There’s never a wrong time to begin marketing your business. This article goes over the different marketing solutions a business owner can implement to grow their customer base and revenue. From online marketing to sales marketing, there are a variety of ways you can ramp up your marketing as a service business. Let us know if you have any further questions, we’d be happy to help.
The Importance of Marketing
Marketing’s relevance to small businesses has never been higher. Going head to head with large, more established service providers isn’t easy. With the help of marketing, a business owner can figure out who they need to sell to, and how to sell to them. Marketing can span several mediums, all of which allows a business to communicate with current and potential customers.
Integrating marketing into your business plan can seem overwhelming and expensive at first. While it may help to have a designated person to manage your marketing efforts, there are many free online tools and platforms that owners can take advantage of to start marketing. In short, it has never been easier to market your business.
We have outlined some of the most important and accessible strategies your business can choose from to start marketing to customers. Consistently focusing efforts towards these marketing strategies will increase your company’s reputation, customer loyalty and therefore revenues. It’s never too early, or late, to begin marketing your business. Consider these methods and start seeing bigger returns.
Most small businesses are underinvesting in marketing. Almost half of SMBs spend less than two hours per week on marketing efforts (Statistica, 2017).
Everything today is online, even in the service industry. When customers are searching for a service provider, they are most likely doing it on the web. Seeing that your business has a professional website will show potential customers that your business is credible.
Creating a website is easy with the help of a web designer. However, if you’d like to start out without hiring a web designer, there are many easy-to-use options online to create your website such as Wix or Squarespace. Remember that your webpage should be:
- Quick to load
- Easy to navigate
- Visually appealing
Once your site is live and hosted on a domain, your business will have a credible online platform for your customers to refer to.
A business website can be as simple as just one page providing contact information, or more complex with multiple pages. Business websites commonly include basic contact information, a list of the services provided and an “about” page to tell potential customers who you and your team are.
Whatever web design option you go with, it’s important to at the very least provide your contact information so customers can contact you for your services.
Adding a “reviews” page where your customers can add reviews of your services and team will show potential customers you are trusted by the community. You can also add links to the different review platforms your business is on (such as Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Facebook) for customers to read further reviews of your business.
Social Media Marketing
While you may think there is no need for social media in the home services industry, the truth is that social media can set your business apart from others in your field. Along with your website, social media pages for your business will show your business as legitimate. You can share your social media pages with your customers by linking your social media pages to your website or including the social handles on your business card. Here are some of the more popular social media platforms you can use for your business:
- Facebook is a good platform to expose your business to people in your community. As of June 2018, Facebook had 1.47 billion daily active users and 2.23 billion monthly active users (Facebook, 2018). Facebook provides businesses the option to list their page as an ad to users in the business’s geographic area. Measurement tools are also available to show business owners how their ad campaigns perform.
- Instagram is also a great place to establish your brand. The photo-based platform allows you to get more creative with your content, and really show off your company’s culture and brand.
- Twitter can be a great site to provide your customers with company news. There is a character limit on posts, so you should use Twitter only for short updates such as new promotions. Do not feel the need to post on Twitter excessively.
- LinkedIn is a professional platform that helps you improve your brand reputation. You can create a page for your company and have your employees list themselves as employees on their profiles. Customers can follow your page to see updates about your business.
There are a variety of things you can post on your social media pages to promote your business.
Company culture is a great way to show off the employees that make up your business. Some good opportunities for posts are company updates, celebrations and outings. This will show off that your employees are happy to work for your business. These posts will also help promote your business to potential hires.
It is important to let your customers know about new services and products your business is offering as it grows. Any promotions you create for your services should be shared online. Be sure to keep customers in the loop about all the services offered.
A great way to show customers the services and products you provide are before/after photos. This shows potential customers the quality work you can deliver to them. Make sure to highlight the variety of services your business offers in order to appeal to more customers.
If your business can host giveaways or interactive contests on social media, take advantage of it. Giveaways provide an opportunity to engage with your customers. A common social media giveaway or contest format is for customers to follow and share your page or posts in order to enter. This shares your page with your customer’s followers, therefore increasing your business’s reach. Overall, the giveaways show your customers that you enjoy engaging with them and offering them opportunities to continue doing business with you.
Customers enjoy seeing the real members of their community providing service. Shining the spotlight on your employees on your social channels shows customers you appreciate your employees, as well as further promote your business to potential hires as a great place to work.
Keep the content you post online genuine and engaging. 86% of consumers prefer an authentic and honest brand personality on social networks (Sprout Social 2016). Providing an insight into your business as well as resources for customers makes your business a trustworthy choice in your community.
Who doesn’t love a discount? Customers are more likely to use your services if they are receiving a discount. This is a great method to gain new customers who might have previously not chosen your business for their needs. More than likely they will become returning customers and develop loyalty for your business.
Offering frequent or seasonal promotions makes your business attractive to customers looking for an affordable choice. You can share your promotions on your website and social media pages, as well as in more traditional mediums such as newspaper or TV ads. Consider sending direct mail flyers or postcards with your current promotions. Be sure to add a call to action so your potential customer knows exactly how to do business with your company.
Promotions may also include creating and distributing promotional items featuring your business name or logo. These should also contain your contact info in order to create a call to action.
79% of consumers say they are only likely to use a brand’s promotions if the promotions are tailored to previous interactions (Marketo, 2015).
Most people today check their emails at least once a day. Therefore, it is important to focus some efforts on sending emails to current and potential customers. There are email marketing services, such as MailChimp, that allow you to create and send out professional looking emails to your email subscriber list. Many businesses, both large and small, use MailChimp and similar services. However, it is very easy to create simple email newsletters and updates using your regular email platform. The key to email marketing is providing valuable and intriguing content for your customers.
About 49% of businesses use some form of email automation (EmailMonday, 2018).
Make sure your customers can opt in to your email subscriber list by providing a “Subscribe for Updates, Newsletters and More” section. As your business grows, you can add new customers to the email subscriber list by asking for them to opt in.
As for the email content, keep things simple and easy to digest. Quality over quantity is true when it comes to email marketing. Do not send email updates just for the sake of staying relevant in your customer’s inbox. Email content may include company updates and promotions, as well as resources related to the services you provide. Keep the look of your emails simple with professional images and text. If you choose to use an email marketing service, you can choose one of their premade email templates to ensure a clean look.
Whether it airs on TV or online, a video is a fun way to show audiences all that your business has to offer. 20% of people will read the text on a page, but 80% of people will watch a video (My SMN, 2017). While they are very engaging, videos are underutilized in the service industry. Make your business stand out by taking advantage of the power of video.
A simple promotional video can highlight your business and the services you offer. Another direction for a video can be to provide educational content on the systems you service. For example, you can teach your audience about basic diagnostics they can check to make sure their home systems are in prime shape.
Producing and editing a simple video can be very easy to do yourself. There are many video editing tools out there to help you create your video once it is filmed. If you want to enlist outside help, websites like Fiverr can connect you with professional freelancers that can help you create videos according to your vision.
You can post your video on your website, social media pages and email newsletters for your customer base to see.
Marketing isn’t just for the purpose of gaining new customers. It can also be a way to attract employees to your business. Creating and promoting your company culture can go a long way. It is a simple way to brand your business as an attractive place to work. When you create an exceptional company culture, exceptional employees will follow.
Your website and social media pages are likely the first impressions potential hires will get from your company. Share your company culture online for promotional and recruitment purposes. Posting consistently on career boards is also a good way to get out the word that you are looking to hire. Promoting your company’s culture and value proposition across all channels is also important in order to ensure the right employees are coming to your business.
It’s never too early or late to begin your marketing efforts. Results might not be immediately apparent, but with time they are sure to show a return. Remember that marketing is only as effective as the effort you put into it, therefore consistency and clarity are critical. Make sure any marketing efforts you employ communicate the right message. Take advantage of the tools and resources mentioned to maximize your returns. Most importantly, be creative and think outside the box.
Key Marketing Tips:
- Marketing will set your business apart from others in your industry.
- Make sure your marketing clearly communicates your contact information and a call to action.
- Use social media to provide insights and resources valuable to your customers.
- Keep up with your marketing efforts and channels.