Marketing is challenging and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be.
Once upon a time, marketing used to be fairly simple… take out an ad in the newspaper and phone book, send out a few postcards—and boom, sales! Once the internet took over it was, have a website and send out an email—bam, sales!
Now, there is social media and influencers, SEO, SEM, PPC advertising, co-marketing, Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and all the traditional advertising like direct mail postcards. It’s hard to know where to look and what to focus on. And, it’s not just overwhelming for you. Its overwhelming to your customers too. In fact, consumers are exposed to more than 5,000 ads per day. It’s a lot of noise and information to sift through.
So, how do you know where to focus your marketing efforts?
These 4 marketing strategies will help break through the noise and make the most out of your time and marketing/ad dollars:
1. First Impressions Matter
We all know the old saying, “first impressions matter,” but we don’t mean this literally. We’re talking about the first impression people have of your business when they search for it on Google, or when they look at your website.
You need to keep the information on your Google My Business Page and your company’s website up-to-date. Why is this so critical? Nearly 60% of consumers have already made their purchase decision before they even reach out to the service provider. This means they are spending time on your website and searching you on Google before they ever reach out. If you are not keeping your website and Google My Business Page current, you may be missing out on more than half of your potential customers.
Google My Business Page is really the best way to be found online, locally. It’s a free listing provided by Google and it allows you to list your hours, address, images, your clients can leave reviews, and most importantly, you are more likely to be found by customers searching for things like “landscapers near me” in both the regular Google search and Google Maps.
Next month, we’ll dive a bit deeper into Google My Business Page and share some insight on how to make sure you are using all the features available to you.
2. All You Have to Do Is Ask
More than 80% of Americans read online reviews when hiring lawn care and landscaping contractors. This is statistic that we have drilled month after month. Why? Because its important, very important.
When looking for a new service or product almost all consumers read reviews, even more so in the younger generations (GenX, Millennials, GenZ).
It’s critical that you are managing your online reputation and reviews. Only one in ten happy customers leave a review, so it’s important make reviews a priority. Ask all your current and past clients to leave reviews for your business. Check out these recommendations to make sure you stand out to potential customers.
3. Stay Top of Mind
Now that we are heading into slow down there are a few things to consider. First, it’s the final push to promote end-of-year services like irrigation winterization, fall renovation and overseeding, and snow removal services.
Next, its time to start planning for the 2020 season. It’s time to put together a strategy and calendar for regular consumer engagement. This allows you to continue to promote your business, share exciting new products and services, and showcase your newest work. Social media, direct mail, and email are all excellent ways to stay top of mind with our customers.
4. Before and After
Take more before and after pictures of your projects. Potential customers want to see what you were able to do for other customers. A portfolio of your work using images and video is the best way to do this. Add a narrative to the images/video to tell a story about the project. The story can tout your expertise and showcase your personality. Create this story by describing the challenges you overcame with your expertise or recommendations. Finally, make sure to include a testimonial from your customer highlighting how happy they were with your work.
Now these four tips should not be the end all and be all of your marketing strategy. But they should be included. These are strategies that any small business should consider. They have very little or no cost, and if positioned correctly can have a huge return on investment.
Finally, look out for deep dives into topics like Google My Business and email marketing in the coming months. Whether it’s marketing consultation, business strategy recommendations, or design support, Central is the right partner for your business. If you need help with your marketing or business initiatives, reach out. We’re ready to help you grow.