By Alain Parcan, Market Hardware, Inc. Get more marketing tips at Market Hardware’s session at LANDSCAPES 2016, Web Marketing in 2017: Four Keys to Unlocking Maximum Profitability, on Thursday, October 20.
Web Marketing experts have frequently debated the risks and benefits of different forms of marketing. But one thing they all agree on is that when it comes to marketing, targeting the right customers is always a strategy that pays off.
Geo-targeted Advertising is the quickest, most measurable way to generate inbound leads from Web-savvy consumers in the most profitable Zip Codes. It’s the 2016 term for going after specific customers in the most affluent areas that are closest to your business location. In other words, while your competitors are sinking more and more marketing dollars into their efforts, you’ll be using those same dollars but marketing smarter.
Who wouldn’t want to hand-pick the Zip Codes to work in?
The top landscaping business owners know that the best customers reside in certain Zip Codes. The ones that require the least travel time (allowing you more appointments in a given day), contain the highest paying customers that won’t nickel and dime you throughout a job, and have the largest yards with the biggest landscaping needs. Take some time to think about which Zip Codes would be most important if you could pick them yourself.
There are a few providers that offer Geo-targeted Advertising, and naturally, each has their set of pros and cons. NALP consultant member Market Hardware and their team of experts suggests a short list of Facebook and The Weather Channel (yep – The Weather Channel can in fact provide highly effective Web Marketing tools. Read on to find out how).
The main benefit to Facebook is its large user base, as well as the ability to target specific behavioral interests (like yard care, BBQing, outdoor patios, for example). Facebook encourages its users to indicate their favorite hobbies, movies, books and more, which allows businesses to customize their ad campaigns around those interests. Users who have indicated that they enjoy outdoor cookouts and patio/lawn care are more likely to click on an ad promoting landscaping jobs. It can also be used by anyone, which unfortunately means there is more competition for placement, making your costs higher than using The Weather Channel.
The benefits of marketing with The Weather Channel are that if you’re able to work with one of their selected providers, you can target specific Zip Codes and even take it a step further by incorporating weather elements.
Here’s a few creative ways to make it work:
- Run ads promoting lawn maintenance/clean up after severe storms
- Run ads promoting landscaping jobs as weather warms up in spring months
- Promote yard clean up services during high winds
Oh and one more bonus…
There is a well-known marketing tip that says to always put your brand where your customers are. Before and during severe weather conditions, they tend to be in their homes and on their electronic devices – usually looking up when those severe conditions are going to end or killing time on Facebook. By placing your ads on platforms like Facebook and The Weather Channel, you can reach their large user bases at the times that matter most.
So it all makes sense, but how much will it cost? The ads only cost a few cents each time they’re displayed, so you can set up a monthly budget that works for your business. For some contractors, that might be 500 dollars per month while others might be willing to spend a few thousand dollars per month. The only other costs are for designing the ads and setting up the campaign. You’ll have to pay a Web designer a one-time setup fee which will likely be a few hundred dollars, and a much smaller ongoing management fee to make sure you’re targeting the right keywords on an ongoing basis, and going after those specific weather conditions that make the most sense.
Putting it all together
The best Web Marketing approach utilizes a comprehensive plan with several different strategies. Allocating your resources properly could help your business become the premier choice in your industry; not doing so might result in one of your competitors adopting that role. Talk to a trusted partner to figure out how you’re balancing your services and consider adding Geo-targeted Ads if you have room in your budget to do so.