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10 Marketing Tips for Contractors

January 31, 2020 • Marketing tips • Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team

A huge component of maintaining a successful contracting business is your exposure. Exposure puts you in front of more potential customers, which in turn, allows you to lock down future jobs. With so much competition in the marketplace, it’s crucial that you utilize every marketing channel available in order to continuously sell yourself and the business.  

Although you may already be using some methods of marketing for contractors, it never hurts to discover new avenues of outreach. Below, we’ll review the 10 best marketing practices so that you can keep pursuing leads and increasing your deal flow.   

10 Marketing Tips for Contractors

If your goal is to scale your business and grow customers, your local marketing efforts must be at the forefront of your business strategy. Although it would be nice to grow solely from word-of-mouth marketing, the best marketing for contractors’ strategies rely on additional tactics to catalyze business growth. 

As you go through this list, be sure to make note of where you’re succeeding and where you have room to grow. Doing so will help you properly allocate your limited resources.

1. Know Your Customer

Before you begin a marketing campaign, it’s crucial you know what your unique value proposition is to customers. As Forbes notes:

If you work in a competitive field, consider [finding a niche]. You can carve out a space for yourself in an untapped market. Even better, you’ll stand out among competitors that are focused on providing the same services as everyone else.

As you might imagine, marketing for electrical contractors will differ from marketing for construction companies. So, if you wish to find the right audience, you must tailor your outreach efforts by clearly explaining why they should be employing you. In order to do this, take the time to consider the following questions:

  • Who is your target customer?
  • How are you helping them?
  • What separates you from other competition within your field?
  • What is your specialty?
  • What’s your selling point?

2. List the Contractor Business on Nextdoor

Nextdoor, the neighborhood hub, is an incredible tool for contractors. It’s a platform that lets people in the neighborhood find and offer recommendations for local businesses. For contractors, it provides a platform to organically reach the community or to have members endorse your work, which is a highly effective marketing tactic. As PR Daily notes

Word-of-mouth publicity is a ubiquitous phenomenon, with 83 percent of respondents having made a recommendation to a friend or family member and 55 percent making a recommendation at least once a month. However, younger consumers are more likely to engage in this behavior, with 77 percent reporting they make a recommendation at least once a month.

Let customers work on your behalf. Simply sign up (it’s free!), list your business and contact info, and verify your Business Page. Once that's done, past and current customers within your community can leave recommendations directly on your page and increase your visibility within the neighborhood. 

3. Build a Contractor Website

Establishing an online presence is one of the most important lead generation tools at your disposal. These days, if you don’t have a website, customers will not only have a harder time finding you, they’ll be less inclined to trust you. A professional website gives potential customers a snapshot of who you are, what your company does, and it provides an opportunity to give a brief sales pitch. It signals to potential customers that you’re legit. Beam Local writes:

The 21st century consumer is a skeptic; in fact, 56% of people stated that they won’t trust a business without a website. Having a good website instantly boosts your credibility as a legitimate business. First impressions count, and websites allow you to make a very strong impression with a well-designed introduction for your business. A website can help showcase your expertise and better position your business. A website can be your number one tool for standing out in a crowd.

Your website is the face of the brand and is the key to having the best advertising for contractors. So, invest the time and money necessary to create a well-designed website—one that accurately represents your business and positions you for success. 

While no two websites are identical, there are a couple core components that shouldn’t be overlooked: 

  • Your contact information
  • Photos and videos of your work
  • Online booking or consultation
  • Customer testimonials
  • A blog page 

4. Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

These days, almost every business query runs through Google’s Search Engine. Therefore, it’s essential that you optimize your website according to proper local search engine optimization practices. This ensures that you will rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), which gives you a better chance of generating leads. Consulting with a marketing agency or specialist can help point you in the right direction and ensure your optimizations help you reach potential customers. According to Search Engine Journal

The goal of any experienced SEO is to establish a strong foundation for a beautiful website with a clean, effective user experience that is easily discoverable in search with thanks to the trust and credibility of the brand and its digital properties.

There are a variety of elements that go into establishing search engine authority, including:

  • Organically adding relevant keywords throughout your web pages and blog posts
  • Inserting quality backlink profiles
  • Regularly producing blog content that is sharable and informs your audience
  • Getting listed on high-quality websites
  • Making sure the website can be easily navigated
  • Ensuring the website design is mobile-friendly

Simply put, online marketing for contractors requires carefully employed SEO.  

5. Start Small 

Your mission shouldn’t be to reach as many people as possible; rather, your goal should be to reach the right people. Your contractor marketing ideas will be in vain if you pique the interest of a potential customer who needs construction work done thousands of miles away. 

Instead, try to focus your advertising in your local community, especially in the beginning phases of your business. As your success and marketing budget grows, you can begin to gradually expand your marketing efforts to nearby communities and even further out. With Nextdoor Local Deals, local businesses can create special offers and promotions for customers at a hyperlocal level through neighborhood targeting. 

6. Post on Social Media 

In the 21st century and the digital age, no marketing plan is complete without taking advantage of social media, particularly powerful platforms such as:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Instagram is an especially potent tool for contractors because the content is visual. You can use it to build a following, show your vision, demonstrate past work, and establish yourself as an authority. Be sure to post regularly, engage with your audience, and keep your content fresh and varied. Possible social media posts might include:

  • Before and after images of your projects
  • Interior design shoots
  • How-to videos

7. Create a YouTube Page

Although YouTube may be considered a form of social media, it’s worthwhile to discuss it as a separate entity. These days, most people would prefer to watch a video than read some blog post, especially about contracting work. In fact, according to Syndicast, “52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with best ROI. Marketers can learn about views, how much content was viewed, in what order and their geographical locations.”

Using YouTube, you can appeal to your target audience and establish your authority. Short- and long-form videos worth creating include:

  • DIY home projects
  • Tutorials
  • Product reviews
  • Industry and design trends

8. Employ Traditional Local Advertising Tactics

In addition to your digital advertising efforts, it may be worthwhile to invest in traditional methods as well. These include:

  • TV
  • Radio
  • Newspapers
  • Billboards

That said, before you blow your marketing budget on these, consider your target demographic and then determine whether these channels will provide solid ROI. 

9. Make Current Customers Brand Ambassadors

As mentioned, word-of-mouth can be an extremely effective marketing source. A recent HubSpot study found that 90% of people believe brand recommendations from friends. So, if your current customers are happy with your work, see whether or not they’d be willing to speak on your behalf. This could include:

  • Posting about your work on social media
  • Referring you to friends
  • Writing reviews or testimonials

Naturally, if you don’t deliver on your original promise, you’ll have trouble getting them to recommend you. However, if you do good work that customers approve of, they’re far more likely to support you. In addition, you can provide further incentives by offering deals, discounts, freebies, or rewards for referring friends.

10. Direct Mail

Although it may feel like the power of direct mail has faded over time, it isn’t completely obsolete. People still check their physical mail, and this can be a great opportunity to reach them directly.

It may be worth it to invest in hiring a skilled graphic designer that can include the following in your mailer:

  • High-quality photos
  • Contact information
  • Website and socials
  • Discounts and/or promo codes

In all likelihood, all it would take is one conversion for the direct mail campaign to be worthwhile. So, give it a try and see what comes of it.

Applying Your Marketing Ideas

Today, in a digital world, you do not need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to improve your customer outreach. Even if you run a small contracting business and have a limited budget, you have plenty of advertising opportunities available. From listing yourself on Nextdoor with a Business Page, to optimizing your website for search, there are a variety of steps you can take to improve your marketing strategy. 

So, take the time to understand your customer and your unique value proposition, and then highlight them in your various marketing campaigns. Do that and you’ll be sure to succeed!

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