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We spend hours on the internet every day. Some of it is work – and some of it is looking at social media, shopping, or browsing any topic that floats into our heads! We log about six and a half hours of digital time each day, and yes, some of that time is devoted to researching answers to problems or challenges we may be facing. This is why promoting your home service business online is so vital: people are looking for solutions that you offer. A strong digital marketing strategy ensures they find you.
Online marketing is… huge. It is a multifaceted endeavor that encompasses endless strategies, techniques, and tactics. Let’s start with the foundation you need for success.
8 Must-Have Elements for Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Compelling Website. Where do you go when you need to find a supplier? A service? A product? The internet. Ninety percent of consumers go online when they need to find a local business. At the same time, only 50% of small businesses have a website. If you don’t, get on it! And if you do, don’t think you’re off the hook: 38% will disengage with a site that is “unappealing” and 44% will click away from a site that does not clearly show contact info.
Get your site game into shape. Clean, user friendly design, concise language, consistent branding, helpful content, and obvious contact information are all must-have elements.
SEO Strategy. “If you build it, they will come” worked at the box office. Not so much with your website. As critical as a compelling site is, it will not generate the traffic, leads, and conversions you need if people aren’t getting there. The route to your site is, most often, via search engine – and more specifically Google. Sixty-eight percent of all internet experiences begin with a search, and nearly all (93%) of web traffic comes from search engines.
The sites listed on the first page of the results get the lion’s share of that traffic, so you need a solid SEO strategy. This goes beyond inserting a few keywords here and there (though that is important!); SEO encompasses everything from backlinks and page speed to user experience and mobile-friendly (or mobile-first) design.
There are two types of SEO to consider
This refers to free search engine traffic. Organic search drives about 50% of all web traffic.
The difference is obvious… you pay for paid search! You can buy ad space on search engine results pages on a pay-per-click model. This drives more traffic to your website – and ensures that it is highly relevant traffic.
When promoting your home service business online, it is important to consider both organic and paid SEO strategies.
Authoritative Content. People are looking for the services and products you offer. Original, high-quality content helps them find you. Further, great content establishes you as a trusted expert; you are giving your audience the answers they need – and more reasons to choose you as the solution to their needs. Nearly half of consumers (47%) view at least 3-5 pieces of content before they contact a company; you sell yourself without the hard sell!
When it comes to content, make sure you use a variety of mediums to engage consumers: blogs, articles, eBooks, guides, checklists, infographics, images, and video are all excellent ways to convey your message.
Social Platforms. About 80% of the US population is on social media. Chances are that your business is too. But are you maximizing this opportunity? Most businesses are not; they pop up a profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, maybe Instagram, and…. They’re disappointed that they’re not getting anything from it. This comes down to two main factors: one, they’re not implementing a sound social strategy and, two, they haven’t managed expectations.
Yes, everyone and their mother/brother/aunt/cousin/best friend from kindergarten is on social media. And yes, billions of people turn to social to interact with brands. But you have to be proactive in terms of guiding the conversation and posting high-quality content with links.
The second issue is expecting the revenue to stream right in. What social is best for, though, is generating soft leads. This is when someone exchanges their contact information (e.g. email address) for an asset, like a whitepaper, exclusive video, guide, or download. While tracking “likes” is easy and often gratifying, it isn’t giving you the whole story. Focus on the leads you are capturing – and then look at the steps they take after.
Social media isn’t the be-all-end-all; it is one tool in the customer’s journey.
Email Marketing. This old dinosaur? With all the glitzy, shiny digital tools available, is email marketing still relevant? Well, if you like a good ROI, then… yes. For every $1 businesses spend on email marketing, they can realize a return on investment of $42. Email marketing is useful for everything from lead generation and nurturing to customer retention and content distribution. You can reach consumers at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
And what’s more: folks like to hear from you. About half of consumers want to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands weekly. There’s a reason over 300 billion emails are sent every single day: people rely on it to live their personal and professional lives.
Lead Generation. You need a healthy pipeline of leads to nurture through the customer journey and ensure stable cash flow. Lead generation strategies are a must when it comes to promoting your business online. A lead is someone who has expressed interest in your brand in some way; they may have clicked on a link or downloaded a how-to guide, for example.
A lead generation strategy should encompass:
Lead Capture (collecting information from a lead, such as name and contact information)
Lead Magnets (incentives that compel prospects to become new leads)
Lead Qualification (techniques to determine if a lead is likely to buy)
Lead Segmentation (categorizing leads based on factors such as job title, pages visited, lead magnet that drew them in, etc.)
There are a variety of tactics you can employ, from chatbot conversations and gated content to paid promotion and retargeting.
Analytics. You’re sick of hearing it: if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Too bad! We’ll say it again! You need an analytics solution to assess how effective you are when it comes to promoting your home service business online. Google Analytics is an obvious answer, but also use site specific tools such as Facebook Analytics and Instagram Analytics. These help you track your online presence and determine what’s working, what’s not, and where your opportunities lie.
Support. You need all of the elements we discussed above – but you also need a way to bring them together. Trusted colleagues who can lend support or an ear. Experienced businesspeople who have walked in your shoes. You need a team.
Home Artisans of Indiana brings together professionals in the home services field, offering a collaborative environment that empowers them to learn, develop, and grow. From getting ideas for social media promotions to seeing what other folks are doing with lead gen, you can gain critical insights into what can help online promotion work for you.
At Home Artisans of Indiana, we build better businesses together. Let’s get to work. Contact HAOI to learn more.