In our previous article we talked about how your contractor clients can create a marketing plan for their businesses. But what about online marketing?
The fact is, more and more people don’t go to the yellow pages or their local business directory, they go to Google. That’s why, as your clients develop a marketing plan, they’ll want to develop their online presence
The good news is that creating a digital marketing plan doesn’t require a degree in computer science. Just a little time and a willingness to learn. Here are six tips to get them started.
1. Google Yourself
One of the first things your clients can do to assess the strength of their online presence is to research themselves. Imagine that they’re a project owner or general contractor who is new in your area and has no preconceived notions about your client, or their competition.
They should ask themselves, how would they go about finding your client’s business if they’d never heard of them? They should start searching on Google, or their favorite search engine and ask themselves the following:
- Does my business appear among the top entries on the page?
- Does my competition appear there?
- If yes, what language appears in the listing?
- Do they appear in the sponsored ads at the top of the page?
- What kind of language do they use in their listings that stand out?
The goal should be to see what is working and where there is room for improvement.
2. Refresh Their Website
A good business website requires regular maintenance and upkeep.
Your clients should take the time to review their website in full, and ask themselves the following:
- Is all the information listed up-to-date?
- Does the design look clean and inviting or does it seem outdated?
- If you are presenting examples of past work, is it up to date, or do you need to include recent projects?
- Is the information easy to find? Ideally, every page on your website should be accessible with three clicks or less.
- Is there a contact form? When responses are sent, is there a clear system for responding to them?
- How does it look on a cell phone or tablet? More people reach for their phone when they do research. If your website is hard to access on these devices, you run the risk of losing business.
Ideally their website should look good, have up to date information and be easy to access. If not, it may be time to refresh or get a new one.
3. Google Ads
Once they’ve assessed their website and online presence, it’s time to take what they’ve learned and put it to use. Consider investing in Google Ads. The cost per month can be small, but it can help your clients to stand out from the crowd.
This is also where determining a niche will help. While it might be hard to stand out from hundreds of plumbers, it’s easier to create ads that focus on a particular niche. That will help them to rise to the top of the search rankings.
4. Social Media
Having an online presence can help improve search rankings, and demonstrates to the world that a business is alive and active. Remember that your clients should tailor their content to specific channels. Services like Facebook or Twitter are public facing; this is where they can include daily observations, fun happenings, etc. LinkedIn is designed to be a professional network, so this is where they want to demonstrate their professional side.
If they choose to hand responsibility for social media to a member of their team, they should make sure that there are guidelines about what should and shouldn’t get posted.
Otherwise they run the risk of inappropriate content being connected with their business.
5. Demonstrate Thought Leadership
Many businesses now maintain a blog that is connected to their website. This serves two specific functions. One, by regularly updating the website with content about the industry they work in, your clients can improve their search engine optimization. Second it improves thought leadership.
Thought leadership means that your clients are demonstrating the ability to explain what they do, talk about issues in the industry and provide value to the public. Thought leadership is now an integral part of any digital marketing strategy.
This can improve their reputation, and make them stand out as someone worth working with.
6. Get Professional Help
If they’re uncertain about how to do this themselves, they should consider working with a digital marketing agency. Often, they can take charge of many aspects of their business, and maintain and troubleshoot issues as they arise. When talking to them ask them how what they do can provide a return on investment over the long term.
Looking for more ways to grow your business? Cinium can help. Our Contractor Credit Program is designed to fully assess a contractor’s potential, both on the job site and in the back office.
Our team of construction experts can determine a bonding line that works for your client’s business, our Project Accounting Service can help them to better organize and manage their back office, and our Requisition Cash Advance service can help them to better manage their cash flow issues so that they have the funds they need to get the job done.
This improves the strength of their business, and gives them the time they need to build and execute their marketing plan.
Looking to take advantage of Cinium’s Contractor Credit Program? Schedule a free consultation today, or call (855) 4-CINIUM.