You might be the best painter in town, but have you thought of how you will market your business? Without the right marketing strategy, you will probably not be attracting the amount of customers and level of business that you deserve.
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, having a strong online presence is pretty much mandatory. You simply cannot afford to neglect your online marketing strategy. In fact, this would be doing your business and professional skills a massive disservice. And an online marketing campaign doesn’t just mean setting up a company Facebook and Instagram account. You will need long term promotional strategies, and you will need to collect data on each of these strategies and crunch the numbers to determine how effective they are. This will give you the greatest return on investment (ROI), or bang for your buck. Marketing doesn’t need to be expensive or time consuming, but it needs to be effective.
Online marketing can mean many different things and use all kinds of techniques. In this article we will detail some online marketing techniques tailored specifically for painting businesses. They will ensure that your company has the greatest chance of reaching and retaining customers.
Yellow pages, Yelp, Hot frog and Foursquare. A couple of years ago, directories like these were the go-to if you wanted to find a contractor for a job. Not long before that, physical directories like the Yellow Pages book and community noticeboards were where you went. Now everything has changed – and fast. Its all about Google rankings and listings, and your social media presence on popular sites like Twitter and Facebook.
SO what is SEO? SEO is all about optimising the keywords, content and key phrases on your website to increase how much traffic Google searches send your way. SEO is such an important part of any marketing strategy because with a little practice, any painter can use it effectively. You don’t need to know everything, so start yourself off by checking out
these basic SEO tips to get you started. Eventually, you can even budget for a good SEO provider to handle that part of your marketing strategy for you
2. Customize your landing pages
With all the advances in website development these days, there is simply no excuse to have a barebones website.
You should create separate landing pages for evey service that you provide. For instance, have a landing page for both ‘domestic painters Sydney’ and also ‘corporate painting CBD Sydney’. This will ensure that your website is listed highly on Google when prospective clients search for either service. Providing landing pages containing customer testimonials, portfolios of your latest and best work, information on rates and more will help boost your site’s ranking. It will also make the website seem more modern, professional and trustworthy to customers.
Here are some more reasons why you should engage in these strategies:
- You cannot detail all of your services on your homepage. To maximise the chances of new customers finding your business’s website, create a new page for each service provided. That way, whichever service they search for, they will still be directed to your company.
- You can create an advertisement that will effectively direct customer traffic towards your website. You just need to make sure that your customers are then directed towards a landing page that talks about that offer. For instance, if you offer the first two hours of a service for free, make sure that your landing pages are very specific on that fact. Otherwise your customers may feel frustrated or deceived and may leave your website without booking in a service.
- A custom landing page will allow you to deliver different offers to different customers. So, returning customers may be promised 10% off their next service, or a $25 voucher if successfully refer a friend. New customers might be offered 20% off their first service, whilst VIP customers may be offered a different complementary service. This I called personalized marketing.
3. Make sure that your address, contact details, business hours and business name are easy to find on your website
Because these details seem so obvious, many painters neglect to check if they are actually easy to find on their website. If a customer cannot access this vital information within seconds, they may become frustrated or bored, and turn to a competitor’s website instead.
4. Highlight the unique advantages of your business
Does your business work outside of regular hours? Do your workers or subcontractors have unique skills or equipment? To stand out from the crowd as a painter you must highlight any unique qualities that your business can provide to the customer. Having compulsory insurances or additional insurance protection for customers can be a selling point over other ‘dodgy’ businesses. Make sure to compare online to look for the right cover.
5. Call-only ads
This type of advertisement can be quite cheap and very effective. Sometimes it isn’t necessary for customers to visit your website and navigate your pages or fill out forms and wait for emailed replies. They may want to simply call you and get a quote or find out about your services within minutes. This is where call-only ads come in handy. When these customers click on your advertisement on their mobile, their phone will automatically call you. If your customers prefer to talk to you over the phone, then this kind of advertising will definitely benefit your business.
6. Use AdWord’s geo-targeting feature
AdWords is a Google advertising feature displaying company information, contact information, links to websites, apps and more. You can use it to make sure that your Google add only targets people in the area that you service. You can set your Google adds to a particular radius around your business’s address. More details can be found here.
You can also make use of Ad Scheduling. This means only paying to have your adds shown at a particular time of day. For instance, you may only want your advertisements shown in business hours, or between 7 am and 7 pm. If you provide emergency painting services, you could pay to have your advertisement shown after business hours. This would be cheaper and yield you greater ROI (return on investment).
7. Use targeted ads on Facebook
Once you’ve done your market research and determined which group of people are your most profitable customers, or which group of people you would like to convert into your most profitable customers, you can reach them via Facebook ads.
As a painting contractor you can target your customers by different demographic factors. These can include location, home type, income, age, relationship status and more.
Just be careful not to make your target too wide. At first, it may seem like a good idea to target as many customers as you can. But if many of these people would never be potential customers, this is just a waste of money, and will not yield good ROI.
8. Focus your content locally
Small businesses are often really pressed for time, and creating new, original content for your website and social media can seem like a massive headache. But don’t worry. Its easy to create content about what you know, and this content will actually be most beneficial to your business. Create content that is locally focused and relevant to your customers. Consider writing about local events that you have sponsored or participated, doing behind the scenes features, providing DIY tips, and more.
This type of content will make you more visible in local search results and will make your business more well-known in the local community.
9. Chase those customer reviews!
Its really simple to review businesses these days – on Facebook, Google and other platforms. If your service leaves a smile on your customer’s faces, they are likely to leave you a positive review. These reviews make your business seem more trustworthy and will help you attract more customers. To make sure that your customers remember to leave a review, send them a reminder if you email your invoices. You can also incentivise them with a discount off their next service if they leave you a review.
And you don’t need to worry about negative reviews. These are actually a great opportunity to show that your business has great customer service. Be sure to answer each one politely, addressing the customer’s concerns and offering compensation if needed.
10. Claim your Google My Business
Oftentimes, when people look up your business, this is one of the first results that they will click on. A Google My Business page should have all of your business’s details. So claim your Google My Business page and make sure that all its information is up-to-date. You need to include your business’s name, contact details and address, customer reviews, and some professional photos of your work.
11. Don’t neglect those business directories
Even though Google listings are so important, so are Yelp, Yellow Pages and local directory listings. List your business under the correct category, for instance ‘painters’ or ‘home painters’. This will also boost your SEO, and will provide more channels for customers to find you
12. Write your articles in the third person
Writing your ads in the third person will make them seem more authentic and convincing. You don’t have to lie – simply quote from your reviews! Use content like “they provided me with amazing service” and “I would highly recommend them for their beautiful work”.
13. Localize your mobile ads
People who want a service immediately will often be searching on their mobile phone. They might not put too much effort into their search, so to appeal to them you need to show how handy and practical your business is. You can include your postcode in your ad headline, mention how close you are from the CBD or a local centre, and provide a 24 hour phone number.
14. Have individual pages for different locations
Create different landing pages for every area that you service. That way people conducting localized searches are more likely to land on your business’s website. This will improve your search value. Making individual tabs for all the suburbs you cater for is definitely worth the effort.
15. Sponsor community events
Sponsoring local events like school BBQs, fun runs, charity drives and more can benefit your painting business in so many ways. It will establish lots of good will towards your business, and make you seem very trustworthy. It will also get your name out there in the community. Plus, you will have fun! Don’t think of this as an added expense, think of sponsoring community events as a worthy investment.