Dialing In Your 2022 Contractor Marketing Plan

Posted by David Chism | Mon, Feb 7, 2022

 Dialing In Your 2022 Contractor Marketing Plan

The new year is in full swing, and for the past few months I’ve been help­ing clients around the coun­try map out their 2022 mar­ket­ing bud­gets. You’ve got to know what you’re spend­ing, where you’re spend­ing it, where the best ROI lives, and how to effec­tive­ly cost your jobs so you can stay on a healthy growth trajectory. 

But your plan­ning can’t stop there.

Hope­ful­ly a cer­tain per­cent­age of your bud­get is ded­i­cat­ed to mar­ket­ing, and you have a real, clear plan in place for what that mar­ket­ing will look like. 

Ask your­self:

  1. What mar­ket­ing items will you focus on?

  2. How much will you spend? 

  3. What are your key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPIs)?

  4. What worked last year that you can do more of this year? 

Mar­ket­ing plans need to be agile, but they also need to be built on data. And that data comes from con­sis­ten­cy, plan­ning, and tracking. 

With that said, let’s take a deep­er dive into a few key ele­ments of any con­trac­tor mar­ket­ing plan. What should you be focus­ing on this year?

Social media man­age­ment tips for contractors

For some con­trac­tors, social media is seen as a nec­es­sary evil. It can be hard to know how to do it right, what to spend, and if it’s even worth it. They” say you should be on cer­tain chan­nels like Face­book or Insta­gram, but is it worthwhile? 

Here’s my brief take­away: if you’re going to be on social media, do it well. Be all in. Oth­er­wise you’ll just be lost in the noise and spin your tires. Define who you are as a com­pa­ny, what you want peo­ple to know about you, and offer val­ue. Lead gen­er­a­tion is tough since it can be a cold­er audi­ence, so focus on brand­ing and rela­tion­ship build­ing as a top pri­or­i­ty. Leads will fol­low, and you can always get more aggres­sive down the road.

Here are a few more tips.

  • Be con­sis­tent. Don’t just post on hol­i­days with an oblig­a­tory graph­ic. Whether it’s once a week or five times a week, get inten­tion­al about it. 

  • Add val­ue. Nope, not just offers (believe it or not, they got lost in the noise too!). Answer ques­tions, share tips, share project ideas, and give away infor­ma­tion for free. No strings attached. Trust me: you aren’t going to feed your com­peti­tors or fuel an urge to do-it-your­self. You’re going to estab­lish cred­i­bil­i­ty as a brand and build your rep­u­ta­tion as a local author­i­ty and resource. 

  • Don’t over­think it. I’ve seen con­trac­tors doing incred­i­ble work, but they’d wait until they had a pro­fes­sion­al pho­tog­ra­ph­er or video­g­ra­ph­er lined up before cap­tur­ing con­tent. The pho­tos turned out great, but one or two pho­to shoots a year isn’t going to fuel a suc­cess­ful con­tent mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Show­case your work well, but social media is all about being authen­tic. Peo­ple can go to HGTV for the 4k visu­als: show off your work well and con­sis­tent­ly and you’ll be miles ahead of your competitors.

  • Don’t neglect videos. You do NOT need to be the host of a show, or offer 10 – 15 minute episodes. Don’t take it per­son­al­ly, but nobody would watch it! Video on social media today is typ­i­cal­ly 10 – 15 sec­ond clips that live on Reels or Sto­ries. Quick, snap­py footage of your team at work, or a quick tran­si­tion to show a before/​after perspective. 

  • Face­book Ads. Spon­sored ads on Face­book and Insta­gram are an essen­tial way to get in front of a wider audi­ence. My rec­om­men­da­tion here would be to care­ful­ly craft your tar­get audi­ence so that you’re get­ting in front of peo­ple with­in your ser­vice areas who are like­ly to be inter­est­ed in your work. Are you a roofer? You prob­a­bly don’t need to waste mon­ey reach­ing 18-year-olds. How about tar­get­ing high­er-val­ue com­mu­ni­ties by zip code, reach­ing home­own­ers over the age of 35

Man­age your expec­ta­tions on social media. Have a goal, go after it the best you can, and be con­sis­tent. It WILL pay off, even if it’s just in local brand aware­ness and not in truck­loads of qual­i­fied leads.

Should you be on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has evolved in some pret­ty excit­ing ways. If you’re a con­trac­tor with a com­mer­cial client base, a LinkedIn com­pa­ny page is a no-brain­er. Much like any oth­er social media strat­e­gy, focus on adding val­ue, answer­ing ques­tions, and shar­ing your best project-relat­ed content. 

Also, you can pay to pro­mote your con­tent as well with boosts” from your com­pa­ny page (just like Face­book). You can also spon­sor ads for lead gen­er­a­tion, but I’d real­ly rec­om­mend leav­ing that in the hands of a pro­fes­sion­al. Cost can add up quick­ly with very lit­tle fruit unless you know the ins and outs of the platform. 

You can also get a lot of trac­tion on LinkedIn organ­i­cal­ly by get­ting your team involved. Be sure that every­one shares and engages with your com­pa­ny page posts, and is also active­ly build­ing their own net­works at the same time. 

Main­tain strong client relationships

Does all that social media talk have your head spin­ning? Let’s take a break from the super techie stuff and dig into good olé fash­ioned client rela­tion­ships. What’s new for 2022, and what’s not-so-new but still valuable?

  • Email cam­paigns. Sure, open rates have gone down in recent years over­all, but email is still a pow­er­ful way to stay in touch with your clients. My sug­ges­tion would be to have a rou­tine email (mabe once per month, to start) that goes out to a strong, clean” (up to date) list of clients. Don’t bom­bard them with offers, but just share quick, engag­ing con­tent: maybe an awe­some project pho­to, sea­son­al­ly rel­e­vant tip or insight, or links to recent edu­ca­tion­al arti­cles you’ve writ­ten. Emails writ­ten like this per­form the best. Occa­sion­al offers are just fine, but keep the super sales-dri­ven mes­sages to a minimum.

  • Text cam­paigns. Send­ing batch­es of text mes­sages to client lists can be extreme­ly effec­tive. Since it is more direct and could be con­sid­ered inva­sive, just be sure to keep them to a min­i­mum (maybe 6x/​year, or quar­ter­ly). Very short, per­son­al­ized mes­sages with a clear offer. Peo­ple don’t want to chat. For exam­ple: Hi Bob! This is Shawn from XYZ Con­struc­tion. We have 15% off new projects this month, and I thought of you. What can we help you with?”

  • Refer­ral mar­ket­ing. Far and away, the award for best lead vol­ume and clos­ing rates goes to exist­ing cus­tomers and refer­rals. Let your clients know that you’re ready to take on more work, and thank them in a tan­gi­ble way for refer­rals that turn into won jobs. Gift cards, a dis­count on future ser­vices… Any­thing that acts as an incen­tive and express­es gratitude. 

  • Reviews. Feed­back is always impor­tant, but in this era of online/​digital mar­ket­ing, reviews are more impor­tant than ever. Prospects don’t just pick up the phone and call any­more. They check your web­site, check your social media, and check reviews. There are plen­ty of slick pro­grams and plat­forms you can use to fol­low up with clients and win those 5‑star rat­ings, but the best plan is con­sis­ten­cy. Make ask­ing for feed­back part of your process, even before the team leaves a job site. It has to be fresh on the client’s mind, and you need to tell them why it’s so important.

Don’t aban­don print mar­ket­ing for your con­trac­tor business

We may live in a dig­i­tal world, but print is still high­ly effective! 

  • Prox­im­i­ty mail­ers. Let folks know that you’ll be in the neigh­bor­hood!” Maybe include a spe­cial offer for new cus­tomers, or for a lim­it­ed time while you’re right near­by. This can be accom­plished by plan­ning out a few upcom­ing jobs in valu­able neigh­bor­hoods, then send­ing mail­ers pre­emp­tive­ly. It’s a fun way to get in front of new prospects while also adding a lit­tle urgency. 

  • Door hang­ers. Old school, but still effec­tive! Have a team mem­ber drop door hang­ers in the neigh­bor­hood that con­cise­ly share your ser­vices and con­tact info. 

  • Sig­nage and brand­ing. Your vehi­cles and trail­ers are rolling bill­boards! Make the most of it with pro­fes­sion­al­ly-designed wraps. Keep the text min­i­mal, with clear brand­ing and con­tact infor­ma­tion above all else. Flashy and super clever can be fun, but the goal is for peo­ple to imme­di­ate­ly know what you offer and how to get in contact. 

  • Yard signs. Still a strong lead source and great brand­ing tech­nique. Make sure your team puts them out on every job site unless the client has a clear objection. 

Keep your web­site fresh

Let’s get a lit­tle techie/​nerdy again. 

I can’t over­state how impor­tant it is to have a clear, mod­ern, well-designed web­site. Look­ing at the ana­lyt­ics of my clients’ sites, I can see thou­sands upon thou­sands of vis­i­tors come through, some organ­i­cal­ly, some from social media, and oth­ers from paid search. A high per­cent­age are on mobile devices too, mak­ing it essen­tial to have a respon­sive site that can instant­ly adapt to what­ev­er the view­er is using at the time. 

Aside from the over­ar­ch­ing design and func­tion­al­i­ty, here are a few more tips:

  • Tar­get spe­cif­ic mar­kets. It can be tempt­ing to just share that you’re great at what you do, but you need to flip that equa­tion and talk to spe­cif­ic audi­ences. Sure, your home­page might offer a more broad overview, but craft inter­nal pages that reach dif­fer­ent types of clients. Do you serve med­ical facil­i­ties? Cre­ate a page just for them. Office build­ings? Church­es? New con­struc­tion? Get spe­cif­ic and strategic. 

  • Make it all about your cus­tomer, not you. Yes, it’s impor­tant to share cre­den­tials or capa­bil­i­ties that prove you’re the right fit for the job, but more than that it’s impor­tant to build a con­nec­tion with your read­er. Make them and their needs the dri­ving pri­or­i­ty, rather than a com­pul­sion to do all the talking. 

  • Reflect your val­ues. What is true of you that’s not true of your com­peti­tors? How much do you build into and care for your team? Do you give back to the com­mu­ni­ty, or have a pas­sion project? Be real with your read­ers rather than just shar­ing how you’ve offered qual­i­ty ser­vices since _____…”

  • Blog! Well-writ­ten arti­cles that address client ques­tions or pain points can be invalu­able. From a search engine opti­miza­tion per­spec­tive, keep­ing this fresh con­tent pump­ing on your web­site helps improve how eas­i­ly you’re found online by peo­ple search­ing for your ser­vices. A blog arti­cle enti­tled How much does a new roof cost in Lex­ing­ton, KY?” will like­ly do quite well! Plus, it’s easy and valu­able to share else­where, like on social media or in your next email campaign. 

Using paid search to grow your con­trac­tor business

Effec­tive paid search cam­paigns have the poten­tial for huge returns. In case you aren’t famil­iar with the term, paid search refers to ads craft­ed and pro­mot­ed on search engines that are served up to peo­ple who are search­ing for spe­cif­ic ser­vices or key­words. The heavy hit­ter, as you can imag­ine, is Google. 

Stick­ing with our pre­vi­ous exam­ple, let’s say that you’re a roofer in Ken­tucky. You could launch paid search cam­paigns around very spe­cif­ic search terms that relate to your ser­vices (roof­ing, roof­ing con­trac­tor, met­al roof, stand­ing seam roof, etc.), tar­get­ing your spe­cif­ic ser­vice areas. Then, when some­one is search­ing for one of those terms, maybe because they need a met­al roof in the Lex­ing­ton area, your ad will ide­al­ly show up right at the top of their search engine list. 

Cost can vary pret­ty dras­ti­cal­ly depend­ing on your bud­get, key­words, and the nature of your cam­paign, but paid search still tends to be one of the lead­ing lead gen­er­a­tion sources for clients who have an ade­quate bud­get and strong cam­paign in place.

What’s the takeaway?

Don’t be over­whelmed! This new year brings a lot of new oppor­tu­ni­ties, and if you can lean into it and get the help you need, the div­i­dends will be excit­ing. Stay flex­i­ble, push your com­fort zone, and stay con­sis­tent. But most of all, start with build­ing a strate­gic mar­ket­ing plan to guide your efforts and keep you on track. 

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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