Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses- Free and Paid Tools & More

Updated: Mar 1

We'll start your marketing strategies with some great free resources and work into more serious advertising options. We'll cover things like google my business, social media, paid ads (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), contractor directories, print advertising, and vehicle advertising.


Social Media Accounts

Signing up for social media accounts is another easy & free way to increase your exposure to potential customers. The average user age for Facebook is 40 and Instagram is 25 to 35. Other social media to consider:

There are many others, but these are likely the ones you will find best for your business exposure. Having at least one is highly recommended (Facebook or Instagram) to start establishing online credibility. Especially, for existing companies just starting a social media presence. These accounts make it easier to connect with your current customer base and your potential customer base.

Google My Business (GMB)

Google My Business is a free portal for local business owners to update business info like

  • operating hours, website, phone number

  • respond to reviews and comments

  • questions from the community

  • Pictures

  • List of services & products

  • Call to actions

Posting here regularly is a great way to increase your exposure across google. Signing up is relatively easy but a verification process has to be completed by sending a verification code to the business address. Once you receive the code, enter it into Google My Business to complete the verification process.


Google Ads, Social Media Ads, Etc.

Advertising through google and social media outlets is a great way to expand your business outreach. Especially if you are growing into new markets or services. A nice thing about these ads is you can select your demographic you want to market to. Things like age, gender, and location can be adjusted to advertise accordingly. Fair warning though, these ads can be tricky to get used to and it is easy to waste your money on ads you thought were good but don't convert traffic into leads. If on a tight budget and would like a more secure marketing option, Contractor Directories are a great option.


Contractor Directories

Contractor directories or home service review sites like Angie's List, Homeadvisor, Thumbtack, Yelp, etc. have collections of contractors in various professions. Each profile displays information like reviews, biography, contact info, and pictures. Contractors can typically choose to advertise in certain categories and locations as well as just have a free profile that will get less exposure than premium ones if any. These services usually charge per month, annually, or per lead.


Compared to other advertising strategies, contractor directories are good for new businesses to get a customer base started. It’s also great for established businesses to keep the work coming consistently. Unlike social media, customers are going to the directories looking for specific contractors whereas on social media they are more than likely browsing leisurely and might happen to select your ad or business profile. Opposed to actively searching


Marketing Agency

For serious business growth, you can hire a marketing agency to help run ads, improve SEO, online presence, video, social media, and other print media. The average monthly cost can range from $700 to $3500 or more per month and you should expect 5 to 30 quality leads a month or more. This varies on market, type of profession, and population size. Agencies use various techniques to increase your online presence and rank. Things like:

  • SEO= Search Engine Optimization

  • On-page SEO- website page optimization

  • Backlinking- getting other sites linked to yours

  • Outbound Links- linking to reputable sites

  • CTA- Call to actions

  • and more

There are numerous techniques to increase your ranking in google and similar search engines. Increasing your online presence and credibility is a must to start getting leads organically.


Contact our marketing team to discuss your marketing plan today


Print Advertising

Print advertising like brochures, pamphlets, business cards, and especially yard signs can be HUGELY beneficial to your business growth and success. Mailing postcards and brochures still has its place in the digital age with the older generations still set in their ways,

Handing brochures out to the potential customer you just met with can cover other services that may not know you offer.

Yard signs are great for getting exposure in the areas you are already working in. You just completed a job and hopefully, your customer is happy. Ask them if you can put a yard sign in their yard so their neighbors will call you for the next project. It’s like a word of mouth review, who would put up a sign of a contractor that they wouldn't recommend?

Business Cards are a necessity of any serious business owner. I don't think much needs to be said about them. Get some, make sure they are simple, and convey your brand or services easily.

Vehicle Advertising

Advertising with graphics on your vehicles, equipment, or trailers is a great way to advertise your business in the areas your already serving. It shows you are committed to your profession, while constantly being a billboard with your contact info listed on it. It shows the neighbors of your customers what service they are doing and prompts them to ask for reviews (word of mouth) of your work. Vehicle advertising could be just a magnet sign or a complete graphic wrap. Budget and level of seriousness will dictate the type of vehicle advertising you choose. Magnets can be around $75 or more while vehicle wraps range from $1500 to $3000 or more on average.


Obviously the cost is a factor to consider, but also the potential for return on investment. For example the magnet may bring in 10 jobs over the year which is pretty good- you may have spent $75 to $150 on a magnet and in return profited from those 10 jobs. A vehicle wrap may net you more jobs or more profitable ones. More than likely either will pay for itself in the first year if not few months, Maybe even weeks.


Ask Your Customer For Reviews

After you complete your job and you have a satisfied customer, be sure to ask them for a review on any or all of the places your business receives reviews (Google, Yelp, BBB, Instagram, etc.). This is a great way to increase your awareness in the local community and earn credibility for future customers.


Conclusion

When starting your marketing strategy you may want to consider using the free resources first to get a feel for things. Eventually going into paid advertisements, getting listed on contractor directories, or using a marketing agency. Google My Business is an excellent tool for contractors to start using right away. Don’t forget about print applications like brochures, business cards, and yard signs are especially effective even in the digital age. Also very important is to ask for reviews from your happy customers. Reviews and referrals go a long way in establishing authority for your online presence. Be sure to consider all of the above for your marketing budget.


Comment Below

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