Friday, May 18, 2018

How To Grow Your Contractor Business With Video

Video is quickly becoming the dominant form of content online. Views, shares and uploads of video are accelerating at a breakneck pace. Many forms of existing content, such as blog posts and how-to articles, are also pivoting to video rather than text-based formats.

People simply can’t get enough of video!

For business owners, video content can be a key part of their strategy to earn new customers and grow their company. Video marketing has started to offer incredible returns on investment for companies of all sizes. Adding a video to your website product pages can increase conversions by 80%! That’s probably why 83% of business owners say that video offers great ROI.

To help your company get started using video effectively and using it to grow your revenues, consider the following five helpful tips below. You’ll learn why video is such an important asset and how to use it in a way to maximize your positive results.

Start Simple With Slide Shows

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Some business owners may think they don’t have the resources to even bother with video. These limited resources can include time, money, creativity or even patience.

What these entrepreneurs should realize is that video does not have to be a big-budget affair in order to be highly polished and visually appealing. In fact, you can start instantly making videos for free right now and have them ready to upload in seconds.

There are dozens upon dozens of free video makers online designed for this exact purpose. Many offer options for combining text and images to create a dynamic slideshow. These videos are nearly effortless to make, yet they are still immersive and look professional.

Great options to get started making your own slideshow style videos include Renderforest and Adobe Spark Video. Both are free with a registered account. They also utilize great-looking templates, so you don’t have to be Spielberg-level genius to create your first videos. Simply pick from the options, input your own text or photos, and let the program do the rest.

Examples of great text-based videos include:

  • Repurposing existing blogs or content pages as short videos
  • Creating a quick explainer to get people excited about what you have to offer
  • Revealing interesting information or “#MondayMotivation” style inspiration related to your area of business
  • Giving a “thank you” to your existing customers
  • Announcing big things on the way, such as a new product or event

Creating videos like these can get you in the habit of thinking visually rather than textually, which can help you earn more views and raise interest in your business offerings.

Create Product Reviews or Descriptions of Your Core Services

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Once you feel comfortable to start investing more into your video content, descriptive videos are the way to go. Short 1-2 minute videos giving an overview of the products or services you offer can significantly improve awareness and interest.

According to Hubspot, people who watch a video reviewing or explaining a product are 64% more likely to buy that product later on. Using an explainer video on your homepage can similarly double your conversion rate.

When reviewing products, stay focused on features and key selling points the consumer is most likely to care about. Think about it as a resource, not an ad. Do your best to compare this product to others, helping your customers get an idea of the range of options available to them.

For a great example, check out motorcycle accessory retailer RevZilla. Pages for products like this $300 backpack explain exactly what the product is supposed to be used for, what its most notable features are, and what separates it from other available options. After watching a video like that, someone may not only understand why they might want a $300 backpack but have a serious desire to buy one after realizing just how much it offers.

For service-oriented explainer videos, try to think of it as a presentation. You’re walking the visitor through what your service offers and how it benefits them. Many of these videos start off by revealing a specific pain point that the product solves before moving into key benefits or competitive differentiators.

If you need a way to warm up to this type of content, try doing it live. You can broadcast a Facebook Live post, for instance, where you have a Q&A with your audience or offer a live demonstration of what you do. Going through the motions in a low-stakes environment like this can give you an idea of what to do for a more polished version down the road.

Personify Your Brand Through Video Marketing Content

Video content isn’t just good for information — that’s why only a slim margin of movies are documentaries, after all! The rest aim to give viewers an emotional experience or to tell an engrossing story.

Video is particularly great at these emotion-focused concepts because it combines several of our senses at once. Through powerful images, mood-appropriate music, and clever editing techniques, you can communicate the soul of your brand in surprisingly subtle ways.

To see what we mean, take a look at this charming ad from the tourism board for the Faroe Islands. It manages to reveal many things that make the Faroe Islands and its people so special without ever stepping into outright advertisement. The subject is interesting, it’s well filmed, and something people can relate to instantly.

Videos like these are great for solidifying your branding and generating awareness from your audiences. Since people are able to remember 95% of what they see in a video — compared to just 10% of the text they read — videos like these help keep your business top-of-mind. That way, you earn more recommendations and sales while forging strong positive associations to your unique brand values and personality.

Use Video to Climb to the Top of Search Results

People love video, and search engines want to accommodate people. So, naturally, search engines now love video!

According to one study, you are 53 times more likely to show up as the first result on Google when you have a video embedded in your page. It therefore makes a huge amount of sense to accompany each new page or blog you submit with a short, relevant video.

Make sure the video offers value to the audience and not just the search engine, though. “Tricky” practices like just shoehorning content into a poorly made video show up on Google’s behavioral data, and over time the algorithm will likely be refined to punish such habits.

So, create good videos that fit naturally within your content, and reap benefits from both audiences and the increase in traffic thanks to search engines.

Be Your Own Harshest Critic

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Producing video can help you quickly stand out among your competitors, but that can mean “standing out” in a negative way if your quality is poor.

Here’s a few simple tips to help improve your video quality:

    • Use a tripod. Even smartphone cameras can look great when they have a stable mount.
    • Provide lots of light sources on your subject. Cameras look much less blurry when they’re focused on something bathed in light. Use floor lamps or professional lighting setups to get the look you need.
    • Be aware of your background. Modern cameras are so easy to use because they auto-focus, but this can mean focusing on the wrong subject if you have something distracting or more brightly lit in the background.
    • Have great sound quality. Poor sound can sometimes hurt a video worse than poor camera quality. Invest in a clippable mic or a directional make, and don’t film in locations with lots of background noise or echo.

Fortunately, there are lots of other resources available to help you learn how to create high quality video content with a professional look. You can get started with this enlightening Hubspot article or rely on communities like Facebook for Creators, for instance.

Be patient, experiment, and set lofty goals to improve your content over time. If you can do that while caring about your audience, you are setting the stage for your business’s video marketing success!



How To Grow Your Contractor Business With Video posted first on Contractor Media - Internet Marketing For Contractors

Friday, May 11, 2018

Why Your Contractor Business Needs Social Media

Social media has profoundly changed the way we all use the internet, and that includes how businesses interact with their customers.

In the years since platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn were first introduced, they have evolved from an occasional distraction to the focal point of many people’s internet browsing. Conversations and content that used to be spread across multiple sites can all now be found in the same place: your social media newsfeed.

Contractors that ignore this transition face a harsh reality. Social media is often the first thing people check when they go online, and it may even be the only thing they check on any given day. Without a presence on social media, your business may very well be invisible!

That’s why many businesses, such as art installation company studioSPACEnyc, have a social-first approach to their online presence. “If we look at the analytics of the website and how many people view my Instagram account, we’ll see 200 a day on Instagram and 15 on my website,” says its owner, Jacob Fisher.

Not being on social media also means you miss out on huge opportunities for advertising, customer support, boosting performance for your marketing campaigns and much more.

To help you understand why so many companies and small businesses take their social media marketing strategy seriously, consider the following five essential benefits and capabilities it provides below.

Everyone’s on Social Media, Giving You Opportunities for Huge Reach and Impressions

contractor marketing strategy

The first thing to understand about making your contractor business active on social media is that you’re hardly shouting into an empty room. Facebook alone has 2.2 billion users worldwide, and 83% of U.S. adults under 50 have a Facebook account. Even among those 65 and up, 41% are active on at least one social platform.

Suffice it to say that’s there’s huge audiences at stake! While it may take a few weeks or months to find your footing, there is no shortage of potential exposure. Companies that create the right type of content and form an engagement strategy can quickly amass a following. This can happen especially fast when you leverage your existing network of friends and customers.

Just think of it as “word of mouth” transitioning to the digital age. By being available for mentions, shares and engagement on social media, you can create thousands of chances a day for new customers to discover you and existing customers to get reminded about what makes your business great.

Social Media Creates Effective New Advertising Channels

Exposure to your brand on social media doesn’t just have to happen by accident. Each social media platform has its own set of powerful advertising tools that can be used to directly put your contractor business in front of its most valuable audiences. Millions of businesses rely on these tools to drive their marketing goals, which is why social media spending nearly doubled to $31 billion from 2014 to 2016 and increased by an estimated 26% in 2017.

Facebook and Instagram, for instance, have incredible audience targeting capabilities for their ad campaigns. Local contractors can select demographics and geographic areas that perfectly fit the qualities of their most loyal customers. A new bakery can target people in their city or in certain neighborhoods, and it can even find people who recently announced their engagement!

These highly specific targeting tools ensure you’re not just sending out ads to people who won’t become customers. You also directly expose people to your business offerings within the same stream of content they browse every day.

Since the organic posts you create can also be “boosted” while using targeting, you can leverage paid social media to grow your reach beyond people who already like and follow your page.

The data you generate from these ads also creates valuable insights for how to make both your organic and paid marketing more effective. “Paid boosting can help the organic social team discover what works much faster and also play into paid ad creative ideas,” explains Depesh Mandalia of SMCommerce.

Opens a New Communication Channel for 1:1 Conversations and Support

contractor marketing tips

Contractors on social media can deftly juggle marketing and advertising with more meaningful outreach to their audiences and loyal customers. Answering people’s questions and participating in conversations can put your business top-of-mind any time they need the services you offer.

Customers absolutely prefer that the businesses they use be available for these types of interactions, as well. 48% of people said they will be more likely to purchase from a brand that directly interacts with customers and answers questions on social. 33% of people also now prefer to get customer support through social rather than a phone call.

Being able to wow people during these interactions pays off big, too. 71% of people who have a positive interaction with a business over social media say they’re likely to recommend that business to their peers. And since nearly three times as many people trust peer recommendations over ads, demonstrating how much you care via social counts for a lot.

Your opportunities for engagement don’t even have to be direct, either. One video game publisher searched for phrases similar to “I want the new [game name] but it's too expensive” and saved all the users who made the comment. When the game went on sale, they reached out directly to these people, helping them sell over 70,000 copies of the game.

So get creative, listen intently, and seize every chance you have to make a good impression through the highly public social platforms.

Social Ties Together Your Other Marketing Channels

marketing strategies for contractors

The majority of businesses consider social media “essential” for marketing, beating out every other form of advertising out there. And it’s not just because of the capabilities described above, either. It’s really because social media tends to tie together all the other channels you use in a seamless way.

For example, you can:

  • Post content to lead people back to your website.
  • Announce a new product, promotion, event, or free demo
  • Share your local cable ad, or overlay a radio ad over an image slideshow.
  • Create contests to earn email signups or email followers
  • Gather data on the performance for certain types of content before investing heavily in something like pamphlets, print ads, or search engine marketing

All of these activities have the effect of increasing the return on investment for your marketing spending. You get to dramatically increase the exposure for your content while creating a pathway towards your other marketing channels and campaigns.

In this way, social media can reinforce just about everything your brand does while serving as your friendly, highly public face.

Using Social Media Marketing Ensures You Keep Pace With Your Competition

online marketing for contractors

All the above benefits can make a significant difference when it comes to your business’s ability to earn new customers, clinch sales, and stay in touch with your most loyal repeat clients.

But, more importantly, if you’re not doing these things your competition likely will be. Ignoring the potential of social media basically leaves countless opportunities on the table — opportunities others can hungrily scoop up right from underneath your nose.

So take social media seriously, and don’t give your competition a foothold to develop more meaningful relationships with your best customers. Form a strategy, stay vigilant for chances to engage, create outstanding content, and let social media be the scaffold that makes your overall marketing apparatus stronger.

Ready to learn more about making social media work for your unique marketing goals? Drop us a line, and we’ll answer any questions you have and tell you how to get started creating some killer campaigns.



Why Your Contractor Business Needs Social Media posted first on Contractor Media - Internet Marketing For Contractors