A few years back, I worked as a subcontractor for a marketing firm in California that served a number of home services companies including tiling and flooring, HVAC, pool installation, landscapers, and roofing contractors.
While their initial request was to attain PR for the goal of converting customers, we found that PR was not very effective and had a very poor return on investment for what they spent to get it, so we looked to other options for building their online presence including social media, blogging, and SEO.
After about 3 months on a course-corrected path, we learned that the most impactful processes for two of the clients we were working with began to materialize and SEO was topping the list. Aside from asking a friend or checking Home Advisor, businesses in this category are the most likely benefactors of individuals who search for solutions amidst an idea storm or a really big problem.
They might be looking at HGTV and decide they want to get a few quotes, or they may have a leak or major issue that needs immediate resolution and can't wait for their neighbor to pass a business card. These are customers that are on their investigation journey and ready to talk with a service professional.
Capturing these leads on a buying path means having a solid process that's designed specifically for them. The top factors include:
Other factors that are essential to your process include:
What should I budget for digital marketing?
Your marketing should be a portion of the long-term value of each customer. For example, if one customer usually ends up working with you 2x and each service averages $2,500, your customer lifetime value is $5,000 each. Your marketing should be a portion of that value that leaves you with a comfortable profit after expenses.
So for example, you spend $2,000 per month on marketing and generally land 5 customers per month from your conversions. Those 5 converted customers represent $25,000 of revenue for the company, which means your marketing budget was about 8% of revenue.
The goal of your marketing should be to acquire customers at an expense ratio that still leaves you with a strong margin for profitability. While it may take some experimentation at first to get the right marketing mix for you, the power of turning your online brand into a repeatable process is well worth the strategic work it takes to develop.