Digital Marketing 101 for Contractors

    By Dennis Smith, ICPI Director of Marketing and Membership

    What is marketing? Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

    There are numerous ways to promote and sell services. Word of mouth, advertising, and brochures are excellent traditional tools of marketing.  But, there are other easy and inexpensive ways to promote knowledge, skill and quality of craftsmanship to a larger audience:

    • A company website embodies your online presence. Consumers use Google or other search engines for information and reviews on companies for services. If your hardscape company has a website, ensure it is mobile friendly and consistently updated with accurate information. Because end users use mobile phones and tablets along with their PC for research purposes, your website needs to be able to adjust formats based on devices being used to navigate the site. The website design should be easy to navigate to avoid user frustration and should be visually appealing. Make sure content is up-to-date and engaging for potential customers. Use photography and videography of your hardscape projects to appeal to the end user.
    • Does your company have a social media presence? Social media platforms are an easy way for companies to interact with customers, potential customers and other end users. Organic social media posts should be engaging and offer value to followers. Just like a website, post photos and videos of jobs, educational “How-tos” or other business-related topics on your company social media outlets. Video content is a game changer for digital marketing. Film job progress and highlight details, create time-lapse videos of projects from start to finish, provide a “How-to” on cleaning or maintaining pavers, or get a quick 30-second testimonial from a satisfied customer on the completed hardscape project. All the examples encourage interaction with followers and show off your company’s knowledge and skill.
    • Organic social media ads are important, but companies should begin to consider investing in paid social media ads to target specific demographics. Facebook provides numerous tools to customize ads and measure the success and reach of ads on both Facebook and Instagram platforms. The Facebook Ad Manager provides a breakdown of its various ad types and step-by-step instructions on how to create an ad for Facebook and Instagram. Your company can narrow down the target audience based on age, gender, geographic location and more, and track the performance of the ad. Facebook also allows you to create a precise budget based on what your company wants to spend, and specific time frames your company wants the ad to run. Social media ads are relatively inexpensive and produce results and new leads.

    Digital marketing can lead to prospects you would not have otherwise reached with traditional marketing tactics. Gain leads and grow your business with relatively inexpensive digital options.