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It’s no secret that marketing is a “day to learn: lifetime to master” concept. Because of this complexity, it can seem impossible to maximize the efficiency of your business’s financial investment. Unlike large corporations, home service providers don’t have large budgets to dump into different marketing strategies blindly. As such, we’ve outlined three powerful ways that the inbound marketing process can help separate you from the sea of competition in your industry.
It may help to visualize the inbound marketing process as three pieces of a wheel. We use the imagery of a wheel because the marketing process is ongoing, creating forward momentum as you hit each stage. You want to attract leads to your website or online platform. Once you do, you’ll engage them with helpful content to convert into customers. Lastly, your goal should be to delight your current customer so that you attract them for repeat business or they send you more referrals for you to engage!
That all might seem pretty simple. But, how does a home service provider start putting this into action and garnering more business? We outline each phase more in-depth below.
Attraction is all about earning your client’s attention. In today’s digital age, it has never been easier to put things in front of the faces of your consumers. Because of this saturation, consumers have become extremely discerning with what advertising and content they take seriously.
The attraction phase is highlighted by your company’s ability to provide value and education through its digital content. This added value generates trust and reduces friction as prospective customers learn about your company. The less friction your prospects experience during the attraction process, the quicker your business can gain momentum.
Blogging and other forms of inbound marketing are great ways to establish trust through helpful content. The goal here is to address specific questions and concerns that your customers ask you every day. By thinking through pain points that your customers face and providing solutions and answers to them, you’re building credibility and trust in the eyes of your customers and Google!
For example, during hot summer months in Florida, consumers are likely struggling to keep energy costs down. They may be searching on Google for possible reasons for energy inefficiencies when “ah!” they stumble across an HVAC company’s blog titled “Is Your HVAC System Costing You Money?” As long as that blog is well informed, educational, and focused on the customer, there’s a high likelihood that it will create credibility for the HVAC company and therefore persuade that consumer to give them a call.
Perry’s Pump Repair in Gainesville, Florida is a great example of how impactful a powerful blog section can be for a home service provider. Perry’s offers an extensive blog list which is full of relevant topics about everything from preventative maintenance to water-saving tips. Not only do these blogs provide excellent SEO value, but they provide a great deal of value to homeowners who are interested in learning these very topics. By showcasing themselves as thought leaders in their industry, Perry’s gives their visitors a convincing reason to trust their expertise, and therefore, do business with them.
Engagement highlights the personal nature of the next rotation on our wheel. Companies are so focused on turning leads into closed deals that they toss any relationship development out the window. It’s these relationships that are going to carry your business far into the future and generate new leads on their own. It’s far easier to maintain and nurture current relationships than it is to create new ones.
When you engage in these newly formed relationships from the beginning of the sales funnel, you go from herding cattle to building relationships that are going to create loyal customers that generate leads of their own.
Social media is an incredible tool for home service providers to humanize their brand and generate a personal connection with their audience. The average person spends over two hours a day on social media. These people are looking for authentic and genuine engagement. This is an opportunity to share the human moments created by your business. For example, a home service provider could use their Instagram to show their team sacrificing a weekend for community service and the impact it made on the people of their community. A post like this has the ability to turn the perception of your business from a cold, professional entity into a warm, trusted friend.
Sunday, a lawn treatment company recently recognized by Forbes, has been utilizing the power of Instagram to capitalize on engagement and storytelling. The brand’s personality and values shine so clearly through their photography and language, making even no-lawn-having city dwellers click “follow.” In their bio, it reads: “Simple & smart lawn care delivered to your door. Sunday is the better way to a greener lawn. ???? 1% of sales donated to prairie grassland conservation.” Not only do they engage users with beautiful after pictures, but they also use the platform to share their values and commitment to grassland conservation. Who wouldn’t want to do business with these people?
As a service business, your biggest success is experienced when your clients are happy. The “delight” stage of our wheel focuses on nurturing the relationships that have been formed with clients. This is done by elevating the existing relationships you have with them and performing services that go above and beyond your call of duty.
Delight is simply defined as “great pleasure.” By making this the focus of your relationship, you’re able to produce a guest experience that is remarkable. A remarkable experience is one that clients are excited to share with other people they know.
An example of a remarkable experience could be a home service provider deciding to educate their customers on something they could charge them to do. They may profit less at the moment but this could lead to a relationship that generates many more sales and referrals down the road. A great example of this idea was when Gaston’s, a tree service provider, passed up on a multi-thousand dollar tree removal job because they educated their potential client that the “dead” tree was just in a period of dormancy. This demonstration of integrity truly delighted their client and has led to countless recommendations and retainer work with that client and others.
With this, we’ve returned to the attract stage in our wheel. Whether it’s because of someone they know that worked with your business or because your company has a long list of happy customers leaving words of praise on your Google listing. Out of all consumers, 91% said they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
It’s easy to see why inbound marketing generates momentum. Choosing to attract, engage, and delight your new and current customers can create a snowball effect that grows your business very quickly.
As an agency, PHOS uses these inbound strategies to grow our own brand, and we’re happy to help implement this methodology for your business.