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Data Driven Results for Contractors
Data Driven Contractor Advertising
How many times have you heard, “10x your leads” or “best ROI” and “I have the secret.” Two of these statements could be true with the right strategy, but let’s get the “secret to marketing” out of the way. There is no secrets on the internet. The way we do business is by proven strategies obtained by trial and error with guidance from mentors who have already spent the money to learn the hard lessons. Everything from a customer seeing the ad for the first time, qualifying clients, to scheduling an appointment with you.
Many marketers have a bad habit of over promising and under delivering by telling you everything you want to here while not defining realistic expectations. We want to help clear things up, so whether you hire us or not you will be armed with knowledge to make the best decision for your business.
How Online Ads Can Make You Money
Chances are you are reading this because you want to make more money using online advertising. If 2020 taught us anything it is that things can quickly change, and more have turned to online advertising to reach their ideal clients. People are comfortable being advertised to through Google, Facebook, YouTube, and others.
The 2 Main Contractor Ads Strategies
One method that some can afford is what we like to call "pray and spray." The concept is a bigger ad spend budget then your competitors used to experiment, optimized, and canvass and entire area. If you are patient, persistent, and have the budget this can work, but the mindset of "spend more than the competition" will often see a low ROI which will leave you skeptical of online ads.
When it comes to smaller budgets looking for the best ROI you need to be creative and customize your ads campaign. Be specific & run targeted ads instead of generalizing. What area and service brings in the highest profit margins? Who is your ideal clients? Start with focused ad campaigns and grow as your returns increase.
What Advertising Platform to Use & When?
I’m not sure what part of the process you are in. You could just be looking into it now, or maybe you’ve tried it without success. Maybe you are looking for help with your current campaigns. Either way knowing which platforms to use and when can save you time and money.
The best way to break it down is where in the buying process in the potential client? Are they actively looking? Do they need your help without knowing it? Do they know they need your help, but have a reason they are not looking?
In today’s world people are constantly being sold to. If you come on to strong when a customer is not in the “actively looking process” then they can be turned off and become guarded. If you don’t come on strong enough during the “actively looking steps” then you can miss some slam dunks. Let’s talk about the major platforms we use for paid advertising online.
The best option for immediate results. Why? Because people are actively searching for your services on Google.
If you understand anything about Facebook ads know that people are not actively looking for products and services here. However, has it's benefits of video, graphics, and creative content to stay relevant in your area of interest.
People have responded very well to video from the beginning of TV commercials to online video's. Google owns YouTube who started the online video frenzy, and Facebook responded with lives & video capabilities. There is a reason so many are adding this to their online presence.
This is a higher acquisition cost than the others, but can be very useful when your ideal clients are property managers, investors, and business owners. Their profile information is comprehensive, and is why they charge a higher price for targeted ads.
Resonating with Your Online Audience
Who is Your Ideal Client?
Start by asking yourself, “who is my ideal client?” This may be easier to answer for some than others. Whether you are an established & experienced company, or just starting. Maybe you are shifting to something that you specialize in or have found that certain projects bring in a higher profit margin with less complications. This is key in the customization and creativity strategy.
Once you have defined your ideal client it is time to get in front of them online and build rapport and authority with your industry knowledge and determine the best way to do that with your company goals in mind. You should be able to answer almost any question your customers may have online before you even talk to them, and pre-qualifying your company to be the best fit for the job.
Customers Qualifying Questioning
The main things customers are wanting to know. What’s your experience with this kind of project? How do you make this convenient for me? Do you have satisfied customers and reviews to prove it? How long will the project take? What is the process if we go with you? Who will I be communicating with and how often? What are your prices compared to others?
When you build a trusting relationship with your clients then price becomes less important. Some contractors find themselves in a “rat race” to offer the cheapest prices in order to obtain bids. Breaking this habit takes the right sales process with more options. Once you break from the “rat race” and make the customer feel comfortable that you have their best interest and the workmanship to back it up you will break this “rat race” mentality and discover the importance of quality over quantity. This goes with working smarter and not harder.
Google Construction Ads Built for Results
Mindset for Advertising on Google
The short sided mindset of each lead equaling one new project is what will demoralize any marketing or advertising. What about the referrals from those happy customers? What about the leads that bring in multiple contracts and repeat customers? If you provide everything you market, listen to your clients needs, and provide them comfort by professionalism and top notch workmanship then you know the power of referrals. We are not here to tell you how to do your job. You are the professional in your industry, but we work with companies that understand the power of doing what you say, and not just telling you what you want to hear. When this business model is paired with strategic marketing then the snowball effect will leave you without marketing needs. Yes our goal is to work ourselves to provide you the OPTION and not the NEED to market and advertise.
Our biggest success stories on search engines have started with “stirring the air” with paid advertising and generating quick results while building an SEO and organics foundation for the future. Reaching the tipping point to where ad spend is no longer needed, but optional is the goal. What would happen if your SEO leads with the lowest acquisition cost per lead could keep you busy, while always having the experience and knowledge to run paid ads when needed?
Advertising on Search Engines
As mentioned and worth mentioning again is search engines are where your clients are actively looking for your services online. Search engines tie the internet together and their job is to make answering questions and finding solutions to problems as convenient as possible. Here is a list of benefits.
- Attract actively searching ideal clients
- Control your keywords and where your dollars go (ideal audiences)
- Complete oversight of ad spend budget
- Fast results with room to improve
Type of Google Paid Ads
You've seen the ads on the top and bottom of the results page. This comes down to an auction bidding system for buyer intent keywords. When done right this can keep you busy with ready to buy clients with the upside of optimizing your campaigns for lower acuisition costs.
How often do you find what you are looking for on Google's map listings? Chances are you have used it a time or two. Pay to play and have your listing at the top for buyer intent keywords like, "roofing company near me."
Google's recent rollout of their "guarantee" is meant to help verify the legitimacy of services and products. You must provide Google with things like license, insurance, how long in business, legal entity name, and others depending on trade. Once you jump through the hoops and pay the fees they will recommend your company and display your company listing at the top of the page while telling customers your legit. It's worth it, just do it and you will see.
Staying in Front with Facebook Ads
Best Ways to Use Facebook
I don’t know about you, but the majority does not look to buy something on social media. Especially not a new roof, HVAC system, or to fix something. There are certain avenues like groups and classifieds on Facebook that have more buyer intent, but that’s not paid ads.
The idea we use Facebook is to stay relative and in front of your ideal client. Don’t go into Facebook ads trying to sell right from the get go. We find it takes for finesse that shouting, “Let me inspect your roof!”
This is where you build rapport and trust and connect on a personal level. Inform your audience on best practices, maintenance, red flags, events you sponsor, and how you are active in the community. This is networking with your community online, so when they have a problem you can solve they know where to go.
Exceptions To Selling on Facebook
There are times when being direct can still see high conversion rates with buyer intent on Facebook. Here are some examples.
- A hail storm just swept through your area and storm chasers are on the way. This is a perfect time to get ahead. Geofencing ads to affected areas and what this type of storm can do to their roof. Let them know you are there to help.
- It’s the beginning of the summer in the South and everyone is kicking their AC’s on. During the spring is a great time to run some informative and AC maintenance ads on Facebook if you are looking for HVAC customers.
YouTube: The Alternative to TV Commercials
Why Video Works So Well
Video is the quickest and easiest way to connect to your audience on a more personal level. Pictures are great, but lack in the ability to explain something. Articulate writing and text can help explain something, but nobody likes to feel like they are reading a terms of service agreement. Engaging your audience and capturing their interest is the best way to gather an audience that wants to hear what you have to say.
People have responded to TV commercials since they have been around, and we only see the increase for video ads on Facebook and YouTube alike to increase. Google owns YouTube and has already incorporated video’s on high volume search results. With a powerful video and proper titling you can generate viewers by ranking video’s on Google and YouTube searches. So before you think about paying for ads here, first build a channel answering important questions for your clients, along with positive video testimonials, and what sets you apart from the others. If you build it right, they will come.
The Advertising Process: In A Nutshell
Where to Begin....Customization & Creativity
Don’t proceed until you have a clear understanding of your ideal client, what they need, and where you can find them.
How are you different? How can you help your ideal client? Where are they in the buying process? Do you specialize or generalize? Do you offer something that others don’t (can’t).
What are you going to do with these leads? More leads can mean more problems if your process is not in place. All the leads in the world will not help if you can not close, or handle the production load with quality work.
Are you looking for active buyers, people not ready to buy, or people they don’t know they need your help yet? Maybe all three.
If you address their problems before they happen, or mention them before they ask then your conversions will increase. The more specific you are the amount of leads will decrease, but the quality will increase often giving the best returns per dollar.
Prequalifying questions can save you time, and time is money. You don’t want your phone ringing of the hook to land small or few jobs. Filtering like being specific can decrease the amount of leads, but significantly increase quality.
Let them know how you are going to help them with their problem. You can ensure them with experience, or trust that you are they type that does the right thing, and are there for their best interest.
Just because they did not decide they need your help today does not mean they won’t want it tomorrow. Contact your leads quickly, and re-contact accordingly through calls and emails.
Concluding the Paid Ad Marketing Concepts for Contractors
Don't Knock It Until You Try It
We’ve heard people swear off online advertising after one month. How do you expect to say you tried something without giving it the proper time to develop. This is particularly with the DIYers who don’t see the results they are expecting. Give it the time, test your ads, optimize, and progress. Find the best starting point, do your due diligence, and give the a proper try. If you want to save time and money higher someone that specializes in this. You don’t have to start from zero, but can have the resources and lessons from those that have already been in your shoes.