Unfortunately, there’s no exact magic formula that can tell you exactly what you need to do to reach your audience. Despite what they tell you, good marketing doesn’t happen overnight either.
In fact, marketing is like a bit like gardening – you plant a seed, make sure it has the right amount of water and sun, and watch it grow. But just as some plants need different amounts of care and climate to survive, so do your marketing efforts.
Things that work for some businesses won’t always work for yours, and words, images, and social media strategies that win over your competition’s customers may not work for you, your team, or your customers.
Much like general gardening tips will work for most plants, general marketing advice will still hold true. But, making the small tweaks (less water, more sun, and so on) with your marketing strategy will be the difference between a successful effort and an abysmal failure.
Here are a few tweaks that your field service business should make if you want to your marketing efforts to bloom.
List the Benefits of Your Service
What you say on any given page of your website, where you say it, and how it’s worded is an important component of conversion, but it’s also something that’s not always thought through when building a website.
One of the biggest areas where people get it wrong when it comes to copy is talking too much about problems and solutions and not enough about the benefits of the service itself.
Prospective customers care more about the benefits that your company provides than the features of what you offer. Features are characteristics that physically describe your service, while benefits describe how your service impacts customers.
In practical terms, this means emphasizing the benefits in your headlines, calls-to-action, and website copy. Instead of saying “Sign up,” for example, include a benefit: “Sign up and receive a 10% discount.”
Instead of only listing out things that you do differently from competitors, give additional reasons why those things matter (“We have online scheduling, so customers never have to struggle to find an appointment time”).
This will answer the “what’s in it for me?” question that rolls around in the back of customers’ minds.
Retarget Your Social Media Ads
Social media can be a great marketing channel, but it’s often underutilized, especially when it comes to advertising.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram all offer the ability for businesses to market themselves to targeted groups, like local customers or those who would otherwise never hear of your business.
In fact, social media advertising affects over half of all online purchasing decisions, including those about service businesses. You can do a Facebook ad campaign for as little as $50. So, if you’re not already using social media ads, you should be.
But the real tweak you need to make when it comes to your ads is retargeting. Retargeting is when you send ads to people who have already expressed interest in your site or services.
According to AdRoll, 70% of visitors who are retargeted are more likely to become customers, so taking the time to set up a retargeting social media ad campaign will boost your marketing efforts and help you convert your online audience into actual business.
Use Emotional Images
Images are another big part of marketing, including those that you use on your website, in your ad campaigns, on your flyers, or even around your office. But the problem is that not every image will have a positive effect on your marketing campaign.
While including an image with your social media posts, for example, will increase your engagement rates by 650%, the types of images you use affects those rates.
Images that prime audiences – using the word “yellow” while showing a picture of a banana, for example – are more likely to be effective than random images. Even the color of an image plays an important role in conversions.
But the key is to use emotional images to communicate with your audience. Using pictures of happy people will help customers associate happy feelings with your business, for instance. User-generated images can help customers feel personally invested. And authentic images (instead of stock photos) can help boost trust.
When it comes to improving your marketing efforts, focus on images that make sense, are relevant to the channel you’re using them on, are the right size, are high quality, but most importantly, help people associate positive feelings with your business.
Personalize Your “From” Message
Most businesses do a pretty good job of personalizing their marketing by doing things like including customer names on emails. But personalization efforts can go both ways, and it’s possible to miss the mark by not offering something of yourself back to your customers.
For instance, using the name of a real person in the “from” field of your email marketing can impact whether or not your emails are even opened. Using a person’s name for your customer service email address (e.g. email@example.com vs. firstname.lastname@example.org) also plays a role in whether or not people trust you.
This can also be applied to social media marketing by having someone from your team use their account (or create a company account for them) to respond to customer questions directly instead of from the main account.
Even if you automate your marketing emails, using first person “we” and “I” pronouns in place of traditional copy can make it seem like your emails are coming from a real person sitting at a desk instead of an automation system sending them out en masse.
Applying personalization techniques to your own brand can help foster trust and improve your engagement rates across multiple channels.
The small things matter when it comes to marketing, but they’re also easy to overlook. Customers want to know that they can trust you, that there’s a face behind the name, and that there’s more benefit to using you than if they went elsewhere. These are the things your marketing efforts should address.
As much as possible, talk about the benefits of your business, what customers are really getting from you if they decide to use your service, and reassure them with other strategies – like emotional images and personalization – that you care about them.
You should also make sure that you’re retargeting those customers as much as possible so that they know you actually exist. After all, it’s hard to convince someone that you’re the best option if they don’t know you’re an option at all.