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Fix Up Your Marketing: How Home Service Businesses Can Improve Their Digital Marketing In 2017

Fix Up Your Marketing: How Home Service Businesses Can Improve Their Digital Marketing In 2017

by Charlie Morgan

This past May, our team keyed in on home service industries and the unique ways that we can help them adapt in today’s changing digital marketing landscape.

At Slamdot, a large number of our clients own local businesses that serve homeowners in Knoxville and the surrounding counties. From plumbers to carpenters to tree removal, we have hardworking clients that come to us with ambitions to grow, but aren’t sure where to start.

In these industries, owners tend to think that selling landscaping services doesn’t require the marketing platforms that Nike uses to sell fresh Jordan’s.

Though the scale is different, today’s consumer searches for both in the same way. Whether they’re searching for a reliable driveway paver or the newest Apple product, they still go through the same trusted avenues to find information and make decisions.

As Google Partners, we have access to exclusive data and materials to maximize the marketing plans of our clients. Below are two basic challenges that home service businesses face today, and five ways that they may be addressed with the latest tools, metrics, and best practices.

What Home Service Businesses Are Up Against

First, some moments matter more than others. Building long term trust as a brand is still crucial, but showing up at the moment of need is becoming a far more important factor in reaching new customers.

According to a study commissioned by Google, about 2% of home service companies are prepared to identify and deliver on moments of immediate need and measuring the success of those efforts.

At Slamdot, we see this immense opportunity ignored by businesses in our market that have high-powered competition but almost no digital presence. As stated earlier, no matter how small the city or unglamorous the industry, today’s consumer searches for home services in the same way that they search for any other good or service.

For example, phrases like “AC Repair Near Me” and “Plumber Near Me” have grown over 100% in the last 5 years. Showing up at the time of search with the best mobile experience will win that person’s business.

Second, intent trumps identity, and immediacy trumps loyalty. As we’ve covered, showing up at the moment of immediacy is paramount, and mobile is the medium.

In 2015, consumers searching for “home improvement and remodeling” considered 1.2 businesses before making a final purchase. In other words, folks trusted that Google led them to the right choice, and they confidently chose a company that appeared at their time of need.

5 Ways To Grow Your Home Service Business For Today’s Consumer

Now that we have a better lay of the land, it’s time to lay out a plan to assert authority and gain market share.

  1. Own Your Google My Business Listing- This is often your first impression to a prospect. Having everything filled out with an accurate location and great reviews will offer a solid foundation of trust and make it easy for your customers to contact you at the moment of immediate need.

Reviews are crucial. For more on the importance of reviews and how to get them, see our post.

  1. Reach The Right Prospects- Every industry and service will require a unique, tailored approach to show up at the right moments.

For example, an all-around plumber needs a very different strategy for reaching older customers looking to add a new luxury bathroom versus a young couple who found a catastrophic pipe failure after walking through their door.

Luckily, Adwords, video advertising, retargeting, and a host of other Google services allow a special tactic for the nuanced needs of customers when an experienced marketer is at the helm.

  1. Master Your Ad Timing- When done right, there is a way to position your brand in a more compelling light.

One obvious example can be found in the HVAC industry. In the Spring, people are thinking about the oppressive heat of summer rather than the cold of winter, so adjusting bids for AC repairs, maintenance, and new units will likely be the best move.

To adapt with the changing seasons and work in concert with other forms of advertising, maximize the moments when people would be searching for you.

For example, many business owners still succeed with direct mailers. If using mailers, Google estimates that 41% of consumers will make a call when they receive a coupon or deal.

Television and radio ads are also peak opportunities to make impressions and capture leads. By increasing bids during your ad’s air time, people who hear your name can search on their phone to learn more.

  1. Build A Great Mobile Experience- Mobile is everything. If people aren’t working, they’re likely spending their screen time on a phone or tablet. No matter what platform you advertise across, having a well-designed digital suite for leads to interact with is the difference between business won and business lost.

This starts with a mobile-friendly website that is optimized to deliver a frictionless user experience, faster load times, efficient forms, and alternatives for customers to finish a transaction.

These best practices take away any discord and facilitate the painless transactions that consumers expect.

  1. Utilize Ad Format Variations And Extensions- Have you ever had a problem with your home that you wanted to solve fast? I have, and the ad that gets me to a solution fast gets my business.

The ad that I clicked would have used the “call extension” which allows me to dial the business’ number on my phone by clicking the ad. This extension, and 10 others, boost click through rate by 30%.

Google’s latest message extension allows customers to text instead of call. According to a study by OpenMarket, 75% of millennials would rather text instead of call, so adapting to this preference is imperative for the coming years.

What To Take Away

At the end of the day, these steps and challenges boil down to one thing- today’s consumer wants to learn about your service fast and have an easy time hiring you. People are still going to need home service professionals to fix their homes and upgrade their space. It’s just a matter of showing that you care about these expectations.

While some steps to a better digital presence are easy, others can be a bit more time consuming and require expertise. Have questions? Call or visit our website, and let’s talk.