit on one page. A great marketing plan is clear and easy to understand. Plus, it’s really not a plan at all.
Really, you need a strategic marketing approach that delivers results.
You should be able to tell someone about your marketing strategy in under 60 seconds.
If you can’t do that, you don’t understand it yourself, or it’s too confusing. Probably both.
We focus on the details, step-by-step, and build your plan overtime. But the One Page Marketing Plan should give an overview of your strategy and include some key details.
#7 Build And Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing
Google Business Profile is the modern day yellow pages. It’s an online directory listing that, when done properly, ensures you show up on Google search results (SERP) and Google Maps.
You can post contact info, your brand story, services/products, locations, photos and more.
Building your Google listing to connect with local customers is a great way to grow sales.
Most importantly, customers can leave reviews for your business.
And you can respond to their reviews.
On average, customers expect a business to have at least 40 reviews before trusting their rating. Customers are also willing to spend 31% more on businesses with excellent reviews.
This is an online marketing opportunity you must take advantage of. Think like your customer.
What phrase would you search to find a business like yours? Run the search and see how you measure up.
Do your competitors have more reviews? More stars? Better photos? If so, and you’ve been around awhile, that’s a problem.
Leveraging Google listings for your business is the easiest way to build a reputation as a honest, qualified home service company.
#8 List On Popular Online Directories And Social Sites
It’s hard knowing how to start marketing online.
For most businesses, we recommend starting with one social media account. And, claiming the most important online directories.
Social media has to be actively managed. Many businesses make the mistake of listing on as many social media sites as they can. We suggest starting with Facebook for most home service businesses. Facebook lets you engage with local communities.
Most businesses have a Facebook page, but few know how to use Facebook the right way. Master that, before you move onto the rest.
When it comes to online directories, you should do as many as you can.
But, only if the websites are reputable. Never post on a page that is spamming the internet.
Now that you’ve created your Master Business Template, you can easily use that as a reference to create your listings. Also, get your business on industry specific websites.
These directory profiles don’t have to be actively managed like with social media. However, they must have accurate information about your business. Keep them up to date, and check in at least once a quarter.
It’s important to stay on top of what your neighbors are saying about you on any online directory, and throughout the internet.
#9 Design And Launch Your Website
You need a great website.
Especially, if you want to show up in search results without expensive paid ads. Your website is so much more than an online brochure.
Websites are a tool to show the unique value you can provide. A website is really a digital sales agent. It has to deliver the information customers need.
Build your website to ensure two things happen when someone runs a search.
First, Google returns your business over all of your competitors. Then, your website is able to close the lead so you can convert them into a customer.
A modern website is the first impression you make. It’s more than what meets the eye.
A good website will have
a great design,
be simple to navigate,
most important, get people to contact you.
Your website needs to be customer friendly.
It’s not a brochure to tell customers what you do.
Use your website to show customers why you do what you do. And, how you’re the best
business to solve their problems.
Your site should tie the first 8 steps of Building Your Digital Marketing Foundation together. The story of your business, and the unique value you provide should be obvious to visitors.
By following the right steps to Build Your Digital Marketing Foundation, you’ll be on your way to sustainable growth.