You might be wondering what the big deal is about digital marketing—you’re a contractor, not an advertising whizz. You can pitch a roof without any fancy tools or pour a perfectly level concrete slab, but you don’t know your butt joint from your corner bead when it comes to effective digital marketing.
Great contractors are focused on getting the job done perfectly, but they aren’t always as skilled at promoting their work. We’ll guide you through the basics with some pro tips that we’ve picked up over the years.
Why Do Contractors Need Marketing?
Marketing construction companies can be a difficult task. You have to get through to your target audience and let them know what you offer and why they should choose you.
Until recently, word of mouth and referrals brought in most of your new business. Over the past few years the way that we find customers has changed.
Even though word-of-mouth still has the highest conversion rate, your next possible client may not know someone who can offer a recommendation. In the absence of a referral, they would likely turn to Google and look for reviews or click on ads. This places importance on having an online marketing strategy whether you’re in e-commerce or the construction industry.
If anything, going online will simply broaden your pool of potential clients as we’re spoiled for choice thanks to how accessible the internet is.
The ever-evolving marketing landscape can cause frustration when you’re used to being on a job site. But, challenges often introduce opportunities.
Think of it this way: you can put up a roof without trusses or rafters, but building a pitched roof makes all the difference to structural integrity. Embracing online marketing efforts adds the same support to your contracting business’s reputation in the marketplace.
Top 11 Digital Marketing Ideas
Digital marketing is a must-have for any contractor’s success in the modern economy, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. You will find the inspiration for your future success among these 11 tips.
Build A Website
The foundation of a digital marketing strategy is a professional, user-friendly website that demonstrates your expertise and showcases your work.
Websites don’t just help you get your name out there; it offers an opportunity to build trust and authority before even meeting a client face to face. You’re essentially giving your next potential client a brief window into who you are and what you offer.
While we don’t recommend doing a copy-paste of your competitors’ websites, here are a couple of elements you can include:
- Your contact information.
- Photos and videos of completed projects. Before and after pictures can be a great way to show off your skills.
- An online booking or consultation button. Some popular options include: Get a free quote, book a consultation, and call us today.
- Client reviews, testimonials, and case studies.
- A blog page where you can answer potential customers’ questions.
Let’s take a look at two examples to drive the point home:
Although this is a stunning website, it doesn’t really offer any value to the reader or potential client. They’ve done a great job of introducing themselves and their values as a business, and you can clearly see their contact details on the site.
Unfortunately, despite being a major player in their industry, there’s no mention of completed projects or client reviews and testimonials. You also don’t see a call-to-action, consultation button, or blog page.
None of these are dealbreakers, but clients will likely go with a contractor who had all of this information readily available.
Example two has done a great job of providing all the information that its prospective audience might want. They have a page that clearly outlines their completed projects to showcase their work.
Their services are clearly stated, you can see what their approach is, and they have a contact form so that anyone can get in touch.
Building a great website goes hand-in-hand with search engine optimization (SEO). Simply put, this is a set of best practices that improves user experience and visibility on Google. It boosts your chances of ranking high, which means having your website appear on the first page of Google’s search results and getting free traffic.
Install Google Analytics
Google Analytics is to digital marketing what a concrete slump test is to foundation laying.
You’ll check the workability and consistency of your concrete between batches by doing the ‘slump test’. Similarly, you need to set up analytics tracking before laying the foundations of your marketing efforts to track their efficacy.
This free tool lets you see exactly where traffic is coming from and what they’re doing once they reach your website. It can also track which pages your visitors spend the most time on and who your customers are.
Let’s look at some examples of Google Analytics accounts:
You’re looking at the Source/ Medium view under the Acquisition tab in this example. As you can see, it’s not tracking any data or goals. If you’re not tracking any goals, you have no idea how people interact with your site or which marketing channels work for your business. This means you have no idea where to put your money.
Now let’s look at a user who has the tracking tag installed correctly with some clear goals to track.
Here you can see clear goals laid out in a way that is easy to read and understand. This user can clearly see how many of their site visitors came from each of the sources. When you have goals installed, you can easily track purchases, contact forms, and how many people are viewing your services. All of these can help you determine where you need to put in some work.
Claim or Create Your Google Business Listing
Creating or claiming your Google Business, previously known as Google My Business (GMB) listing is a great way to rank higher on Google Maps local search results.
You can do this by visiting google.com/business/. Sign in with your free Google account and follow the on-screen instructions to get started
There are a few simple steps to making your listing stand out:
- Add photos that reflect the quality of your work.
- Upload videos that show you in action. These can be testimonial videos, for example.
- Write a detailed, keyword-rich description of your business and services.
- Make sure all information is accurate, consistent, and updated.
Take a look at the image below for a great example of what your Google Business listing should look like compared to an incomplete listing. Note how they’ve added all the vital information that a potential customer would need when doing a quick search.
Online reviews are an essential element of marketing for contractors. 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations!
First and foremost, ask for a review from each satisfied client. Encourage them to leave feedback by sending them a link that prompts customers to write a review once a project is completed.
Pro Tip: Plenty of platforms can help you gather reviews, but Google is the best place to start—and it’s free.
Respond to each review as well. Showing appreciation for a positive review and addressing any negative feedback can help you maintain an honest online reputation that will attract new clients.
Target With Google Ads
The internet has gotten so integrated into our daily lives that coming to Google to answer that burning question has become a reflex. With over 90% of internet users, it’s not surprising that Google is the largest search engine.
Have you ever noticed the small ad symbol next to the first few results when searching for something on Google? These are known as PPC (pay-per-click) or Google ads.
They are a great way to target potential clients in your area as it offers a direct path for prospects searching for your services.
These are some of the many benefits of running Google ad campaigns:
- Google lets you set a budget to control how much you want to spend on each campaign.
- You only pay when someone clicks on the ad to visit your website and take a look at your services, hence the name Pay Per Click.
- With PPC ads, you can target your desired audience according to age, income bracket and interests.
- It’s easy to set up goals to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and make changes where necessary.
- Establishing an online presence with search engine optimization (SEO) takes some time, whereas you may see conversions much faster with Google ads. Both are valuable as optimizing your website will bring you free traffic with time, whereas ads are paid, but show faster results.
You can learn more about the importance of advertising on Google and how to start, check out our Google Ads guide.
Google ads aren’t a magic bullet. For your company’s long-term success, a solid SEO strategy is required. PPC excels at filling in the gaps or quickly increasing engagement numbers in a short period.
According to Google, businesses earn $2 revenue on average for every $1 that they spend on Google Adwords. They further state that around 82% of smartphone users actively search for businesses near them.
Share Your Knowledge Through Articles
Change is an inescapable reality of the business world. As a contractor, you understand this better than most. The need for your services will always be there, but how you go about providing them can vary from year to year.
A blog is an excellent way to show potential clients your expertise and versatility in the industry. You can share helpful tips, discuss recent trends or even write reviews of new materials or techniques that you’ve been using.
Google will send free traffic to your website if you answer questions that searchers are asking. So, by simply sharing your wealth of industry knowledge Google could be sending you clients—for free!
Take a look at this great example of how sharing your knowledge leads to Google putting your name out there. This company added a quick ‘How to listicle’ to their website and apart from ranking first on the search engine results page (SERP), Google is giving them a lot of space on that first page which leads to more clicks.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to include links to your website within all blog posts so readers can learn more about what makes you unique.
Make sure to use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway editor to improve the quality of your content. Alternatively, use professional SEO content writing services to improve your odds of ranking.
Become More Active on Social Media
The ideal technique to engage with consumers directly is through social media.
Consider this. There is no barrier preventing you from connecting with a potential client. Even better, there is no barrier between pleased clients and their social network.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube are all popular social media sites that can help you expand your visibility. Use these platforms to increase the number of visitors to your website by sharing blog articles, photographs, films, and client testimonials.
Engaging on social media entails putting aside any false appearance and presenting your organization more matter-of-factly. That’s not a negative thing since people look for honesty and authenticity.
Some of these efforts are intended to sell your services, but they may also be used as a platform to show off the work you and your team have done and what it means for people with similar problems.
Create a profile on a few platforms to get started – ones that are suited to your company’s business philosophy and the audience you’re targeting.
Much like with search engine traffic, social media marketing takes dedication and hard work to expand your presence. Connecting with current and potential consumers on an organic level is critical, just like in SEO.
Connect With Leads Through Video Marketing
Even though video is one of the most popular types of content, many businesses still shy away from using it. They either don’t have the resources or think their audience doesn’t want to watch videos.
There are a variety of video options accessible to you in order to engage with leads. You might consider testimonial videos, product demonstrations or even a simple welcome video on your landing page.
Videos give customers a chance to get to know you and see the value in your products or services. 73% of US adults will more likely buy a product or service after watching an informational video. That is why it’s critical to produce high-quality and personalized films.
Search for Partnerships
Partnering with other businesses in your industry can help you get your name out there while providing value to both companies.
One great way to find business partners is through a simple web search or networking event. Reach out to local trade schools, home improvement publications and even community organizations like the Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club.
Hire a Marketing Expert
A professional marketer can take care of all of the above. It’s their business to make sure everything works to achieve optimal results for your business so you can focus on what matters most—being a master at your trade!
If you are committed to increasing your online visibility and getting more leads, it’s time to invest in marketing experts. These professionals have the tools and knowledge necessary to improve your rankings and drive relevant traffic to your website.
The best thing about enlisting the assistance of an expert is that you can trust them to keep up with the most recent trends and algorithm updates, so you don’t have to. You can focus on running your business and leave the online marketing to the professionals.
Time to Get Started
With the right marketing plan, you can attract more leads and eventually turn them into loyal clients who will continue to recommend your services to others. Marketing is a win-win situation for all involved parties. It helps improve awareness of your brand and capabilities, when done well, while also helping prospects find solutions to their needs or problems.
Once you’re ready to dive in, use this handy checklist to remind yourself of all the great ways to connect with your future clients online.
Remember that effective marketing should be an ongoing process rather than a one-off initiative; you’ll need to:
- Stay relevant with your target audience with consistently fresh content including articles, photos and video content.
- Review data and adjust your marketing campaign accordingly.
- Engage with your audience by answering their questions and being present on social media.
- Have fun with it.
As a marketing novice all of this might be a tad overwhelming; book a call with Zima Media to see how we can help you build your online presence while you build your business.