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Home service businesses rely on local customers to succeed. Whether you own a plumbing company, a landscaping business, or a home repair service, local marketing is the key to driving leads and sales. What strategies work best? How do you ensure success? In this article, we’ll discuss five proven local marketing strategies for home service businesses. From understanding your target audience to utilizing email campaigns and local search engine optimization, these strategies will help you get found and stay ahead of the competition. With the right local marketing plan in place, you’ll be well on your way to building a successful home service business.
A Simple Local Marketing Checklist (TLDR Version)
Understand your target audience/ideal customer
Create or optimize your website
Create a Google Business Profile Listing
Submit website to other local directories
Leverage the power of social media platforms
Establish an advertising budget
If eligible, apply for the Google Local Service Advertising Program
Nurture leads and reengage customers by using Email & SMS marketing
Respond to all reviews in a timely manner
Review data analytics to drive decision making and where to focus your efforts
Put it all together to create a Lead Generation & Nurturing System!
No matter what type of home service business you own, understanding your target audience is essential to a successful local marketing strategy. The best way to do this is to create personas based on customer data! Yes, you can also conduct market research and dig deep inside any business analytics but if you have existing customer data, that should be your primary resource for understanding your target audience. This will allow you to create a more personal and focused marketing message, while also helping you to avoid making assumptions about your customers. Making well-informed decisions (backed by data) about which marketing channels to focus on, will improve your Return On Investment...and we are talking about more than just money investment, let's include time in that as well. For example, if your data shows that the majority of your customers are middle-aged and interact with your business primarily on Facebook, you’ll want to make sure you’re active on that platform reaching them in a way they want to be reached. If you find out that newer customers are coming from an organic Google search, you may want to keep your Google Business Profile optimized.
One of the best ways to get found by customers in your local area is to optimize your website for local search. When done correctly, this will help you to appear higher in search engine rankings, which will bring more visitors to your site and drive more leads. The first step to optimizing your website is to conduct a thorough audit to identify any areas where you may be falling short. This is where your personas will come in handy, as well as an understanding of Google’s ranking factors for local businesses. You’ll then want to create a content strategy and local SEO checklist to stay on track. To optimize your local website for home services, you’ll want to focus on creating unique, high-quality content with keyword-rich headings and descriptions. You should also make your website mobile-friendly, include your business hours and a clear address, use links to local social media accounts, and include positive reviews from your customers.
Beyond just local SEO, you’ll also want to make sure that your website has been properly designed and optimized to drive leads and sales. The best way to do this is to create a website that is easy to navigate, uses a clean design and color scheme, and clearly outlines the benefits of working with your business. You’ll want to start by creating a content outline that flows easily and is appealing to your target audience. You should clearly outline who you are and what your business does. You should also include information about your company culture, what makes you different from your competitors, and any special offers or services you provide. This will help to build trust and position you as the go-to company in your industry. Once you’ve created your content, you’ll then want to optimize your website for both desktop and mobile viewing. This includes making sure your pages are properly optimized for Google, including your business address and hours, and using strong calls to action. You should also make sure to include your website URL and contact information in your marketing materials and listings, along with social media links.
One of the easiest (and free) ways to enhance your online and organic visibility is to claim your Google Business Profile. Formally known as "Google My Business", this free listing from Google allows you to manage essential information that will benefit potential customers from a Google search of your services. Out of all the marketing tactics, this is the path of least resistance for a local marketing strategy.
You are able to respond to reviews, receive messages, create posts, display a list of products/services, and more from this powerful tool!
One cool feature that I LOVE about a Google Business Profile would be the identity attributes. As a business owner, showcasing your identity is more important than ever. Whether it's highlighting that you're a Veteran-Owned, Black-Owned, Asian-Owned, LGBTQ+ owned, Latino-Owned, or Women-owned business, you have the power to connect with customers who prioritize supporting marginalized communities. Show off your identity on the "Search", "Maps", and "Shopping" tab and make a meaningful impact on local economic growth.
One thing you may not have thought about when it comes to local marketing is creating business listings. While this may sound basic, it’s an important strategy that may be worth your time and energy. There are several local business directories, such as Yelp, that have millions of visitors every month. If you’re not listed on these sites, you’re missing out on valuable leads. You’ll also want to make sure to create a listing on your local chamber of commerce website, which many customers will also use to search for businesses in the area. To create these listings, you’ll want to visit each website and follow the instructions for creating a listing. Make sure to include your business name, address, phone number, and website URL, along with your hours of operation and your specialties.
A few to consider include:
Angi (Angie's List)
While social media and local SEO will help you to get more visibility in the search engine results, social media platforms will also help you to get more visibility among your current customers. Studies show that local social media marketing on Facebook and other platforms is a proven strategy for growing your business. The first thing you’ll want to do is create a marketing strategy for each social media platform you plan to use. You’ll also want to make sure to use relevant hashtags, post at the right times, and use the platform to provide helpful tips and advice. For each platform you use, you’ll want to make sure to create a business page that includes your company description and logo, along with photos and videos of your services and team. You’ll also want to make sure to respond to comments and reviews.
One of the most effective ways to maintain customer engagement and visibility during a slow season is through social media. By leveraging social media platforms, businesses can remain top of mind for current and past customers, even when business is slow. This is a great opportunity to not only retain customer engagement but also to attract new customers through promotions and relevant content.
One strategy to utilize is to create and share engaging content on social media platforms that highlight your business's unique selling points, services, and promotions. This can include showcasing customer testimonials, behind-the-scenes footage, and special deals that are only available through social media. Additionally, you can use social media to keep in touch with your customers through regular updates, contests, and special offers that will make them feel valued and appreciated. By doing so, you can increase brand awareness and customer loyalty, which will ultimately lead to more business when the slow season is over.
The ultimate goal of leveraging social media is to maintain customer engagement and visibility to make sure that current and past customers think of your business first when they are in need of services (instead of calling your competitor). By using social media effectively, you can increase your chances of retaining and gaining new customers, thus overcoming the effects of any slow season.
As a reminder, it's important to keep in mind that social media doesn't have to be a source of stress...
Instead of feeling pressured to post on your Facebook page every day, start by setting a more manageable goal for yourself. Consistency is key, so focus on making it a habit to post regularly. Once you've established a routine, you can gradually increase the frequency of your posts.
You don't have to post just for the sake of posting. Instead, focus on creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with your audience. This can take more time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end.
In summary, when it comes to social media, it's essential to take small steps and focus on consistency and quality over quantity. Don't stress yourself out by trying to post too much too soon; start with a manageable goal and gradually build upon it.
Beyond creating local business listings, you may want to consider other local advertising strategies like buying ads on Google and other platforms. This is a great way to get in front of customers who are actively searching for your business type. There are many types of advertising you can use, including Google Ads and social media advertising. How you create these ads is up to you, but the best way to do this is by creating ads that are high in quality and specific to your chosen keywords. You should also make sure to follow the guidelines and best practices for each platform you advertise on. This will help to ensure that your ads are approved and are effective in bringing customers to your business. One thing to keep in mind is that while local ads may be affordable, your budget may run out quickly. You’ll want to consider how much you’re willing to spend and how often you’d like to run ads in order to get the best results.
There are several methods of advertising using the Google ecosystem, including:
Google Search Ads: These are text-based ads that appear at the top of Google search results when a user searches for a specific keyword or phrase.
Google Display Ads: These are image-based ads that appear on websites across the Google Display Network (GDN) when a user visits a website that is part of the GDN.
Google Shopping Ads: These are product-based ads that appear at the top of Google search results when a user searches for a specific product or category.
Google Video Ads: These are video-based ads that appear on YouTube and other video-sharing platforms that are part of the Google Video Partner Network.
Google Local Service Ads: These are ads that appear at the top of Google search results when a user searches for a specific service or category in a specific location.
Google Maps Ads: These are ads that appear on Google Maps when a user searches for a specific location or category.
Google Smart Campaigns: These are a type of Google Ads campaign that automate the ad creation and targeting, making it easy for small businesses to get started with Google Ads.
Google Remarketing: This is a way to show ads to people who have already interacted with your business, increasing the chances of conversion.
Of course, using Smart Campaigns and Remarketing may use a combination of methods (such as Search and Display) but we feel like it should be noted that you have plenty of options in Google.
Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) are a paid advertising program that connects local service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, and HVAC professionals, with potential customers in their area. These ads appear at the top of Google search results when users search for a particular service in their location.
Businesses that participate in the Google Local Service Ads program are required to undergo a background check and verification process, which helps to ensure that they are reputable and trustworthy.
Advertising on Google can be beneficial for businesses because it allows them to reach a large and targeted audience. When a user searches for a particular keyword or phrase on Google, the search engine displays a list of relevant results. If a business has placed an ad that is relevant to the user's search query, the ad may appear at the top of the search results page, which can increase the chances that the user will click on the ad and be directed to the business's website.
YouTube is a great alternative to traditional TV advertising, especially since the rise of smart TVs and streaming services.
It is possible for local service businesses to benefit from advertising on YouTube, but it depends on the specific business and its target audience. YouTube is a large video-sharing platform with millions of users, and it can be a useful tool for businesses to reach a wider audience and promote their products or services.
If a local service business has a strong visual element to its services, such as a landscaping or home renovation company, then YouTube can be a great platform to showcase your work and attract potential customers. Video ads on YouTube can be targeted to specific locations, so a local service business could target their ads to users in their area.
NOTE: Some people don't know that Google owns the YouTube platform. It has a slightly different type of audience and delivery method but it is still one part of advertising on Google (it's Google Video -- compared to Google Search and Display).
There are several reasons why a local service company should use Facebook (Meta) advertising to gain leads and customers:
Targeted audience: Facebook advertising allows businesses to target specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations, which is particularly useful for a local service company looking to reach customers in a specific area.
Cost-effective: Facebook advertising can be a cost-effective way to reach a large audience, compared to traditional advertising methods.
Measurable results: Facebook advertising provides detailed analytics and tracking, which allows businesses to measure the performance of their ads and make data-driven decisions.
Brand awareness: Facebook advertising can help increase brand awareness and visibility among potential customers in the local area.
Lead generation: Facebook advertising can be used to generate leads by directing potential customers to a landing page or lead magnet.
Retargeting: Facebook allows retargeting, this way you can show ads to people who have already interacted with your business, increasing the chances of conversion
High engagement: Facebook has a high level of user engagement, which means that ads are more likely to be seen and shared, resulting in more leads and customers.
Integration with Instagram: Facebook owns Instagram, which means that you can use Facebook's advertising tools to reach Instagram's user base as well, increasing your reach and target audience.
One way we love to help out is to create a lead generation and nurturing system for your company by leveraging Meta technologies so that you can turn a lead into a customer! Overall, using the advertising aspects of social media is one of the quickest and easiest ways to fill your sales pipeline.
NOTE: If you are unaware of what "Meta" means, it is just the new brand name of the parent company that owns all of the products/technologies that were previously called the "Facebook Family of Apps". The announcement was made back in October 2021 of the new brand name.
Email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your customers and turn them into leads. It’s also an affordable and scalable option for local marketing. As a home service business owner, you should be sending an email to your customers after every job, offering advice or helpful tips. This can be as simple as providing advice on how to keep your newly cleaned gutters in good condition or how to properly care for your newly stained deck. You can also send automated emails to customers who haven’t used your services yet. You can do this with a drip marketing campaign. These types of emails can be sent on a recurring basis to remind customers of your services and make them aware of special offers.
SMS Marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for local businesses. With the right strategy and implementation, it can be a great way to reach out to customers and build relationships. It also allows businesses to send out promotional messages, coupons, and other discounts to incentivize customers to return. Plus, SMS messages have a very high open rate — higher than any other type of communication. This means that businesses can be sure that their message is being seen and acted upon. Additionally, SMS Marketing is relatively affordable, making it a great option for businesses with a limited budget. If you're looking for a way to reach out to local customers and build relationships, SMS Marketing is the perfect solution.
However, be mindful that before you start an SMS campaign, you have verified that the person you are contacting opted-in to receive text messages. Carriers have implemented very strict laws to protect the consumer (rightfully so) and violating the laws/regulations could be very costly if this is not done correctly.
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) is a leading source of information for best practices in SMS marketing. This organization is dedicated to promoting the wireless communications industry and provides a wealth of resources for businesses looking to improve their SMS marketing efforts. The CTIA's guidelines and recommendations are based on the latest industry trends and research, making them a reliable and valuable resource for businesses of all sizes. They provide guidelines on how to properly handle opt-ins, opt-outs, and unsubscribes to ensure that businesses are in compliance with the law.
While it’s important to track your local marketing campaigns and see which ones are bringing results, it’s equally as important to track your leads and sales in order to determine how successful your campaigns are. The best way to do this is by using a sales CRM tool, like Hubspot CRM or the Imani Suite, which will help you to keep track of your leads and sales throughout the sales cycle and provide data that will help you to improve your future sales and marketing efforts.
Our advanced data analytics dashboard is designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of your online presence and provide you with valuable insights. With our dashboard, you'll have a clear picture of your social media pages, Google Analytics, Google Business Profile, and advertising metrics all in one convenient platform. This will empower you to make informed decisions, optimize your online presence, and ultimately take your business to the next level.
Do you want to unlock the full potential of your local marketing strategy? Want to take control of your online reputation, generate more leads and attract new customers? Let's work together to make it happen! Schedule an appointment with us today and let's explore the ways we can help you grow your business.
Imani Advantage is a Marketing Operations consultancy that empowers small biz growth through lead gen, nurturing, automation & Strategic consulting. Our customer-first approach simplifies marketing complexities.