5 Pillars Of Contractor Marketing That Support Your Business Success

Five pillars of contractor marketing
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan February 28, 2024

Having a single successful method of getting new leads can be great. But if that well dries up for any reason, you're stuck twiddling your thumbs with no work to do.

The most effective contractors and home service providers know that their businesses are best when they are supported with the right contractor marketing structure.

There are five pillars of contractor marketing. Each is vital to a well-rounded business with the stamina to survive, grow, and thrive.

โ€ฆare the foundation of a well-run business. Building a business plan incorporating all five pillars will give you the structure that supports successful contractors and home service providers.

Whether you're an HVAC, roofer, electrician, or any home service and construction company, your business can grow and thrive with the right exposure and lead development that come from a well-executed marketing plan.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Pillar #1: Local Optimization - Getting Found By Customers Near You

When we talk about local optimization, we mean your "Maps" presence. Sometimes called the "Map Pack," it's the top three businesses that show up above the ten blue links when you complete a search on Google. While not every search query shows the Maps section, many home service-type searches will trigger it.

Since the local map pack shows up above the rest of the organic search results, these business listings can get more phone calls than other search results page placements.

A sample of local map pack presence on a SERP

Tactics To Improve Your Local Optimization

Getting your Google Business Profile to rank well doesn't happen by accident. It requires purposeful steps and consistent improvements. That can include but is not limited toโ€ฆ

  • Claiming & Completing Your Google Business Profile Listing
    • This includes claiming or starting your GBP anew if necessary - and completing the verification process so that Google can confirm your business listing validity
    • From there, entering your Google Business Profile data as completely and as detailed as possible is important.
    • Having the right categories, services, operating hours, name, address, phone number, photos, and videos (all completed in an SEO-friendly way without being spammy) can make or break your GBP success.
  • Assessing & Correcting Your Citation Health
    • Your business NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) should be consistently placed in directories, listings, and websites throughout the internet where appropriate.
    • This also includes reviewing pre-existing citations (even if you didn't make them yourself) and making sure they are 100% accurate wherever possible. Having errors in business name, address, phone number, or website address in these random places throughout the web - like the BBB, Yelp, YellowPages, etc. - can have a negative impact on your local optimization
  • Getting More Reviews Than Your Competitors
    • The answer to "How Many Reviews Do I Need?" is always "How Many Does Your Top Competitor Have?". You need to be the top dog when it comes to reviews; it is one of the biggest factors you have a direct influence over.
    • If you buy from spammy review services, you risk your GBP completely shutting down.
    • Use on-the-job conversations and automated review management software to maximize your review count from recently satisfied customers.
    • You should also be replying to every positive and negative review to demonstrate to Google and users that you're invested in your business's success.
Not sure where to start with your local optimization? Don't worry - That's part of Footbridge Media's Contractor Marketing Plan!

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Pillar #2: Organic Search Engine Optimization - The Lowest Cost Leads To Get Online

Organic search engine optimization is all about making your website show up nicely in Google search results for queries about the type of work you do.

Organic SEO can and will take time. In markets that already have established businesses, your website and its content must outperform those other players to edge out a spot at the top.

The Benefits Of Organic Optimization

When organic SEO tactics are completed properly, your website will appear as one of the top search engine results page links. The closer you are to the top, the more likely you are going to get the click and the opportunity to convert a website user into a lead.

While the path can be long and hard, the reward is strong placement for highly sought-after queries that your potential customers are typing into search engines on a regular basis.

That translates into more online visibility at a very low monetary cost.

How Contractors & Home Service Providers Can Improve Their Organic SEO

Search engine optimization is all about having the right content and page structure to satisfy a searcher's needs. At the end of the day, the web content that best answers a searcher's questions is the type of content that will outperform the rest.

Not only does that require you to have a solid understanding of the content at hand as an expert in your field - be it talking about electrical repair, roof replacements, or home remodeling - but you also need to have a solid understanding of how your prospective customers are seeking that information.

The top plumber in town can do a great job talking shop - but if they don't understand how to translate that into a homeowner's concerns and the keywords they may be using to research their problems โ€“ that won't do them a lot of good online.

The right technical skills must be balanced with the right writing, editing, and online marketing skills at the same time.

Not comfortable with code or content creation? Organic SEO is just one part of Footbridge Media's Contractor Marketing program.

You can start to hone those skills by trying to think like a homeowner. If you had a leaky faucet or dirty driveway, how would you find someone to fix it? Do that Google search - see what others are saying, see what "People also ask" questions pop up in a Google search, identify the "Others searched for" suggestions, and try to pinpoint how to best answer those questions.

While it isn't the cheapest way to go about building your client list, it can be an exceedingly effective way to do it.

Instead of paying with time as you do with organic SEO, paid advertising on Google and Facebook will cost you some cold-hard cash in exchange for immediate exposure.

Google Ads To Find Searchers Who Want You Now

Google Ads, previously called Google Pay Per Click or Google Adwords, include a network of text and banner images that you can find all across the internet.

Most popularly, they are usually the top text advertisements that are served on a search engine results page.

The appeal of Google Ads is that you can show your website to people who are actively searching right now for services that you offer. When a homeowner does a Google search for a query like "AC repair," chances are they have an air conditioning problem that needs to be fixed now.

Advertisers who have properly set up their Google Ad campaigns can show up for those targeted searchers and try to be the first link that prospective customers click when they have that immediate need.

Facebook Ads To Find People Who Are The Right Fit For You

Compared to Google's understanding of a searcher's intent, Facebook does a better job dealing with the right type of person that fits your needs.

Facebook's data is all about who its users are. While most people know it as a place where you stay connected with old friends or keep tabs on family, Facebook sees users as a complex network of demographics and psychographics. A Facebook user's online actions help create a snapshot of their key interests, location information, and more.

Facebook then uses this information to connect advertisers to the right personas for their business needs.

paid ads for contractors

How Contractors Can Maximize Their Paid Ad Effectiveness And Costs

More often than not, sloppy accidents and inexperience end up costing small businesses, contractors, and home service providers more wasted advertising dollars than anything else.

The most common mistakes are simple ones like not restricting your advertising to the right target physical areas that make sense for your business operations. When you're not careful, you can spend lots of money showing your ad to customers who aren't in your ideal service areas (or even in your state!)

Google Ad keyword selection is also very important. Knowing how to balance cost-effective phrases and restricting tangential yet unrelated queries helps you keep your ad campaigns on point.

Facebook Ad audience selection can also be problematic. The wider net you cast, the more people see your ads; that could be a good or bad thing depending on how you run your ads. Your audience relevancy impacts your ad effectiveness.

The Benefits Of Paid Advertising Over Other Lead Generation Tactics

Paid advertising is a valuable tool in the contractor marketing toolbox.

Some contractors more-or-less consistently run Google Ads to continue to find the right customers for their businesses. Others turn them on during the slower times and dial down their spending during peak seasons and naturally busy times. Some use paid advertising to bolster their lead flow until organic optimization can take hold.

Google and Facebook ads are versatile. They can help you to achieve a wide variety of marketing goals as best work with your business plans and budget.

Not good at Google? Not friendly with Facebook? Footbridge Media offers Google Ads Management and Facebook Ad Management services, so you can upgrade your paid ad performance without too much extra stress.

Their ability to be turned up and dialed down when necessary gives you solid control over your lead flow. While it does require some capital investment, the ROI on paid ads for contractors can be well worth it.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Pillar #4: Customer Referrals and Building The Cheapest Sales Force Possible

If you're not actively running a customer referral program for your business, you're leaving a lot of money on the table.

After you've spent lots of blood, sweat, and tears to find, convert, and satisfy a customer, you shouldn't just throw them away once the final bill is settled.

What Makes A Solid Customer Referral Program

Maximize the value of your customers by promoting an incentivized customer referral program. An effective customer referral program follows a few guidelinesโ€ฆ

Passing out referral marketing cards

Clear And Easy To Use

There shouldn't be confusing rules. Your customer referral program details and fine print shouldn't be hidden away somewhere deep in your website where no one can find it.

Actively promote your referral program by making a page on your website (perhaps under the "About" type portion of your menu) with a clear outline of how people should share referrals and the benefits they can receive.

Promote your referral program at the end of every job, verbally when talking with a client, and in your leave-behind packets as a reminder. That can look like postcards or business cards that have a link to your referral page. You could even do a promotional magnet with your referral program details that can be placed on the homeowner's equipment.

Powerful Prizes And Incentives For All Parties

10% off your next service isn't going to make anyone jump. A $250 Gift Card for a popular steak restaurant in town could excite people.

Contractors who are not familiar with referral programs get nervous about promising a $250 gift card. But remember, you're only going to pay that out when a referral job is bought and paid for. You won't be handing out gift cards if you don't get a job out of the deal.

If you're a roofer, you're paying your salesperson way more than $250 for a completed roof replacement.

Make the prize fit your business type and operations, but make the prize tempting at the same time to maximize your impact.

Feel like your marketing is stuck? Footbridge Media clients have an assigned marketing consultant to help keep your business marketing plan moving forward.

And don't forget to offer an incentive to your new customers as well - they can get a nominal discount, just so they remember to tell you who referred them so they feel the value there, too.

Fast Delivery Of Rewards & A Public Demonstration Of Thanks

Your priority should be reward delivery to your referrer as soon as the job is done. Getting their reward in a timely manner will help to reinforce your standing with that past customer and further influence future referrals.

Use your company's social media to thank customers for referrals publicly. It's a fun pat on the back for all those involved in your referral process - and also promotes your referral program at the same time.

๐Ÿ›๏ธ Pillar #5: Community Presence - Being A Good Citizen In The Real World And The Internet

Before the modern age of the internet - and even before the days of the phone book as the primary marketing tool of the contractor - tradespeople earned their livelihood from their connection to their community.

The local handyman was someone you knew in town who was trustworthy; a reputable, honest worker who could help take care of your property when you couldn't.

The contractor selection process tends to be far less personal these days - but that's not to say you couldn't benefit from how you present yourself and your business in your community.

Everything you do is marketing, for better and for worse - so make sure you're representing your company well.

Be active and present in your community to show your commitment

Active In Your Physical Community

We're not talking about billboards and radio ads or bus stop posters. More simply, be a good steward of your community. Sponsor a little league team, pay your staff to volunteer for a day at a local non-profit, and participate in local events as your company.

Being present is good for your employees but also good for your image within your community. While it may not provide the same ROI as paid advertising on Google Ads, it will help your business longevity over time.

In Good Standing On The Internet

Aside from your website and Google Business Profile review replies, your business should also maintain a presence on social media.

Not all contractors are super social. With Footbridge Media's Social Media Marketing services for contractors, you can be on social networks without breaking a sweat.

An active social media presence is like proof of life for some customers. A well-rounded online marketing presence should include basic Facebook activity at a minimum - sharing pictures of your work, your team, and otherwise related yet interesting content.

Finding The Right Team To Support Your Business And Marketing Foundation

A considerable amount of work goes into business and marketing success. Unless you have a full-time marketing staff at your disposal, it is difficult to do it well.

Instead of putting a full-time staff on your payroll, our contractor marketing agency can take on your business growth needs. Powered by 20 years of niche contractor marketing experience, the pros at Footbridge Media are ready to help support your business and develop your contractor marketing pillars.

Contact us today to see how we can develop a customized marketing plan to fit your business and budget.

Take advantage of Footbridge Media's dedicated contractor marketing focus and upgrade your business for a fraction of

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