The plumbing industry is competitive. To stand out and succeed, you need to advertise your business to the right people. But how? The four strategies in this article will help!
Keep reading to learn about local advertising and why it's so important for small business owners like yourself. Then stick around as we discuss four proven strategies you can use to market your plumbing business to the people in your area.
What is Local Advertising?
Local advertising is the process of marketing a product and/or service to a specific geographic location. The Coca-Cola "Share a Coke" campaign is an excellent example from a mega-brand.
Basically, Coke employees researched the most popular names in each of the beverage company's main markets. The company then printed these names on individual bottles and shipped them out to their corresponding regions. The results were pretty amazing!
Apparently, 1.25 million teenagers tried Coke for the first time, and Coca-Cola's sales rose by 11% the summer after the "Share a Coke" campaign went live.
We're going to assume that you don't work for Coca-Cola or any other Fortune 500 company. You're a plumber. But that doesn't mean you can't use local advertising strategies.
In fact, given the nature of your home services business, local advertising is almost certainly more important for you than for Coke and its contemporaries. Let's talk about why...
Why is Local Advertising Important?
There are many reasons why local advertising is essential to plumbing businesses like yours. But we’re going to focus on two of the most important ones:
Access to the Right Customers
Where is your business based? Portland, OR? Lincoln, NE? Maybe you're down in sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL. Wherever you are, that's where your customers are, too.
While you could run a national campaign that brings in thousands of leads for your company, 90% or more of them would be useless. Why? Because you only serve local customers in your area. Busted pipes and leaky sinks outside your town are someone else's problem.
Local advertising allows you to connect with the right customers, i.e., those you're actually able to serve because they live within your service zone.
As such, local advertising helps local businesses like yours save time and money because they aren't bombarded with, and forced to pay for, useless leads. Additionally, having access to the right customers will help you increase brand awareness in your area -- meaning local customers know about your small business.
Deeper Community Relationships
Local advertising will also help you build deeper, more meaningful relationships with people in your community. This includes local customers and other business owners.
Think about it: given the option, would you rather hire someone from out of town-a person who doesn't really get you or your life? Or an expert service professional who lives down the road from your house? Most of us would choose the second option.
Why? Because customers typically look at local professionals and think, "they're one of us." As such, local businesses are usually seen as more trustworthy.
Local advertising can also help you build relationships with other business owners in your area. What if you connected with a local HVAC tech, for example, and agreed to refer customers to each other? Or team up to sponsor an important regional event?
These kinds of partnerships can be extremely effective
4 Plumbing Advertising Ideas For You
Can we agree that local advertising is important? Good, now let's talk about a few digital advertising ideas you can use to promote your local plumbing business.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When your car breaks down, what do you do? Unless you already know someone who can fix it, you probably search Google for reputable auto mechanics in your area.
Your customers do the same thing when their sink clogs.
They ask Google to help them find the "best plumber in [Your City]." Then they sift through the results until they find a service provider they want to work with.
Imagine how many more leads you'd get if your website appeared in these Google searches. Here's the good news: it can! You just have to invest in search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is the process of improving a website so that it appears at, or near, the top of Google search results.
To improve your website's SEO performance, follow these three tips:
Create a Google My Business Profile
Google offers business owners a bunch of free resources to promote their companies.
One of them is the Google My Business Profile, which will allow you to manage your company's profile across the entire Google ecosystem. Take advantage!
Follow this link to set up your profile. Then add all relevant information, including your company's name, address, service area, hours of operation, contact details, and photos.
Once you do, your company will show up on Google Maps, and you'll have a much better chance of appearing in local Google searches for plumbers.
Keywords are the words and phrases that your customers type into Google. "Best plumber in [Your City]" is the example we used earlier.
Use a tool like Ubersuggest to discover popular keywords in your industry. Then use them in strategic places throughout your website, such as title tags, headings, and body copy.
Just don't overdo it. Keyword stuffing is NOT recommended.
Google ranks websites it believes to be reputable and authoritative. To prove to Google that your website meets these criteria, you need to secure backlinks.
A backlink is a link from a third-party website to yours. One of the best ways to get backlinks is to blog because people link to blog posts all the time. You can also partner with other local business owners and swap links to improve your SEO.
2. Google Local Service Ads (LSAs)
Google Local Service Ads (LSAs) are paid advertisements that appear at the top of localized Google searches. They were created to help local service providers (think plumbers, electricians, and HVAC techs) promote their services in a surprisingly cost-effective way.
Do us a favor and type "plumbers Boise, ID" into Google. Did you do it? Great, what did you see? You should have seen something like this at the top of your screen:
These are real LSAs from real plumbing companies in the Boise area. Want to run this kind of Google ad for your own business? There are a few things you should know first:
- Only Pay For Leads, Not Clicks: LSAs are pay-per-lead advertisements, not pay-per-click ones. This means that Google will only charge you for the actual leads your ads generate. This makes it super easy to earn a positive return on investment.
- Earn Your Customers' Trust: The companies that run LSAs can earn the Google Guarantee. This green checkmark (see the image above) tells potential customers that Google has claimed the business in question. Once your company has the Google Guarantee, it will be much easier to secure new customers.
- Reviews Are Super Important: How does Google decide which LSAs to put at the top of search results? There are a few different factors. One of them is the number of positive reviews a business has. Boost your rankings by getting more reviews!
If you're serious about LSAs, read our full blog post on the topic. It will teach you how to set up your profile, run ads, manage your budget, and more.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media is a powerful marketing channel for home services businesses.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will allow you to reach your target audience, build relationships with them, and convert them into paying customers. And the best part is, you don't even have to pay to use these sites.
Here are a few tips to help you succeed with social media marketing:
- Choose the Right Platforms: There are several social media sites out there. Don't try to be on all of them. Instead, choose one or two that you know your audience uses.
- Engage Your Social Following: Social media is most effective when used to connect with other human beings. Don't just post company announcements on these sites. Ask your followers questions, respond to direct messages, and otherwise participate in the community. That's how you win on social.
- Create Valuable Content: It all comes down to valuable content. Create posts your followers want to see, and your plumbing business will grow. Just remember, you can create "value" in different ways. For example, you can share educational videos, post links to educational blog posts, or promote a special deal.
You can find success on social media without spending money. But if you have the budget, consider investing in paid advertisements. Let's talk about that:
Advertising on Social Media
Most of the big social media platforms will allow you to advertise your plumbing services to potential customers. This marketing channel can be incredibly effective!
Why? Because social media ads can be targeted to specific demographics, i.e. targeted advertising. For example, on Facebook, you can target people who live in Miami, FL, are between the ages of 24 and 36, have a college degree, and make more than $75k a year.
In other words, social media ads are perfect for your local advertising strategy. Target the people who are most likely to need your services and enjoy the rush of leads that comes your way.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you build a social media marketing plan, manage your posts, and create advertisements that help you grow your business.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best local advertising strategies. Why? Because it makes it easy for businesses to build relationships with their consumers.
Once your company has an email list, you can send company updates, promote special offers and deals, educate a potential customer on your service, and more. All of these things will help you build trust with your audience and increase the number of appointments you book.
Here's the catch: you have to do email marketing the right way. Here's how:
Invest in Email Software
Email software is the tool you'll use to send emails. The right solution will help you to create eye-catching messages and send them to all of your subscribers at one time. We recommend Scorpion's email marketing service because it was specifically designed for small home services businesses.
Build an Email List
An email list is a collection of email addresses that your business has permission to contact. It takes time to build. But once you do, you'll have direct access to your customers. Build your list by including sign-up forms on your website, social pages, and wherever else you can.
Send Engaging Content
Like with social media marketing, email marketing only works if you create stellar content. So make sure you send your subscribers educational information, special deals and limited-time offers, the occasional company update, and anything else they want to see.
Get the Basics Right
There are three main parts of your email: the subject line, the body copy, and the call-to-action (CTA.) We've already talked about the body copy, i.e., your email's content. But let's take a few moments to discuss your subject lines and CTAs.
- Subject Lines: The best subject lines are short, interesting, and personal. By "interesting," we mean something that will grab your subscribers' attention. "20% off your next service!" definitely applies. To make your subject lines personal, simply include the recipient's name, which you can easily do with email software.
- Calls-to-Action: What do you want your subscribers to do after reading your email? This is what your CTA is for. For example, you can have your CTA link to your website where subscribers can book an appointment with your company. CTAs tend to perform best when they look like a button and are a different color than the rest of the email.
Advertising Your Plumbing Business
To build a successful plumbing business, you have to invest in local advertising. The plumbing advertising ideas above are some of the best ways to do that.
We encourage you to invest in SEO, experiment with Google Local Service Ads, join a couple of social media platforms, and start sending emails. If you do, your plumbing business will grow.
Looking for help growing your plumbing business? Get in touch with us. We've helped more than 14,000 small business owners, including plumbers, successfully implement the strategies we talk about in this article. We'd love to help you too!
Let's talk about local advertising. Schedule a consultation. Talk To Us