Best Advertising For Contractors Isn’t Advertising at All…It’s This
Wow…a blank screen. I know what it is like to stare at a blank screen waiting for the words to come. That’s the plight of blogging or trying to blog, even though blogging is some of the best advertising for contractors.
Blogging, if you know me for a minute, is THE best methods (over the long-term) to generate leads online. Hands down. Nothing else compares.
Sure Facebook is great for ads and Instagram is awesome for image-based marketing, but those platforms belong to someone else. And if you are trying to get at the best advertising for contractors, start on your own website.
Your blog may be great, your blog may suck, but it is yours. No one can ever come along and take it from you and it is your own digital garden to tend.
Blogging on a consistent basis does wonders for traffic to your site. You should know that by now, but let’s look at the stats:
- If your website has 51-100 pages, then you get 48% more traffic than sites with 1-50 pages.
- If your website has 51-100 pages, your business gets 2.5 times more leads than a site with fewer pages.
- Remember, each blog post is another page on your site. That means blogging 4 times a month will get you pretty close to 100 pages in just under a year.
But you have no idea where to start
Here are my favorite ways to develop blog topic ideas that would help with that process:
Here goes…Take a picture, tell a story
That’s it. Simple. Mic drop. Post done. One of the easiest ways of advertising for contractors. Here are the details.
Tomorrow on the job site, take a picture of whatever it is you are doing. Don’t make it a completed picture where you are showing off your work (that’s a different post). The reason to take a picture part-way through the job is to use that image as the basis for your post. Take the picture, then spend the next 350-600 words explaining the following:
- Who: Who is this type of job good for.
- What: What is it that you are doing.
- Where: Where in the building (or outside) you are doing it.
- When: Is this project seasonal? Is there a time element? Is there a better or worse time of year, day or season to do it?
- Why: Why are you doing this? Obviously, because someone hired you to do it, but what happened to cause this project to be started in the first place?
- How: How do you do this project. Explain in detail. That’s how you build expert status with your readers.
Now, you don’t have to use this framework, if you are good at writing or you have your own writing style, do your thing. This is for those of you who have trouble formulating a blog post, and it is the best online advertising for contractors you can do. So get to taking those pictures! If you want to blog. I’m not going to give you more, because frankly, you just need a place to start, and this is a great place to get going.
Blogging as THE source for advertising for contractors
Blogging really can be an evergreen solution to lead generation if you do it right! Let’s say you’ve just started blogging this year. That’s great! Do you have a blog content strategy?
In order for your blog to effectively achieve the goals that led you to create it, you need a blog content strategy that will drive the decisions regarding what topics to cover, what style articles are written in, and how and when content is published and shared.
Developing a blog content strategy is one of best online advertising strategies for contractors
Why did you start your blog? Were you hoping to increase sales, introduce online shopping, or provide quick access to customer service? Maybe you hope to increase customer loyalty or get feedback on what new products and services your customers are looking for. Whatever your objectives, you need to determine what you hope to achieve in order to set the direction for your writing.
While your blog should not be one long sales pitch for your company, your objectives need to be at the foundation of all of your content. For example, if increasing sales is the goal, your blog could include informative articles on the many uses of your products, introducing new products, and announcing sales. The key is to always give the customer something that they want in each article.
Create a Schedule
A successful blog content strategy will include a well thought out schedule that takes advantage of holidays, seasons, and customer habits and needs. With a little bit of planning, your blog content can make the most of things like holiday shopping, seasonal tips, and well-timed sales.
Scheduling blog articles help you to stay consistent in your posts and plan return reader strategies like article series and popular topic revisits. This can also make it easier to pre-write content so that it is ready and available on the day it is scheduled to post, rather than always writing at the last minute.
Each blog article should include one relevant image to break up the text of your blog. If you planned your blogging schedule, you should plan images as well. There are free sites offering images for use, I like Pexels.
Where possible, use images of your own business, products, and employees. These pictures will give your blog a more authentic feel than stock photos of obvious models and locations that customers recognize is not your store. Maintain quality standards in these pictures to keep the professionalism of the blog intact.
Consider Your Audience
The most well-planned blog content strategy will still fail if you have not considered the desires and interests of your target audience. In coordination with your blog objectives, you must write content that is what your target audience wants to read, and it must be written at their level.
This means that the content of your blog should be written in a voice that is similar to what you would use when answering customer questions in person or on the telephone. Do not use jargon or more complicated language in your blog than you would if the customer was standing before you.
Chose topics that will fit into your blog objectives but are also something that your customer will be eager to read about. For example, if you sell lawn maintenance supplies, a blog series on fall maintenance can give your customers tips on how to get their lawn winter-ready and feature products that can help them. This achieves your goal of increasing sales while giving customers information that is helpful to them at the same time.
Utilize Blog Statistics and Feedback
Based on the comments, you will be able to determine what blog content your customers value most. This can be taken into account as you update and adjust your blog content strategy going forward.
If a blog series on Christmas sales and products received more hits and shares than anything else all year, you know to expand upon it for the next year. If a summer series on what to do while the kids are out of school didn’t get much attention, you can plan something else for next time. Take advantage of customer comments to get ideas for blog topics. If one person feels strongly enough about something to comment on, you can be sure that other readers had the same thought but weren’t bold enough to say so.
Planning your blog content strategy can seem daunting at first, but is a useful tool that will allow you to make the most of your blog. Optimize the content that you put in front of your customers by evaluating what they want and how it fits into your blog objectives.
But Wait, What About SEO?
Sure, there’s a component of SEO in blogging, I’m talking about the off-page SEO versus traditional content marketing.
I’ll take blogging over SEO a hundred times out of a hundred times for this reason and this reason alone:
This is one man’s opinion, but it’s an opinion that is rooted in twenty years of marketing with contractors; SEO is a terrible strategy for advertising for contractors. Let’s say you get a hundred search results showing up on your doorstep every day from SEO. Organic SEO brings a visitor who has no context or relationship with you.
On the other hand, if they’ve read your blog topics, they get a good feeling for who you are, what you’re about, and how you help them! That’s a fantastic advertising strategy for contractors like you.
The more time somebody spends on your website looking at your content, the closer the relationship is that you develop, which makes the sales process a lot easier.
As long as you can do that, the better the chance is that they’re going to call you because, as you all know, people buy from people they know, like, and trust. SEO can’t do that.
The reason why is, it is only half the battle. SEO has only achieved one thing: it’s only gotten them to your doorstep. What SEO didn’t do was convert, and that’s why it is a failed advertising strategy for contractors to take on.
Even advertising is better than SEO and here’s why; If somebody calls you, comes into your location or sends you an email from an ad they saw, that was an offer that means you now have an opportunity to sell them. SEO has gotten them to your door, but now you better hope your site and the page they landed on does the selling on your behalf.
A blog post lets you create a conversation that you would normally have with someone in person. SEO doesn’t give you the ability to do that. So that’s why I’ll take blog posts and content marketing over SEO every day and I hope you do too.
Why Blogging is THE BEST Advertising Strategy for Contractors
Blogging is better than advertising. For those of you who think I am making a bold claim, allow me to make my case. While advertising continues to skyrocket in cost, blogging can be done for very little or even completely for free. Advertising has become little more than white noise where consumers are accustomed to seeing sales pitches they tune out.
Blogs, on the other hand, include information that the consumer is actually looking for. A significant percentage of people read blogs every day. Even if they do not have specific blogs that they follow, they are on social media and are clicking on those links shared by their friends. If you think of each article link shared as a word of mouth referral, you will be anxious to provide your customers with blog entries that they will be eager to share.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Statistics compiled by HubSpot speak for themselves. Using data collected in 2013, they have discovered some facts that many of us long suspected to be true.
Companies with 51 or more blog entries receive 48% more traffic.
Companies that blog 15 times each month receive 5 times more traffic than those with no blog.
Blogging just 1-2 times each month generates 70% more sales leads than websites with no blog.
Sales leads double by blogging 6-8 times a month instead of 3-5 times per month.
If you weren’t convinced that blogging was a good idea, be convinced by the numbers that prove it.
Maybe blogging 15 times each month – or even a couple of times a month – seems daunting. A multitude of services can provide quality content for much less than you are currently spending on billboard rental. Our Journeyman plan can do the blogging for you, so check it out.
Advertising campaigns are able to catch the eye of potential customers and convince them to visit your business or website. More often these billboards, commercials and costly printed materials are found annoying and are quickly discarded.
The same is not true for blog articles. Blogging allows you to create a connection with your clients by providing them with information, not a sales pitch. Your blog can be used to address commonly asked questions, product information, and helpful tips. Readers will learn to trust information from you and look to you for answers.
Creating an online community through comments and social media sharing will do more than generate leads. It will build loyalty among your customer base, which will lead them to do your advertising for you. You will earn more customers through word of mouth and article sharing than you ever could with advertising dollars.
Your blog will do more than attract new customers and enable you to share your expertise. When you read through the comments you get, you’ll find valuable feedback you can use to improve your business.
If an article generates comments from readers, then this is priceless information to have. You may also receive complaints. This is a good opportunity to display your customer service skills and reply with a solution to the customer’s problem. It also gives you information to act upon to avoid the same issue in the future.
Customers are likely to be bolder online, such as a comment section instead of asking them upfront. Use your reader feedback to develop future blog articles, hone customer service procedures, and adjust product offerings.
Consumers are not necessarily impressed by advertising campaigns. They have learned not to trust them or buy into claims that companies make in them. To establish yourself as an expert in your industry, your content has to be quality.
People trust the information in blogs and are even willing to purchase products based upon your word. In a 2013 study by Social Media Today found 81% of those surveyed trust advice from blogs. I challenge you to hold an advertising campaign with those kinds of numbers.
When your blog is giving your readers advice and information that they want, they won’t feel sold. They will view you as an expert they can trust, which will naturally lead to their purchases.
Putting the proper perspective on ROI when blogging as a form of advertising for contractors
Every penny spent today needs to provide a return on invested dollars. Blogging for contractors is no exception. The time horizon needs to be calibrated properly so that you don’t bail on the project too soon.