An effective marketing plan is essential to the health of your plumbing business. There is a great deal of competition in the plumbing industry, so you want to make sure that your business stands out from the rest. However, with so many marketing avenues to choose from, many business owners are concerned that they’re not putting their advertising time and money in the right areas. This can be especially true when it comes to digital marketing. Read on for our comprehensive guide to marketing your plumbing business in the digital age.
DEVELOP A PRESENCE ON THE WEB
Audit Your Online Presence
There are a number of online directories where you can list your local business to help potential customers find you. While some require a paid subscription, many of these directories are free. You should take the time to seek out these directories and make sure that you complete. Verify your listing has up-to-date information about your hours, location, and contact information. The most popular business listings are those found on Google. Every business owner should make it a priority to claim their Google My Business listing. The process is simple and completely free.
After verifying that you are an authorized representaive of your businss, make any necessary profile edits. This will elevate your rankings for searches of plumbers in your area. Often, even if you have never claimed your Google business listing, one likely still exists for your company. It makes sense that you take control of what information people see when it comes to your own business.
Optimize Your Website
A well-constructed plumbing website design is essential in today’s digital age. Optimizing your website is a great way to generate new leads for your business. When it comes to SEO for plumbers, this is most important when it comes to your service pages. All service pages should be optimized with long-tail keywords that highlight all of your services. Further, you will want to make sure you add in geographic qualifiers where it makes sense. For example, a term such as “emergency plumber in Orange County” would help search engines identify you as a local service provider.
Once people are able to find your site, it’s important that they can easily find a way to contact your business. Since calling a plumber can often be the result of an urgent situation, make sure that your phone number is clearly visible on all pages of your website. For non-emergency customers, you may want to create a lead capture funnel on your service pages to encourage people to sign up for your email list.
Video is quickly growing in popularity. Many businesses are still wary about embracing video in their marketing efforts, but the benefits are difficult to ignore. When it comes to media, video has some of the highest engagement rates. Video also gives you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and professionalism in ways that images simply cannot. Video is easily consumed and highly shareable. Sharing video on social media channels like YouTube and Facebook is beneficial for your SEO and creating brand awareness around your business.
While there are many free ways to promote your business online, there will likely come a time when you start to consider paid search advertainments in your marketing plan. Paid digital advertising is one of the fastest ways to scale your business if done correctly. Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads are the most popular among marketers. Meanwhile, Facebook ads are widely considered to give the ROI on your ad spend. Both platforms allow you to market to ideal customer avatar using qualifiers you set such as age, geographic location, and household income.
Plumbing pay-per-click ads should always focus on generating warm leads. In addition to generating new leads, you can also utilize digital advertising as a means of re-marketing to past clients. Anyone can initiate a digital ad campaign, however, to get the most out of your budget it may be best to hire an experienced advertising consultant.
GAIN MORE LEADS
Offer Valuable Advice…For Free
You may wonder how giving away free advice will help you market your business. Offering your audience DIY solutions for common plumbing problems may seem counter-intuitive, however, it is a great tactic for building trust with prospective customers. Consider creating a series of how-to blog posts, videos, or infographics. Share them on your website and/or social media channels. Offering people valuable information will increase your status as an authority in your field. Additionally, it will help create trust between you and your community.
Align Yourself with Strategic Partners
Collaborating with service providers that specialize in other disciples can be an effective way to increase your marketing reach. Consider engaging in a partnership with a local contractor where your two companies refer business to each other when the opportunity arises. You can also promote each other’s businesses on your individual social channels or create a “Recommended Service Providers” section on your website. Cross-promoting your businesses is mutually beneficial for both parties involved.
Use Coupons Wisely
There are many outlets for distributing digital coupons online. Social media channels like Facebook and Yelp make it easy to offer discounts to anyone who views your profiles. Coupons can be an excellent way to incentivize new customers to try your business. However, these promotions should be used with caution. If you discount your service too deeply, your risk the chance of attracting the wrong kind of customers, devaluing your brand, and offending past clients that paid full price for your services.
Instead of offering a coupon for a specific dollar or percentage off general services, consider offering an add-on free or at a discounted price when the purchase of a normal service. For example, you can offer a free water-heater inspection with purchase of a drain cleaning.
Target Larger Contracts
While private residences might be the bulk of your business, your company should also have marketing initiatives in place to gain multi-unit contracts. Create a landing on your website geared towards local apartment complexes and multi-suite office buildings. Signing with a high-profile property manager can lead to a steady flow of ongoing business.
Local Facebook groups are one of the most under-utilized assets when it comes to local business marketing. You can find Facebook groups dedicated to nearly every city across the county. Facebook groups are a great source for finding potential clients. Local Facebook groups are populated by users living in your service area. Groups typically have a moderator who has their own set of community rules. Pay attention to any group rules pertaining to business promotions. Posts in Facebook Groups must be done by an individual. Business pages cannot post in Facebook Groups. Be sure that you include a link to your company Facebook Page within your post.
Use Social Media to Build Relationships
Your social media channels are a great advertising tool but try to avoid using them solely for self-promotion. There is a lot of competition for attention on social media, especially among local businesses. Chances are your followers will quickly tire of your posts if you are constantly bombarding them with nothing but sales copy. Instead, find ways to create value for your customers by sharing tips or interesting facts about home plumbing care.
You can also use social media to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Highlight team members and customer success stories. Getting more personal with your social media posts encourages your followers to engage with you and helps build brand loyalty.
Give Back to the Community
If your company is socially active in your community, don’t be afraid to share your efforts with your audience. If your team members engaged in a group volunteer activity, or if you initiated a can drive for a local food bank, highlight those events on your website and social channels. Doing so will show your customers that you are not only a business but an active fixture in the community. Customers love to support businesses whose values mirror their own. Don’t be afraid to share your company’s core values with the world.
Don’t Forget About Past Customers
One mistake that many businesses make is neglecting their previous customers. Repeat customers are important to the health of any business. So you want to make sure you do everything possible to nurture customer relationships throughout the year. It can be as simple as sending a reminder they are due for a drain cleaning or other recurring service. If your company installs appliances that carry a warranty like a water heater, send customers an email letting them know when it is about to expire.
Automate the process of sending reminder emails to save time. Taking the extra initiative can make a big impression on your customers.