When you’re selling a service like pest control or lawn care instead of a tangible product, your company’s brand image is crucial. It’s one of the main factors that will elevate you above your competitors and keep you top-of-mind when potential customers are looking for your services. And solid branding is essential for effective lead generation. That’s why it’s important to invest in smart digital marketing tactics that build trustworthiness and credibility in your brand.
There are four main phases a customer goes through when they search for a local service business online: Awareness, Attraction, Action and Retention. The better you understand what they are looking for, the better you can deliver effective touchpoints that will strengthen your brand.
For the typical home services customer, awareness starts with a problem. (Oh no! Bedbugs!) Their next step is almost always to go online and search for a solution – whether it’s an attempted DIY or a professional who can come in and help. Your goal is to be in the right place at the right time when prospects like these are looking. This can happen in many ways – being visible at the top of the Google results, effectively targeted paid ads or Google Local Services listings, to give just a few examples – but there are also other things we suggest prioritizing to make sure your marketing and branding work together to maximize performance:
Customer reviews. It’s hard to overstate the importance of reviews overall – more than 90% of customers say they’ve consulted online reviews before making a purchase decision. They’re also fundamental to paid ad success. Google Local Services ads are cost-effective and highly targeted, but they’re also bare bones, meaning customers only see a name, phone number and Google review score.
Awareness-focused social or display ads. Consumers are more likely to choose a name they recognize from paid search results, so it makes sense to invest in building awareness in strategic markets before they need your services. Consider looking at the seasonality of your industry to determine how you spend your marketing budget as well.
Stay consistent. Start by creating simple design guidelines for your brand that inform consistency wherever you appear, so it’s recognizable whether they’re seeing a truck logo, display ad, flyer, door hanger, website, etc. All of your touchpoints work together, so it’s important that they present a unified brand image.
Capitalize on Attraction
Once a customer is aware of you, they’ll start to decide whether they can trust you to deliver. That homeowner with a bedbug problem will ask questions like “Do they service my area?” “What can I expect from them?” “Will they get it done on the first try?” “Are their methods safe?” The more consistent your claims and the more proof you have backing up your claims, the more likely they will see your company as authentic, credible and reliable. And they will definitely look deeper to verify your reputation.
Your digital marketing might have made a positive impression, but you’re only halfway there. Now it’s important to make sure you deliver a seamless, hassle-free experience as soon as your customer is ready to buy.
The “retention” stage is all about delivering results and consistent communication throughout the rest of the customer relationship. One way to promote customer retention is to let your customers know the different ways you can do even more for them.
Digital marketing isn’t just about generating leads or closing sales – it plays a fundamental role in creating repeat business, maintaining a loyal customer base and fostering brand affinity.
The Bottom Line
Effective branding isn’t just for the Fortune 500. Small and medium businesses can use digital marketing tools to reinforce and promote brand reputation and build loyalty through their target market. As you work to grow your business, be sure to take advantage of the many different ways to weave digital marketing and branding efforts together to maximize your success. Contact us today to get started.