When your leads are strong and steady, it’s a good time to think about how your contracting business can pick up more market share.
So, how do you do it?
Let’s Talk Branding
Branding is always important, but when there is a pandemic going on and homeowners are flocking to find anyone who will just show up to do the work, it is easy to think that marketing can be put on the shelf for awhile.
Most home improvement companies this year were able to cut marketing expenses down to little or nothing during the COVID splurge of home improvement work. I had a number of customers, however, that took this opportunity to find some good rates on more traditional advertising platforms like billboards, radio, and other outdoor advertisements.
This is really a wise move as you play the longer game, rather than just riding the turbulent highs and lows.
As business owners, you always need to be wise with your money. I am not suggesting you spend ruthlessly or blow your hard-earned cash. I am suggesting that you have a budget and stick to it. During these uncertain times, it makes sense if your company is more profitable to stash away some extra profit, too.
Take Advantage of Great Rates from Marketing Vendors
Advertising companies still need to sell their spots.
This is a great time to negotiate 2021 prices with these vendors. Radio, TV, billboards, bus ads… All very traditional forms of advertising, but right now the rates can be quite good. These forms of advertising also take time to work, and being proactive will position you ahead of your competition and keep your name in front of your targeted areas.
4 Tips for Making the Most of Your Branding Opportunities
If you do explore more traditional branding in 2021, let me offer a few suggestions based on common mistakes I’ve seen by many small business owners:
- Review your logo and brand message to make sure it’s easy for consumers to grasp who you are and what you do. This is extremely important for platforms like a billboard. Geico, as a well-known example, has done an incredible job pushing their main message to consumers: “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your ________ insurance.” Now when they do commercials or outdoor advertising, they don’t have to say that sentence. They can just have a sign that says “Auto and RV” with a Geico logo – people know what they do and how to look them up!
- Make sure your branding is clear and to the point. Just like the Geico suggestion above – keep it simple! At times you can even avoid contact information as people will just google your name. That’s how it works now, folks!
- If you’re doing a radio campaign, your message needs to be consistent. Don’t get too creative and change it up very often. The beginning and the end should be the same each time, too. You want people to familiarize themselves with your brand and what you do.
- Be patient. You will not see a lot of direct leads from branding campaigns like radio or signs around town. If your message and the locations are clear and consistent, however, you WILL see your lead counts move up and to the right. It will just be a little harder to track. Most of the lead uptick will be by calls and more internet leads (few people will say, “Hey! I saw your billboard!”).
As a final tip, I’d recommend hiring a creative team to review your brand and messaging. The advertising rates may be good, but it’s still an investment, and you want to be sure you’re putting a strategic, professional foot forward. Don’t risk it!
If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. This is a key time to set yourself up for success, and growth, in 2021.