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
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Setting and Smashing Your Online Marketing Goals

Online marketing is a necessity when you want to grow your business. It ensures that consumers can find you and customers don’t forget about you. Setting marketing goals will make it easier for you to have a plan of attack so that you’re not wasting marketing dollars. With a little help, you can learn how to smash through those goals, too.

Set Goals

The only way for you to smash through goals is to set them. We’re always surprised to find out that many businesses that are spending good money to launch online marketing campaigns have yet to sit down and write out the goals that they want to achieve.

SMART goals can make it easier for you to know that you’re setting goals that are capable of being reached.

  • Be SPECIFIC with your goal.
  • Ensure that you can MEASURE your goal.
  • Ensure that your goal is ATTAINABLE.
  • Keep your marketing goals REALISTIC.
  • Have your goal set in a TIMELY manner.

It might take some time to set goals that will work for you. However, any campaign that you launch should be focused on a specific goal. Follow some digital marketing tips so that you don’t fall into the same mistakes that you may have made in the past.

Implement Different Types of Online Marketing Strategies

Not all consumers respond to the same types of campaigns. Additionally, you’ll find that some of your target audience is on Facebook while others are not on social media at all. It only makes sense for you to have different online marketing strategies using some of the different platforms that are out there.

  • Facebook advertising
  • PPC campaigns
  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Email marketing

By taking the time to get to know your target audience and what motivates them, you can decide which campaigns will get the job done. You also have to look at why you’re marketing to them. For example, are you looking to increase your leads? Are you trying to keep your existing customers? Do you want your leads to convert? Once you can identify the ‘why’ behind your reason for marketing, you can decide what method is best to use.

You may also want to have several campaigns running at the same time. This will allow you to drive more traffic to your site, engage your existing leads, and keep your current customers engaged so that they don’t forget about you.

Track Your Progress

Tracking your progress is an important part of the puzzle. If you don’t know how you have improved, is it possible to know if you have improved? This means that you need to set some benchmarks for yourself. As we mentioned before, SMART goals can make a big difference. If you’re focusing on attainable and timely goals, you will have a timeframe associated with a goal. You also need to be able to measure that goal.

Let’s talk about search engine optimization. You may not have any SEO keywords on your website right now. As a result, you’re not showing up on enough search engine result pages. The website traffic being generated from Google is low because of all of it. As you put campaigns into motion, track what happens. You can start to see your rank for different keywords improve. You will also see the traffic to your website start to increase.

Don’t be afraid of analytics as they can help you to stay on track. Otherwise, you could be wasting marketing dollars because of not knowing whether something’s working for you or not.

Constantly Adjust

If you ran a sale that no one responded to, you would work to make adjustments, right? The same thing is true about internet marketing. Adjustments are needed based on how people respond and how things change over time.

Remember that there are different types of digital marketing campaigns. You will need to adjust based on what your current goals are.

  • Generate new leads
  • Monetize existing customers
  • Build engagement

As your business changes, your marketing goals have to change, too. Additionally, some campaigns may stop working for you. Rather than continuing to pay for a Facebook ad that’s no longer resulting in traffic, change it up. You don’t want to waste money simply because you’re not engaged in what’s going on with your marketing.

Marketing would be a lot simpler if you could set it up and forget about it. Unfortunately, it’s an ongoing process. When you’re more actively involved in the online marketing campaigns, you can set more effective goals and smash through them on a regular basis.

If you need guidance, a digital marketing agency can help you to set various marketing goals and campaigns for you. Contact us to set an appointment.

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


Moving Your Budget from Yellow Pages to Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing MontereyToday's modern companies are moving their marketing budgets from traditional print media, such as the Yellow Pages, to online opportunities. These exciting online opportunities range from social media networks to email advertising. Deploying even one of these modern advertising techniques can help you reach more customers while saving money on your overall marketing budget.

The Benefits of Internet Marketing

If you have a limited budget, relying on traditional marketing methods will restrict your reach to a small number of people within your local area. However, with the help of Internet marketing, your company's marketing message is no longer limited by geographical restraints; your online presence can help you sell your products and services to people hundreds of miles away from you. Internet marketing is also responsive to quick adjustments. Unlike traditional advertising, such as flyers or billboards, you can fine-tune your efforts without waiting weeks to see any results. Making a simple post on Twitter, for example, will only take seconds and won't cost you anything.

Finally, some forms of Internet marketing can give you great results without a serious investment. Running your own website, for example, may only cost you a few dollars per month, depending on the traffic that your site attracts. If one online marketing solution doesn't help your company, you can quickly drop it without losing too much money.

Social Media

Social media networks are a popular way for people to connect with both their loved ones and their favorite companies. If you don't have a profile on the most popular social media networks, including Facebook and Twitter, your customers will think your company is outdated. Customers who are used to receiving service from a company's social media page will feel frustrated when they can't contact you.

Fortunately, setting up and maintaining profiles on social media networks is painless. In addition, social media networks are generally free to join, helping you keep your marketing budget well within your limits. For best results on your customer outreach efforts, avoid the appearance of spam by limiting the amount of self-promotion your profiles contain. Focusing on building a personal relationship with your customer base will often yield better results than constantly posting updates on your products. Sending out the occasional silly joke on Twitter, for example, will endear you to your customers.

email marketingEmail Marketing

Your company's website can serve as an important point of contact with your current and potential customers. Instead of gathering home addresses for outdated print newsletters, you can use your website to collect a list of email addresses for quick email newsletters. You can also use email marketing to instantly let your customers know about important news, such as a special promotion or a new product. With a little extra technical expertise, you can even build personal profiles for your online users so that they only get the news and specials that they want.

Pay-Per-Click

Pay-per-click, or PPC, is an online advertising model that requires you to pay only when an Internet user clicks on your advertisement. Through a bidding system, you can set the price that you want to pay each time someone clicks on your ad. If you're willing to pay a higher price, your ads will get priority over the ads from other companies. The system often yields immediate results; mere minutes after setting up your ads, you may start seeing new visitors pour into your website.

For years, print advertising worked well as a valuable marketing tool for companies. However, the huge growth of the Internet has encouraged many companies to take a closer look at the benefits of online marketing.

Coastline Marketing Group helps companies stay up-to-date on modern marketing strategies and innovative inbound techniques that provide extraordinary cost-value benefits. Our services include Social Media Management, Local Search Engine Marketing and Optimization, Powerful Content Marketing, Website and Mobile Web Development. Coastline Marketing Group’s inbound marketing strategies can help you attract customers, convert them, close sales and delight them.

Inbound Marketing Analysis

Coastline Marketing Group, Inc
426 Salinas St. Salinas CA 93901
831-759-2273
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Comparing Traditional Marketing to Internet Marketing

We all know, as business owners, that we have to have a web presence. As much as we would like to fight it, we see our competitors taking advantage of the internet while those of us that are resistant lose out.

Remember the phone book? When was the last time you picked one up to search for a local business? You most likely pulled out your smart phone, iPad, or laptop and ran a Google search for that business. Chances are, you found exactly what you were looking for and then some. With everyone from mom and pops to major corporations optimizing and advertising their businesses on the internet, it has made the internet a very competitive place.

How do you compare traditional marketing to internet marketing?

Where are you spending your marketing dollars now; Phone book? Radio? TV? Postcard marketing? Billboard ads? Trade shows? Understand that these are all forms of traditional marketing, also referred to as outbound marketing. The term outbound marketing simply describes the act of throwing your message out and hoping it sticks to a few. But are these forms of marketing effective? Is anyone using the phone book anymore? Is anyone NOT fast forwarding through commercials anymore? Are they listening to their iPods or Pandora radio? Have they learned to tune out the billboards they pass by on a daily basis? How can these forms of marketing still be effective?

The high cost of internet marketing, or is it?

With the tools that are available to us, we can pinpoint very accurately what it would cost an advertiser to market their business on the internet. Our proposed budgets usually span from having a modest web presence to an aggressive prominent presence on the web. Unfortunately, in nearly any industry these numbers typically make the advertiser jump out of their chair. "How much is it going to cost me to advertise on the internet?!?!?!". Once they've sat back down, I try to give them some perspective as to why they might see the cost as "so high".

Putting it in perspective

When the internet was in it's infant stage, it was fairly simple to put up a website, throw some keywords in it and the traffic would come. We didn't really need to spend a whole lot on marketing because people weren't really searching the internet and keywords were doing the trick. At the same time we were relying on keywords to bring us traffic, we were paying anywhere from $200 to $1,500 to be listed in the phone book and every now and then, we would throw a few thousand at radio and TV. We hated it, but we accepted it because it's all we knew. So the idea of putting money into marketing on the internet when it used to be free is a bit more difficult to swallow.

Let's talk about Inbound Marketing

As I explained above, outbound marketing is the method of throwing your message out and seeing what sticks. Inbound marketing would be the method of having a web presence where consumers searching for your product or service can find you. You no longer need to find them, you just need to be there when they are searching for you. If you were to send out 1000 postcards advertising a new item, less than 2% of people that receive that postcard would it be relevant to. If you spend a few dollars on an internet ad, your ad will be relevant to nearly 100% of people that click that ad. After all, they went in search of that "new item" right?

This is very important to understand, inbound marketing brings the customers to you. The cost to gain these customers can be significantly lower than the costs of traditional advertising, if done the right way. Here's one more contrasting difference between the two forms of marketing; How do you measure your ROI (return on investment) from a road sign, or TV ad? You really can't, it can be very difficult. But with internet marketing, you have a reporting panel available to you 24/7 that tells you exactly how many people are responding to your ad. You can accurately measure your ROI like never before. And, you can make adjustments with a few clicks of the mouse. Try doing that with a TV commercial or phone book ad.

Don't Play Catch Up!

Many businesses can do well simply with referrals and walk-in traffic, but remember, your competitor is marketing on the internet. They have created an additional way for people to find them. Little by little, they will gain the customers that could have been yours and over time, you will begin to feel the pinch. Unfortunately, by that time your competitor will have significantly cemented his (or her) presence online. How much will it cost you to catch up?

With nearly any industry, we could create an effective monthly optimizing and marketing campaign for about $350. This would be a modest budget for any business, but it begins to build on your internet strength and domain authority. Start investing now, don't let your competition get too far ahead of you.

We'd love to answer any questions you might have regarding optimizing, marketing or branding your company online. Please feel free to call, stop by our fill out our contact form. Thanks for reading!

Phil Fisk
Coastline Marketing Group
426 Salinas St. Oldtown Salinas
831-759-2273
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