In 2020, so many businesses are moving their operation online. Strategies are shifting to either fully online e-commerce models or pushing a large chunk of sales and sales opportunities to their websites. That shift has brought every millennial and their friend out of the woodwork, popping up digital marketing agencies to offer Instagram ads, Facebook ads, TikTok videos, and Snapchat stories for a nice price. While there’s a need for those in certain markets, it has led to an overlooked, HUGE section of the economy, needing quality digital advertising: Local Service Businesses. And local service businesses simply need phone calls. There’s a huge need for small businesses to increase call volume.
I don’t know about you, but when I scroll through Instagram, I don’t see a lot of ads for my next HVAC professional or local roofing guy. I may not be their target market (although I need my roof replaced), or it’s just not the right platform for those types of companies. So how do you get seen if you’re running a biohazard or extreme cleanup service, you’re a neighborhood dentist, or you install high quality wood flooring? It’s actually really easy.
It’s so easy it sounds stupid and you’re about to exit the article. But spend 10-15 minutes doing keyword research and understanding what your successful competitors might be spending, and then budget for the same amount and similar keywords.
If this sounds like marketing jargon, please excuse me. What I mean to say is…figure out what your competitors are spending on Google (link earlier), and then spend the same on Google Ads. Better yet, budget for slightly less, because if you find the right agency or Google Ads expert, they will make your Google Ads budget go farther than your competitors. They’ll even do the keyword research I mentioned earlier. Outsource this and never think about it again, but watch the phone calls come in. And in they will come.
Your ads will undoubtedly produce phone calls. Many people don’t take this step because they believe their ads will annoy potential customers searching on Google, but when your AC goes out or you need to find a reputable dentist in your new hometown, you’re not thinking about ads. In fact, Google is so smart, they will learn your business and begin placing your ads only in front of the most likely potential customers (or patients). This one is a no brainer.
You don’t have to be a copywriter to post blogs. There are hundreds if not thousands of blog writers waiting for you to hire them for one-off articles. Many of them are great and some are not. So, find a great one using reviews and ask them to write it and make it SEO rich. Then, you should post it. You do not need to, and shouldn’t, give them access to your website logins. (I’m coming from an assumption that you have the ability to post your own blogs, or employ a staff member who can do it for you.)
Once you’ve posted a blog….post another one. And another one. And stay consistent. Better yet, don’t start posting if you can’t keep it up because consistency is king and inconsistent content creation is worse than no content at all. You’ll see your organic traffic build up over the next 2-4 months and, naturally, call volume will too.
Edit: Finding a couple dollars to promote your blogs on social media could very well be worth the extra clicks and traffic.
Send Traditional Mail.
We have all taken mailers out of our mailbox and promptly deposited them into the trash. We have also all taken a timely mailer and seen the offer code and decided it was worth a call. For the total cost of direct mail postcard, getting one or two people to pick up the phone will return your investment and then some. Targeting the right neighborhood for your business, a nice timely message, and a reasonable discounted offer, you will certainly see results.
There is still, and always will be, high value in holding something physical that you can see, touch, and keep in front of you (like on your kitchen counter for 3 weeks). Contrast that to an ad that you see for a few seconds, or less, and then is gone forever. Again, there is real value in seeing and feeling and direct mail dominates that marketing arena. This is a quality over quantity play.
Post Pictures (or even better, videos).
Many of you will have before and after pictures of a service you provide. Others will have photos of you and your staff having a great time at a work event, party, or just another day in the office. Still, others have videos that bring humor, a lighter side of their industry, or of their actual work just sitting on their phones. As the boss, it’s time to (request) to collect these and put them to use.
I cannot stress this enough: on the surface, people want to see things rather than read things. This is not a millennial tendency or phenomenon. Since the dawn of time, visual appeal draws broader intrigue than written word. This is not to discredit the importance of good copy on your website, email campaigns, or captions. People who choose to read about your company and services are indeed further down your “sales funnel” than those whose eyes are caught by your photo or video.
But that is the point. You’re getting more folks into your sales funnel with valuable visual appeal. Invest a little if you have to, and the payoff will be true. (I did not mean to make that rhyme, but use it…that one is for free).
Get. Testimonials. Now.
Presuming you’re a reputable business that does good work (Step 1), then you should have some happy customers or clients more than willing to share about their experience. I understand this is not a novel idea, but this article is about easy ways to increase call volume. I should have added the word “proven” into the blog title.
Nothing increases trust more than RECENT customer testimonials. In contrast, nothing makes you look more stale than old testimonials. I promise that no one cares if Jane thought “you did great work and even pet [her] dog” in 2017, especially if that’s the most recent feedback you have from a customer. Don’t be afraid to step out and ask for a testimonial from current happy clients. If they are happy, they will oblige.
Once you’ve implemented these 5 steps, wait one month. Give me a shout at that point and let me know how it’s going! If you need help with any of these, give me a shout and my team will help you implement them as soon as possible.
Every well-intentioned, local service business who is good at what they do can be thriving in this digital marketing age. Your growth trajectory should look like forward slash, not a backslash
Comment or like this article if you think it can help you, will help you, or did help you in any way.