By Karen Edwards, RT3
When looking at 2021 growth goals, many companies say they want to close more sales. To close more sales, you need to generate more leads. This is why marketing technology needs to be part of your growth plan for 2021. Marketing is what drives leads that turn into closed sales.
You have to be sure that you are advertising and marketing where your customers are going to see your message. Now, more than ever, that is online. There are many opportunities to market for free – think social media – as well as some paid options such as Google AdWords. Here are five technologies that offer the most bang for the buck:
- Social media. Get started on social media first. It is easy to use and doesn’t cost anything. It takes time to build a following and the key here is consistency and frequency. You will want to share content that is relevant and helpful to your customer base and avoid constant self-promotion. Facebook is ideal for reaching residential customers but if your base is commercial, you’ll want to expand your presence in LinkedIn. Social media also offers options to do paid marketing by boosting or sponsoring posts to expand the reach of the message.
You can organically expand your reach and audience by engaging with your suppliers, manufacturers and industry associations on social media platforms. Share their content and tag them in your posts to promote engagement.It sounds like becoming active on social media should be easy to do, right? But we all know how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of business and forget to update your social media accounts. The simplicity of social media makes it easy to assign to a team member internally or consider bringing on an intern to develop posts on a weekly basis that are scheduled ahead of time.
Key platforms where you want to establish a presence include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. There are other platforms that exist but it’s important not to bite off more than you can chew.
- Email marketing. Email is an easy way to stay in front of your customers and your potential customers and there are many programs available that let you get started for free. But remember, it’s important not to throw everyone into the same audience with the same messaging.
Organize your contacts into groups. You could start by having one group for existing customers and one for potential customers. Your messaging will be different for each group. If you have captured an email address from an inquiry on your website, that customer may appreciate an email the following week with tips on choosing a roof style or options for financing home improvement projects. An existing customer who recently replaced their roof may appreciate emails in the spring and fall with tips for preparing their roof for the upcoming winter or summer season. It might be a good idea to offer a coupon or discount on a maintenance checkup.
- Website. This may seem like a no-brainer because everyone needs a website since customers are mainly finding their roofing contractors online. Ask yourself, when was the last time your website was updated? Experts recommend every two to three years for an overhaul, and you should be adding regular content on a monthly basis at a minimum.
It’s a good idea to engage an expert in search engine optimization (SEO) to do a thorough analysis of your website to make sure it is delivering the right content that will get you found in searches. The better the content, the higher you will rank on the search engine results page when potential customers are searching for your services.
- Google My Business. If you are a local business and you have not claimed your Google My Business listing, you are missing out on a powerful source of leads. Google explains that GMB is a “free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.”
To get started, perform a Google search for your company name. The GMB results appear on the top right side of the results page. You should see an option to claim the listing. Answer a few questions and Google will send you a postcard with a special verification code that allows you to take ownership. The next step is to update your profile and post regularly as you would on social media. Posting photos of your team, finished projects and special offers are an ideal fit for GMB.
- Google AdWords. This requires a little more tech savvy and comes with a cost, but if you are in a competitive market, you are going to want to invest in this online advertising technology. I recommend leaving it up to the experts who can make sure that the money you choose to invest is being spent in the right places.
It’s essential to choose a partner that has experience in the home services industry. Don’t just take their word for it, ask for references and do your due diligence in vetting any company – especially those who message you on LinkedIn promising to “guarantee X number of leads per day.”
Lastly, remember that before you implement any of these lead-generating technologies, it’s important to have the processes in place once you capture your lead. The last thing you want to do is bring in high-quality leads, only to disappoint them with a confusing experience.