3 Things You Should Outsource to a Contractor Marketing Agency
Believe it or not, home improvement is one of the most competitive industries when it comes to online advertising. So having a ‘one-and-done’ approach with your online ads, while it may take less time and require less ad platform knowledge, is one of the major marketing pitfalls we see contractors make.
For example, many contractors will set up a Google Ads account to drive traffic to their website and call it a day. Unfortunately, this approach only scratches the surface.
To make your online ads as effective as possible, you need to run multiple ads with various messages across a variety of platforms. This way, your brand can target a much larger portion of the market, giving you more room to scale.
In fact, most homeowners need to see your ad multiple times before moving forward – in our experience, it could be upwards of 10 times.
As a result, we highly suggest any paid advertising to be outsourced to a dedicated agency.
Plus, there are factors constantly changing that will impact the effectiveness of your marketing, which you can’t plan for with a ‘one-and ‘done’ approach. For example;
Consumer buying habits; especially those businesses whose audiences span across different geographic locations
Seasonality and ever-changing demand
Search and social media platform updates
Cultural events such as Black Friday, storms in the target areas, etc.
New competition entering your market
So, if the one-and-done approach to paid advertising isn’t the best, what does it take to make it work?
Ad copy specifically designed to identify and pre-qualify leads
Ongoing management of keywords and negative lists to maximize every dollar invested
Ongoing experiments to find the right keyword, image, and copy combinations
Conversion-focused landing pages that are tested and improved upon over time
Proper conversion tracking to make sure ROI is clear
Although getting paid ads up and running will require some investment upfront, if you’re serious about prioritizing quality leads, it’s one of the smartest lead generation decisions you can make for your business.
2. Lading Page Design and Lead Optimization
Having a website is great, don’t get us wrong.
But having landing pages designed to turn traffic into leads at a higher rate than your website, however, is even better.
You’ve built your brand from the ground up, so now it’s time to work smarter, rather than harder, and ensure your online efforts are directly translating into sales. Landing pages would be the next step in creating an effective lead generation strategy.
Contrary to popular belief, landing pages are less about flashy sales tactics and more about confirming that a visitor is in the right place. Rather than highlighting the business, landing pages hone in on the service homeowners are looking for.
They are focused, free from distraction, speak to a very specific audience, and include contact forms to gather as much information as possible. And like paid ads, a dedicated marketing agency can continually optimize and experiment with landing pages to discover which resonate with homeowners best.
Landing pages are especially successful at closing ‘warm leads’. These are the folks that have done their research, know the service they’re after and are now deciding on the contractor for the job.
(AKA the same folks who need to see your ad 10 times before making a decision).
Landing pages are also a great first step in creating a structured lead handling process.
From a targeted landing page, visitors are directed to submit their information through a lead or pop-up form. From here, agencies can leverage automated SMS messaging and email to manage lead influx and ensure no potential customers fall through the cracks.
While lead optimization and follow-up may sound like something you can handle yourself, returning calls and emails between jobs, it’s a dangerous game that contractors rarely win. The importance of reaching out to leads quickly and being persistent is paramount.
50% of leads choose to work with the contractor that responds first.
In short, without optimized landing pages, you may as well be handing money over to the competition. Outsourcing these efforts to a dedicated agency ensures those hard-earned dollars stay in your pocket.
As your business evolves, it’s important that your brand communicates that same growth and evolution. As marketers on the frontlines, we’ve seen firsthand the advantages of having a well-established brand in your target market. Consistent presentation of branding has been known to increase revenue by 33%.
It’s crucial that any ads, sales collateral, or online designs are not only aesthetically pleasing but contents are organized in such a way that it resonates with homeowners.
Whether that action is to leave contact information, book an estimate, or schedule a call.
And first impressions matter. On average, it takes consumers only 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your brand.
When you invest in good design, you’re investing in brand awareness and recognition – which are often deciding factors for warm leads who may still be shopping around.
Did you know that brand colors play an influential role in brand recognition? A signature color can increase recognition by 80%.
By outsourcing this to a dedicated contractor marketing agency, you don’t need to worry about the ins and outs of design. All you need to worry about is being able to handle the number of leads and jobs that come from having a killer brand presence.
3 Things You Can Still Achieve In-House
Organic social media traffic is any kind of traffic that comes to your website from social media channels, outside of ads. This traffic usually includes people who follow your accounts, their friends, and others who stumble upon your content thanks to hashtags/topics you include in your posts.
Organic social media also happens to be the best way to nurture a connection with your existing audience on a large scale. You can showcase your brand personality and voice, engage with customers throughout their buying journey, and build online relationships.
Organic traffic also helps increase credibility as users are more likely to trust brands that have a following.
And if your marketing budget is tied up in other activities, you can always hold down the social media fort yourself.
Nobody knows your brand better than you, especially brand voice and personality. So leverage that authority, and perfect exactly how you want your brand to come across online with homeowners. This can be hard for an outside agency to achieve, and when it’s outsourced, it’s never quite as impactful.
The one caveat to organic traffic, however, is that it’s organic. Meaning very limited targeted and qualifying. So while your website may get hits from organic social media traffic, this traffic may be less likely to convert. And when it comes to your marketing budget, you want it to be used as efficiently as possible.
That’s why we suggest prioritizing outsourcing paid traffic, rather than organic, because your dollars are more likely to return tenfold (generating a higher return on your investment).
Content creation is a labor of love, time, and consistency. Over the long term, it can prove especially impactful when leveraged alongside any paid online advertising strategy.
Should you have some flexibility in your calendar, you can create high quality content yourself in less time than you think. We have a whole tutorial on how to create video testimonials and other content to grow your contracting business.
What’s more important is the frequency in which you post content, keeping content updated, and including relevant hashtags or locations to get on the right people’s radar.
Here are some examples of content you can create just using your phone;
Record behind the scenes of an ongoing project
Showcase before and after photos
Share client testimonials
Plus, the content you create can serve double duty if you’re outsourcing ads. Post them to your social media channels to beef up organic traffic, then send it to your marketing agency who could experiment with adding the content to paid ads.
However, if you have more resources than time – which will more than likely be the case as your business scales – there is always the option to outsource to agency.
Referral leads are a key component of growing a successful contracting business. Once you’ve made it into a homeowner’s good books, you can leverage their experience to help score future work.
And you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you can put some basic referral marketing in place yourself, before taking it to the next level with an outside agency.
In fact, there are a variety of tools and software you can use from the palm of your hand to incentivize, collect, and reward homeowner referrals.
Here are some of our favorite tools and tips when it comes to referral marketing when starting out:
And when you’re ready to kick your referral marketing efforts up a notch, you can enlist the help of a dedicated agency.
Outsourcing : An Agency’s Take
At the end of the day, you’ll choose the marketing strategies that you believe will best serve your home remodeling business. That’s why it’s important to have as much information as possible before deciding how to allocate any investments.
Our suggestion? Marketing investments should reflect where you want your business to be, not just where it is now. If your goal is to become an industry-heavy hitter, you’ll need a lead generation strategy that reflects those same growth aspirations.
Your business may not yet be at a place where you feel like you can, or need, to outsource marketing, and that’s okay. But if and when the time does come, search for a marketing partner whose track record has generated consistent, reliable, and profitable leads.
As the saying goes, it takes money to make money. By outsourcing the most effective and profitable lead generation activities to the experts, you’re one step closer to market takeover.