Lead Generation for Contractors: Tactics to Get Customers
With both commercial and residential construction down in many markets, business in today’s economy is a cutthroat and competitive landscape. Lead generation has never been more important to contractors/marketers. A majority of contractors are searching for new ways to target homeowners, landlords, business owners and other construction decision-makers in an effort to find new business.
Whether you are a small start-up or large company, having a constant stream of high-quality home improvement service/construction leads is the key to maintaining a successful business with a solid bottom line. Earning new customers regularly plays a significant role in ensuring the longevity of your business, whether or not you have an extensive reservoir of returning customers and referrals. Sometimes, even those loyal regulars can stop coming for one reason or another.
Therefore, every company needs to have a lead generation strategy, with clear objectives and smart goals. In this article, we’ll shed some insight into some of the best practices that are going to help your contracting company generate more leads today and well into the whole year.
Lead Generation Best Practices
Leads are potential customers who have indicated some interest in a company’s product or service. There are many online lead generation techniques – with some being more effective than others. Usually, it’s better to have most of your leads coming from in-house generation assets over which you have a high degree of control. This is considering most of today’s consumers search for local home improvement service providers online. For this discussion, we’ll categorize them under either;
- Passive Lead Generation
- Active Lead Generation
Passive Lead Generation
Passive lead generation methods are techniques that naturally bring prospects under your radar. Such leads are the easiest to follow up with and convert into paying customers since they are searching for you or chasing you organically. It’s best to make sure you have these strategies implemented before going after active lead generation techniques.
Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation
Your leads are only as good as your website as the web is the first place people turn to either to find a company or to learn more about a service. If your website is optimized for engagement and lead generation, it presents a golden opportunity to engage visitors and convert them to leads, which is valuable for any growth-focused business. There are many marketing strategies to optimize your site for lead generation;
User Experience Design – It’s your responsibility to make the website easy for visitors to navigate and find what they need. Some of the key usability features of a high-performance lead generation website include responsive web design, fast-loading web pages, site architecture, image loading techniques, etc.
Content Marketing – Content marketing involves creating and distributing educational content to build trust and authority around your business. To do this, you need to know your audience. You can publish how-to blog posts and tutorials on subjects related to the industry. Quality yet engaging video content is also great.
SEO – Search engine marketing is a powerful tool in lead generation. Having the right meta descriptions, target keywords, custom title tags and link infrastructure will help your website rank higher on searches.
Google My Business (Google Maps) – You want to make it as easy as possible for people who live and work in your locality to find your company. Setting up a Google Maps listing targets more customers in your immediate area. Make sure you display your contact details (Business name, telephone number, address) boldly. Additionally, try and get as many reviews as possible as this is the best place to get the most out of customer reviews. Other listings include Yelp, Search Your Business, Homestars, etc.
Social Media Marketing
Social media does dominate our modern society. Consumers expect all construction businesses to have a Facebook business page at least. You, therefore, cannot underestimate the power of leveraging social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram to engage with your audience and generate leads.
Use your social media channels to present new products, offers, respond to customers concerns and demonstrate your active status in the industry. Further, join social media groups where your local community members engage and get your name out.
No modern lead generation strategy is complete without email marketing. To get more sign-ups and grow your email list, consider incentivizing the audience you’re trying to attract. An effective way to do this is to offer things like white papers, ebooks, and homeowners’ guides in exchange for a sign-up. Once they subscribe, continue to send more valuable content or offers and remember to add a bit of personalization to your emails as it can really boost open rates.
Word of Mouth (Referrals)
The home service field is a small world, especially if limited to a particular region. You want to ensure you’re part of a circle of businesses being recommended to potential clients as these are typically the highest quality leads. If you are not receiving as many referrals as you should, find out why. Possible reasons could be;
- You’re charging too much
- Your customers aren’t happy with the services they are receiving
- You don’t ask for referrals
- You don’t keep in touch with past clients – Staying top of mind results in better referral leads generation.
Active Lead Generation Methods
Active lead generation methods are techniques that require a direct investment of either money or time. They are most preferable for those times when you need work immediately and don’t have time to sit around waiting. When used in conjunction with your passive lead generation techniques, they can allow you to fill any gaps and make up for any weaknesses your other strategies may have.
A properly executed PPC campaign can deliver immediate results and feedback. As the name suggests, you pay for every click a prospect makes on your advert, regardless of whether they close a deal. It’s a great way to kick off your marketing campaign or boost your reach every now and then. Consider hiring a lead gen company to improve your conversions.
Buying Leads From Lead Resellers like Homeadvisor, Angie’s List and Thumbtack
These lead generation services/sites attract consumers to their platforms, where the prospects submit project details. They then verify the new leads and sell them to contractors.
If you are new to sales or just trying to get a better understanding of the whole lead generation process, then it’s crucial to learn and get a grip of your sales process. A common challenge for many contractors is the inability to generate enough leads or generating leads that aren’t of good quality. If you are out there and are stuck with a lack of new opportunities or have a bunch of opportunities that don’t ever pan out, then the problem could actually lie in your sales process. How do you try and turn opportunities into paying customers? By having a consistent way of proceeding to a sale. Small things like calling prospects back immediately or clearly communicating and guiding on relevant subjects and following up can make a significant difference. If you do it right, everybody wins.
If you’re struggling to get new contractor leads or are unsure of how to market your services online, we can help grow your business.