Category Archives for "Content 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.

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!