By growing his roofing business into a multi-level mega city within the course of nearly 2 decades, Merlin Bartel, CEO of Epic Group, is certainly no stranger to the limitless possibilities in the home improvement industry.
Epic Group has been utilizing a strategic marketing methodology of content creation with paid advertising for years.
Wondering how that has paid off? The results speak for themselves.
Within only 12 months (and a whole lot of hard work), Epic Group saw a 300% increase in lead volume.
With that, their cost per lead has decreased by 70%!
Now for the best part…
Read along as we unpack their time-tested marketing strategy, learn more about how Epic creates content, and see the actual results they got from combining content creation with paid ads.
Trust me; you’ll want to keep reading this one.
Who is Epic Roofing?
Epic Roofing & Exteriors Ltd. is one of 6 companies under Epic Group alongside Residential, Commercial, Red Dot, SumoQuote, and Dr. Vinyl.
Located and serving Southern Alberta, Canada, for over 20 years, they specialize in roofing, siding, metals, and insulation.
They care about projects just as much as they do people, which is reflected in the several certifications they have gained over the years, including being one of the only Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Customers in the province.
With over 30,000 completed exterior projects and thousands of completed insurance claims, their journey to becoming a trusted voice and brand in the trades was built on integrity, accountability, superior service, and accessible education.
Long story short, these guys know roofing and exterior remodeling.
What Is Content Creation For Contractors?
Before we get into the numbers, let’s first take a look at what content creation actually is and how Epic creates their content.
Although a rather vague word, content creation is what will set you apart from everyone else- and Epic is living proof of that.
As a contractor, when you create content, you’re providing free and useful information to your audience while attracting homeowners to your website/landing page.
Your content should always be targeting homeowners while remaining exceptionally valuable.
By creating content, you are informing, engaging, and attracting homeowners.
Is there anything more you could want?
You’ll also generate some dang good ROI as content marketing is shown to bring in 3x as many leads as traditional marketing and costs 62% less.
Content creation can look like a bunch of different things. Although we have seen huge success with educational content in the form of videos, it can be Instagram lives, blog posts, and even TikTok. (Yes, I said TikTok)
All of your content should be done in a combined effort to:
Build relationships with homeowners
Reinforce your brand in a position of authority
If you’re a contractor that has deemed social networks a ‘waste of time,’ I am here to tell you- you’re wrong.
If your contracting business is not utilizing content creation and social media platforms, you are losing money by the second!
How Epic Roofing creates content
As a company, Epic is highly invested in their community, which is evident not only through their commitment to employing local Albertans but also in their content strategy.
To answer your question: yes, there is as much, if not more, the strategy involved in content marketing as there is with other forms of digital marketing.
Since Epic has come to dominate the local industry, trust is the most important factor to instill and maintain with homeowners.
People all across Southern Alberta have grown to know Epic as a household name, and their content must reflect that.
For example, they leveraged the company’s CEO and Founder, Merlin Bartel, and created content around his expertise. This helped to humanize Epic as a brand and create a level of immediate trust with homeowners.
Epic’s strategy is twofold and involves facilitating trust through educational and informative content in the form of video production and blog creation.
And what really sets them apart from the rest is that they focus on what they are good at; roofing and community building.
They do this through two formats:
Let’s go a little deeper into each of those to unpack Epic’s content strategy.
Part 1: Video
Creating video content can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Video is one of the most powerful forms of media, especially in marketing.
In fact, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined!
Long story short, it’s time to start utilizing video content.
Here are the three things you want to consider when recording and producing video content:
- Invest in quality
- Be consistent
- Stick to what you are good at
Let me show you an example of some of Epic’s latest content so that you can see how they are hitting all three points.
In this video, you’ll see that Epic has superior video production quality, they have familiar faces on camera, and are promoting the company through educational content.
Epic also shares all of their content across multiple media platforms to get the most out of each piece. They have a YouTube Channel where their video content permanently lives, but they also share it via email and social media platforms like Facebook.
Talk about getting the most bang for your buck!
They even create some pretty awesome testimonials videos. Check out their most recent one below!
Pro Tip: Do you want to learn more about recording video testimonials? Check out our Guide to Recording Video Testimonials for Contractors! It includes the step-by-step process AND product and gear recommendations!
Invest in quality
This is at the top of the three points because, quite frankly, it is the most important.
People are visual. We love to see pretty things. People are much more likely to engage with your content when it has that ‘wow factor’.
Here are some things you should include when producing video:
A branded intro and branding throughout
A direct CTA at the end of each video
This is an excellent example of how having b-roll can really take your videos to the next level!
This goes beyond just what days of the week you post your videos (which is important), but what I am talking about is being consistent both with the TYPE of content you produce and WHO is in your content.
As I’ve said before, Epic focuses on promotional and educational content targeted towards homeowners. It is what people have come to know and love about their brand; they are a trusted source of information in the roofing industry.
But what if they all of a sudden started to produce videos about landscaping?
This would immediately discredit them and make homeowners question their level of authority.
To go along with this, they are also consistent with who they show on camera. They leverage their CEO in the majority of their videos as he is an expert in the industry, and because he has been around since the beginning. He is a trusted face for many.
Are you sensing a theme here? Trust is key!
Stick to what you are good at
As I said earlier, Epic is known for having expertise in roofing and building community. And 99% of their content revolved around those two topics.
When you talk about what you are good at and what you are passionate about, not only will people believe you, but they will follow you.
And what better way to grow a brand than by having raving fans?
These guys know roofs, which is why 80% of their video content is geared towards this. The other 20% is testimonials backing up all of their educational content.
As you can see below, Epic is hitting the spot on all things video content creation!
Part 2: Blog Posts
Next, we’ll jump into blog posts.
Blog posts are another super easy, affordable way to produce content without much external effort.
They can also be turned into many different forms of content like social media posts and shared with local newspaper publishers.
Here are three points to all contractors need to do in order to write a killer blog post:
Let’s take a deeper look at Epic’s blog content as an example of how their content is hitting all of these three points!
As you can see above, their video content is geared more towards roofing education and testimonials. But do you remember what else they highly invest in?
Community-building! (10 points if you got that right!)
The majority of their written content that is hosted on their blog is a tribute to their community and the work they have done for them.
They are very aware of their target audience (homeowners in Southern Alberta) and gear their content to what they would want to consume!
For example, you can see in this blog post below that they talk about a recent project they worked on with the City of Calgary to help preserve and refurbish cultural landmarks like this underpass.
A blog post like this screams relevance as any homeowner in Southern Alberta will recognize this landmark and immediately build a stronger trust bond with Epic!
Short and sweet
Another great thing Epic is doing with their written content is keeping it short and sweet.
Their blog posts aren’t 12 page long novels. They are short, sweet, and to the point. They get that their audience doesn’t want to know all of the details-just the important stuff!
They also use large imagery to catch the attention of the reader, and create a deeper connection.
Check out this blog post they made discussing the different types of rubber roofing!
One thing a lot of contractors miss is putting their content into different formats.
The reality is that not everyone will like to watch videos, and not everyone will like to read blog posts.
The best way around this is to create blog posts about your video or vice versa and link the video content in your blog post!
Epic did exactly this. They recorded a video and then put that content into a written blog post and embedded the video.
This simple step can help you reach thousands of more people!
Epic Roofing & Webrunner: Amplifying Content with Paid Ads!
Now that we know what content creation is and how Epic is creating their content let me walk you through our story with Epic Roofing.
If anyone knows anything about the Southern Alberta climate, you’ll understand why I am almost at a loss of descriptive words for it.
I’m talking about harsh -30C/-22F winters and hot, humid summers. With the added edition of several massive hail storms throughout the two seasons (is spring and fall even a thing up there?), it is a roofer’s dream!
Epic was already dialed in on insurance claims, but the real challenge was in the retail side of things.
More specifically, marketing themselves for the retail market.
In the past, their marketing strategy was inclusive of email blasts and newspaper ads. Both, slightly outdated and not nearly as effective for brand visibility and getting quality lead flow.
While searching for a stronger marketing strategy, they were referred to us from another industry professional. After our initial meeting, we decided to create a custom marketing strategy that included two goals:
- Increase quality lead flow through Google Ads
- Amplify their killer content with Facebook Ads to strengthen their brand
Unlike most contractors we work with, Epic already had nearly 20 years invested into their branding, so they didn’t need us to help them grow it; all they needed was for us to utilize it.
Keep reading to find out how this marriage of content creation and paid ads transformed their business.
Content Creation + Paid Ads = A Perfect Match!
In this section, I’ll show you exactly how epic utilizes content creation in their Google and Facebook ad campaigns to leverage their brand and generate more leads.
Let’s jump right into it!
If you know anything about Google ads, it’s that it does not have much to do with content.
But in some cases, like Epic, content plays a huge role in their Google ads marketing strategy!
But first, let me rewind a bit to give everyone in the room context.
When someone clicks on a Google Ad, ideally, they are brought to a landing page. Once on the landing page, a homeowner really has two options:
- Complete the CTA (i.e. fill out the form, book a free estimate)
- Leave the page without taking any action
You may think that action number one is more desirable, but that is not always the case.
We include a Facebook Pixel on all of our landing pages, which means we’re able to identify who leaves without taking action and can then serve them ads for a second chance at turning them into a lead.
This is called retargeting, and it is one of our favorite tricks! When we use this method, it allows us to get the most out of every visitor that hits our landing page.
And yes, you guessed it – this allowed us to turn more of Epic’s visitors into new leads (which is where Facebook comes into the picture!).
Facebook is a visual platform. This is why we always take the time to roll out our Facebook ads for our clients with quality content.
Content for a high performing Facebook ad will be:
Normally, we have to guide contractors on what videos and content to create content, slowing down the production time.
Lucky for us, Epic already had a full library of quality content to pull from to create ads for them!
Not only did they have a full content library, but they also regularly posted their content on Facebook. This made our job much easier as we could go into their account and see what was gaining traction organically and use those posts as ads.
Check out this post below. Organically it was taking off, and when we went to promote it as a paid ad, we saw great results!
This Facebook ad has a clickthrough rate of 1.6%, which is well above the industry average!
For those Facebook-savvy folks, let’s dig a little deeper into this Facebook ad.
We’re using Dynamic Creative Optimization for this ad, which means we are testing:
- 3 videos
- 5 headlines
- 2 above-ad copy
- a roster of different thumbnails
This lets us figure out what message resonates best and helps inform future tests.
More importantly, this allows us to continue to increase lead volume AND drive down lead cost.
Pro Tip: Check out this blog post to find out what Facebook Ads mistakes you need to avoid making!