Effective tactics for small business marketing
The current boom of housing and construction coupled with more than half a million remodeling businesses registered in the United States as of 2022 can lead one to assume there’s plenty of work to go around.
But the truth is homeowners and landlords have seemingly infinite options when it comes to home repair and renovation needs. This presents a challenge for local businesses to continue to grow within a crowded market.
Facing this challenge with a strong local online marketing strategy supported by tactics that work can be vital to staying competitive in your market.
How local businesses stand out
The key strategy in gaining new customers is to target people in your local community, also known as local marketing.
Local online marketing aims to get the attention of potential customers within a specific geographic radius. Whether it’s your local town, the next large town over, or even a booming suburb across the state, one of the best digital marketing features is that you get to choose exactly the type of customer you want to engage with your business.
This targeted marketing tactic can be based on any number of factors, including age, income, and other demographic information that matches your ideal customer.
Establishing a comprehensive local online marketing plan supports driving new customers to your business quickly and efficiently.
Why does it matter for your business?
Who is your ideal customer? Maybe a new family with a fixer-upper, or empty nesters doing a full renovation. Understanding who they are is key to getting them in your door. Focusing on your target market will help to save your time, resources, and money.
Because local customers are more likely to hire a local business, marketing to them should generate more easily converted leads. After all, 46% of all Google searches are for a local product or service.
Being strategic with your marketing targets ensures you are reaching new customers at the right time to avoid wasting your time and theirs.
Types of local online marketing
When your potential customer is looking for a qualified home repair or renovations specialist, online and offline channels can be part of your business’s local online marketing strategy.
With ‘near me’ searches growing by 900% in the last two years, being locally recognized on search engines is key. Within those searches, more than half will be on a mobile device, which means customers need to be able to find you and get the information they need quickly and easily. Getting your web presence streamlined includes your consistent business name, address, and phone number (NAP) across all platforms including Google, Facebook, Better Business Bureau (if you belong), and the local Chamber of Commerce. There should be no confusion about who you are and what you do.
Social media platforms are another great place to reach your customer and can be a highly valuable marketing strategy for targeted and passive outreach to new customers. Be sure you have a dedicated business Facebook page or Instagram feed that gets you in front of customers. Most social platforms let businesses decide the local features of how they advertise and post to potential customers.
Undoubtedly the best use of your marketing budget should be on digital strategies. However, understandably many business owners will still want to keep some of the tried and true local online marketing outlets like local publications, community involvement, and event or sports sponsorship opportunities in their strategy.
All of these efforts can add value to your business’ local image and give your business recognition within the local community. Coupling these efforts with a solid digital marketing strategy will ensure your business is set up for success.
Our top-performing tactics for small business marketing
Now that you’ve identified your ideal local audience and better understand the challenges your business faces, here are some of our best and proven ways to get ahead of your competition.
1. Combine SEM & SEO
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) often overlap, but they are two distinct marketing strategies that, when combined, can be a highly effective tool to get customers in your door.
SEO is all about designing your content to best answer search queries from potential customers using search engines like Google. SEM, on the other hand, lets you decide how to segment and push your advertising efforts based on the demographics you choose. Using these two strategies in tandem will drive higher click-through and conversion rates than sites that don’t.
It’s been our experience that when clients employ an SEM-only strategy, they see a CTR that hovers in the low single digits. When those same clients couple SEM with SEO, we see somewhere around 60% higher CTRs—almost three full points. That can translate to a lot of added revenue.
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2. Website functionality
A key to driving new customers to your website is to have a site that runs quickly and smoothly while being filled with valuable SEO-driven content. Using optimized keywords outlining what your business does and who your ideal customer is, combined with proper headers and related internal/external links to things that matter to your customer brings your website to the top of a search list.
Another mistake we often see is a mobile website that doesn’t function properly. More than half of potential customers will search for your business on a mobile device. The difference between a page that loads in one second versus five seconds dramatically drops your conversion by a third. You only have a few seconds to connect with customers, so be sure to make it as easy as possible for them to choose your business.
3. Have a trusted support rep to guide you
As a home repair or renovation business owner, you are used to doing the heavy lifting. While, you can certainly try to go it on your own, hiring a trusted marketing partner lets you get to the more important tasks at hand like growing and sustaining your business.
A digital marketing partner that understands your industry is better equipped to ensure your marketing goals align with your marketing dollars.
4. Focus on channels where your customers are
Your home improvement and repair business probably doesn’t need a full TikTok strategy, but you should have an understanding of where potential customers might be “hanging” out. That’s not to say you can’t be the next home renovation Tik Tok star. But only if it helps you get leads through the door.
Some platforms like Instagram are useful marketing channels that customers are frequenting when seeking out new business. Continued focus on the mainstays like Google and Facebook are encouraged as well.
5. Know your metrics
How can you measure your return on investment (ROI) if you don’t know the lifetime value (LTV) of your customer or how much it costs to acquire them? Be sure your marketing partner gives you full visibility into the details of your customer acquisition like cost per click, the cost for impression, and the cost for conversion.
Also, ask how they track these leads, including which ads, websites, or email campaigns lead to enhanced customer engagement and which keywords or phrases are likely to resonate the best and convert the most. This knowledge is incredibly valuable and insightful into exactly how your local customers can find you.
Schedule a consultation
While the home improvement needs of your customers are growing as fast as your competitor list, it doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions to keep your business growing.
Putting your money into strategic and diverse local online marketing platforms can help you stand out from the competition. But first, you’ll need to find the right local marketing experts — those who help you attract and land your most valuable leads with a robust and targeted local strategy.
Contact Socius today for a full analysis of your current marketing strategy and ideas about how to get your business in front of your local audience sooner.