Tag Archives: Contractors

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Effective Social Media Marketing Starts With A Clear Message

Before social media, timelines, and news feeds, companies of all sizes could generate clear messages through email marketing, newspapers, and radio ads. The message was simple and direct, with the objective to get customers to visit an online store to purchase a company’s products, or promote a physical location to shop or visit. Today with social media marketing, many small businesses lack a consistent message because they either don’t post enough, or they post so often on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that each status or tweet has absolutely nothing to do with the previous posting. Coherency and staying on point is a lost art in marketing, especially on social media, and the businesses that do stay consistent with their message, get engagement.

There are businesses among all sectors that struggle with sticking to one message. The companies that are succeeding have done an excellent job with defining who they are, whether that be the solo entrepreneur who knows his or her business and market completely, or leaders within a larger company that have instilled in the marketing department the culture and brand the business is expressing to their customers through social media. With that being said, what about the businesses that don’t have a clear message, and often deviate from being consistent by posting too many updates that don’t stay on point? Why are they struggling and can it be fixed?

The best examples of companies in major business sectors that are brutally awful at social media is automotive and real estate. Both industries have put so much effort into sales that they’ve completely forgotten that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter aren’t necessarily selling platforms, but in fact marketing avenues that attract customers by enticing them, rather than pushing them into buying. Most notably in the automotive world, once you get to the dealership level, any semblance of good marketing is rare at best, and as a result, you get incoherent messages or posts that make no sense for the car selling business.

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A local Volvo dealership who usually posts sporadically throughout the year, must have gotten the urge to start posting around the holidays. But instead of actually promoting sales offers or cars on the new and used lots, the social media manager decides that sharing a YouTube video of two non street legal Volvos racing around a track in Sweden is relevant to customers interested in purchasing a Volvo. What is the message that the dealership wants to portray to past, present, and future buyers? If posting Car & Driver or MotorTrend articles are the basis of their social media strategy, they’ve failed at using Facebook as a viable platform to sell cars on.

These dealerships have vehicles that they know inside and out as they’ve been trained to sell them to people who walk in the doors. They know the specifications and price tags, but more importantly, they’ll be the first ones to receive new models. The message should be quite clear and if I was the social media manager, this would be my statement to the department. “Our mission is to sell cars, with that being said, we should create our own content surrounding the cars on our lots, and the service department that maintains customers’ vehicles and this should be the focus of our message”. Once the message is in place, then you can effectively market your business and products.

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Real estate, much like the car industry, is a very sales driven market. However, with social media now entering the picture, it appears that once hard selling companies have been forced to become friendly and informative, but they’re going about it the wrong way. In the picture above, Century 21 shared a link to an article about wall painting. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being informal, but what’s the message that they want to portray?

If selling property and houses are the main goal, why is painting walls relevant to potential buyers if they can get that information from Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Sherwin Williams? More importantly, renovation and updating the interior is the step after purchasing, which realtors wouldn’t be a part of. Technically, that’s not their role in real estate and it’s the contractors who would benefit most by sharing that article as it would be a message they’d want to promote on their Facebook page.

With the same mindset as the dealership, the social media manager has to come up with a clear message and build content around that message. “The goal is to sell houses, therefor creating content that’s beneficial to the buyer, whether that be through digital media or pictures, would be an immensely powerful tool to attract potential buyers to our realtor firm.” When it comes to social media, it’s all about the message. Once the message is set in place, then a strategy on content creating can be put in place.

Social media marketing is essentially the basis of your business’ mission statement. Why was your business created, who are your customers, and why would they choose you? The same questions can be applied to you social media marketing strategy. Once you get the answers, your message will be clear and effective. Until that point, you’ll never get the most out of your social media efforts.

Marketing Matters: A New Way To Attract Customers For Contractors

www.aadesignbuild.com, Custom Design and Remodeling  Ideas, Finished basement, Home Theater, Wet Bar, Pool Table, Play Room, Lighting, Ceiling Design Ideas, Interior Design Ideas, Bold Colors, Germantown, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Potomac, Bethesda
A&A Design Build Remodeling, Inc. / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

 

As in any industry, putting all your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing and advertising must be avoided at all costs. Whether it’s social media, a website, blog, or an E-mail newsletter, a sound marketing strategy must incorporate every aspect of advertising to become noticeable. Over the next few weeks I’m going to target specific industries and discuss ways businesses can get more exposure by thinking outside the box, by being creative and using social media technologies that not many companies have implemented into their marketing strategies yet.

First, let’s take a look at how private contractors all across this sector can stand out and attract more clients and customers.

For plumbers, electricians, home remodelers, and other home improvement related businesses, they have a better opportunity than any other industry to market their services through YouTube videos. These aren’t the video’s you see from time-to-time where a contracting company talks about itself, what they do, or where they are; the generic business ad that after a while becomes redundant. There are a few strategies that can be used to show your expertise, who your company is, and really personalize your message that creates confidence in the customer before they pick up the phone and call you.

1) Tutorial/How to videos

Simple five to ten minute videos that go over projects ranging from the easy to fix, to skilled jobs should be posted over time on your YouTube channel. You may ask, “How does this help my business and grow my clientele?” By showing what you or your company can do creates trust in the future potential client, but also, it’s not likely these viewers will do the work themselves, they’ll call professionals. Having videos that link to, or are on your site adds to your credibility, and even though these “how to videos” may seem simple, they can go a long way when it comes to marketing and advertising your business.

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Only a few other businesses have employed this form of marketing known as Youtility, but you’ll be surprised how effective it can be. As contractors, you’re always giving the customer or client the options when it comes to certain projects, such as sinks, tiles, wood floors, etc. However, you lay down their options when you show up on site, wasting valuable time for both you and the client. Instead of answering the questions or persuading the customer when you show up, post videos on YouTube that already answer the questions and give the viewer reassurance that one texture, tile, or floor is better than the other.

This is also a good opportunity to engage with the viewer, as there is a possibility that they’re watching your videos to see what might work for their situation. If they have a question, create a video based on what the commenter is asking, ¬†giving other viewers who will come to your channel that may have the same question the answer. You could also have at the end of every video a two minute section that answers a slew of questions, giving them recommendations and the information that they’re seeking.

When creating these videos, you must present yourself as assuming that these viewers will do the job themselves when in actuality, 95% will call a professional instead. At the end of every video or in the section below, post your contact information and website URL to direct traffic to your site, increasing the chance of viewers picking up their phones and calling you for their next project.

In this day and age with Google, Yahoo! and Bing, you must present the customer or client with information. Many businesses fail in this department as they only talk about their company and what they do, completely missing out on reaching potential customers who are looking for answers. The days of people looking in the Yellow Book and finding a contractor are over. They want to know what you’re going to do for them, how long the job will take, and what options they have when it comes to the project itself.

Information; it creates trust and credibility. When you pull up in front of their house, the trust should already be there and the client should be satisfied before the job is done. Use YouTube in your marketing strategy and see where it will take you. Not many businesses are utilizing all the tools at their disposal, and if you can reach the customers and inform them first, your chances of getting the job will definitely increase.

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Marketing Matters: What Are Some Contractors and Home Builders Not Doing?

 

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Foter / Public domain

Depending on who you talk to, some contractors and home builders are doing well and are having no problem finding work while others are struggling. In an economy that seems to be up and down constantly, and some regions of the country prospering more than others, what can these contractors and home builders do from a marketing standpoint that they haven’t explored yet? Is advertising for this industry really as easy as snapping a photo and posting it on social media? Yes.

If you’ve read my previous articles on social media, you know that I’m a big buyer into Instagram, a site that seamlessly allows users to post pictures they’ve taken and share them to the world. Home builders and contractors should listen up; not many in my region of New England have done this yet and it might be different elsewhere. Whether you’re a carpenter, remodeler, painter, electrician, or plumber, frequently post pictures of your work. Show viewers the new wooden floor you installed and what it looked like before you started, or for the other contractors mentioned, post pictures of the difference from your work to what was already existing in that room.

For the home builders out there, go on Instagram and share the work your company has done in a neighborhood, the houses you’ve built, not only the interior, but exterior. Create a blog; explain and illustrate the houses that you and your team constructed. Explain why you’re different from all the other home builders out there, and how you’re going to be worth the customer’s time and money. Across the board, this industry captures many viewers attention and for those who need a remodel, a new floor put in, or a completely new house, you can show them by the previous work you have done.

Houses are one of the essentials in life which means many people want to own or rent one. Instagram is a social media site that can help market and advertise what you do, unlike the yellow pages or even a website. A few pictures a day from the interior to the exterior says a lot more than a 500 word about us page. It’s also not a bad idea to create a Youtube account giving the viewer a live look at the house, and give them a better picture as to what the rooms will look like with their furniture.

There have been trying times in the housing market, but with social media you can advertise without spending a dollar, and the potential clientele you’re reaching by using these sites are greater than if you handed out flyers or created an ad in the yellow pages.

In a good or bad economy people need their houses repaired both internally and externally, and by posting pictures, creating a Facebook and Twitter page, you’ll give the potential customer a reason to spend money. That’s the key. Successful marketing isn’t just having an ad here or there, it needs to be so good that the customer has a desire to pay you money so that their floor looks new, the plumbing and electrical circuits are fixed, or the addition is done perfectly.

Unlike most industries, the housing market is a place where people constantly dream, and along with that comes emotions and wants in their houses since they were young. You’ve got to fulfill that, and by gaining their trust through Instagram and other social media sites, it can be done without spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on advertising.

As with all companies and businesses in any sector, you have tools that can be used to help market what you’re selling and the services you provide. Social media is a game changer and should be utilized in any way possible. You don’t need to be in a home design magazine, Instagram will do that for you, and the best part, it’s free.