Marketing… Who Needs It? Am I Right?
No, I’m not. The fact is that every business needs to make sales in order to maintain and grow. If we don’t have sales, we are dead in the water. But, where do sales come from? Well, marketing of course.
You might be thinking, “Sure, but I never did marketing in the past and I was fine.”
Perhaps your main source of new projects is referrals from past customers. You did a great job for them and they told their friends and family. If this rings true for you, then you have indeed been doing marketing. You just didn’t know it.
Creating Awareness of the Great Work You Do
Marketing is about getting the word out and building awareness that you and your company exist. After someone knows you exist, it’s about promoting the great work you have done. If you don’t do great work, forget it. Bad news travels faster than good news so when Bob down the street has a leaky roof that you were supposed to fix, he’s going to cry to the world about it. But I digress…
The fact is that every business does some sort of marketing even if they don’t know it. When done badly it can get some results. When done right it can provide the fuel necessary to sustain and grow a business for years to come. I don’t know about you, but I’m about growing my business. Are you with me?
What You’ll Learn in This Article
When it comes to promoting a construction company there are a lot of directions one can go. You’ve probably heard all the fancy buzz words like Google Ads, Social Media, Blogging, Youtube… the list goes on. Here’s the kicker. None of it matters if you don’t have the proper fundamentals in place. Sounds scary but it makes it simple.
In this article, I will take you through the 5 pillars that form the core of the marketing strategy I’ve used to get great results for my clients. This approach works for construction companies of all sizes and shapes. It works for a handyman the same as it works for a home builder. In fact, it works for just about any local business. Sure, some of the finer details will be different, but the overall principles stay the same.
I’m going to relate this marketing strategy to building a house. A home is a collection of key parts that make up the whole. Lose any of these parts and the house will no longer function as we need it to. A marketing strategy is exactly the same. By relating marketing to a home I hope to illustrate the importance of each piece and help you absorb the information easier.
A Note About Changing Technology
It’s true that the internet changes fast. It’s possible that in five years from now some parts of this strategy will seem dated, but the overall principles are the same. Besides, if things change too much then I’ll have to change the way I do things to make sure I’m still getting great results fror my clients. If I change my strategy, I’ll change this article to match it.
You can be certain that in 2019, this strategy is working like a charm for companies all over the US, and the world.
The Foundation | Providing a Great Customer Experience
The best marketing is always going to come from your happy customers. We all know that being recommended usually means we’re going to get the job. That’s why making sure your customers are getting a great experience in working with you is critical to your success.
This is the golden rule of business: Provide an amazing customer experience. Everything else comes second.
This is the number one guiding light of my business and it should be the same for yours. When times get tough and the economy shrinks, your great reputation with your customers will keep the lights on while you weather the storm. If you don’t get repeat business, something is wrong. Find out what it is and fix it.
The Walls | A Professional Website
Any good house starts with a good foundation. The worst thing you can do is build a big beautiful house on a weak foundation and have it crumble and collapse. A marketing strategy is no different.
If you are treating your customers right and providing amazing customer service, then the foundation is there. The next step is to build the walls on which everything else will sit. The walls not only hold up your roof, but they give you a place to put your windows. They provide the framework necessary to build the rest of your house.
The walls of a marketing strategy come in the form of a website. Your business’s website is the main place people go to learn about who you are, what you do, and where you do it. In fact, websites are so commonplace nowadays that if you don’t have one, people think something is up.
In order for a website to produce results, it has to be built right. There has to be close attention to detail so when people are looking through pictures of your completed projects and learning about your company they can get a feel for how you will treat their home. If the website is tight and everything is as it should be, they will feel comfortable. If your website is messed up and hard to use, they will get a bad feeling about you.
With your website (walls) in place, it’s time to build the roof.
The Roof | Google Maps Listing (GMB)
The roof is a critical part of any house. The only things more important might be the foundation and the walls on which the roof sits.
In a similar way, your GMB or Google Maps Listing is equally as important. Did you know that over 90% of people use Google when they are searching for a local business? Believe it or not, that number is still increasing! That means that being on top of Google Search is the best place to be.
So, how do we get our business listing to the top of Google search? Well, the quickest way is Google Ads, and I’ll touch on that later, but the second easiest way is Google Maps. Check out this screenshot of a Google Search. Notice how the big Google Maps box is right at the top of the page underneath the Google Ads and above the regular search results?
Getting your Listing in the top 3 on Google Maps will land you right at the top of Google Search. All 3 of those businesses you see in the box get a lot of customers simply because their listings are in the top 3. It should be a top priority for you to be in that box.
One cool thing about Google Maps is that it’s proximity-based. That means that if some one searches for your service near your location, you will be in that box! So even if there aren’t a lot of people seeing your Google Maps Listing, at least people in your neighborhood will. Talk about cutting the commute.
The best part is that it doesn’t cost anything to have a Google Maps Listing. Not having one is like not having a roof. You are going to get burned by the sun and drenched by the rain, and that’s no way to live.
The Windows | Analytics Tracking for Website Visitors
Ana-what??? I know… leave the data to the nerds, right?
Google Analytics is an important part of your website. Imagine living in a home with no windows… How would you know what the weather was like or if someone was parked in your driveway? Well, the same thing goes with your website.
Analytics tools let us see exactly who is visiting your website, where they are coming from, and what they are doing while they’re there. Pretty important stuff to know when you think about it.
Here’s an example screenshot from Google Analytics on the very website you are reading now. You can see where people are coming from, how long they stay, and how many pages they visit. This is just scratching the surface of information we can track. You can see that most of our traffic is organic, which means people find our website by searching on Google. It’s nice not having to pay for ads.
Having this information we can make informed decisions about how to tweak and optimize your website to get better results. More importantly, we can see if anything goes wrong and get it fixed before any harm is done. If people suddenly stop visiting a certain page or stop filling out contact forms, we will know something is up.
Every single website we build comes with all the standard analytics tools hooked up and ready to go. We create a Google account for each client so they have 100% ownership and control over their accounts. These things become critical when you start advertising on platforms such as Google Ads, or Adwords.
After a business has been around for many years the data built up in the analytics accounts can be worth a lot of Mula. If you were to try and sell your business, being able to show the prospective buyer that your website gets great results is a huge deal-maker.
Bottom line is you need Analytics on your website like you need a roof over your head. Like your Google Maps Listing it doesn’t require any extra investment so there’s no good reason not to have it. Not a single one.
Landscaping | 5-Star Reviews
You can have a really nice house but if your yard looks like crap, it’s going to take away from the whole property. Appearances are very important. It’s no different for your business. You could have the best business in the world but if you don’t look good, people will walk on past.
When was the last time you went out to eat or bought a tv? Did you look at reviews first?
If you’re anything like me, you certainly did. If I am considering making a purchase and I see the majority of reviews are bad, I’ll skip it and look for something else. I’m not alone. Most people are like this.
It’s no different for construction companies, especially when it comes to residential construction contracting directly with homeowners. They will check your reviews and they want to see a lot of them with 5-star so they know they can trust you. If they see bad reviews or none at all, it’s a red flag and they will often look somewhere else.
Getting reviews isn’t rocket science. It goes like this:
- Make the customer happy.
- Ask them for a review when they are happy.
- Follow up with them every once in a while until they leave you a review.
This isn’t a one-time thing. This is an every time thing. And it doesn’t just have to come from the owner or manager. Every single employee is a representative of the company and should ask for a review every time a customer is in a position to pay you back for providing amazing customer service.
A good rule of thumb is to ask for a review as you leave your client’s house for the last time. With that said, there’s no shame in asking for a review months or even years later. It’s nice to call a customer up after a while and let them know you are thinking about them. “Oh, and by the way, please leave us a review so others know what it’s like to work with us.” You can do it.
Where should reviews go? On your Google Maps Listing!!! Don’t put all your reviews on Homeadvisor or Houzz until you have them on Google Maps. If you stop paying for Homeadvisor, it goes away forever. The fact that you don’t pay for Google Maps means your reviews won’t go away if you stop paying…
Get reviews. Period.
Things Change Over Time
A marketing strategy is never truly complete. Once a process is in motion it’s a matter of implementing ideas, measuring results, making adjustments, then implementing more ideas. The system continuously gets better or else it will degrade over time.
A house is similar in that it will most likely change over time and hopefully get better. The colors of the walls will change. The kitchen will inevitably be updated someday. Even the overall shape of the home may change with additions and subtractions. Just maintaining the home will change it.
The point is that things typically must change over time and hopefully for the better. If you have a business, it will need to adapt to changes that happen in the market. A marketing strategy must also adapt to stay effective and relevant. At the very minimum, it must be maintained.
Putting It All Together
There are over 131 million houses in the United States and they are all built in a similar fashion. They all have a foundation on which sites the walls, roof, and windows. They all have a yard too, at least a little one.
There are over 831 million websites in the United States and they are all built in a similar fashion, at least the ones that get any results. Believe it or not, most of them do not contain the key components I mention in this article. Why? Because they weren’t built by us.
All joking aside, your average website designer doesn’t care about results, they just care about building a website and getting paid. You need someone who cares about the results and getting you paid.
At Adapt Digital Solutions we care about getting results for construction companies. While we work with companies of all sizes and shapes, every single one of our projects includes everything I’ve listed in this article.
If you have a website and it isn’t performing as well as it should be, it’s likely because you’re missing a key component.
If you have all these pieces in place and things still aren’t clicking for you, then perhaps your marketing strategy needs an upgrade.
You wouldn’t let a customer build a house without a foundation, roof, windows, or landscaping, so don’t let your own company try and operate without proper marketing fundamentals.