This article was updated on August 6, 2021
Home contractors come from many expertise, from electrical contractors to those who specialize in carpentry. Whatever your business’s specialty, 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 to your target audience.
Although you may already be using some methods of contractor marketing, it never hurts to discover new avenues of outreach. Below, we'll review the 10 best marketing practices so that you can keep pursuing greater lead generation and increasing your deal flow.
10 Marketing Tips for Home Contractors
Contractors know that a sound foundation makes all the difference when it comes to successfully executing a home project. In the same way, marketing is the foundation for your company’s overall health and future growth. If your goal is to scale your business and grow a client base, 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 relies 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 potential clients.
If you work in a competitive field, consider finding a niche. That can include anything from specializing in equipping outdoor spaces with electrical capabilities to kitchen remodels in smaller homes. 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 a construction company. If you wish to find the right audience, tailor your outreach efforts by clearly explaining why they should be hiring 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 looking to expand their digital reach and obtain new clients. It's a platform that lets people in the neighborhood find and offer recommendations for local businesses—think word-of-mouth from trusted neighbors, but in a digital space. 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% of respondents having made a recommendation to a friend or family member and 55% making a recommendation at least once a month. However, younger consumers are more likely to engage in this behavior, with 77% 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, clients 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 about the value of your contractor services.
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 contractor business. First impressions count, and websites allow you to make a very strong impression with a well-designed introduction for your business. A website that is functional across digital devices can help showcase your expertise and better position your business to potential clients. 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, user and mobile-friendly website that accurately represents your business and positions you for success.
While no two websites are identical, there are a couple of core components that shouldn't be overlooked:
- Your contact information
- Photos and videos of your work—especially before and after pictures of home projects
- Online booking or consultation
- Customer testimonials
- A blog page
- Instant chat features
TIP: Beyond adding pictures, text, and contact information, be sure to optimize the metadata displayed throughout your site - like your page title and description. A thoughtfully built website signals to potential customers that you're a trustworthy business. Optimized metadata does the same thing, but instead of showing customers you’re a reliable business, metadata speaks to Google’s search algorithm. Optimized metadata could significantly improve your rankings on Google. That means your website could show up for Google searches like “best contractor in my city” or “contractor for kitchen renovation in my area.”
4. Utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Nearly 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 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 any home contractor contractors requires carefully employed SEO.
5. Start Local
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 to help build brand awareness. With Nextdoor Local Deals, small businesses can create special offers and promotions for neighbors at a hyperlocal level through neighborhood targeting.
6. Post on Social Media
In the digital age, no marketing plan is complete without taking advantage of social media marketing channels, particularly powerful platforms such as:
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
To advertise your social media across channels, make sure to include your account handles on physical attributes such as brochures, business cards, and other marketing materials, such as email signatures or at the footer of the company website.
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 a 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
- 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:
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
There’s no better opportunity for a connection than when a client welcomes their friends over to their remodeled living room and is barraged with questions about who their contractor was. 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 marketing channels
- 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 to happy customers 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 and marketing results, of course.
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!