contractor marketing strategy
Oct 13

How To Improve Customer Experience

Reputation

Customers interact with brands across many touchpoints, and each makes an impact on your relationship. Ultimately, a brand must keep the big picture in mind — the total experience for the customer from the beginning of the funnel to the end — to have success in business.

There are many ways to influence the customer experience, but the best strategies come down to your particular contractor business and goals. Learn more about how to improve the customer experience and reap the rewards for your business.

What is Customer Experience?

contractor marketing tips

Customer experience is comprised of the interactions between a customer and the business over the course of the business relationship. This typically includes cultivation, awareness, discovery, advocacy and service, but it can refer to any and all business interactions between your customer and a member of your staff.

Customer experience is an important part of Customer Relationship Management and impacts whether or not a customer has a positive view of your company and will become a loyal and repeat customer. Overall, customers who are happy remain loyal, leading to more business for you in the long run. Contractor businesses that deliver better customer service and a better overall experience are more likely to outperform the competition.

How Does Customer Experience Differ from Customer Service?

contractor marketing tools

A customer’s earliest contact with a business is through an interaction with an employee, which gives you a chance to positively impact them with customer service. Customer service is only one aspect of the whole customer experience, however.

For example, if you have an issue with a company and encounter a friendly customer service representative, that’s good customer service. If you have a positive experience with the product or service itself, however, that’s a good customer experience.

Customer service is still incredibly important, but it’s no longer the sole focus of customer experience. Customer experience has everything to do with the ways a business interacts with customers and how it strengthens customer relationships.

Where Does Customer Experience Fit In?

contractor online marketing

A business relies on its customers for success, which is why so many contractor businesses are focusing on gaining new customers and retaining existing customers. Customer experience is high on the list of priorities, especially for businesses that have been around for a while.

Unfortunately, many contractor businesses fail on this front. Customer expectations continue to rise though, so contractors need to focus on crafting an excellent user experience to stay ahead of the curve.

So, how does a contractor business accomplish this?

Create a Customer Service Vision

Before you can plan any type of customer service strategy, you need to have a clear vision for what that means for your business that you can communicate to your team.

Ultimately, this comes down to defining your vision and the principles and values that guide your business. For example, your contractor business may be focused on excellent customer service, philanthropy or other fundamental values, all of which direct your culture.

Understand Your Customer Base

Once you have your principles, the next step is understanding your customers and what they’re expecting of your business. These are the people your customer service teams are interacting with, so if you really want to connect with your customers, your staff needs to be able to empathize with their needs.

This can be done through customer personas, indicating a general demographic and behavior for groups of customers. Your business is likely to attract a wide variety of customers, so you need to have an idea of how to approach each one for an effective experience.

Connect with Customers

Contrary to popular belief, connecting is about more than addressing a customer’s needs. It’s about going above and beyond to understand your customers and tailor your operations around them.

Emotions are a big motivator in how consumers make decisions, so it makes sense that establishing an emotional connection between your customers and your customer service staff is a powerful strategy. Customers become loyal because they become emotionally attached to your brand and the product or service you provide.

If you can provide that level of connection to your customers and address their needs on a more personal level, you’ll not only enjoy a repeat customer for life, but you’ll also have a customer who is more willing to make recommendations and stick to your brand and your brand only.

Get Feedback

Like anything else, the best way to see how your customer experience rates is with feedback. Several tools exist to help with this, capturing information through surveys and other automated tools to help you can learn more about how you’re satisfying the customer’s needs.

Making direct calls is also an option, which also has the added benefit of speaking directly to a customer and asking questions as they come up.

No matter what method you choose, it’s important to make note of the people in your business that are making a difference. The best way for your staff to know that they’re on the right track is with feedback, so do your best to share this information and ensure they’re aware of their individual impact.

Implement Training

The previous tips should give you a good idea of how your business is doing with customer experience so far, but if you want to continue to improve, you’ll need to implement strategies and training to address weaknesses.

It’s not uncommon to have businesses monitor phone or email communication, but it’s in your business’s best interests to assess the members of the team individually and continue their development through training and coaching.

Consider Employee Feedback

Many businesses use employee feedback to assess the engagement and satisfaction of their teams, which directly affects their performance. This is usually on a yearly basis, however, so it leaves gaps during which employees may not be delivering the constructive criticism you need at the right time.

Fortunately, a variety of project management software systems allow you to create an environment that allows employees to provide feedback. They’re the ones often in direct contact with your customers, after all, so their feedback can be incredibly valuable in addressing the current issues your business is facing.

Use Metrics

The face of online business has changed, so it can be challenging for businesses to get behind a process that doesn’t have a quantifiable result. If you’re going to put the time, energy and money into revamping the customer experience, you want to know that it will pay off in the end.

Measuring customer experience is a challenge, especially when compared to other aspects of marketing, but it’s not impossible. Several tools are available to measure customer experience, giving you a starting point for assessing your business changes and how much your efforts are paying off.

Move Your Business Forward

Customers are expecting more and more from modern businesses, and as always, word-of-mouth is one of the biggest factors in whether or not a business or contractor is successful. Furthermore, the power given to customers has emboldened them more, giving rise to better and better standards for businesses seeking to improve the customer experience.

Like other aspects of digital marketing and presence, customer experience needs nurturing and honing to stay relevant and continue to reap rewards for your contractor business. Once you get it right, however, a positive customer experience can have a significant impact on retention, loyalty and revenue, leading to long-term success for your business.

seo for contractors
Oct 08

Outdated SEO Practices You Should Retire

SEO

The internet constantly evolves. As search engines become increasingly skilled at delivering targeted content to their customers, SEO best practices quickly become outdated and threaten to drop your site low in the rankings.

Fortunately, these outdated SEO practices are easy to avoid once you know them. Take a look at the SEO practices that once reigned supreme but now put your site at risk, and find out what you should do instead for long-lasting success.

Focusing Only on Keywords

local seo for contractors

Keywords aren’t the be-all-end-all of modern SEO as they once were. Sites used to be designed entirely around target keywords, but adapting to the new SEO tactics requires a different strategy.

Keywords listed in title tags, headers and meta descriptions aren’t readable, and worse, are now punished by Google algorithms. Instead, write enticing, interesting title tags, compelling copy for meta descriptions and intriguing headings that draw the reader further into the article. Not only is this content more readable, but it also ranks higher in Google, which searched for content quality and relevance more than anything else.

Prioritizing Rankings over Traffic

top seo companies for contractors

Many businesses put the number one organic ranking above all else, which doesn’t help ROI and does little for the increasingly popular voice search.

Instead, featured snippets, long-tail targeting and other SERP tactics should be the focus. These not only have a higher ROI per hour spent, but they also aren’t as competitive and often bring you around to the primary keyword anyway.

Creating Multiple Pages for Keyword Variants

best seo for contractors

In the past, it made sense for a site to create and optimize pages for each keyword variant to cast the widest possible net. This was mostly due to Google’s inability to differentiate between similar keywords and organize the search results accordingly.

Now, Google’s algorithms are capable of finding multiple pages that use similar content and keywords, and they penalize you for it. This doesn’t mean you need to simplify everything, but it does mean that you should eliminate multiple pages for every variant with the intent of keyword optimization. Instead, focus on the user experience with your site and the optimal funnel, which will get you high marks in search engine algorithms.

Link Building to Improve Rankings

Many businesses attempt to move up the search engine rankings with link building, but this outdated practice no longer works with modern SEO. Now, searcher task accomplishment, user experience and valuable content get the ranking.

As Neil Patel states, the golden rule of SEO, regardless of algorithm changes, is searcher task accomplishment. Google’s first and foremost concern is giving searchers exactly what they’re looking for, which can’t be accomplished with SEO shortcuts. Google wants to reward sites that help the searcher with what they searched for initially, uncover other possible needs and address them. Ultimately, the goal through this is to find the sites that lead to more action and engagement.

All of this can be accomplished through high-quality, relevant content and an optimized user experience. If Google’s main goal is to go above and beyond to serve the needs of searchers, your site experience should focus on that as well.

Obsessing on Keyword Placement

Spending a lot of time and energy putting keywords in the H1 and H2, the headline tags, as well as the URL or repeated multiple times throughout the content, works, but only to an extent. For example, you want to have your keyword in the title or headline, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be stuffed into every area.

Instead, focus on getting value out of the keywords and their related topics. Make sure that the content explains the subject, topics, words or phrases that Google is likely to associate with the keyword. You can scatter your keyword all over your site and links, but if you don’t have related content that Google may recognize, you won’t rank as well.

Ignoring Mobile Site Optimization

Designing for mobile sites isn’t new, but many businesses are still behind the times with sites that are far from mobile-friendly. Even if most of your audience uses a desktop to view your content, you could be missing out on loads of mobile traffic.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Software that isn’t supported or common on mobile devices, links that are too close together and cause accidental clicks and text that doesn’t have a readable zoom are enough to move a user away from your content, so that’s a great place to start. Google also offers a guide to mobile-friendly sites to ensure you’re on the right track.

Churning Out Low-Quality Copy

The old rule for SEO used to be quantity over quality, but now, Google will penalize you for it. Low-grade blog fillers, stuffed keywords and other tactics are a flag to Google that your writing has no relevance, so it will direct users elsewhere.

On top of the effects on SEO, low-quality copy just isn’t good for business or marketing. It’s less likely to draw visitors in, less likely to convert visitors and less likely to bring them back, actions which are much more valuable to a business than a ranking on a search engine.

Offering Non-Strategic, Shallow Content

Content strategy and content marketing have become a considerable investment for businesses in recent years, sometimes with the idea of drawing links to a site that aren’t relevant or helpful. We’ve all seen this with “clickbait” articles that include information that has nothing at all to do with the original site.

On the other hand, link bait that offers high-quality content that draws others to link to it and draws attention, as well as creates a positive brand association, is far more valuable for your site. This requires information that’s interesting and makes others naturally want to link to it, which is best accomplished through content that solves a problem effectively and enhances the value of another’s site.

Ignoring Other Search Engines

We’ve discussed these tactics at length in regard to Google, but that doesn’t mean other search engines should be left by the wayside. True, Google has the most comprehensive set of resources for SEO and is undoubtedly the most popular search engine, but if you’re forgetting about the likes of Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, you’re missing out.

These search engines are a major source of organic traffic, so don’t neglect their tools in your planning process. They can easily supplement your SEO efforts and often provide even more data to work with, giving you a thorough understanding of your total SEO picture.

The Best Way to Update Your Outdated SEO Practices

As discussed, Google is only concerned with solving the searcher’s problem. Whether that’s through related keywords, related topics or other tactics, all Google cares about is directing users to sites that are useful, valuable and relevant.

Because of this, the key to modern SEO is creating a website that people want to use by offering value and solving problems. This isn’t about shortcuts or cheating the system, which will only change tomorrow. It’s about caring for your customers and focusing on helping them, rather than artificially inflating rankings. Put a little effort into that, and you’ll start to see long-lasting results.

contractor marketing ideas
Sep 28

Starved for Content Ideas? Here’s How Original Research Can Keep You Blogging for Months

Content Marketing

Wondering how you’re going to keep your content calendar full for the rest of the year? Thousands of contractors struggle when it comes to coming up with content ideas, and a simple strategy can help them: conduct a study or survey.

Original research provides tons of benefits for businesses seeking content marketing performance gains. They can accompany the release of the study with a recap series, for instance. After that, they can dive in-depth into some of the findings for unique takes or insightful real-world applications of the data. At the same time, they can introduce their study to online outlets that get mega traffic with guest posts.

The beauty of conducting original research is that you don’t even have to do all of the content writing yourself! In addition to the content topic possibilities listed above, there’s also a good chance that someone might cite your data or share your report on their own blog. Well-performed research that answers important questions in your field can receive references and citations for months. You may even get quoted as an expert as a result of your own analysis!

The possibilities are practically endless, and they all start from a single research idea. Here’s how to get your own research project off the ground—and how to spin it into content gold for months to come.

Start With a Burning Research Question

internet marketing for contractors

Research tells us something about the world we didn’t know yet. In other words, research answers a question through the data it gathers.

For that reason, all great studies have to start with a great research question. You can quantify something no one’s ever quantified before, such as the costs of never washing your car revealed through the corresponding damage to paint and mechanical components.

Or, you can give a more specific answer to a question that’s already been tackled. A lot of research involves bringing findings up to date, for example. You can also examine how a research question might be answered within a specific geographical location or within a specific demographic. Sure, you might know that a majority of Americans love hamburgers, but how do people in your hometown feel about grilled versus griddle-fired burgers? And would they take a bite out of a veggie burger if given the opportunity?

When devising a research question, keep in mind that it can’t just be something you find interesting. It should also satisfy a number of other criteria, such as:

  • Would my target audience find this interesting and informative?
  • Does my research align with my business goals or my unique brand story?
  • Will this research answer a question that hasn’t been covered yet?

With these criteria in mind, try to approach your research question from the perspective of the unique niche your contractor business occupies. The more parallels the research has with your brand personality and how you approach your business, the better.

Learn Research Best Practices

Research can be hard, especially when it comes time to compile your results! You want your data to tell a story somehow, but you can’t get to that story if your research structure is a mess.

Start by determining what sort of research you’ll conduct. It can be a:

  • Simple survey
  • In-depth survey that includes qualitative responses
  • Review of existing research that combines two or more “knowns” to explain an unknown
  • Manual data gathering from raw data sources
  • Field research with data gathering at the source of information

Those study types are listed roughly in order of complexity and effort required. But don’t underestimate how even the simplest of surveys can turn into a difficult process when you neglect to follow best practices!

First, approach your data in layers. The “layers” of your data refer to different qualities of that data.

For instance, suppose you wanted to conduct a study of the types of restaurants in your hometown. “Chain/franchise restaurants vs. independent restaurants” serves as one layer. “Quick service vs. sit down” can act as another layer. You can also organize the restaurants by location, such as “downtown vs. just off the interstate”.

All of these qualities provide details that can be used later in your analysis. You can make observations like “chain restaurants are more common along busy stretches of road except in downtown.” Or, you can be able to say that “the ratio of chain restaurants to independent businesses has shrunk 50 percent in the past year.” Findings like these tell a story, but you need your data to be organized first.

When conducting surveys, you can make this process easier by including a demographics portion in the beginning of the survey. You can then use this information to discover trends among responses, such as “twice as many business owners worry about energy prices compared to non-business owners.”

Come Up with a Hypothesis That Uses Research Layers to Answer Questions

construction contractor marketing

Research isn’t just about gathering data; it’s about using that data to prove or disprove assumptions called hypotheses.

Accordingly, you want to go ahead and come up with a few hypothesis ideas before you start assembling your data. Go ahead and predict your results based on your gut instincts or what you consider common knowledge. If your research aims to debunk a commonly believed fact, you can operate on the hypothesis that the fact will be wrong.

If you’re completely at a loss for hypotheses, you can predict that there will be no trends whatsoever among your data.

Use Your Hypotheses to Come Up With Pertinent Survey Questions or Data Sources

Your hypotheses guide your research in very concrete ways. If you’re conducting a survey, a hypothesis will help you determine questions to ask that can directly answer it.

For example, let’s say that your hypothesis is that “people are willing to spend more money at a local establishment compared to a franchise.” To prove or disprove that hypothesis, you can ask things like:

  • How often have you visited a franchise business in the past month?
  • On average, what do you spend within the following ranges: $5-$10, $10-$15, etc.
  • Do you try to support local businesses on purpose?
  • Which of the following reasons encourage you to support local businesses? I know the owner, I want the money to go back to the community, etc.

Assign Categories Early on Within Your Analysis

After gathering all the data you need, it’s time to process that data into something people can digest at a glance. One of the easiest ways to do so is to lump datasets into different categories.

Going back to the local vs. franchise question, maybe you think that people who have lived in the town all their lives are more likely to make a choice compared to newcomers. Or, maybe you think that people who make a certain amount in their yearly salary are more apt to make a certain decision?

Consider these assumptions as secondary hypotheses, and test them out as you compile your data. If your hypothesis is wrong, try approaching data from a new angle.

Of course, you should also leave yourself open to discovery! Sometimes just dropping data into bar graphs is enough to have findings jump out at you all on their own.

Use Your Findings to Brainstorm Different Uses for Your Study

construction contractor marketing

Completing your study is just the beginning of a new phase: publishing your results and using those results for related content.

Examples of ways to use your results include:

  • A summary press release
  • An in-depth report
  • Sharable infographics or slide shows
  • Blogs discussing specific trends you’ve seen
  • Editorial-style blogs combining your research findings with your own thoughts and other commentary
  • Promotional materials that use your findings to make a point
  • Guest posts presenting you as a subject authority where you get to assert your findings with data to back it up
  • E-books

Sort these ideas into priorities, including your “yeses,” “nos” and “maybes.” Then, work your way down the list!

With this method, you can keep chugging along with new content based off the same information for months. You can also always update your research later with a newer, more-current study.

In this way, original research is the gift that keeps on giving! It can help you make a name for yourself, drive engagement on your content, position you as a subject authority, and so much more. At the very least, you’ll never be lacking for new content ideas.

contractor marketing tips
Sep 22

After the Reddit Redesign, Should Your Business Give the Social Channel a Look?

Social Media

Many business owners and contractors overlook Reddit as a social media marketing channel, but recent changes to the platform should have them all reconsidering. A complete overhaul has modernized the look and feel of Reddit’s various niche-focused forums. As a result, community members are engaging even more frequently than ever—with both posts and ads.

According to Reddit’s Zubair Jandali, their VP of brand partnerships, the platform has been engaging users at a rate three to seven times higher compared to before the redesign. Interestingly, ad response rates have also been rising. “Advertising didn’t play a role in the redesign per se,” Jandali told Marketing Land, “but we’re seeing much stronger engagement on ads by virtue of the fact the core organic experience is more engaging.”

Contractors have opportunities to engage directly with community members in ways that build brand awareness and relationships. However, they have to use the right strategy. Reddit notoriously fights against forms of intrusive marketing, and especially accounts that fail to be transparent about their business affiliations.

If you can play your Reddit marketing cards right and treat the community with respect, you can improve your brand image, open new lead sources, and subtly promote your offerings to an audience of millions.

What Is Reddit, and How Does It Work?

social media marketing for contractors

Reddit is a social media platform with a dedicated community of 330 million monthly active users and over 542 million monthly visitors. That’s a bigger community than Twitter and enough traffic to make Reddit the No. 5 most-visited U.S. site as of August 2018.

The structure of Reddit combines an old-school forum format from the early 2000s with user-centric social media features of today. Posts are centered around text-based topics of conversation or links to popular content. Users have the option to “upvote” posts they like.

Upvoting increases the chances of a post making the front page for a particular niche forum, a “subreddit.” If a post gets enough traffic or upvotes within its subreddit, it can end up on Reddit’s homepage. The Reddit homepage aggregates posts across a staggering range of topics, which is why the company refers to it as the “Front Page of the Internet.”

After a post is made, anyone can reply with comments, and individual comments can be voted up or down to increase their visibility. Someone who says something clever or interesting, for example, might be upvoted to the top of a post. Someone who makes a bad joke or responds in a rude way to other users will get downvoted, burying their post and sometimes even leading to it getting hidden from view.

When users violate the rules repeatedly, they’re likely to catch the attention of moderators. Mods can ban users from specific subreddit forums or even have their DNS address blocked, preventing them from making new accounts. Each forum has its own set of moderation rules. Rules commonly discourage asking for upvotes, posting promotional comments or links too often (spamming), and posting content that’s irrelevant to the subreddit topic.

Individual users get notifications when they get replies to their comments or posts. They also get points based on how many votes they get, which are called “karma.” Users generally respect other users who have high levels of karma or who are regularly seen contributing interesting posts and responses.

In sum: Reddit is a place where people go to see interesting links and engage one another in productive conversations. Community members are not only highly enthusiastic and engaged, but they also take action when they see something they don’t like. This quality separates Reddit from social media channels like Facebook, where your experience is at the mercy of the platform and the sometimes nasty users that visit it.

Why Is Reddit a Good Social Media Marketing Channel?

marketing strategies for contractors

Reddit has a reputation for its tight-knit, informed community. It remains distinctive by using community-led moderation to cut down on all the noise other social platforms create. People who don’t abide by etiquette (“reddiquette”) guidelines get “downvoted” into oblivion. This tendency prevents trolls and spammers from stealing attention or derailing conversations.

For marketers, Reddit provides an opportunity for authentic interaction with people interested in your industry niche. There are over a million different subreddits for every conceivable community out there. You’ll find professionals like photographers exchanging advice, dedicated hobbyists like golfers sharing links, and fans of just about every pop culture franchise under the sun conducting spirited debates on opinions and theories.

Contractors or business owners have two main opportunities when trying to reach communities related to their industry vertical:

  1. Advertising in relevant subreddit forums, ensuring that every ad impression reaches someone who cares about that niche
  2. Participating as a user to answer questions, share links, and generally engage with the community

The first strategy runs through Reddit’s advertising platform, making it a business activity like any other. The second strategy poses more complexity and much greater risk of alienating your community. But when brands or employees conduct themselves well and remain transparent about their affiliations, they can reap substantial rewards.

How to Not Get “Flamed” for Marketing Through Reddit

online marketing for contractors

There is an inherent risk with using Reddit as a marketing tool: the community could revolt against you and ban you so fast it will make your head spin.

“Redditors are a particular community,” writes the Dreamgrow blog. “If they suspect you’re there because of marketing reasons, things can quickly turn bad.”

You may wonder: “If marketers get chased off the platform with torches and pitchforks, then why would anyone bother marketing on Reddit?” Well, the truth is that the community isn’t opposed to marketing outright.

In fact, you could easily argue that tons of subreddits are nothing but a grassroots marketing campaign. There’s an Olive Garden subreddit (r/unlimitedbreadsticks) with 8,600 members. The r/blackfriday subreddit has over 31,000 subscribers and is dedicated to giving people alerts about deep holiday discounts. r/gaming, one of the biggest subreddits at 18 million members, is wholly dedicated to discussing products people buy.

What separates the things these communities do from the more loathed version of marketing? A few things:

  1. Product-focused communities are built around the fans’ needs, not the needs of a company that wants to make money.
  2. The actual companies represented in these subreddits understand they have a very delicate relationship with their community.
  3. Companies and their employees must always be transparent with their affiliations. Reddit users don’t like to be deceived even more than they don’t like being forced to participate in marketing schemes.

Each one of these principals reveals an important reality that contractors and businesses interested in Reddit marketing must come to grips with. Looking at No.2 above, the lesson is that moderators run the subreddits, not brand employees. The brands themselves only show up to answer questions or reveal information people wouldn’t find anywhere else.

If Patagonia has just started a huge ad push for their new jackets, r/CampingGear probably doesn’t need the company to make a new post telling them what they can already see on TV. Similarly, if people are asking opinions on the Patagonia brand, then Patagonia should be really careful about having someone go in and post “Yeah! The jackets are great!” without disclosing their relationship to the company. People will dig through your account to find proof that you are a “corporate shill” after all.

On the other hand, if a Patagonia rep sees the above thread and notices someone has a question about their repair policy, then they can declare “I work for Patagonia, and here’s how we repair things…” and receive a positive reception. Or, if someone wants to let people know that there’s a sale on specific high-demand items at a particular retailer, the community might appreciate the head’s up.

It’s all about thinking from the user’s perspective. If you are transparent and provide some valuable information or entertaining content, then people will warm up to you. If you try to trick them or post nothing but spammy promotions, they’ll quickly find ways to keep you from coming around.

Reconsidering Reddit Marketing in Light of the New Platform Improvements

Now that Reddit has improved its interface in ways that keep the community engaged, it’s definitely worth a look. You can depend on the platform to build audiences, generate traffic, create leads, and generally elevate your brand image in the eyes of users. You can also advertise under specific, relevant subreddits to earn clicks from people who are eager about your niche.

Be a good user, keep people’s feelings in mind, and always strive to provide value—that’s the key to building a community in Reddit that thinks you deserve all the karma you can get.

 

video marketing for contractors
Sep 15

Everything You Need to Create a YouTube Channel That’s Ready to Grow

Video

Despite being over a decade old, YouTube still acts as a ripe garden bed for audience growth. Brands looking to interact with audiences in current, relevant ways will find that video marketing content is one of the most effective methods they have at their disposal. They’ll also find that YouTube still remains one of the best platforms to host this content.

While big social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are shrinking, YouTube pulls in over 1.8 million unique users every month. That figure, by the way, ignores all of the views that come from people who aren’t logged into a Google or YouTube account. YouTube’s traffic volume is so large that it is the second biggest search engine after Google and likely the most common platform for embedded videos seen around the web.

Creating a YouTube channel is therefore one of the best methods for earning traffic and engagement from audiences. By making smart moves and structuring your YouTube channel properly, your video content marketing campaigns can be poised for excellent growth. You’ll also be positioned to easily share and embed video content in order to grow your viewer base. It’s the perfect recipe for branded exposure!

You can start your business’s YouTube channel off on the right foot by following these steps to create a channel and give it the most growth potential.

1. Decide on Your YouTube Channel’s Video Marketing Positioning and Strategy

social media marketing for contractors

Your channel’s “position” is a name for basically everything that makes it distinctive. The idea is to not only have a channel that matches your branding principles but that can also meet your goals for audience building, lead generation, engagement, awareness and more.

The first step is to determine exactly who your audience segments will be, along with a few actions you want them to take in response to your content.

For example, maybe you are in an exciting industry like online retail for motorcycle apparel and accessories and you want everyone to come to your channel weekly for reviews and news on the latest products. Or, maybe you are a law office that wants to pop up first when people search for answers to their legal questions.

As another alternative, maybe you want to create highly shareable videos that generate brand awareness and drive traffic towards your site.

Your goals and your audience will significantly affect how you decide to run your channel, including:

  • Your style and approach (e.g., formal or conversational)
  • The format of your videos, such as an ongoing “show” vs. how-to videos vs. quick Q&A sessions
  • How long your typical videos will be
  • How often you will post new content
  • Who your target audiences will be, and how you intend to reach them
  • Your amplification strategy for getting maximum views on your new content, such as sharing new videos on Facebook or through your email list

All of these factors come together to make your YouTube channel unique compared to others. And being unique is important considering that over 400 hours of new content are uploaded on YouTube each minute. Being unique also means that your channel is as prepared as it can possibly be to appeal to your chosen audience and accomplish your chosen goals.

2. Decide on a Channel Name and Icon

 

marketing plan for contractors

Your next step is to start filling in the blanks for your new channel. Specifically: what’s your name going to be? And what image will you use for your channel icon?

These two seemingly minor things can have a gigantic impact on your ability to attract audiences. Your channel name serves as both your brand and your initial pitch to potential viewers.

You can choose a descriptive name, such as “DUI Law Q&A,” which already promises what type of content the channel will contain.

Or, you can go for a long-haul strategy and create a unique brand name for your channel that allows it to build a presence as it builds an audience. Channels like Smosh and Dude Perfect have titles that are as recognized as any pop culture movie or show.

Plenty of people choose to use their business name or even their personal name as their channel’s title. This strategy provides the benefit of immediate association. As your channel gains strength, you can rely on more people knowing who you are or what your company is, thanks to the shared name.

Once your name is chosen, decide on an icon that reads well on a small screen. Keep in mind that over half of all YouTube views come from mobile devices. You might not be able to use your logo or cram a bunch of text into your shrunken down profile picture.

Settle on something that’s easy to comprehend, such as a few letters or your host’s face. You can also use some sort of iconographic representation of your channel’s purpose. For instance, the fictional motorcycle gear review channel mentioned earlier could have a helmet or a gloves gripping handlebars.

3. Come Up With Channel Art, a Description, and a Trailer

marketing ideas for contractors

Some channels stand just on the strength of their content. They earn views through shares and YouTube algorithm suggestions, and eventually someone might connect the dots to realize several of the things they’ve watched come from the same channel.

Smaller channels, especially business-focused ones, often come under much more scrutiny. Someone may wonder “what are these people all about?” and take a look at their channel to learn more.

This instinct to inspect actually benefits your business. When they read your channel description, they can learn how the channel connects to your brand, for instance. They might even follow a link back to your official website.

Above all else, they’ll get a first impression that helps them decide then and there whether they’ll bother to ever check out your channel again. Accordingly, your channel’s “home page” elements better make one heck of an impression!

Start with your description. It should be short, exciting, and explain exactly why they should tune in to your channel regularly. Avoid talking too much about yourself or your business unless you think those elements hold inherent interest.

For instance, a personal injury law office might not want to bore people with local peer awards they won in the precious channel description space. On the other hand, they might want to throw out a number like “we’ve earned our clients nearly a billion in injury settlements.” Wow! That’s something they can get interested in.

Consider your channel art a supplementary description of what your channel offers. Maybe you have an image of a handsome host dressed smartly next to some of the informative topics they’ll cover. Or, maybe it’s an image of an awesome project your business has completed, such as a sandwich shop showing a record-breaking hoagie.

Keep your channel art simple and readable. Think of it like a billboard you have to read while whizzing past at 60 mph; if you cram too much on there, it’s just going to be a distracting mess. Limit the amount of text you use to a dozen or so words. Balance any “busy” graphics with blank space to give them air.

Finally, you’re going to want to create your channel’s trailer. This is a video that ideally gets someone hooked on first view. Far too many channels instead approach the trailer as a show-and-tell. “Hi I’m Bob this is my channel we have many exciting things to share with you…”

Instead, think of your trailer as a highlight reel of sorts or an actual TV show trailer. Yes, you want to tell people what you’re about, but you can do that by showing rather than telling.

If you aren’t 100 percent in love with any of these elements, then let that motivate you to revisit them over time. Your channel trailer in particular will evolve as your skills, content, and familiarity with techniques improve.

Getting Ready to Launch Your YouTube Channel

After you have all the main elements of your channel in place, you will want to prepare for its launch as a sort of grand opening. Consider that this is your chance to debut with flash and gather an early audience. If they get a bad impression, you’ve sown the seeds for an uphill battle to convince them to come back.

Ideally, you will have several videos’ worth of content for them to peruse—including your channel intro. You should also have the next months’ worth of videos queued up on your backburner so that you can ensure your channel posts regularly. Channels that post sporadically tend to lose audiences. They also have a more difficult time getting visibility via suggestion algorithms compared to more-active channels.

These are just the ingredients to the recipe for YouTube success; it’s up to you to make them work! If you need help with any aspect—including content creation—do not hesitate to contact an experienced digital marketing company to ensure your YouTube marketing meets with success.

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