Your Construction Advertising Agency Guide
There was a time when a construction advertising agency simply had to put an ad in the local Yellow Pages to get all the business you could handle. Maybe a radio spot or TV here and there, but for the most part, print paid the bills.
Then advertising as we know it fell the hell out of bed. All of a sudden terms like CPC and internet advertising took the spotlight and with it the lion’s share of many contractor’s advertising dollars.
Maybe you adopted early, got your ass kicked and retreated back into the loving arms of Ma Bell’s phone books.
This is when a lot of the smart contractors adopted a relationship with a construction advertising agency early.
That’s when your agency told you that you need to be online
And that’s why you should invest any advertising dollars you allocate to your construction advertising agency, and here is why; it is so friggin’ easy to track, evaluate and change.
So, follow these quick tips to establish a new advertising beachhead on the net, and this time don’t panic, help is here!
Your construction advertising agency should help you in the following areas:
Attempt to grow past local markets
Competition has moved ahead of you online
Brand awareness is slipping to your competition
Profits have fallen out of bed
Customers are being very vocal online regarding your products or brand
What else should your construction advertising agency do?
Well, they should start by taking a look at your company as a whole. An honest assessment of your core values. Your place in the marketplace, image, and brand positioning will need to be evaluated.
Then you have to take stock and decide who your target customer is. Do you even know? When is the last time you asked your customers about your product or service? If it’s been a while, the results might surprise you, so get to checking!
How a construction advertising agency can help your business online
The next thing you might want to set up with your contractor advertising agency is your budget. Here I really can’t help you because so many things get calculated into that total; overall ad budget, target audience, marketing goal, etc.
What you should do is tailor your advertising to your audience. In other words, go where the people are.
It’s actually easier to do online than you think! But whatever you do, always know that a good construction advertising agency solves the problem of the user, now it just does it in real-time and lightning-fast.
Like I said, determining your online presence is going to come down to your budget. If you have a limited budget (and most contractors do) then doing the marketing yourself instead of hiring a construction advertising agency is probably best for a few reasons.
1. You are going to learn valuable lessons, some are going to be free, and some are going to cost you money or time. Either way, your lessons are your own and they will be important to your overall success in advertising online.
2. Your dollars are going to go further if you don’t have to pay an agency. Use those additional funds to buy yourself and education in marketing online. Then you will never be at the mercy of someone else again!
3. Branding yourself as an expert in your industry has a long-term effect that can’t be bought by advertising. But you have to make it real and doing it yourself helps.
Finally, no matter what any construction advertising agency tells you, even me, no one knows your business better than you do!
But you can get close by using a Facebook-centric ad agency
What if I told you you could target your ideal prospect for a cost per click of less than .50 cents? Is that something you’d be interested in?
You sure as shit would be
Consider this; the term “Philadelphia plumber” costs $14 in AdWords. San Diego electrician costs $8.50. Fort Lee Remodeler costs $15.
Now, let’s say your conversion rate is 1 in ten. It would cost you about $200 a lead using AdWords, that’s fucking expensive!
A construction advertising agency using Facebook advertising for contractors is the only paid media I would/could/can recommend right now.
For that same $200, you could get you in front of about 15,000 people with about 100 clicks to your landing page. That’s a much higher ROI for your business and one your contractor advertising agency should be getting you.
Now, your offer has to be solid, your landing page has to be tight and you have to answer your phone and return your calls. If you don’t, then you deserve to lose your $200.
This really is a no-brainer as you establish your advertising budget with any construction advertising agency. Facebook advertising is going to be what separates you from your competition.
What your construction advertising agency should tell you about Facebook traffic and Google
Facebook has quickly become the medium by which billions of people view the world on a daily basis. Contractor advertising agencies have discovered some pretty amazing ways to leverage reach and drive traffic.
Facebook has such influence that it now passes more traffic to news sites and other online destinations than Google search.
In fact, Facebook is responsible for nearly 45% of traffic to a network of media sites including Mashable, The Onion, Huffington Post, and other business and news websites.
So what does this mean for you?
A lot, really.
Facebook is full of working-class adults who greatly rely on the power of social media when they’re looking for a great place to have lunch or the best carwash in town.
Social media is also where they turn when they are in need of a dentist, doctor, plumber, electrician, or general contractor.
We all fully understand that word of mouth is the best advertising, and Facebook really gets people talking. The bigger your presence on Facebook, the more traffic you can drive to your website when you share images, stories, or advice.
Your construction advertising agency should be driving Facebook traffic to your site using images
People love to look at pictures of beautiful homes. Always make a conscious effort to share photos of your work with the people who like your Facebook page.
Many of your followers will, in turn, share the image, especially if it’s amazing workmanship or something completely unique.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that his long-term goal for the website was to, “build the perfect personalized newspaper for every person in the world.”
No two people see exactly the same thing on Facebook because they have different friends, different interests, and different ads that appear in the sidebars.
The base functionality of Facebook is exactly what Zuckerberg set out to achieve – perfect personalization. Make sure your construction advertising agency provides people who follow you on social media with info on your work, your stories, and by responding to their comments, questions, or concerns in a timely manner.
Yes, this means your agency should have an active presence on Facebook, not just ads.
Having an active presence on social media websites doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have your phone in your hand 24/7 or hire someone to be constantly at the ready.
It simply means that you need to be responsive to people who comment within 24 hours.
People don’t generally post a comment and continually refresh the page waiting to see if you’ve responded immediately.
**Let your construction advertising agency connect all of your social media accounts for optimum performance**
Have you noticed how some people seem to post to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and other social media sites simultaneously? It’s actually very simple to connect your accounts so that you only have to post your message one time to have it seen by many people on different platforms.
It may feel like overkill to post the same thing to so many websites, but each website caters to a unique reader base. Here’s an idea of how a good construction advertising agency should use social media websites to reach different audiences:
Facebook – Used by people of all ages, Facebook reaches many homeowners and commercial property owners. Your blog or photos of projects are the perfect way to invite them to like your page and eventually hire you.
Instagram – A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Your blog is a wonderful tool for people who enjoy reading and letting their imagination run wild with building or remodeling ideas. Photos on the other hand are perfect for people who enjoy seeing before and after images.
Twitter – You may feel that microblogging sites such as Twitter are useless because you can’t really go into a sales pitch. You can, however, share a blog post or image that compels the viewer to click and visit your website.
LinkedIn – This incredible social media platform is designed specifically for professional people. This doesn’t mean that all of your connections will be other contractors. You can connect with anyone in your service area.
We talk to contractors all the time. Many are familiar with social media but don’t have the time for it, which is completely understandable. That’s why they hire a construction advertising agency like us.
We understand that building your business and tending the daily ins and outs of construction have to come first.
Our focus is on providing quality content in the form of blogs or website content and managing your social media campaigns.
We stand by our motto **Construction Marketing Made Simple** with every blog post we write, every website we build, and every social media post we create. But we know not everyone can use an agency, that’s why, we created…
The survival guide for contractors without a construction advertising agency
This is geared toward contractors and home improvement professionals who can’t hire a contractor advertising agency but still need some help.
In the past, construction advertising agencies were limited to the Yellow Pages, direct mail, and radio or tv.
The days have passed when enough business came knocking on your door. Today, you must be your own construction advertising agency first, and a contractor second.
While the internet offers plenty of new marketing opportunities, many of them free, some traditional marketing methods are still worth the effort and can bring in satisfying new sales.
Create a Brand
Though contractors are often dependent upon referrals, they do not always excel at making their company name memorable.
Your recognizable logo must be on your business cards, the side of your business vehicles, on your website, and on every piece of printed material that leaves your office.
Establish your reputation with a solid brand that clients can remember. Branding starts off with a logo, if you’re still driving around with a solid white truck, you are missing an opportunity to generate dozens of leads a month simply by driving around your market.
It’s time to get a logo and tagline!
Create connections with others in the home building, renovating, and remodeling business and encourage them to send clients your way.
Real estate agents, home inspectors, suppliers, and subcontractors are all people that you should be developing relationships with.
That means handing out plenty of business cards. If you are down to your last ratty-looking card, time to reorder.
Make the most of the prospective clients that have shown interest in your work. You and your staff should be trained to handle the standard “cold feet” objections to signing on a sale.
If they are hesitating, dig to discover the real fear behind the excuse that they use. Want a cheap way to learn some new tricks? Stop hanging up on telemarketers.
Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars developing pitches to get people to say yes. Sure, you may not need a new long-distance carrier, but a few selling tips along the way won’t hurt!
Every Door Direct Mail is a tool that the US Post Office offers. If you visit their website, you can select a delivery route to receive your mailing. Since the material goes to every door, they offer a shockingly low rate.
New movers are the best category to mail to as they typically spend 5x’s as much in the first 5 months in their new homes as they do the next 5 years!
Ask customers for permission to place a sign in their yard with your company’s name on it as soon as they sign a contract.
If they are willing to leave it up, do not worry about taking it with you when the work is done. These inexpensive signs can also be placed at public intersections.
Custom designed polo shirts with your company name and logo are surprisingly affordable. Provide them to your employees and subcontractors.
Not only will they look more professional on the job, but your company name will be in front of people all day, every day.
When you deliver a quote, include it in a custom folder emblazoned with your logo.
Include testimonials, insurance information, photos, and professional certifications. This professional presentation will compete well against other contractors’ handwritten, one-page estimate.
Your construction advertising agency should focus on your website and directing traffic toward it. Any email campaign or social media activity must link back to your website.
It is not enough simply to have a home page. To stand above the competition online, your website must be professionally designed, include quality content, and encourage prospective clients to contact you.
Create quality videos of your work. Link to them on your website and social media platforms. Don’t worry about production value, people still want the content you are delivering, they don’t care if you are lit right.
LinkedIn is a professional social network that allows you to connect with others in the home renovation and building business.
It is also a platform for displaying your work to prospective new clients among those in professional organizations. LinkedIn is the secret sauce to getting at working moms. They are on LinkedIn as much as they are on Facebook.
Not just for kids anymore, Facebook has become the favored social network of adults aged 25-45. You can create a business page that clients and other interested parties can “like” for updates on your company.
This is an ideal platform for sharing pictures, linking to new content on your website, and giving followers a chance to share your information with their friends.
Here’s another kicker, the largest growth demographic for Facebook is seniors, really!
Creating a Twitter feed for your business gives you the opportunity to quickly make hundreds of connections.
With short, rapid-fire entries, it helps to “tweet” several times a day with links to your website for more information. Twitter is your PR “station.” Use Twitter for quick convos all day.
This is a social network that is all about pictures, so it is an ideal opportunity to post several of your best work.
Have your company logo and website address digitally added to all of your photos, so that they are connected to you no matter where they are shared or forwarded.
Using customer data and email information that you collect through your website, create email campaigns that will build your business by providing clients with useful information.
Have your construction advertising agency send regular email newsletters that include tips that are helpful to homeowners along with special offers or sale notifications.
Sure, you lost a quick hundred bucks back in 2009 on Adwords, but PPC has grown up since then.
PPC is the FASTEST way to get at new prospects. Sure you can fight the good fight and long slog of organic search, by then, however, the smart contractor is going to be a millionaire.
Our contractor advertising agency has a secret sauce packing a 1-2 punch when it comes to PPC. You should check it out.
Pound for pound, nothing beats blogging. It is a sure-fire way for you to build a network of evergreen content positioning you as the expert and bringing in fresh new leads month after month.
Trouble is, you may not want to write, be a writer, or have time. Then shoot video, it’s fast and tells a story just like text. Add a few comments and you are all set.
If you’ve seen these three little letters and weren’t sure what they are, now is the time to change that. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it relates to your rankings in search engine results.
Few people go further than the first page of Google results when searching, so you need to make sure that is where your name shows up.
By creating high-quality content on your website, linking back to it whenever you post on social media, and encouraging others to share your content, your SEO soars, leading more prospective clients your way.
Social Media Management for Contractors – It’s Time
Ok, so a lot of the things our construction advertising agency does is predicated on what we see working in the marketplace.
Social media is the next step for us to help you succeed…Are you ready to succeed?
Unfortunately, some of the worst attempts at social media today are being performed by the home improvement industry.
Both solopreneurs and big outfits using construction advertising agencies are tripping over their social media selves trying to figure out the next big thing in marketing.
That’s why you need social media management!
Your construction advertising agency should help you by…
1. Making sure people know you are THE expert in your field in your market by positioning your company as the leader. You are going to be able to close faster (and easier) when people believe you are the only source who KNOWS exactly what they need. That’s positioning.
2. By making sure all of your directory profiles are designed to sell and point back to your website because that’s how linking is supposed to work. Sites like Houzz, Merchant Circle, Manta and others are going to help you pull in new business, not the other way around!
3. By personally establishing your online profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Houzz, and other social media sites that make the most amount of sense for your business.
4. Reputation Monitoring-This is a big one. Watch over your good name online by making sure you know the minute someone is casting negative comments about you so you can take action.
5. Competitor Monitoring-Also keep an eye on what your top three competitors are doing and let you know so you can act accordingly. If they put it online, you will know about it.
6. Facebook status updates-promote current projects, articles, news, and information on your Facebook fan page each week. This will help build your status as the market leader and expert.
7. Twitter status updates-Same as Facebook.
8. Community involvement through comment responses and interaction with your community. All the time keeping you in the best possible eye of the public and enhancing your brand.
Why should your contractor advertising agency do all this?
This helps you achieve the status of expert in your field which helps you do two things:
Reduce your advertising spend as people will now seek you out as the expert
Give you the ability to hold your pricing. People who perceive you as the expert expect to pay more
One final tip for you or your construction advertising agency
For as big as the net is, we are going back to the way we did business 100 years ago…locally. The evolution of the Internet has led to a lot of companies selling across states, oceans and countries.
And while many have succeeded, this is not an option for you the contractor who measures areas served not by country codes, but by zip codes.
And that’s why you will better serve your clients or customers, workers, and yourself by not only taking products and services into consideration while developing next year’s marketing plan, but areas serviced as well.
The world is getting smaller every day!
The world of home improvement marketing is all about localized branding and advertising.
Not 10 miles or 5 miles away, I am talking about the local market right outside your shop door. And if you don’t own it by building a reputation as THE go-to contractor for your given craft, then shame on you for giving away your home-field advantage.
Now you have to schlep all over town to service homeowners just because you didn’t want to advertise because you thought “everyone knows me.” Well, now some other outfit is coming in and taking food out of your kid’s mouths, happy?
Think I am exaggerating? Let me paint a picture
Maybe it’s me, but I always notice when a house that’s for sale is listed with ANOTHER real estate agency other than the one that is right there on the same street.
As much as I try, I can’t keep but thinking they must be a pretty shitty agency if they can’t get a listing from someone who drives by their office one hundred times a month.
So what’s that mean to you?
Well, Imagine instead of a “For Sale” sign, it is a yard sign for a competing contractor. Imagine your neighbors driving by one of your trucks or God forbid your shop with a competing yard sign in close proximity. Not such a pretty picture right?
How to change all that
Stop puking bland, generic bullshit marketing messages all over your local service area. If you’ve had a construction advertising agency doing it, fire them.
There’s a better strategy that can lead to increased business.
First and foremost, do a little homework and decide on which areas of your business you are going to stop giving away to your competition.
If you are an air conditioning and heating provider specializing in residential repair work then you should shout that message from the rooftops all year until EVERYONE knows who you are.
Secondly, immerse yourself in the community. If you like a particular sport, offer to sponsor some uniforms for a local team.
Volunteer for any local charities that appeal to you. Let people see by your actions that you are concerned about your local area and that you are willing to provide extra work to keep the place safe, improve conditions, or just lend a helping hand.
My friend and client who runs a pool services company does a great job keeping his local market happy.
He said this has helped his business grow even in a down economy because he has made it a point over the last few years to make sure his clients KNOW he is the BEST local solution for their pool cleaning needs.
So, are you doing that in your area? Have you let a competing contractor come in and steal food off of your plate? If the answer is yes, then do something about it by obsessing over your local market right now, it just may be what saves your business during the next downturn…if you make it out of this one!
That’s it, four thousand words on construction advertising agency tips and strategies to get your marketing going. If you need more help, think…
The Contractor’s Toolbox
We provide construction companies a contractor advertising agency that markets them for $99/month. We have three campaigns, Apprentice, which is social media management, Journeyman which includes social media and blogging, and Master, which gives you social media, blogging, and a fantastic website. Click here to find out more about The Contractor’s Toolbox.