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Content Marketing 101

Man on a computer in an industrial workshop
Matthew Smith

When it comes to promoting your business online, some of the most effective tools at your disposal won’t even feel like typical marketing techniques to your audience. And that's precisely what makes content marketing so unique.

If you're unfamiliar with content marketing, it’s when companies create and distribute free content — which is often educational in nature — to their customer base to increase brand awareness. It's a booming part of the digital marketing world and one that home services professionals are in a unique position to benefit from.

That's because expertise is invaluable when someone is dealing with a household problem. Whether they are actively looking to hire a professional or not, a homeowner needing a repair or looking for maintenance advice will often seek out information online. The more you can present your company as an authority, the more you can increase high-quality leads coming your way.

You want your audience to go from viewing you as just another home service company to the home services company that has all the answers in your service area.

The goal is to establish yourself as a central hub of information and keep customers coming back for more.

So, how do you do that?

Where To Market Your Content

The good news for business owners is that there is no shortage of websites and platforms to get your content seen by customers in today's very online world. Facebook, YouTube, your website, blogs, industry-specific publications, and magazines are just some of the places that can host your content.

Some platforms may require more effort on your behalf. For example, boosting posts on Facebook or running video advertising on Amazon Prime may require more time, energy, and in some cases, budget. But with so many channels to choose from, it's not too hard to find the right place to host the right content.

Home Services Content Marketing Challenges

The challenge for the business owner is to create great content and then combine it with solid SEO practices. It's that combination that is at the core of successful content marketing. It may not sound like rocket science, but there is a large difference between good and bad content marketing. You can find more insight into this subject in a previous Scorpion blog here.

Some guidelines to keep in mind as you develop content are:

  • Produce only original content. Do not plagiarize content used by other companies.
  • Provide relevant, seasonal content that is easily digestible, readable, and memorable.
  • Understand this isn't a lead-generating effort. At least, not explicitly. Think about it as building brand awareness and trust with prospects.

You will hear the words “brand awareness” thrown around a lot these days. In short, brand awareness is an all-encompassing identity that feeds into everything you do online. It is how you stay in front of your customer base all the time.

You can read more about the value of brand in this article written by one of our Scorpion One Ads Managers.

The Added Value of Frequent Posting

Content marketing is a two-way street. In addition to helping your business gain exposure, it also serves to inform the public about home repair issues — which can lead to customers who are more likely to call when your services are truly needed.

And, effective content marketing is a commitment. If you're looking to make an impact, one-off posts won't move the needle. Only with the regular posting and distribution of content can you expect to generate attention or be seen as a reliable source of information.

It takes time to see the results as well. There may not be a huge number of customers you can directly attribute to content marketing right out of the gate. It's more subtle than that. But by being consistent, this strategy will eventually yield greater customer engagement.

Where to Begin?

The exact types of content you want to present to your customer base can vary and might depend on your particular brand. But overall, it's probably a good rule of thumb to have a mixture of written pieces, video, and infographics.

Before you get started, you should:

  • Develop a content strategy around your marketing goals, website, and brand.
  • Take stock of how much time you and your team will be able to dedicate to producing content. Don't take on too much at once.
  • Brainstorm ideas based on seasonality, holidays, market trends - anything that might be particularly relevant to customers at a given time.
  • Consider the option of working with a content development team to help guide you through the process.
  • Put together instructional, "how-to" videos and pair them with your blogs, so you have written content, as well as visual pieces.

Content marketing ensures your online digital presence is continually adapting to consumer tastes and needs. It helps you stay relevant with your customers (as well as with Google's search algorithm) and will breathe new life into your brand's online identity.

Remember: For small business owners, if you are not growing, you're dying. And part of that growth comes from staying top-of-mind with your customers - which can all start with the right content.

So, keep moving forward and never stop posting.