Welcome to our special series on setting up your annual marketing plan! We asked Amber McKee, Founder of Ambers Marketing Group and Former Director of Marketing at Goettl Air Conditioning and Plumbing to share her expertise below:
When it comes to crafting your annual marketing strategy, kick things off by setting clear revenue and lead goals. These will serve as your guiding stars throughout the year. Next up, tackle the all-important marketing budget. Once you've got those essential details ironed out, you can roll up your sleeves and start divvying up that budget among various advertising methods.
As you embark on this budget-allocation journey, always keep two things in mind: cost-efficiency and prioritizing the sources that promise the highest return on investment (ROI). Efficiency and effectiveness go hand in hand in the marketing world.
There are five key sources that can work wonders for home service businesses and should be considered when allocating your marketing funds:
Digital Advertising: In today's digital age, the online world is how customers will search for the services you offer, or specifically your business name. Planning for advertising in the digital space should include consideration of:
Website (SEO): Optimization of your website to ensure you're easily found online, in the area’s you serve and for the services you provide.
Google Business Profiles: Setting up this method won't cost you a dime, but the real value comes from keeping it up to date. Make sure to include budgeting for regularly updating images, services, and responses to reviews.
Google LSA (Local Service Ads): this is a fantastic tool to connect with new customers who may not be familiar with your brand and it only charges for leads that reach you. Since it's challenging to predict the number of leads you'll generate, it's a smart move to set a budget and keep a close eye on it.
Online Listings (Yelp, Nextdoor): Leverage platforms like Yelp and Nextdoor to connect with potential clients.
Mass Marketing: A cornerstone of marketing methods, it harnesses the power of media channels like television and radio to broadcast messages far and wide making it instrumental for building brand recognition and attracting new customers. However, take into consideration the balance between the audience size reached and the capacity to effectively serve this audience.
Remarketing: This strategy is all about keeping engaged with your customers so they think of you when they have a need for any of the services you provide.
Local Advertising: Local advertising can include school and little league sponsorships, participating in events such as parades, walks, trunk and treats and advertising in community magazines. It is most effective when it is tailored to your highest revenue producing area’s. This kind of advertising can put you in touch with folks right in the neighborhoods you want to reach and help build a sense of comfort when your new customers decide to invite you into their homes.
Solo Mail: A powerful direct mail approach, targets homes to boost brand visibility and activate customer engagement. In the home service industry, successful solo mail campaigns encompass strategies like neighborhood mailings in high-revenue areas, service reminders, expressions of gratitude through thank you and anniversary cards, and cross-selling initiatives.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach in the world of marketing. The advertising options you choose will depend on your unique business, market, and goals. It's all about finding the mix that suits you best. To get started, consider using a sample spreadsheet as a helpful tool to track your budget and expenses. It's like a compass guiding you through the dynamic landscape of marketing for your home services business.