Social Media Marketing for General Contractors - Where to Begin

Social media can intimidate many small business owners - especially home improvement contractors. It can seem daunting when searching for where to begin marketing on social platforms. Congratulations on taking the first step - research. All social media marketing strategies should be planned and intentional.  

If your business is not currently utilizing social media - it should be. In fact, social media should be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Taking advantage of social media will establish brand awareness for your company, allow you to connect with customers, and increase sales. 

Local businesses such as roofers, painters, plumbers, and other types of home improvement contractors have an advantage on social media compared to larger corporations for several reasons, including the ability to connect intimately with your local community. With the right strategy in place, you could be dominating your competition on social media.

→ DIGITAL MARKETING FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANIES & CONTRACTORS

WHY IS SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IMPORTANT?

BRAND AWARENESS

Brand awareness is the most common reason companies join the social media world. Social media boosts your company’s visibility and provides a wide reach of potential customers. It can bring customers to your storefront and inform customers of the services you offer. Users can share your profile, photos, and even webpage to their social network. If you have compelling content, your content has the potential to be shared to thousands of internet users. This is how some people “go viral” online.

If any of your competitors have a business profile on social media but you don’t, they are already reaching customers that you are not. Platforms such as Facebook allow the user to search for local businesses and reviews similar to a Google search. If you do not have a Facebook business profile set up, no one will be able to find your company using this feature.

With a business profile, you are able to control the image you set for your company. You get to determine how customers view your brand. Are you a quirky company, quick to engage with customers, or is your company more intentional and collected online? The choice is yours, but make sure to keep your company’s voice consistent. 

→ DIGITAL MARKETING FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANIES & CONTRACTORS

CREATE TARGET AUDIENCE

Building your company’s target audience is a critical step to a lucrative sales funnel. Social media is key in creating a target audience. You are able to select and capture the attention of local leads who are interested in services you offer. Just by choosing which social media platforms to market, you are narrowing your target audience. You are also more likely to only have interested leads visit your social page which is helpful in establishing warm, quality leads. Once you 

 

YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE ONLINE

Nearly 72% of Americans used social media in 2019, and if you believe that it is mainly the younger generations online, you are mistaken! Over 39% of people aged 65 and older are using a social media platform, 69% of people 50 to 64 years old, and 82% of people 30 to 49 years old. This means that your potential customers - of all ages - are using one or more social media platforms. Do these statistics surprise you?

Additionally, 90 percent of companies that actively utilize social media to connect to customers claim that these efforts helped increase online exposure to their business. Social media is also used as a leading traffic source to bring customers directly to your website. You can post your latest blog, recent customer installations, and new services directly to your customers. 

→ DIGITAL MARKETING FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT COMPANIES & CONTRACTORS

ADVANTAGES OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

AFFORDABLE

Did you know that claiming a business profile on most social media platforms is free? No matter what your budget is, there is room for social media in your business’s marketing plan. Engaging with your customers is inexpensive and a great way to connect and build relationships. If time is on your side, consistently posting organic content and blogs from your website is ideal. 

Even advertising on social media can be affordable. Most sites do not require any set up fees to advertise, but instead operate on a pay-per-click plan. This means that you only pay for results from your advertising campaigns. You can even set a spending budget and not pay a dime over what you plan.

 

INSTANTANEOUS

Social media provides the opportunity to connect with your audience instantaneously. If you have a new service or sale you want to inform your customers of, it takes only a moment to create a post. It is much simpler than shooting a commercial or designing a billboard, both of which are both costly and complicated compared to social media. You can instantly respond to messages sent via Facebook messenger, tweet responses as your company, and comment on LinkedIn posts.

 

WHERE TO BEGIN

CHOOSE A PLATFORM

You may be asking, with so many platforms to choose from, how can you be sure to pick the right one? The list starts with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but it doesn’t end there. All social sites have a unique set of features that could potentially benefit your business. However, that does not mean that each social platform would be a perfect fit for reaching your target customers. Conduct thorough research on each social media site to identify which platform will be worth your business’s time and money. 

 

PAID ADS OR ORGANIC?

Small businesses ask themselves this question all the time. My response is, take advantage of both! Engaging online demonstrates to your customers that you are involved and interested in them. It is a wonderful way to build relationships within your community. You can share photos of successful customer projects - think before and after photos. Businesses can highlight achievements and awards, showcase positive reviews, and even host a Q&A session. The possibilities are endless, get creative!

Paid advertising should not be overlooked; in fact, it is arguably more important than organic posts. Social media advertising can target your ideal customers and drive traffic directly to your website or even storefront. By targeting demographics, you are hand-selecting the type of customers you are wanting to reach and thus removing and not paying for unqualified leads. 

In addition to reaching the ideal customer, you are also able to take advantage of retargeting leads. For example, the Facebook pixel communicates with your website to track leads who visit your website from Facebook ads. Then, you can create campaigns that retarget the same leads and increase the number of times your ad is seen by an individual. This is valuable because the more your ad is seen, the more likely a lead is to think about your brand and choose your services the next time he needs them.

 

CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR

Once you have chosen your platforms and decided your social media marketing strategy, you will want to create a content calendar. Staying organized and consistent with social media marketing is key. Carefully calculate a mix of promotional, educational, and engaging content to attract and maintain a large, invested audience. You should also plan to post at the most popular times.

 

In Summary

If social media marketing still seems intimidating, you aren’t alone. The social sites are constantly changing and it can be a challenge to stay on top of current trends. Without experience, you are likely wasting precious time with your efforts. Fortunately, I have over 15 years of experience working with social media advertising. Throughout the years, I have helped hundreds of Monterey Bay area businesses like yours succeed their digital marketing goals. Give me a call today to learn more about social media marketing for your business.

 

If you’re looking for more digital marketing ideas for home improvement contractors, we can help! Coastline Marketing Group can answer your questions about Google Ads, Website Design, Paid Advertising, Social Advertising and more. Please contact us today to learn more about how to grow your contracting business online.

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.
831-789-9320
Book A Consultation

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Content Marketing: The Key to Marketing Smarter Not Harder!

Running a business is hard enough. None of us want to work harder than necessary. This is why it’s so important to focus on content marketing. By establishing a strong content marketing strategy from the very beginning, it’s much easier to market smarter instead of harder.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is all about having content online for people to read. The content can be anywhere: web pages, sales copy, blogs, press releases, and even social media accounts. The content is written in such a way that it gets people interested and shows that you know what you’re talking about.

It’s impossible to know how people are going to find what they’re looking for. They may take a DIY approach at first and look for a guide on how to do something. If you have DIY blogs on your website, they’ll likely find you. Then again, someone could go straight to Facebook to try to find a company that has made a few posts about the subject they’re interested in. If you have an active Facebook account, they could find you.

The more content you have, in various areas across the internet, the easier it will be for consumers to “stumble” upon that content. You, then, drive them to your website where there will be a lead generation landing page. They’ll be interested in the information you have provided and will submit their email address to learn more. This is the first step in generating a lead.

Bring the Customers to You

It’s important to bring the customers to you. Otherwise, you’re creating content that will never get read. How is this done?

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is all about optimizing your online presence so that you’re more visible in the search engines. There are over four billion searches conducted on Google every day. People are looking for things on their computer, on their tablet, and on their smartphone. If they’re looking for something pertaining to your business, it’s vital that you appear in their search engine result pages, and preferably, on page one.

Paid Advertising

If you have ever seen a banner advertising a company on a blog or a shopping website, that is because of paid advertising. You can have banners that direct people back to your website on various other websites. Usually, you pay per click. The cost per click will vary based on the traffic of the website as well as your banner’s position. You can have paid advertising in Google search engines, in Facebook, and on plenty of other websites, too.

Press Releases

Press releases tell people about upcoming news, such as a grand opening, the launch of a new product or something else that is exciting. These press releases are often shared by major news outlets, ensuring that more and more links are created with information about your business. If someone reads a press release about your business, they’ll likely follow a link to land on a lead generation page of yours.

Social Media

Social media marketing is becoming increasingly more popular. Much of this has to do with Facebook having over one billion users. Every audience uses one social media platform more than another. Younger generations rely more on Instagram while older generations focus on YouTube and Facebook. Creating messages and ads can drive people to the content on your website, allowing you to capture leads.

Email Marketing

Every time you get an email entered into the lead form on your website, it can go into a database. This database will store all of the emails. Then, when you’re ready, you can send out an email to everyone to identify a new product, a sale or some other news about your company. Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with customers and potential customers. The emails can also drive people to specific content on your site as a way of giving them more information to push them closer to buying a product or service.

Get Social

Content is designed to help you get social. Although you may not be having many face-to-face conversations with customers (and potential customers) you can socialize through your content. Blogs are written as though you’re conversing with someone, providing them with advice, a how-to or trending news. Social media posts are more interactive, asking questions and listening to feedback from those who follow you.

All of the content is to help you become more human. When you’re more human, customers will see you as more than a faceless website. They’ll be more likely to follow you, listen to your advice, and call on you when they need your product or service.

Keep Content Fresh

When you keep content fresh, you will be able to have a constant influx of leads coming in, too. When you have a content marketing strategy in place, you will have the necessary lead tools on your website. As people read new content from you, they’ll be more interested in what you have to offer. They’ll complete the lead form on your website, entering them into the sales funnel.

With the right automation in place, you can continue to feed leads information without having to do anything. Let the leads come to you. This is what I’m talking about when I say we all need to market smarter. There’s absolutely no reason to go chasing around leads when there is a smarter way to get the leads. Besides, no one wants to feel as though they’re being chased. As long as we leave the right bread crumbs in place, they’ll find the trail and come right to us.

The only way to generate traffic to the lead generation landing pages, however, is by having content. Creating content doesn’t have to be an all-consuming task. You can hire a company to do all of the content creation and marketing for you, which is certainly something we can help with if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

By getting in touch with us, we can start a conversation to guide you towards a better marketing strategy. It can make it easier for you to operate your business knowing that content will deliver the leads right to you.

phil fisk digital marketing consultant

 

 

 

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.

 

 

 


5 Great Lead Magnet Ideas For Attorneys

5 Great Lead Magnet Ideas for Attorneys

In today’s digital marketing age, one of the best ways to acquire and communicate with clients is through online digital marketing outlets. More specifically, with email.  As an attorney, we can accomplish a lot through the use of email. Building an email list is a critical component for reaching a targeted audience and engaging with them on a long-term basis. Not only can you easily capture their attention through multiple online platforms, but you can also significantly expand your reach as well.

However, before you can participate in a marketing strategy that involves emails, you first must capture and build an email list. This often takes place over time and with strategic and careful thought based on your industry. How do we go about accomplishing this? Attorneys, or their marketing experts, must find a way to get them to share their email address with you. The most popular strategy: sharing something of value with the user that requires the input of their email address and other contact information.

Once you have captured their email address, it's a lot easier to stay connected with them.

By offering a lead magnet that subscribers find of value, attorneys can provide their target audience with valuable information that can point them in the right direction as it relates to a wide array of legal areas.

This approach opens up the door to a series of opportunities whereby you can now communicate with these potential clients at will. This is because your targeted audience not only sees you as the expert, but they also see your company as a law firm they can trust.

What Is A Lead Magnet

If you are not 100% certain as to what a lead magnet is, you may have seen them in the past without realizing it. It is basically a free offer that prompts members from a targeted audience to opt in to a particular site by way of an offer. It is usually presented in big bold headlines such as:

“Click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter”

“Download our new how to guide”

“Learn about the six steps to protecting your assets”

A lead magnet is something of value that is offered for free and related to your area of expertise.

Normally, it would have a cost value associated with it if it was available for sale. It is also a way for you to display your expertise while building credibility.  Sending valuable, free information via email, is a great way to build and sustain relationships with your target audience.

Lead magnets are part of an overall marketing campaign developed specifically to generate leads.  They result in a higher conversion rate than you would have received without one. The more leads you generate, the more potential conversions you will have. Most campaigns are also designed to better engage your customers with your law firm. This further stimulates your conversion rate.

As it relates to generating leads for attorneys, most people are in a dire state. They are in need of legal counseling, guidance and direction, or some other form of expert legal services. Any information provided in this area can be great resource. It can provide your targeted audience assistance with their proposed legal issues. It’s a great way to offer some assistance and or a solution to their legal issues while nurturing the relationship.

Below are five of the most effective lead generation ideas that work well across multiple disciplines.

What Makes a Great Lead Magnet

You may be wondering what type of lead you should consider using to reach out to your targeted audience. Especially since not all lead magnets perform in the same manner. In fact, some of them yield very poor results. This is why it is important to have marketing specialists assist you with your efforts. It also helps you avoid making poor marketing launches.

The most successful lead magnets consists of the following areas:

I. A great offer that your audience considers valuable.

II. A clear message that's easy to understand almost instantly

III. Well developed content that delivers on its promise without fail

With that being said, the following are the five top lead magnet ideas.

1. Webinars

Webinars are a great way to allow your potential customers to spend some time with you before engaging with you for legal services. Based on your area of specialty, webinars are a great way to hone in on some of the pain points that your target audience may be experiencing.

For example, if your law practice offers estate planning services, you can offer the following:

  • A webinar about the advantages and disadvantages of estate planning and show your audience why estate planning is necessary.
  • Show them the consequences of what would happen without having an estate plan in place.

This sets the stage for your potential customers to either attempt to perform the service themselves, or request services from a qualified Legal Professional. Since most people would rather not prepare a will themselves, this is where your legal services would come in. You can then offer them an additional slate of the other legal services associated with estate planning.

2. Check Lists

A checklist is a great way to provide potential customers with bite-sized bits of information in a very organized and succinct manner. It's a quick and easy way to read through a series of activities that need to take place in a certain order. A sample could include how to best prepare to meet with an attorney about estate planning, or how to best protect your assets.

Whatever your area of speciality, you can create a checklist that that can streamline the legal process in a way that makes it easier for your client to prepare to meet with you and complete the steps involved with their legal situation.

3. Templates

Because the internet makes so many forms and templates available online, this will be a great opportunity for you to do the same. This is accomplished by creating a template that your specific target audience will likely use. A template of a contract is a good option. It would make a great, and easy to follow, fill in the blanks form. As an attorney, you can also create templates of types of documents as well.

4. Your Legal How to Guide

One of the advantages of putting together a legal how to guide is that it has your personal and professional experience, along with your knowledge base included in the guide. It's a great way for individuals to learn more about a specific area that has legal implications.

Because the guide will be written by a qualified attorney, it will carry a lot of weight and build trust and credibility.

5. Industry Reports

Creating industry reports are great for the user to become more knowledgeable about a particular issue or the industry as a whole.

For example, if you are representing clients who've suffered a job related illness, they would want to be updated regarding any changes. More specifically, if the victim has suffered an illness due to corporate negligence, an industry report would be of value to this targeted audience.

To conclude, it's important to develop digital marketing strategies to attract your targeted audience.  It's of equal importance to remain relevant in today’s competitive marketplace. Although the five lead magnet ideas have been proven in the past, these and others can be helpful to implement into their lead generation strategies. Performing the proper research for more lead magnet ideas that directly impact your specific niche will prove to drum up more ongoing leads as you continue to implement and maintain lead generation systems.

Additionally, a lead generation system combined with promotional efforts, a system to offer nurturing content, and a follow up system will also prove to continue to build your customer base for many years to come.


Three Methods for Successful Link Building

3 methods successful link buildingSuccessful Link building is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) but it is also one of the most difficult. Building links is essentially getting other websites to include links that direct users to your website, which boosts your search engine ranking and relevancy. One of the reasons why building links is so difficult is that the most effective methods take a lot of work. In addition, the most popular search engines, such as Google and Bing, have implemented new algorithms that take into account links that are obtained unnaturally or inorganically. SEO specialists also disagree about which techniques work best, but the following three methods of link building are currently viewed as the most effective:

1. Publish interesting and relevant content on your website.

The most reliable links are those that you obtain without having to solicit others to include them. This can be achieved simply by publishing content that people find interesting and engaging. When you have content that is worth reading, it will often be picked up and shared by bloggers who believe that it is also of interest to their readers.

However, it is sometimes difficult to make people aware of your content, so you must advertise that it is available. You can send press releases to popular websites and blogs, or you can advertise your content through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. It is best that you do not ask for links directly. Instead, you should make others aware of your website and its content. If you do ask for links, bloggers and webmasters may want reciprocal links on your website. This can limit the effectiveness of your inbound link, but it is better than having no link at all. If the only way a blogger will include your link is to include his or her link in exchange, then the offer should be accepted but only if the other website is relevant to your content.

2. Ask to become a guest blogger.

Instead of just directing others to your content, you can ask to become a guest blogger or writer for them. This way, you can include links to your website so that they appear naturally without any reciprocation required. The only difficulty in this is finding someone who will allow you to write for them. Many bloggers no longer accept guest writers unless they can prove that they will provide them with useful, non-promotional content. In order for your content to appear non-promotional, you may want to include links to websites other than yours. In addition, you can include an internal link that directs readers to another page of the blogger’s website.

If you develop a good working relationship with other bloggers, you may be able to parlay this into becoming a regular columnist. This will allow you to post relevant links on a weekly or monthly basis to help your cause.

3. Research the competition.

A great way to find websites that will include your links is to see who is linking to your competitors. This can be discovered through any of several free tools that analyze websites and report who links to them. You can then pitch ideas directly to these websites. In some cases, this could yield an unexpected bonus. If you can find a website related to yours that is no longer in service, you may have stumbled upon a link goldmine. You can find out who has links to the defunct website, contact the webmasters and let them know that their links are bad and having a negative impact on their SEO efforts. You can then inform them that your website has similar content and ask them to switch the bad link for a link to your website.

When asking for links, you should always ensure the website meets several standards. For instance, it should have a Google PageRank of two or higher, be related in some way to your website, be in the same language and, preferably, be connected to social media outlets.

Conclusion

Obtaining quality links can be difficult. It takes some time and effort, but this is the only way to be sure that your links are benefiting your website instead of detracting from the SEO you have already worked so hard to establish. The three methods detailed above are not the only effective ways to build links, but they are a good start.


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