digital marketing for contractors
Jan 15

5 Keys to Reputation Marketing Success For Contractors

Reputation

What is Reputation Marketing?

Reputation marketing is a specialized version of brand marketing. Contractors devote a great deal of time and resources to branding their business, with more attention devoted to digital branding than ever before.

Reputation marketing refers to the real-time brand identity that contractors capture from online comments, reviews, complaints, and critiques that come from their customers.

Word of mouth is more powerful than ever, only now it comes in the shape of blog comments, re-tweets, Facebook likes, and sharing/liking/following on every social media platform possible.

Reputation marketing allows your business to take what consumers are already saying about your services, and leverage it for your own use, to increase your industry ratings and, ultimately, your revenue.

5 Keys to Reputation Marketing Success

Given that reputation marketing stems from what other people are saying about your business, it’s tempting to sit back and relax.

You can’t control what people will post or change the mind of every customer who has a bad review, so you can just leave them to say what they will, right?

Wrong – reputation marketing isn’t just people’s ideas about your business that pop into their head for no reason.

Reputation marketing is the active management of your customer’s comments and criticisms to create the brand image that you desire.

Reputation marketing doesn’t need to be complicated, just stick with these core strategies to achieve reputation marketing success:

1. Create Systems for Collecting Feedback

Rather than just trolling around to find out what people are saying about your service, go out there and capture that information yourself.

Customers are eager to review services and weigh in with their opinions, so create forums for them to do so and collect the data that comes from it.

Some of the most effective ways to gather feedback on your brand is through online surveys, contests for users on your Facebook page or from your email list, opening your blog posts up for comments, or tweeting questions for your followers to answer.

This type of data collection is priceless – it gives you a direct link to what your customer thinks.

Don’t let this information go to waste – devote some analysis to your reputation marketing strategy where you look closely at who your customers are. Are they the same people that you thought you were targeting?

What are their buying patterns? Ages? Where do they live? Which customers seem more likely to leave a positive review?

Developing systems for data collection and interpretation allows you to tap into the great resources that are already out there via your online presence.

2. Build Your Reputation

Waiting around for a good reputation to “happen” to you isn’t an effective marketing strategy.

If you want to have your customers say positive things about your products and services, you need to put the time and energy into making that happen.

To do this, you need to open yourself up to what’s going on around you. Read the comments, search relevant hashtags, or scan the internet for reviews of your business.

Once you're aware of what people are saying, you have the power to harness it.

Take your bad reviews and deconstruct them. What specifically are you doing wrong? If enough people have the same comments, changing the way you perform in that area can create a huge shift in your customer's minds.

Then look at the praise your brand gets – what are the areas that you excel in? How can you strive to be even better, so you leave your competitor far behind you?

Reviews are an indispensable way to gather your customers' likes and dislikes about your services so you can turn around and give them exactly what they want.

3. Market Your Reputation

Even though your customers are doing a substantial portion of your marketing for you, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue using your existing channels to communicate your brand’s message.

To use reputation marketing to your advantage when creating your other campaigns, you need to pay close attention.

This means looking at more than just whether your customers are leaving positive or negative reviews. Drill down into the specific things they’re saying.

Paying attention to the keywords that keep popping up in your comments or online reviews can inspire your next campaign and directly address those comments.

For example, if you keep seeing the word “inconvenient” coming up in negative reviews, you can tailor your marketing campaigns or social media strategies to focus on highlighting how convenient your product or service can make their lives.

In this way, reputation marketing helps you identify a problem and create a solution to it that you can drop directly in your customer's laps.

4. Manage Your Reputation

The beauty of reputation marketing is the wealth of information it gives about your customers. To keep their comments and reviews pouring in, you’ll need to spend some time creating an incentive for your customers to engage in the conversation.

For example, you might see a spike in reviews when you introduce a new service. However, after several months on the market, you may lose momentum and see your customers turn their attention elsewhere.

To manage your reputation and keep the dialogue open, your business sometimes has to make an effort to keep the hype going, so you don't fall off your customers' radars.

Some ideas for generating buzz is to create and offer promotions, special offers for your followers, host events, or offer exclusive discounts.

These tactics motivate customers to purchase when they might normally be ready to move onto the next thing.

best marketing strategies for contractors

5. Monitor Your Reputation

The key to monitoring your reputation is in repetition. This doesn’t mean reading reviews once and then never looking at them again. The conversation is always changing. What was irrelevant yesterday could be tomorrow’s hottest trend.

For this reason, monitoring requires regular attention to what’s being said about your brand. This might mean a weekly or daily read through your social media posts, searching for online reviews, and scrolling through the comments on your blog or Facebook page.

Regular monitoring allows you to see if things are working or if they're de-railing in a relatively short period. Looking at comments once a year means that someone may have said something negative six months ago that you could have acted on or addressed, and now it's too late.

Keeping close tabs on your reputation allows you to spring into action as soon as your customers identify an area that needs improvement.

Consumers love to support contractors who have a personal touch. If your reputation matters to you and you make an effort to give your customers what they want (not just what you think they do), you’ll stand out in a sea of faceless businesses who don’t have the time to listen to their ideas and comments. Satisfying and delighting your customers doesn’t require a flashy sales tactics or aggressive marketing.

What you need to do is get quiet and listen. Your customers are telling you what they want, what they dislike, and what they love.

Now it’s your job to deliver more of the things that make them happy and keep them engaged in the success of your business for effective reputation marketing.

contractor internet marketing
Jan 12

Is Your Contractor Company Blog Not Working? Here’s 5 Reasons Why That May Be

Content Marketing

Content marketing and blogging have proven to be effective digital marketing methods. Done right, they can generate leads and convert people to the next stage of your marketing funnel.

Yet, plenty of contractor company blogs completely struggle to meet their content marketing goals. For one reason or another, they fail to find the right audience — or, for some, any audience at all.

Other blogs earn plenty of traffic but lackluster conversion numbers. Still others have myriad issues of their own related to various mistakes in strategy, positioning, site design and more.

To help you pinpoint where your issues may lie and how you can improve your blog performance, we have come up with five reasons why your current blog may not be working. These observations come from common company blog mistakes in the industry and how the top blogs fix them to find success.

You Don’t Have Your Target Audience in Mind

internet marketing for contractors

Before you write a new blog, you should always stop to check in with your audience goals. Namely: who is this blog for?

Consider your ideal target audience based on who you think will help you succeed in your contractor business goals. If, for instance, you are a B2B software company, you may assume that your audience has at least a small level of expertise in your line of work. But if you are a financial services provider to a typical consumer, then you are going to have to cover even the most basic concepts to ensure your audience can keep up.

By the same token, you have to think about things your audience would be interested in reading. For instance, while someone in IT may be excited about “a new way to configure proxy servers,” the average consumer will want to know less about the solution itself and more about the benefits it offers. Looking at the latter type, they may need a headline that reads something like “New Method for Connecting Online Makes Actions Happen in Nanoseconds,” or something similar.

Think about what your audience needs to see to understand the point you’re trying to make, and think about the emotional triggers that can spur them to be interested enough to click. When you can understand what these needs, expectations and emotional triggers are, you can earn a higher volume of clicks from targeted audience groups.

Your Level of Quality Is Low

Spelling, grammar, and structure are all critical when writing blog entries. We say this not just because people will split hairs online (and they will), but more because rampant issues affect readability.

If your sentences don’t make sense, no one will be able to understand your point. If you misspell words, people may be confused as to what you meant to say. Use a spell checker, and have someone with a solid sense of grammar review your posts for publication.

As for structure, try to lay out your blog in a way that makes it skimmable. Instantly start with a topic introduction that tells people what they will get out of reading. Then, break up your main point into several sub-topics that are easily read in small bite sizes.

Try to let one thought flow into the next. Make sure that almost everything you say builds off the last point, and always stay focused on the central purpose of your post. Getting feedback from others and rereading your post drafts after an hour or so of writing them can both help you think more like your audience and write more persuasive, compelling articles.

Your Blog Titles Aren’t Interesting

contractor marketing ideas

Certain approaches to headline writing can grab our attention, while others simply don’t work. If you find you have low conversions for your blog posts through search engines or social media, maybe your titles are to blame.

You can reference this guide to the most popular headlines on Facebook from Buzzsumo to get you started. Rand Fishkin of Moz also has a handy suggestion for writing short yet compelling headlines that don’t leave anything out.

You Don’t Have a Strong Call to Action

With limited exceptions, most business blogs will want to close out with a strong call to action (CTA). This section comes after the argument being made is completely wrapped up. It then instructs the reader on what they should do next in order to find even more information or benefits.

Example calls to action include:

  • Take a look at our product page…
  • Sign up for our email list…
  • View further information for an upcoming course/webinar/event…
  • Visit a service page for more information…
  • Contact us to start the conversation…
  • Read our other content…

Whatever your call to action is, make sure it is clear and written as a strong command or suggestion. While that may seem pushy, people respond better to messages written in this format and remember them more clearly.

You’ll start to notice that most marketers do this, too. A commercial would never say “consider visiting our store during our sales event.” Instead, they would lead with a commanding verb: “Come visit our store during our one-day sales event to get incredible savings!”

You Don’t Have the Right Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms to Guide Your Audience to the Next Step

Sometimes when you can’t convert blog readers, the issue isn’t the blog itself but the website ecosystem around it.

Put simply: make sure that your calls to action lead to compelling landing pages or website pages. These pages should capture audience interest and further direct them to the next step.

If you don’t have anything like this available, make one! Even something as simple as a custom “Contact Us” landing page can help you convert more people compared to linking to your normal Contact Us page.

For normal website pages you want to link to, like explanations of your services, ensure that the page guides the reader through the most important information and benefits first, concluding in yet another strong CTA.

You may not even need a landing page link to accomplish certain goals. For instance, many websites have found that email address capture forms displayed adjacent to blog content work better than a custom landing page.

Just make sure that any forms present on your content are short and involve minimal work. Their placement should also not disrupt the reader’s ability to digest the content at their own pace.

Let Data Tell You About the Company Blog Mistakes You’re Making

contractor marketing strategy

The above suggestions work well in general, but you need to know what you’re blog has to change to get better performance.

To learn what that might be, look to your own data. You can configure Google Analytics for free to inform you about where, exactly, your blog is failing you.

A low click through rate (CTR) on organic search means that maybe your titles or meta descriptions need work, for instance. A decent readership but low conversions means you need more convincing calls to action and easier access to the next step for readers. A high bounce rate means that people were intrigued by your headline, but didn’t like what they saw when they clicked.

Study your data, pledge to work on best practices, and write for your audience. These approaches will help you get better performance from your company blog in 2018 as you make marginal improvements over time.

facebook marketing for contractors
Jan 08

2018 Trends in Facebook Advertising That Will Help Contractors Reach Prospects

Social Media

Facebook has come a long way since its debut in 2004, especially when it comes to the Facebook Advertising platform. Facebook has almost single-handedly turned paid social media marketing into a cornerstone of modern digital marketing tactics.

In the next year to come, we can all expect Facebook to evolve in deeper ways. These evolutions include both new features and shifts in the way business will be able to use Facebook ads to reach prospects.

Let’s explore the most important Facebook advertising trends for 2018. With them, you can improve your marketing funnel and hopefully find more leads than ever in the coming year.

The Importance of Facebook Video Ads

video marketing for contractors

Mobile audiences eat up video more hungrily than ever. Altogether, Facebook users watch over 100 million hours of video a day.

As a result of their demand and improvements in video players, we have seen an explosion in both paid and organic video content.

On average, videos on Facebook get 135% more organic reach than photos.

Contractors can potentially improve both their organic reach and engagement on paid posts by creating more promotional assets as videos. Making the switch does not have to be expensive or painful either.

With just a few Facebook video ads, you can improve engagement and prospecting. You also help people remember your messaging since people remember video almost seven-times better than they do text.

More Diverse Ad Types

In addition to video ads, Facebook has been quietly diversifying their ad inventory. Marketers and contractors can use these ad formats to accomplish specific business goals.

  • Carousel ads can use multiple images, multiple offers, or multiple USPs in one go, providing a richer experience and a more compelling CTA.
  • Slideshow ads use lightweight video to load faster and intrude less on the browsing experience. They can be a great transition for contractors looking to create more video.
  • Collection ads allow users to browse through multiple products or informational pages in-app. This grows awareness while generating less friction compared to an outbound link.
  • Canvas mobile Facebook ad formats transform your ad from a single video or image into a full screen, scrolling experience. Use them to showcase high-quality assets or nurture prospects further along in the buy cycle.
  • Dynamic ads can use a single ad template to promote several products or create customized pitches for different segments. These ads maximize relevance and returns while helping you A/B test more quickly.
  • Link ads include a prominent, customizable CTA button to direct prospects to a landing page or offer. They encourage action, increasing conversions.
  • Lead ads incorporate a lead capture form directly in the app! We’ll explain the significance of this ad type and similar formats below.

Understanding and taking advantage of these Ad Types will be a large key to success.

Facebook Likes To Keep People On The Facebook Platform

social media marketing for contractors

Ad formats like lead ads and collection ads keep audiences in-app as they interact with your brand.

For instance, Lead ads pull up a lead capture form in-app and autopopulates it with information from the users Facebook user profile. This feature dramatically reduces friction in your marketing funnel, encouraging more prospects to convert thanks to the simpler process. You also reduce the number of needed assets by getting rid of certain landing pages.

Because of these abilities, Hubspot asserts that Lead ads can “skyrocket conversion rates and make mobile ads more effective for B2B marketers.”

Understanding Facebook's goals for their user experience will enable you to get the most out of your Facebook advertising budget.

Paid Advertising Increases (As Organic Reach Nosedives)

contractor marketing strategy

Facebook made waves when they announced that they were experimenting with a newsfeed that contained zero organic branded posts. All of this content would be moved to a separate “Explore” feed.

If Facebook implements this change globally, then all branded Facebook Pages will see their organic reach tank.

Even if that doesn’t happen, though, these Pages have already seen dramatic drops in reach over the past few years. With fewer people seeing their content appear on its own, these Pages must now resort to funding paid Facebook advertising campaigns in order to generate impressions.

Truth be told: this has been the situation for years. Contractors simply cannot rely on the Facebook algorithm to serendipitously show their content to meet their reach goals. By funding a paid ad or promoted post campaign, you guarantee yourself a sizeable audience.

Even better, you can fine-tune the targeting for your ads to maximize relevance and ROI. Facebook has gotten much more granular with its targeting features.

You can use these features to weed out audiences who are unlikely to need your services, increasing your conversion rate and your overall returns.

Ultimately you must embrace paid advertising if you want to continue to reach your target audiences on the platform.

Take Advantage of Facebook Advertising Trends in 2018 and Beyond

By looking to the above Facebook Advertising trends contractors can find greater successes in reaching their ideal prospects to grow in 2018.

Make sure you combine your Facebook Advertising strategy with other digital marketing practices for maximum gains.

digital marketing for contractors
Jan 05

The Best Contractor Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for Crushing It in 2018

Content Marketing

After the last echoes of ringing in the New Year subside, everyone reflects on how to make 2018 better through their own actions. If you’re a contractor looking to market your services digitally, this time marks the perfect opportunity to set ambitious goals and pledge to cut out bad habits.

To help inspire you to do better in the New Year and meet success head on, here are our 5 top recommended digital marketing New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

Make More Video

video marketing for contractors

We’ve hammered this point home plenty of times, but just to reiterate: video is the direction that the internet’s going. Cisco studies predict that 69% of total internet traffic over 2017 will have come from video views. By 2021, they expect that portion to increase to 82%.

The reason for rising video consumption is simple: people love video! Better smartphones and cheaper data plans also give us the means to watch video anywhere at any time.

Appetites for video content will keep on growing throughout 2018, and marketers for contractor businesses of all sizes should be willing to help satisfy that demand. If they do, they will reap substantial rewards.

51% of marketers globally list video as the type of content that earns them the best return on investment. Video uploaded to social media also generates 1200% more shares than text or image posts combined!

To take advantage of video in your digital marketing strategy, start by creating summary slideshow summaries of your most-popular blogs using tools like Rocketium or Adobe Spark. Or, go live with behind-the-scenes looks at your operations or Q&A sessions. Both of these low-cost options offer reliable solutions for engagement.

Looking longer term, investigate the budget you would need to create a few short 2-5 minute video assets. These can help raise your brand awareness, earn shares, and give your company a veneer of modern professionalism.

Tie Content Better Within Buyer Journeys

In 2018, your audience deserves better than irrelevant content. No one will click on articles that don’t offer some sort of value. And, more importantly, how your audience perceives value depends on the stage of the buyer journey they’re at.

Offer value by planning content topics and placement around your customers’ stage in their buyer journey.

For instance, if you sell RVs, don’t expect someone who doesn’t have any intention to buy an RV yet to click on your article about “6 Top Reasons You Should Buy Your RV From Us!” Instead, recognize the types of topics that would get them interested. Here are a few examples:

  • Not yet aware they want to buy an RV
      • 7 Top Camping Destinations on the West Coast
      • Pros and Cons of the 4 Most Common Types of Camping
  • Maybe thinking about buying an RV
      • 5 Reasons RV Camping Blows Tent Camping Out of the Water
      • Winter Camp in Comfort at These Gorgeous Destinations
  • Deciding what RV to buy
      • Must-Have Features for Every Modern RV
      • Top RV Models by Price Range
  • Ready to buy
    • Why You Should Buy Your RV From a Local Dealer
    • 6 Warning Signs for Dishonest RV Dealers That Should Make You Leave the Lot

Each hypothetical blog title is aimed at a particular area of interest within a particular informational scope. If you have an email list, you will want to offer each piece based on the information the buyer has looked at before and their indicated interests. For your website, include suggested blog topics logically within the section the buyer is currently within.

Going one step beyond this approach requires personalization engines and marketing automation. But you can get started by creating several buyer personas and customer journey maps, then devise a content strategy to help nurture each persona type towards a final sale.

Reshape Your Website to Be Even More Mobile Friendly

contractor digital marketing

It’s 2018, and mobile phones are officially grafted into our lifestyle. Americans spend 71% of their time online using mobile devices, and visits to websites through mobile devices shot up 72% in 2017.

Using responsive design and passing Google’s mobile-friendly test are therefore just the start of your contractor business. You should rigorously explore and test options for even more engaging and usable mobile layouts throughout 2018. Offer mobile visitors a true experience, but still make navigation and content consumption easy.

Improvements like these can help you stand out among competitors in an environment where mobile will only increase its share of traffic over time.

Engage More Authentically With Your Social Media Audiences

Social media audiences want to feel like they’re engaging with real people, not brands. According to one of the top social media management apps, posts with a personable approach, humor, inspiration or emotion drive the best engagement.

You can also ask questions from your audience directly. How do they handle challenges related to your line of work? What tech trends do they think have the most promise? What are their New Year’s resolutions? Questions like these drive engagement and help your audience feel listened to.

Person-centered conversations surrounding your brand can also occur outside of your owned (well, borrowed) social spaces. By setting up social monitoring tools for mentions of your brand or service area, you can engage people in 1:1 conversations and help them solve problems.

Engaging directly with your audiences in these ways can sway public opinion in your favor while making your social media pages more lively.

While Fulfilling These Contractor Digital Marketing New Year’s Resolutions for 2018, Base More Decisions on Data

contractor marketing ideas

All of the above resolutions can bring you success as long as you take a scientific approach. Start by setting goals and target metrics. Make predictions on how to meet these metrics, measure how accurate your predictions were, and experiment to see if you can find even greater success.

You can also A/B test two approaches simultaneously to learn even faster. For instance, maybe you aren’t sure which Facebook post for an upcoming event will get the most clicks? You can use paid social advertising to serve two different promoted posts to targeted audiences and see what happens.

Experimentation combined with dedication and a healthy dash of creativity will help you go a long way towards finding more success in the year ahead.

Keep the above resolutions in mind, and you could be well on your way towards making contractor digital marketing work for you in 2018. Good luck, and have a Happy New Year!

contractor marketing
Dec 29

2018 Trends in Content Marketing to Help Contractors Attract and Engage Prospects

Content Marketing

2018 is just around the bend, and content marketing has changed a whole lot in the past few years. While it was once a small component of larger digital marketing campaigns and strategies, big brands have started to realize that content can be a marketing end unto itself.

As a result, most marketers are betting big on content. 60% of marketers publish a piece of content daily. In 2015, content marketing had its sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth in spending.

People also spend around six hours a day consuming content online, on average. Note that this statistic includes people using two screens at once, so we often consume content on two different devices for hours on end.

All of these facts point to one thing: the demand for content marketing is there, and marketers are putting more and more effort into satisfying it.

How should you align your content priorities in order to reach prospects in 2018? Look to the following trends for answers on how to develop a winning strategy in the coming year ahead.

Companies Leaning in Heavily on Premium Original Content

contractor internet marketing

The quality and quantity of original content has quickly become a competitive differentiator for big companies. You can see how this fact affects the business world by considering the staggering amount huge brands are investing in creating or purchasing premium original content.

Apple, for instance, just set aside $1 billion for original programming. The shows produced from this budget will likely end up on their streaming Apple TV platform. By curating premium, high-quality content, Apple not only drives subscribers to its service but builds out its brand.

Others like Johnson & Johnson have been able to convert lead-generating and brand-strengthening content into a viable business model. J&J’s babycenter.com gets so much engagement that revenue generated from the site makes it actually profitable.

This first trend may not be too relevant for contractors without deep pockets, but it helps set perspective. While you may not be keen to spend millions on a dedicated content site launch, you can know that your efforts to create quality content are considered a smart move.

As the Content Marketing Institute writes: “All senior marketing executives are curious about the creation and flow of content, especially since nearly every company is creating more content this year than last.”

With this in mind, know that high-quality content creation is quickly becoming table stakes in digital marketing for businesses of all sizes.

Mobile Optimization Should Be Viewed as the Standard

No ifs, ands or buts about it: your content should always be optimized for mobile. In fact, you may want to consider a mobile-first strategy when designing content.

Nearly 70% of media consumption now occurs on mobile, according to Comscore. That means your audience is 2.3 times as likely to be viewing your content on a mobile device as opposed to desktop.

In response, you should ensure your content strategy and design embraces a mobile-centered viewpoint.

For example, all of your blog content layouts should use a responsive design that looks good in a vertically scrolling format. You should also ensure that your photos look big and bold on small mobile screens.

Knowing that the person who views your next article or video is likely to be using a mobile device will therefore influence the choices you make and how you approach content in general.

Video Marketing (And Live Video) Gets Even Bigger

contractor marketing ideas

We’ve already talked a lot about how important video marketing is for helping you succeed.

Just to recap a few statistics: 45% people spend more than an hour a week, on average, watching videos just on Facebook and Youtube. People collectively watch over 10 million videos on Snapchat in a single day.

Those stats indicate that huge audiences are out there, hungry for video content. Contractors able to get their attention through eye-catching videos and a steady stream of must-watches stand a better chance at bringing prospects into their marketing funnel.

One area where video has completely taken off with small business owners is live video. Most contractors don’t have the time or budget to start producing slick video assets. Yet, they do have access to smartphones and tripods.

A contractor (or their marketing head) can quickly devise an HD recording setup on their desk and begin live streaming. People generally have lower expectations of live streaming because they are more engaged and feel more closely connected to their hosts.

marketing for contractors business

In fact, viewers are willing to spend eight times longer watching live video compared to pre-recorded content. Contractors who host Q&As, live news updates, demonstrations or other types of content can attract captive audiences.

Best of all, they develop a stronger affinity for your brand. “Live streaming is a powerful content marketing tactic because of transparency,” observes Curata. “People love brands that are real; brands that talk, act and look like them.”

Native Advertising Becomes a More Consistent Source of High-Quality Content

In an era of Ad-Blocking and general marketing oversaturation, high-quality native advertisements have helped guide content strategy towards more engaging formats.

Native ads force businesses to understand their audience and what they expect when they consume media on a certain venue. For instance, a promoted Facebook post that looks like any other post from a friend can generate engagement. One that looks like an obnoxious banner ad won’t get clicks — and it may not even run.

Over time, native advertising has given companies an opportunity to flex their creative muscle. They are essentially being given a platform for standing alongside other popular content. Like amateur night at the Apollo, the last thing they want to do is embarrass themselves and get the hook.

Contractors that think about their content from a native ad perspective can often find greater levels of engagement and lead nurturing.

“Stricter advertising policies from tech giants like Facebook, combined with increasingly savvy consumers who won’t respond to noticeable, poor-quality ads will force native advertising to completely disassociate itself from terms like clickbait and wormhole,” content strategist Megan James told Entrepreneur. “Intelligent native advertising will be one of the largest distribution methods for high-end content that drives conversions.”

Putting the 2018 Content Marketing Trends to Good Use As A Contractor

effective marketing for contractors

If your goal is to engage and convert more prospects in 2018, content marketing for contractors can easily become their golden ticket.

By creating more live videos, using mobile as your standard and thinking about content from an audience perspective, you can boost the quality and appeal of your content like never before.

As a result, 2018 just might be the year you engage more prospects than ever through great content!

contractor marketing tips
Dec 25

5 Hard Truths Contractors Don’t Want To Hear About Digital Marketing

Social Media

We hope you’re sitting down, because we have something important to tell about digital marketing that will be hard for you to hear.

Actually, we have five important things to say, and they’re all going to be bitter pills to swallow.

But facing these digital marketing hard truths is the only way to stay afloat and efficient when it comes to achieving your online marketing goals in the years ahead. Listening to them will make you a better person and a better contractor.

So you may as well get it over with. Here are the five most important digital marketing truths contractors have to come to grips with in 2018 and beyond…

1. You Absolutely Need an Ad Budget to Get Any Traction on Social

digital marketing for contractors

Nearly 100% of contractors have strong reasons to be on social. Without a social presence, they miss out on online reach and lead gen capabilities. Their current and potential customers will also think less of a company that doesn’t have an adequate social presence.

Yet, these contractor businesses are at the mercy of constantly changing social platforms. Companies like Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn make major changes to improve the experience for the average user and help the company stock go up.

Notice how business users and advertisers are left out of the equation.

What we’re getting at is this: organic reach is tanking.

You have little chance of your posts showing up on people’s newsfeeds unless you apply some sort of budget to promote your posts. Businesses actively trying to boost conversions may also want to consider paying for banner ad space.

The good news is that even with a small budget you can get great results. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms all have great tools for helping you experiment with audience targeting and other parameters to chase better-optimized performance.

Start using these tools now, or else you won’t get anything out of your social channels. Even a small budget of $75 – $100 a month is enough to learn the ropes and start earning positive results.

2. Vanity Metrics Won’t Get You Anywhere

When doing anything online, you should tie your campaigns to target metrics that directly generate a dollar value — or that at least have a high chance of leading to extra money in the bank.

Yet, too often contractors prioritize vanity metrics. A “vanity metric” can be anything that is easy to measure and that can make you feel good but that ultimately has no connection to higher earnings.

Take this example from Social Media Today. They posted a hilarious meme five years ago that still gets thousands of shares and likes. Periodically, the meme will pick up steam and go viral in connection with current trending news.

But ultimately the post equals bupkis when it comes to actual marketing performance.

People who engage with or share the post are not likely to visit Social Media Today’s website since the post has no link to speak of. They are also not becoming more aware of the company’s offerings.

So, instead of just focusing on the amount of likes and followers you have, think fourth dimensionally. Identify metrics that lead to actual revenue, like demo signups or quote requests.

If you have a part of your marketing funnel that is lagging, then you can also prioritize things like email signups, landing page visits, and shares for your big online promotions.

The bottom line is to think about your bottom line with everything you do.

3. Keeping Up With Digital Marketing Hard Truths Through News, Data and Research is Essential

contractor digital marketing

What worked with digital marketing five years ago may not work today.

Contractor businesses used to get away with poorly written content as long as it had strong keyword signals, but that’s no longer the case. Now, high quality content that leads to low bounce rates is more important for ranking. You don’t even need the related keyword in the body of your page if your content is strong enough.

A mobile friendly website was once a nice-to-have, but now it’s essential.

Developments like these don’t come out of thin air. Companies like Google and Facebook will announce most changes well before they take effect.

Other developments, like what factors influence search engine ranking, must be learned through diligent research.

If you don’t keep your ear to the ground and actively search out this information, you will be basing your digital marketing strategy on myth and conjecture. Prioritize staying educated to stay ahead.

4. Bad Reviews Will Tank Your Reputation Unless You Actively Ask for Good Ones

50% of people check online reviews “most of the time” or “always,” but 55% of people say that they “rarely” or “never” leave a review.

This statistic shows that people put a lot of weight on the content of online reviews but usually don’t feel inclined to leave one themselves.

Contractors must therefore actively court reviews from all of their customers. Otherwise, they risk having their review score skewed in favor of people who tend to leave the most reviews: complainers.

Put another way, you have to keep actively adding to your volume of reviews. Most people who have a pleasant or positive experience will be likely to keep it to themselves unless you directly ask them. Remind them that their opinion is important to you and to others online, and you will see your score remain stable.

5. You Have to Be Constantly Gathering Data and Learning From It to Keep Up

digital marketing tips

Our last home truth is hard to hear because it involves lots of work. Simply put: digital marketing is an ongoing, fairly labor intensive process.

Most contractors prefer not to work this way. They want to establish baseline practices and stick to them.

This approach may result in happy customers when it comes to your actual operations, but it will never lead to growth through online marketing.

Instead, contractors must actively measure their digital marketing performance and learn from it. They have to establish benchmark metrics, set goals to improve them, experiment, and then measure the results. Then, they have to keep tweaking their approach until they can reliably grow their KPIs (key performance indicators).

Most galling of all, achieving consistent success is not an invitation to rest upon your laurels. Instead, you have to be prepared for ongoing changes and shifts that naturally occur.

Digital marketing is not a factory. You can’t just put in the same inputs and expect the outputs to remain consistent.

Instead, digital marketing is a sportscar engaged in a constant race with conditions that change all the time. It requires frequent tuning, measuring, testing and maintenance. It also requires you to change up your practices as the weather changes or the track itself is reshaped. Sometimes you have to swap out your entire engine just to stay in the race.

Yes, the act of continually taking your digital marketing campaigns’ temperature and making adjustments can be exhausting. But it’s the only way to stay ahead in a modern era where past performance is no guarantee of future success.

You have to make your own way while keeping your eye on competitors in the rearview mirror. And if you can stay focused on learning and improving your digital marketing strategy, you will always come out ahead.

best online marketing for contractors
Dec 22

2018 Instagram and Influencer Trends Could Help Contractors Drive Engagement

Social Media

Instagram has changed from a way to post artistic photos to a legitimate vehicle for contractors looking to drive engagement. The rise of influencers and influencer marketing for small businesses has played a huge part in this evolution.

In 2018, expect more contractor businesses than ever to jump aboard the Instagram marketing train. The eye-catching format is easy to use, and provides businesses with tools to keep their audiences engaged and informed.

New features and toolsets, like Instagram Stories, have also expanded what the platform can do for contractors. Thanks to Instagram’s powerful advertising tools, evolving features, and highly active audiences, contractors can use the platform to make big gains.

To help your business prepare its digital marketing strategy for the year ahead, take note of the following Instagram and influencer marketing trends that have nearly every small business owner saying, “Oh, that’s Insta-worthy!”

More Contractors Using Instagram Marketing

instagram marketing for contractors

Contractors have driven huge growth on Instagram. This includes growth of both unpaid organic account posts and paid advertising use.

According to Forbes, Instagram now has over 8 million business profiles. The platform saw 500% growth in the number of business accounts in just a few months last year.

Instagram execs credit the majority of this growth to small business users. Setting up an account is easy, and it’s also just as simple to begin using paid advertising tools to promote posts.

Why are contractors drawn to Instagram? Because huge audiences login every day, often several times a day. There were over 500 million monthly Instagram users and 300 million daily active users around this time last year.

Now, with the advent of features like Instagram Stories, that number has likely soared even higher.

Contractors can therefore use Instagram to get huge reach for their campaigns or fulfill brand awareness goals with just a little bit of effort.

Influencer Marketing Benefits for Contractors Stack Up

contractor advertising online

Big brands aren’t the only ones who use influencers to achieve marketing goals anymore. The ability for social media personalities to drive engagement and direct attention can benefit contractors and small businesses, too.

According to a recent study, 94% of marketers from a range of company sizes found that influencer marketing programs are successful.

Because influencers can pique their audience’s interests and motivate action, campaign goals like conversions or product awareness become much easier to achieve. Twitter claims that just under half of social media users trust recommendations and product reviews posted by influencers.

That power likely explains why some business owners found that influencer marketing generates 11 times greater ROI than other digital marketing channels.

Micro-Influencers Take on Huge Importance with Small Audiences

contractor job leads

Some influencers with a million plus followers like Michelle Phan have taken on celebrity status. They get invited to red carpet events and appear on mass broadcast TV ads.

As these average people become megastars, a clear distinction emerges between them and other influencers. Marketing experts have begun to split influencer types into multiple categories as a result.

“Macro-influencers” like Phan, Kim Kardashian and King Bach have millions of followers and a huge range of topics they cover. “Micro-influencers” have a small following of a few hundred to a few thousand people but often follow a much more niche focus.

Contractors have realized that micro-influencers are not only cheaper to work with, but they also drive campaign goals more effectively. Micro-influencers have this power because their audience feels stronger connections and finds the content posted more directly relevant to their interests.

You can see this connection in micro-influencer engagement rates. Influencers with less than 1,000 followers can engage 8% of their audience on average, while influencers 10 million+ followers only get “likes” from 1.6% of their audience, and an even lower frequency of comments and shares.

Put simply: contractors can work with micro-influencers to connect more authentically to audiences and drive more consistent action.

Instagram Stories and Live Video Make Engagement a Daily Affair

Most brands generally avoid posting on Instagram more than twice a day, except for on special occasions. Their reasons include diminishing returns and a fear of oversaturating their audience.

But, two new Instagram capabilities have begun to change that: stories and live video.

Live video can encourage people to watch content for eight times longer compared to pre-recorded video. Instagram stories displaying content that gets deleted after 24 hours similarly sparks our love of authentic experiences and our FOMO (fear of missing out).

Both approaches drive huge engagement levels for businesses of all sizes.

“Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month,” says Entrepreneur, “which is over 50 million more than those who use Snapchat — and Instagram Stories is just one year old! At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018.”

Businesses interested in driving attention towards certain campaigns or maintaining more active engagement with audiences can turn to Stories and Live video to accomplish these goals.

Increasing Demand for Brand Safety and Proof of ROI

contractor marketing strategy

The double-edged sword to influencer marketing is that some brands worry about influencers staining their reputation.

Video game streamer PewDiePie, who has the largest YouTube subscriber base of any channel, caused waves after repeatedly using extremely offensive language in his content. Brands that collaborated with PewDiePie had to cut their ties and make statements condemning his actions.

Since influencers are not brand employees, business owners invite a bit of risk when they collaborate with them.

The best way to avoid controversy is to look to influencers’ past behaviors. Ask questions before collaborating in any capacity, and make it clear that your relationship is dependent on a positive image for your business.

Similarly, tie any relationships you have with influencers to concrete KPIs, including ROI. It’s always better to start small with a relationship and establish proof of ROI before committing marketing dollars to a true collaboration.

For instance, try sending an influencer a free gift or just a kind request to highlight your latest campaign. If you like what they do with the information, you can work toward more collaborative content or even an endorsement-type relationship.

Trends in Instagram and Influencer Marketing for Contractors Can Help Your Brand Take Off Next Year!

All of the above trends point toward growing use of both Instagram and influencer marketing in small business circles. Contractors that enter these fields have the luxury of choosing as much or as little involvement as they want.

For brands that want to go all-in and invest heavily, they can often reap measurable returns for their efforts. But, these returns must be measured!

Only by setting goals and tracking performance can Instagram and influencers become a viable component of your contractor digital marketing strategy.

contractor marketing simplified
Dec 18

One Habit That Will Immediately Improve Any Contractor’s Online Reputation

Reputation

Millions of contractors all over the world struggle when it comes to generating a positive image of their company online. Despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to get momentum behind people expressing positive sentiment.

But one simple strategy can change all that: ask for a review.

Contractors that consistently ask people to review them after a transaction or service has been completed are far more likely to receive a higher volume of positive reviews. They also tend to get more detailed feedback from both happy and unhappy customers, which can inform strategic improvements.

Developing a habit within yourself and among your employees to ask for reviews is therefore the most important thing you can do. Doing so won’t just make you look better online; it will also help you genuinely become better thanks to the feedback you earn.

If you are a contractor or business owner trying your best to improve your online reputation, you can use the following tactics to increase the rate of reviews you get.

Recognize Why Positive Reviews Are So Important Yet So Hard to Get

contractor marketing pros reviews

As with most best practices, understanding why asking for reviews is important helps a ton with motivating your follow-through.

Firstly, people care about online peer reviews more than any other form of information on a product or service.

According to eMarketer, 31% of people 18+ trust the information they receive from online reviews. That’s the highest-rated source, beating out the 23% of people who indicated they trust recommendations and feedback from friends, family and colleagues the most.

Think about that: 8% more of the population trusts strangers online more than their own family and friends!

Millennials — those 18-35 years old — have an even bigger gap. 40% of them trust online reviews the most compared to 24% who prefer input from people they know personally.

Yet, there’s an even bigger gap between the likelihood of someone reading a review versus leaving a review.

Around half of people say they check reviews either “always” or “most of the time”. But 35% of people say they “rarely” leave online reviews and 20% say they “never” do it.

Making matters worse, people are more likely to leave a review after a negative experience compared to a positive one.

Getting happy customers to review your business is therefore a huge challenge, but one definitely worth meeting head on.

Contractors must recognize the importance of pushing through the uphill battle to earn more reviews. To help them find success, they can use any of the following tactics.

Make Verbal Requests Part of Every Customer Interaction

fast contractor leads reviews

Employees must be trained to ask for reviews at the end of their interactions with a customer. People are more likely to feel positively towards an individual requesting a review compared to a faceless request bearing a company logo.

“The person-to-person request is incredibly effective, particularly if the requester has spent a lot of time with the customer,” says digital marketing firm owner Brian Patterson. He reveals that in-person requests get seven to eight times more reviews compared to email.

Everyone in your company should therefore make it an instinct to ask for a review. Don’t be pushy or directly ask that they say something positive. Just request politely that they leave feedback “if they’ve had a good experience.”

Better yet, ask about their experience beforehand just as a barometer. If someone feels positively, suggest they leave a review.

If they react negatively, do everything you can to record their input and correct their issues. This helps them feel listened to, gives them an outlet to vent before they go online, and also gives you information for improving your services later on.

Make It as Easy as Possible for Someone to Review

How many times have you thought about leaving a review but didn’t?

This happens to people all the time, and they quickly forget that they meant to leave a review in the first place.

Fix this problem by sending helpful digital reminders.

Asking in-person is the first step since it creates intent in the mind of the customer. They promise someone something, so they have more intention to follow through compared to a generic “Review Us!” request.

The second step is to make leaving a review as effortless as possible.

Ideally, you email them a direct link to your preferred review site, such as Google or Yelp. You can also send out general reminders periodically on Facebook and other social media so past customers can remember to review you.

Some customers may even respond well to links sent via SMS, so take surveys and have customers indicate their preferred option so you can work with their tendencies, not against them.

Emphasize Strong Customer Service Basics

contractor marketing plan

When it comes to positive reviews, consistent service that delivers on baseline expectations is far more important than “wowing” the customer.

According to the Harvard Business Review, many efforts to “surprise and delight” the customer fall short. They write that “89 of the 100 customer service heads we surveyed said that their main strategy is to exceed expectations. But despite these Herculean—and costly—efforts, 84% of customers told us that their expectations had not been exceeded during their most recent interaction.”

Instead of going above and beyond, try to get the ground level right. Hammer home basic customer service practices, such as asking if someone needed help or if they experienced any problems.

Listening to customers during their transaction helps improve their positive sentiment towards their overall experience. If someone has an issue, try to resolve it or offer some way to make it up to them.

Speaking of which, gathering data from older reviews is an important step for contractors looking to improve their online reputation. Find patterns within negative feedback, and work to improve these recurring issues.

Also, make note of any positive feedback so you can explain the importance of certain aspects of the customer journey to employees, such as having a friendly attitude.

Monitor Online Reviews and Respond to Those That Need Your Attention

Respond to a reasonable rate of glowing positive reviews — maybe around 5% to 10% — and try to address issues presented in negative reviews.

When responding to negative reviews, always take the customer’s feelings and experience as gospel. Work on moving the relationship forward towards resolution rather than making excuses or arguing about what happened in the past.

You want to appear pro-active and eager to resolve conflicts rather than interested in starting publicly visible fights online.

Constantly Collect Customer Review Data to Improve Your Online Reputation

contractor leads reviews

Once you begin your efforts to earn more reviews and improve your reputation, track your results.

Try to look for patterns among the types of customers who are more likely to leave positive reviews. As an example, people who use a specific product or service may come away feeling more positive compared to others. Focus more on these people when requesting feedback.

You may also notice that certain tactics are more effective than others. Sending an email from a named employee email account compared to a generic “customer support” account can increase your positive review rate, for instance.

Over time, data generated from your reviews will reveal a path forward where a higher rate of your customers leave reviews, and a higher percentage of those have something nice to say.

Keep asking for reviews, and maintain focus on providing great experiences, and you should be able to improve your online reputation in no time flat!

video marketing for contractors
Dec 15

Video Marketing 2018 — Four Trends Every Contractor Should Know

Video

In 2018, use of video among contractors will mature and solidify into a “must have” marketing component. Businesses able to make strategic use of video will seize critical opportunities for sales lift and market share.

Many marketers hailed 2017 as “the year of video,” and with good reason. Video marketing, video advertising and overall video consumption boomed in the past 10 months.

61% of all businesses now use video content in their digital marketing plans. Two out of every three of these businesses are newcomers to video.

Additionally, video consumption continues to rise online. Estimates from this summer predict that overall video consumption via mobile will increase by 35% by the end of this year.

All of these developments foretell a new year where digital video will be more important than ever for contractors'’ success. Those who take advantage of the following four video marketing trends in 2018 will likely be in for a great year ahead.

Video Content Marketing Becomes a Must-Have for Contractors

contractor digital marketing

Consumers’ preference for video has steered most content strategies towards a video-heavy portfolio. Business owners who steer towards video find tremendous value in the form of boosted returns.

For one, people complete video content more frequently than the average non-visual, text-based blog article. According to Vidyard, over a third of all video viewers (37%) make it to the end of the video’s run time.

Nearly all of mobile users who watch video (92%) have a tendency to share video content with others. Simply Measured also says that video gets shared around 12x more frequently than content links or text.

Other studies show that audiences retain video in messaging better than text.

With all of these advantages, businesses putting video content out there will see higher levels of engagement,  shares and conversions into their marketing funnel. Having a video component to your digital marketing strategy will therefore become a competitive differentiator in the months ahead.

Contractors looking to get into video can start by transforming existing content assets into a short (around 2.5 minutes or less) summary. Look to the assets with the most views and shares for inspiration.

Video Becomes an Integral Part of the Sales Pipeline

Video not only generates awareness, it can help nurture sales in both B2C and B2B industries. 65% of business decision-makers will visit a startup’s website, claims ComScore.

Offering video content helps turn what could be a pushy and person-intensive sales process into a self-service nurturing pipeline. Interested prospects can view video content hosted on websites or shared via social to learn more about products and features. As they educate themselves, they move towards the end of the sales funnel with minimal person-to-person contact.

Self-guided lead nurturing not only reduces employee overhead, it also results in a more pleasant experience for leads. 19% of prospects claim they only want to hear from a company rep when they are actively considering a purchase. 40% of prospects want to be able to buy without talking to anyone at all.

Meeting this need involves considering how video assets can provide value at every stage of the sales/marketing funnel.

contractor marketing tools

For instance, contractors can cultivate awareness by creating emotional or intriguing video advertising assets.

Video content marketing assets provided on their website next to text content can help buyers at the nurturing stage. In-depth explainer videos can help lay out different buying options or the final steps in the procurement process for those ready to close the deal.

“When you incorporate video into your sales processes, customers get what they want: a frictionless, self-serve experience on their time, and on their terms,” says WireBuzz.

Think about buyer needs that were once traditionally met with person-to-person interactions and imagine how video can replace these needs with a self-service, video-heavy customer journey.

Websites Expand Use of Product and Explainer Videos

Vamping off the point above, even retail consumers expect video content during their sales journey.

According to Business2Community, “25% of consumers will lose interest in your brand if you don’t have a video explaining your product or service.”

If you sell retail goods online or even exclusively in-store, your customers will want to see live demonstrations and rundowns of product features.

For a good example of how you can showcase product videos on your ecommerce or business website, take a look at RevZilla. They include a video summary with most new products and all of their best sellers to keep buyers informed and engaged.

Live Video, 360° Video, Slideshows and Other Video Formats Gain Traction

best marketing tools for contractors

Live video presents an easy, low-budget and low-concept way to create more video content for audiences. Brands can engage with audiences in a way that feels authentic and like a 1:1 conversation.

Peppering live video into your content marketing and social engagement strategy can therefore quickly round out your assets without a massive up-front investment.

On the other end of the spectrum is 360° video. These assets use a special camera setup to capture a full spherical range of images. Audiences can then use a smartphone headset like the Google Daydream to tilt and move their head as the video plays, changing their viewpoint as one might in real life.

360° video results in a truly immersive and memorable experience. But the high cost of equipment and production means businesses require an airtight strategy for converting 360° videos into measurable returns.

contractor marketing tips

Somewhere in between live video and 360° are alternative video formats:

  • — Slideshow video — A series of connected images played in a sequence to convey motion or a story
  • — 6-second video — Taking a page from the Vine format, these short videos communicate messages quicker than text and in a more-engaging way than static images

Formats like these lower production costs for video — especially video ads — while still providing higher levels of engagement. Best of all, they can communicate well even without sound.

Since 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, slideshow and short-form video assets provide substantial returns with a relatively minimal investment.

In 2018, Video Marketing Trends Will Define Contractor Success

If 2017 was a year of pioneering growth for video, 2018 will be the year people expect business owners and contractors to give their video marketing campaigns some structure.

By using the above trends in combination with intelligent strategy and dutiful measurement of KPIs, contractors can bring in bigger audiences than ever before.

social media marketing for contractors
Dec 11

12 Social Media Tools Contractors Can’t Live Without

Social Media

Running social media marketing becomes infinitely easier when you find the right tech tools to do most of the work for you.

There are countless platforms out there designed to help you save time while adding more power and control.

We sifted through the absolute best of these social media tools to bring you our top recommendations. Use them to open your social media profiles up to become more diverse and creative. You will also end the frustration of struggling through complex workflow to complete tasks.

We tried to avoid any platforms that require a significant buy-in. As a result, most of the following tools are free or have a low-cost option for contractors. We’re also leaving out the big total management tools like Buffer, HootSuite, SproutSocial, AgoraPulse and others.

The following 21 best apps and browser-based platforms fit our criteria and can improve your social media marketing success in 2018 and beyond.

Bitly

marketing strategies for contractors

Bitly does two amazing things for you: 1) Shortens links to make post text cleaner and better looking 2) Provides a custom redirect so that you can track CTR on your shared links and possible behavior after the click.

The free version of Bitly is indispensable for any social media page that wants to share links. Without it, you have no reliable way to track engagement.

Backly

Backly lets you share links while providing on-page reminders to go back to your branded site or social account later. The tool provides a pop-up frame on content pages you share, keeping audiences thinking about your brand even as they browse outside your owned pages.

Use Backly to drive traffic back to your website with each link share and avoid people getting distracted from your in-brand experience.

Refind

Ever see something cool online, think “I’ll save that for later,” and then forget about it? Lots of people do, which is why tools like Refind are so great.

Refind saves and tracks links you find when browsing. It can also analyse your links and find other ones worth looking at and sharing.

The Refind platform ultimately intends to work as a type of social community. You can link up with other Refind users through their social accounts to see what else they are saving and sharing. These stats help you track trending content, especially among niches.

Quuu

Quuu is perfect for finding interesting links in your brand niche. The app is 100% free. All you have to do is plug in a number of interest categories, and it starts suggesting and saving personalized recommendations.

Using Quuu will help flesh out your content and keep it focused towards your business area and brand values. The only drawback is that the current version must plug into Buffer or Hootsuite in order to operate.

Social Mention

contractor marketing tools

Social Mention is a search browser specifically for mentions of certain brand, influencers, trending topics or products. Use it to get a quick overview of conversations involving your brand or area of business interest.

You can also link the Social Mention API to other apps if you are savvy enough to handle the custom coding.

Yotpo

Yotpo lets you gather together all reviews and user-generated content related to your brand.

The platform is super useful since it makes it easier than ever to link to or share content mentioning your brand. For instance, you can use it to find user photos related to your business and share them as social proof that you have loyal fans.

It is one of the few tools we’ll mention that requires a higher-end plan to work, but the platform is incredibly versatile thus worth a look.

Yala

contractor marketing software

Yala can schedule posts for you automatically, but it has an even better feature. By monitoring your feed for engagement, Yala will suggest peak times for posting your content.

You can use Yala through either Slack or Facebook messenger. It has a free trial as well as a monthly or yearly subscription.

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is the perfect tool for editing photos on the fly. It’s free and works right in your browser or app.

You can use it to touch up photos taken on your mobile device before posting or create unique content through effects, text captions and more. Spark also lets you rapidly create branded videos with text captions.

Rocketium

Rocketium can turn photo slideshows or short videos into captioned videos.

Since video drives engagement better than text and 80% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, Rocketium can be an awesome tool for driving engagement. You can use it to repurpose blog content or longer videos into something highly engaging.

It is an even more lightweight and easy to use platform than Adobe Spark. While it lacks Spark’s editing prowess, it does make up for this with rapid results.

Pixabay

Pixabay is one of the best sources online for royalty free stock photos. You can use it to search for free stock photos through your browser or the Pixabay phone app.

Since images are important for getting better engagement on social media posts, Pixabay can be a lifesaver. It’s particularly effective when you combine it with photo editing tools like Adobe Spark or Rocketium.

BuzzSumo

contractor marketing ideas

BuzzSumo helps you find trending content on certain keywords and topics. Business owners can use the tool to hone their conversations, optimize content to get better engagement, and find buzzworthy links to share.

IFTTT

IFTTT stands for “if this, then that”. It lets you create custom rules that trigger certain events across a range of apps. For instance, if you post a new blog, IFTTT can automatically create new posts in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, post them for you, and email everyone on your mailing list about the new post.

Business owners who want to simplify the way they manage multiple marketing channels will love IFTTT since it helps you create powerful algorithms without even a lick of programming experience.

Tell Us About Your Favorite Social Media Tools We Missed!

best marketing tools for contractors

The dozen tools we covered are just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless other free or low-cost social media tools that provide huge benefits to contractors and business owners.

So tell us which ones we missed! If you have a favorite tool you use, we would love to hear your recommendations in the comments. Tell us how you use and why you love it.

Between our own recommendations and those from our fellow readers, contractors will quickly find themselves getting better social marketing results than ever.