If you own a contracting business, your digital marketing strategy plays a significant role in your success, profitability, and competitiveness. Simply having a website is no longer enough to compete with other contractors in your area. Instead, your digital marketing campaign should include several channels to reach the most potential customers.
We’ve created this guide to help you learn about the major digital marketing channels and discover which channels you should prioritize for your contracting business. Read on to learn more about digital marketing channels, then contact our Relentless Digital team to start enhancing your marketing efforts.
Are you an HVAC contractor? Check out Relentless Digital’s SEO services for HVAC contractors.
What Is a Digital Marketing Channel?
A digital marketing channel is a platform or tool you can use to advertise your business in a digital space.
Over the past few decades, digital marketing has become increasingly important for small businesses. In the past, you may have been able to gain new customers through word of mouth or by advertising in the phone book or newspaper.
However, today, many people spend several hours each day engaging with digital media. They turn to search engines like Google to discover new businesses rather than perusing the phone book. They also willingly spend their time engaging with companies on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Without an effective, multi-channel digital marketing campaign, you risk losing business to the other contractors in your area and developing an old-fashioned reputation. However, the best way to reach your target consumers and stay relevant is to meet them in the digital channels they already use.
Why Use Several Marketing Channels?
Using one or two marketing channels within your digital marketing strategy can be somewhat effective at bringing in new business. However, digital marketing works best when you create a diversified, multi-channel marketing strategy.
Here are a few reasons you need a marketing strategy with multiple digital channels.
Reach a Broader Audience
Some people use social media several hours a day. Others spend time every morning reading their emails. Some prefer to watch videos, while others would rather read articles and blog posts.
Because all of your potential customers have different preferences for engaging with businesses like yours, expanding your digital marketing channels can allow you to reach a broader audience. Instead of only targeting the people who use Facebook or visit your website, you can reach people through several different platforms, broadening your marketing reach.
Using multiple digital marketing platforms can also allow you to improve your connections with new and existing customers. When your target audience sees you engaging with them in several different channels, they may feel a stronger sense of loyalty to your small business.
Understand Audience Preferences
Many digital marketing platforms allow you to track user engagement through analytics. For example, you can see how many people liked, shared, commented on, and viewed your social media posts. You can also see more detailed statistics about user demographics and post performance compared to previous posts.
Utilizing various channels in your digital marketing campaigns can allow you to understand your audience preferences better. For example, if your analytics show that your email marketing campaigns have better engagement than your video content, you can focus your efforts on producing email campaigns.
Simplify Customer Communications
When customers have a question about your services, you should make it as easy as possible for them to reach out to you. Sometimes, asking a question is the only barrier customers have to hiring your business for contractor services.
However, using several marketing channels can simplify customer communications, giving customers the easy methods they need to contact your business. For example, while some people may prefer to call your business directly, others may feel more comfortable messaging you on social media or emailing your team.
Enhance Brand Recognition
If you’ve been a contractor for long, you probably know that many of your customers do not have any particular sense of loyalty to your business. They simply needed someone to perform specific services, and they found that your business fits the bill.
Sometimes, all it takes for a potential customer to hire you is brand recognition. If a user can recognize your brand from their email inbox or social media feed, they may think of your company when they need your services.
Using several marketing channels can allow you to enhance brand recognition amongst your target audience. Every time a potential customer sees your business in a digital space, your brand recognition will increase, placing the customer one step closer to hiring your company.
Guide Users Through the Sales Funnel
Increasing engagement with your target audiences is important, but unless those people actually hire your business, your marketing efforts won’t do much good. However, using several marketing channels can help you guide customers through the sales funnel, converting them from leads to prospects to customers.
For example, you can create a funnel-oriented campaign for users who fill out the contact form on your website. Once you have a person’s email address, you can send an automatic follow-up email with a discount code to schedule a consultation or inspection. You can also show them social media ads that encourage them to hire your company.
8 Essential Digital Marketing Channels for Contractors
As a contractor, you can use several types of online marketing channels to enhance profitability and grow your business. However, some digital marketing strategies may be more lucrative than others for your specific business type. Here are the eight essential digital marketing channels for contractors:
If you own a business in the 21st century, you need a website.
Your website is the platform through which many users will learn about your business, discover your contact information, and learn why your services are so important. Additionally, your website plays a crucial role in your search engine optimization (SEO), which we’ll discuss later.
When internet users search for your type of business in their local area, you want your website to be one of the first results. Then, when these users visit your website, you want your web content, design, loading speed, and navigation to convince them to hire your business — not turn them away.
Your website needs to be professional, high-quality, and up to date. If even one aspect of your site is unappealing to visitors, they may immediately click back to the search engine results and choose another contractor’s website instead.
In many ways, your website is the foundation of your digital marketing game. We recommend visiting your website right now and evaluating the following elements:
- Layout and navigation
- Written content
- Color scheme and design
- Loading speed
- Photos and graphics
If any of these elements are not top tier, working with our Relentless Digital marketing team can help you get this marketing platform back on track to grow your business.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is an essential strategy for businesses in 2022. Today, many people use at least three different social media channels each day. Additionally, unlike reading emails and viewing business websites, they willingly spend their free time browsing their social media platforms. Your business can capitalize on this casual hobby to market your contractor services.
Additionally, social media is one of the few marketing platforms that allows for easy two-way communication. You can use these digital marketing tools to communicate with your customers directly, breaking the barrier and enhancing engagement.
If your company does not currently have any social media profiles, we recommend starting by creating the following accounts:
If you feel comfortable using more casual platforms like Instagram and TikTok, it won’t hurt to create these profiles as well.
Once you’ve created business profiles on a few social media networks, you can begin strategizing your posts and content with digital advertising in mind. Here are a few social media marketing posts ideas to market your business:
- Share exciting news about your team or services
- Create a giveaway that invites social media users to share your profile with others
- Post photos or videos of your most common contractor services in action
- Create a weekly or monthly series
- Share live interviews with your team
We recommend trying to post on at least one platform each day. Typically, the more you post, the stronger the impact of your social media marketing strategies.
However, you should avoid posting so much that your followers feel annoyed and unfollow you. Quality is generally more important than quantity.
Email marketing is a strategy that involves sending professional, curated emails to your target audience to convert them into customers.
In many ways, your email content needs to be even more engaging and higher quality than your social media content. While many people willingly scroll through social media, most people do not think of reading emails as a fun way to spend an afternoon. As a result, your email headlines and content will need to be highly engaging.
One of the most effective ways to create a successful email marketing plan is to utilize a platform that allows you to send emails to users automatically. For example, when users fill out a contact form on your website, this action can trigger an email with more information about your services.
Additionally, you can send an automatic email when someone schedules an appointment. These emails can showcase your professionalism while removing the time and effort involved in sending messages manually.
Here are a few more tips to enhance your email marketing efforts:
- Look for creative ways to obtain email addresses from your target audience
- Use engaging headlines that encourage viewers to open your email messages
- Target specific users with specific emails to improve engagement
- Make your emails mobile-friendly and scannable
- Include images and graphics to break up email content
Using email marketing effectively can produce significant results for your marketing efforts. However, if you’re not confident about crafting high-quality emails yourself, you may need to enlist a digital marketing agency like Relentless Digital to help.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing is the process of improving your website’s rankings in search results on platforms like Google and Safari. People use search engines to locate information quickly and reliably. When they search for your type of business in a search engine, ideally, your website would be one of the first results.
One of the most critical processes behind search engine marketing is search engine optimization (SEO). This organic strategy uses several processes to increase your visibility in search engines, leading more people to your website and your business. For example, SEO typically involves:
- Performing keyword research
- Incorporating keywords into blog post content
- Optimizing web design
- Using a concise and specific domain name
- Including internal and external links throughout your site
- Asking other website owners to backlink to your site
However, you can also enhance search engine marketing through paid search results. For example, you can pay to place your website at the top of Google search results when users search specific keywords. These advertisements, known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, are quick and easy tools to boost your rankings and bring in new business.
Both search engine optimization and paid search engine marketing have their place in the digital marketing world. While paying to rank at the top of search results can undoubtedly increase your visibility, some users may view your site as unreliable, scrolling past the ad results to organic ones.
Meanwhile, while SEO strategies can enhance your organic search engine rankings, they often take time and include numerous complex steps. As a result, one of the most reliable ways to improve your search engine strategy is to hire a digital marketing team to assist you.
Content marketing is another important strategy involved in marketing your business within digital platforms. At its core, content marketing is the process of creating high-quality, professional content to attract and retain your audience.
This strategy spans several platforms, including your website, social media pages, and email marketing content. All of these platforms need content to be effective. And that content needs to be consistent, valuable, and relevant to have many benefits for your digital campaign.
Content marketing overlaps with the other strategies on our list in many ways. However, we’ll focus this section on written content marketing and the importance of creating compelling written content for each marketing platform.
An effective content marketing strategy includes written content in many forms. For example, your website needs written content on your home page, service pages, blog posts, and “About Us” page. This written content should include keywords that boost your rankings in search engines.
Meanwhile, your emails need professionally written content that engages viewers, and your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles need status updates and articles that reflect your high-quality business practices.
All of these platforms need a specific type of written content that best engages viewers and encourages them to act. As a result, unless you have content marketing experience, you’ll probably see the best results from hiring professional digital marketers to assist you.
Video marketing is one of the essential types of digital marketing that many small businesses overlook. However, many people are more likely to watch a video than read an article. As a result, you must use video advertising to maximize your marketing reach.
You can share videos on each digital marketing platform on our list. Expanding your video marketing efforts can allow you to reach more users, enhancing your lead generation efforts and ultimately bringing in more customers.
Here are a few ideas for videos you can share through your digital marketing channels:
- Videos that teach viewers about your services or techniques
- Interviews with your team members or current customers
- Behind-the-scenes videos that personalize your contracting team
- Funny or lighthearted videos
While creating videos may feel intimidating, you should rest assured that your videos do not need to be lengthy or studio-quality to relay effective marketing messages. You can shoot casual videos on your phone and upload them to TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share with your followers.
Personal recommendations are some of the best marketing tools for businesses. However, you can’t always expect your customers to recommend your company on their own. Instead, many contractors and small businesses market through influencer marketing or affiliate marketing.
Influencer marketing is a strategy that enlists affiliate marketers, who are often popular internet creators or social media influencers, to advertise your business. For example, you can pay an individual with a large following to create a post about how much they love your business and why their followers should hire you.
Affiliate marketing isn’t ideal for every contractor. If you don’t have a significant marketing budget, you may want to stick to organic types of digital marketing instead.
Additionally, influencer marketing is most effective for businesses and services with a mass appeal. When you hire an influencer to advertise your business, they will market you to their followers instead of your own. If your business isn’t broadly appealing to their audience, your affiliate marketing efforts may fall flat.
However, if you’ve already exhausted the other types of digital marketing on our list, influencer marketing could provide a creative solution to expand your reach that much more. We recommend considering this marketing tactic in the scope of your greater digital marketing plan.
Finally, mobile marketing is a strategy that reaches your target audience on their mobile devices. This strategy can encompass a few different techniques, some of which we have already touched on. However, text messaging is one of the unique marketing platforms within mobile marketing.
Once you obtain phone numbers from potential clients and customers, you have a direct outlet to communicate with them. Many people are more likely to read text messages than emails. You can use these messages to share information about:
- Upcoming appointments
- Special deals and discounts
- Last-minute openings
However, if you decide to incorporate text messages into your online marketing plan, try not to abuse your power. Many people like to reserve their mobile device communications for friends and family. If you continually flood their inboxes with promotional content, they may block your number, eliminating potential future communications.
Is Traditional Marketing Obsolete?
With all of these marketing strategies and online channels in mind, you may be wondering: is traditional marketing still effective and necessary to advertise your business?
Don’t worry — traditional marketing still has its place. Strategies like phone calls, face-to-face meetings, print advertisements, and direct mail can reach potential clients who may not engage with the online tools and platforms above. Expanding and diversifying your marketing plan is essential to producing the best results, and these traditional methods can help you do so.
However, you’ll probably gain most of your new customers through digital marketing. As a result, we recommend prioritizing digital marketing — especially the organic methods above — and then using any leftover room in your budget for essential traditional advertising tools.
How Can Contractors Optimize Digital Marketing Channels?
Mastering all of the above digital marketing channels takes time, research, industry knowledge, and skill. You simply may not have enough time in the day to dedicate to each digital marketing platform.
Instead, the best way for contractors to optimize their digital marketing channels is to work with professionals. Hiring a top-level digital marketer can take all of the time and guesswork out of crafting an effective campaign. You can feel confident that your marketing efforts will produce effective results without needing to steal too much of your time and energy.
At Relentless Digital, our expert digital marketers can help you use each digital marketing platform to your advantage. We have the industry knowledge and skills necessary to provide top-level marketing services for contractors like you, helping you stand out amongst the competition, boost profitability, and enhance long-term success.
Contact our Relentless Digital team today to schedule your free consultation. Then check out our tips to successfully market HVAC companies.