People will always need plumbers. Whether they choose your business depends on two things: the quality of your work and how well you market your services. You're already hard at work on the first. These 15 plumber marketing strategies will help you with the second.
1. Develop Your Brand
Every business has a brand, whether they know it or not. It is the mental picture people have when they think of your company. Think of McDonald's friendly cheer or Apple's sleek finish.
A strong and consistent brand makes your plumbing business more memorable, resulting in more income. In a recent survey, 88% of marketers said brand consistency has led to revenue increases of at least 10%.
Brand consistency means using the same color scheme, logo, and fonts across your plumbing marketing materials. It also means having a unique brand voice.
Your brand voice is how you talk and write to your customers. Some brands are more casual. Others are more formal. Some are playful, and some are serious.
Your brand expresses your small business's values, priorities, and personality. Find a style that feels right and use it in everything you put out - from brochures to social media. The more consistent you are, the more your brand will stick in people's minds.
2. Claim your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
In a 2021 survey, 81% of people said they'd used Google to find a local business. That's up from just 63% the year before.
If you search for a business name in your area, you'll see a special section on the right of your screen. That's the company's Google Business Profile - an eye-catching sidebar with photos, links, and details about the business. Having one makes you instantly more visible to searchers.
Of all the plumbing marketing strategies out there, this is one of the easiest to do. Just Google the words "my business" and click on the Google Business Profile link. Click Manage Now to start setting up your listing.
Add as much information as possible. Include photos and reviews if you can. You can always go back and add more. Google the phrase "my business" and follow the prompts.
3. Run Local Services Ads
Google local service ads also help searchers notice your business. When someone searches for a type of service near them, these ads pop up at the top of the page. Google designed them specifically for local in-person businesses like your plumbing company.
Go to Google's Local Services Ads site and click Get Started to discover if your plumbing business is eligible. If so, set up an account and create a budget. You only pay if someone contacts you through the ad.
Running a local services ad also lets you apply for the Google Guarantee. If you apply and pass Google's background check, Google will place a badge on your ad. That badge says Google will reimburse eligible customers who aren't happy with your service. It can help a new customer trust you enough to try out your plumbing service.
4. Run Search Ads
Another way to help people find your plumbing business website is to run Google search ads. They're also known as pay-per-click ads or PPC ads.
They're called pay-per-click because you only pay when someone clicks on them. Take Google, for example - it's the world's most popular search engine and the best place to start search ads.
When you run a Google Ad, you choose:
- How much you want to pay per click
- What search terms you want your ad to appear for
For example, you might bid 60 cents per click on the keyword "home plumber Milwaukee." Google decides what ads to show based on your budget and Quality Score. You can set a daily budget so you never pay more than you can afford.
If your ad makes the cut, Google will show it above the non-paid results. It can help you get traffic before your plumbing SEO kicks in.
5. Ask for Customer Reviews
A 2022 study showed that 98% of consumers pay attention to online reviews, especially for in-home services like plumbing. It makes sense. If you're going to trust someone with your toilet or shower, you want reassurance that they know what they're doing. This is why reputation management is a vital component of your digital marketing strategy.
Online reviews are how people get that trust. Don't wait for people to think of reviewing you themselves - ask them directly, either verbally or by email.
Google is the most popular review source, followed by Yelp and Facebook. Point them there first, and respond to each online review. The same study showed that 89% of people are more willing to use a business if it responds to reviews. Almost 60% won't use one that doesn't.
Take your best reviews and highlight them on your plumbing website. You can also post some on your favorite social media platform and in other print and digital marketing materials.
6. Revamp Your Website
People who see your ads or reviews will probably go to your website to check you out before booking. Make a good impression with a website that's informative, easy to navigate, and has a beautiful website design. Include a menu bar at the top with your logo and link to each page.
Your pages should include:
- An "About Us" page that shows why customers should choose you (including any certifications or awards)
- A Contact page with a phone number, email address, and/or contact form
- A Testimonials page with customer reviews
Also, create at least one page describing your services. If you offer very different service types, like residential and commercial plumbing, make a separate page for each.
Make sure each page includes links to your contact information. If you have social media accounts, link to those too. Like all plumbing marketing strategies, it's about making your business easy to find.
7. Make Your Site Attractive to Search Engines
Your website is only effective if people see it, which means ranking high on Google. Think of someone needing your services and Googling "plumbers near me" or "plumbers in [your city]." That business will probably go to someone on the first page.
Getting on that first page requires search engine optimization, better known as SEO. Local SEO is the process of designing your site for Google's bots. It's one of the most important plumbing marketing strategies out there. If you do it well, your site ranks high when someone searches for one of the above phrases.
The first step is to have a Google Business Profile that links back to your website. Also:
- Check the accuracy of your listings on map sites like Google Maps and Apple Maps
- Use possible search terms like "24/7 emergency plumbing" or "home plumbers" in your site content
- Make sure your site looks good on smartphones and tablets
- Create links from pages on your site to other pages (for example, link to your "Contact Us" page from your home page)
- Get as many links back to your site as possible (also known as backlinking)
Don't worry about doing all of this at once. Local SEO takes time, and every small change helps.
8. Start a Blog
Blogging is a great way to improve your SEO while offering value to your customers. People with plumbing problems don't always search for a plumber first. Sometimes they Google questions like "Why is my faucet running?"
Starting a blog lets you be the one to answer those questions. It attracts traffic, bringing people to your website so they can see that you know your stuff. Maximize that confidence by linking to your services or other informational pages in each post.
Blogs are an important part of a content marketing strategy that makes you more visible to search engines. That's especially true now that Google has launched a major update that rewards great content. A blog lets you add fresh, high-quality content regularly.
To get the most out of your blog, focus each article on a phrase that's relevant to your business, like "leaky faucet" or "plumbing upgrades." Write some how-to's, myth-busting posts, and answers to common questions.
For inspiration, Google questions your customers often ask. Look at Google's "people also ask" section and write posts on those topics. Keep it varied, and always link back to your services.
9. Start a YouTube Channel
Video marketing is one of the most effective plumbing marketing strategies available. In a 2021 survey, 86% of marketers said video drove more traffic to their websites. More than three-quarters said it directly increased sales.
Don't worry - you don't need a fancy camera or even an "influencer" personality to make videos. Just grab your smartphone and video yourself:
- Teaching common DIY tasks
- Completing a service call, talking through it as you go
- Answering common customer questions
- Reviewing plumbing tools and products
Create a YouTube channel and host your videos there. Link to your channel from your website. You can also share your videos on social media and in featured blog posts.
Watch your post activity and reply to comments and questions. Comments let you start conversations with your customers and build relationships.
10. Send Regular Emails
You don't have to spend a lot. The email marketing company, Constant Contact, costs as little as $10 a month. Its competitor Mailchimp has a free plan if you send less than 2,000 emails a day or 10,000 a month. Its next plan up is just $11 a month.
Services like these make it easy to build and send professional-quality emails. All you need is a list of email addresses. Start with your existing customer list and start sending useful content like:
- Special offers and discounts
- Helpful tips for preventive maintenance
- How-to videos
- Service reminders
- Seasonal information (i.e. How to keep pipes from freezing)
- Links to recent blog posts
Services like MailChimp and Constant Contact give you data about your emails. Keep an eye on what emails do well, then send more like them.
Remember, don't spam your audience. Sending an email once every few weeks is often enough. But be as regular as possible so that your company stays top of mind.
11. Make Email Sign-Up Forms
Your email marketing is only as good as your list, so ensure that you have as many sign-ups as possible. One of the best ways to build your list is with a lead capture form. It's a form on your website where people can sign up to hear from you.
There are usually only a few fields. Sometimes it's just an email. Other businesses ask for names and phone numbers.
The most important part is an offer. If you want people to share their information, you have to make it worthwhile. At the top of the form, let them know what's in it for them:
- Sign up to receive updates
- Become an insider
- Stay in touch
- Get special offers
You can even use the space below the form to expand on what people get as a member of your contact list. You might mention discounts, new blog posts, or insider advice.
If possible, use your email marketing service to send messages automatically. Many services can even divide your list by interest, such as residential versus commercial clients or current customers versus a potential customer. Doing this makes your messages more relevant and valuable.
12. Pay for Connections to Possible Customers
In home services marketing, there's something called a "lead generation service." It's a company that finds potential customers - "leads," in marketing lingo - and sells their information to service providers.
Say someone wants to renovate their bathroom. They might describe the project on a lead generation website. Someone from that website would look at the project and think about who might be able to do the job. They would then send the project to a few people, and those people would bid.
Different companies use different versions of this model, but the basic system is the same. Popular examples include:
- Angi, formerly Angi's List, for home services, including plumbing
- Thumbtack, where customers can view your profile and reach out
- Craftjack, which screens potential jobs and sends them to select contractors
Google "lead generation services for plumbers" for more ideas. Look at a few options and try out one or two. You can always add more if it works out.
13. Make a Facebook Page for Your Plumbing Business
Back in 2018, a survey from payment company Square found that 52% of Americans discovered a business on Facebook. Now that seven in 10 people use this social media platform daily, that number has probably gone up.
Creating a page for your plumbing business is quick and easy. All you need is an account, and Facebook will walk you through the setup process. Be sure to add all the details that would help people find you - your business name, phone number, email, and service area.
Your logo makes a great profile picture. For your cover photo - the bigger photo across the top of your page - use a polished image that represents the work you do. A beautiful bathroom makes a great cover photo for plumbers.
Fill in your About and Our Story sections with as many details as you can. Email your customers announcing your new page and inviting them to follow you. You can also send invites directly through Facebook.
Then, start creating posts. Make a calendar to remind yourself to post regularly. A few times per week is ideal, but consistency is key. Vary the format - images, videos, and text-based posts.
Post organically but also consider paid Facebook ads. You'll reach beyond your current audience and possibly get new followers. And remember to respond to comments, especially questions. Smart answers are a great way to build authority.
14. Start a Referral Program
How often does your social media feed include questions like, "Can anyone recommend a carpenter?" or "Who do you use for landscaping?" You've probably asked questions like these yourself, online or in person. Recommendations are a time-tested and trusted way of finding service providers.
If you provide great customer service, your customers likely already recommend you to their friends. But, if you're not actively encouraging them to do so, they might forget, and you could miss out on business.
A great way to get more referrals is to start an incentive program. Offer a thank-you gift to everyone who sends you business; it doesn't have to be big. People appreciate small tokens, like gift cards to local businesses and discounts on future services.
15. Partner with Local Professionals
People also trust recommendations from trusted professionals. Consider making an arrangement with a professional in your area whose clients often need plumbers. Contractors, architecture firms, and even mortgage lenders can send people your way. In exchange, you can recommend their services to your clients.
You can even take the relationship to the digital space. For example, if you work on the same building project as a contractor partner, tag them in any social media posts about the project. Ask them to do the same for your plumbing business.
Creating a Great Plumber Marketing Strategy
Expanding your plumbing business is an ongoing job. It's not always easy, especially when you're also busy providing great customer service.
However, these 15 business tips will get you started. Don't feel like you have to do them all at once. Pick the ones that seem most doable and track the results.
And don't worry - you don't have to go it alone. Scorpion has more than 20 years of experience and can help you launch a plan that works. Let's get started!