Do you know that plumbers are expected to see an increased demand for their services in the next five years? This means increased competition in the local markets.
As a plumber in the service industry, it’s essential to stand out from the competition and make a name for your business.
Plumbers may have a great wealth of knowledge when it comes to fixing drains or installing new sinks, but not all of them are experts in marketing their business.
This article will serve as a crash course into plumber marketing and cover eight essential strategies your business should know to stand out above the rest.
Word of mouth drives business. What are your customers saying?
Plumber Marketing 101: The Basics
93% of consumers have leveraged the internet to find a local business in the last year.
If you are in the plumbing business and actively marketing your services online and building an online presence, you may have reaped the benefits of this impressive statistic. If not, it’s time to get started.
But where to begin?
What is Plumber Marketing?
What is marketing, and why should you be doing it?
Plumber marketing refers to any activities you undertake to promote your plumbing services and attract more customers to your business.
This can include running digital marketing campaigns, doing market research to understand your business’s ideal audience, and even partnering with influencers or other businesses to increase social reach (in other words, grow your business’s pool of prospective customers).
Benefits of Plumber Marketing
While marketing may seem like a laborious undertaking, your business stands to gain plenty of benefits from actively getting its name out there. What can effective plumber marketing do for your business? Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Attracts new customers and improves the customer perception.
- Keeps your customers, both old and new, informed about your services.
- Develops your business’s online presence and credibility.
- Acts as an opportunity to grow your online reviews.
- Builds voice and authenticity to your brand.
Steps to Kick Off Plumber Marketing
Conduct Market Research
As with all ventures, the first thing you have to do is get to know more about the current business landscape. For plumbers, this would mean understanding the market, the demand, and the general industry climate for home services.
Start by asking these questions: What are close competitors doing? What market or demographic is your business targeting, and what does your ideal customer want? What are the go-to strategies for success in the plumbing industry?
Know and Understand Your Audience
Understanding the mindset of your audience/ideal customer is crucial to building your business’s success. Your business has to ask itself: Who is it servicing, and what are their expectations?
Creating that buyer persona will not only help retain more customers in the long run, but will also help your business refine its brand voice. Adopting a buyer’s persona will also develop a more defined vision for your plumbing business.
Be Brand Consistent
Make sure your business projects a consistent image and voice across every platform you market on. The last thing you want is for your business to get lost among the crowd because of inconsistent branding.
Update all of your social media handles and engage audiences consistently across the board. Pay equal attention to all of your social media and marketing efforts. Make the same and consistent updates across all your business’s accounts. These include, but are not limited to: Facebook Business Page, Instagram, Yelp, Google My Business, and Nextdoor.
For more examples of what effective brand consistency means, check out this HubSpot article for inspiration.
Build Great Customer Experiences
The best publicity is often free publicity! Your happy customers will do much of the heavy lifting for your business if they have an excellent experience. Satisfied customers can leave online reviews and boost your business’s online rankings on search engines.
Suffice to say, one of the best ways to receive free promotion or market your business is to simply provide extraordinary service.
Suppose your plumbing business is focused on building a word-of-mouth referral strategy. Let’s see this in action on what people may say about your service.
Have a Great Website
Your website acts as a digital representation of your business’s brand. Customers may choose to do their research and visit a plumbing company’s site before engaging. If your business has a site with poor website design, less-than-optimal user experience, and several mistakes, customers are less likely to engage.
Make sure your plumbing business’s website is visually stimulating, easy to navigate, and that all web pages are updated regularly. This will not only increase traffic and generate leads, but it can also bolster your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts. Want more inspiration for your plumbing website? Take a look at this list for 100 more great plumbing websites to get your creative ideas flowing.
Create a Testimonials Page
Remember those happy customers we talked about? Some might be willing to write a personal testimonial of your plumbing services.
Your business can create its own testimonials page and showcase its very best work. Create social proof and enable other customers to feel confident in your services.
Testimonials are especially useful and essential in the plumbing industry. Because most customers are trusting your business to fix, update, or restore something in their home, they are more than likely to seek out testimonials and conduct a thorough check of the plumber they decide to hire.
8 Marketing Strategies for Your Plumbing Business
Now that we’ve covered some plumber marketing basics, let’s review some actual methods and strategies your plumbing business can implement today.
1. Google Ads/PPC (Pay-Per-Click)
Google Ads work as an outbound marketing strategy.
It is based on the concept of using specific keywords, locations, and demographics to narrow down to whom ads are displayed. Ads are shown exclusively to those people searching on that basis.
Any user that clicks on the ad then transforms into a potential lead for you, warranting a fee that your business is then required to pay to Google (hence, their the pay-per-click model).
Google Local Services takes this a step further and localizes your business’s ads to customers in the vicinity. What does this mean exactly?
Whenever users search for a plumber or electrician in a given area, Google’s Local Services will suggest your business if its address is within the vicinity of the user. Your business can also be verified and stand out above the competition by earning badges. Get “Google Guaranteed” or “Google Screened” to establish expertise in your industry and get noticed first.
This can directly appeal to the local customer base and boost SEO efforts simultaneously.
2. Facebook Ads
With over 2.6 billion monthly active users, Facebook is a top social network and a great platform to promote and advertise on. Facebook’s paid ad campaigns allow your business to boost its organic posts by showing them to a defined demographic that was determined before running the campaign.
Although it can be expensive, Facebook has reportedly provided an excellent conversion rate with the highest return on investment (ahead of Google Paid Search and Instagram).
3. TV/Radio Ads
A bit of an old-school outbound advertising method, TV and radio ads can still effectively connect your business to a niche audience within its locality.
However, these advertising costs remain high, and the value your plumbing business gets for every penny spent is limited.
4. Print Advertising
Although there has been a decrease in print viewership, putting an ad in the local newspapers or trade magazines can still capture a few good leads.
This remains especially true with an older demographic, so it’s important not to rule this method out completely. Keep in mind that some homeowners are retired citizens, get their papers delivered, and may simply prefer print media. Perhaps consider running a print ad in the newspaper delivered to a retirement home or senior living community.
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services
SEO is an incredibly effective inbound marketing strategy your plumbing business can leverage to attract more customers.
Simply put, SEO is the process of boosting your business’s site visibility according to relevant searches. Effective SEO helps businesses rank on the first couple pages of search engines (such as Google or Bing). This is achieved by producing quality content (blogs, videos, case studies, and more!) on relevant services and/or products. The content is then optimized according to what users are searching for. If done correctly, your plumbing business will appear on the first pages of search engines.
6. Business Cards, Pamphlets, and Fliers
This method is simple and effective, especially in service areas where word-of-mouth marketing can add fuel to the fire!
Business cards remain a powerful weapon for plumbers. They offer a quick, yet personalized method of connecting to existing customers and attract new ones, too. Only put the vital information on a business card. Resist the temptation to pack a business card with all your services and products.
Pamphlets and fliers can provide any additional critical information about your business that can’t be found on a business card at first glance. Take a look at a flyer template below:
7. Referral Programs
Customers that are willing to provide referrals are a hidden gem for your plumbing business’s marketing strategy. Consider developing a structured referral program by incentivizing this customer-centric publicity.
Your business could offer discounts, gift cards, or merchandise to those customers that bring in a successful referral. If successful, you could potentially have a chain reaction of new leads and new business!
8. Review and Reputation Management Services
Managing your online marketing is no easy feat, and sometimes, your business needs help. With so many different strategies and methods, it can be challenging to determine the best one for your plumbing company. Your business can start implementing any one of these methods and begin to see a massive increase in its online reviews.
This is where review management services can help lessen the load by tracking your online reviews, helping respond professionally to negative ones, and promoting the 5-star reviews your business receives.
Some Last Tips & Tricks for Every Plumbing Business
Finally, here are some final tricks-of-the-trade and marketing tactics to take your business’s traditional and social media marketing efforts to the next level.
Skip the Automated Machines, Be Personable
The last thing your customers want is to have all their online or phone interactions with an all-too-obvious bot. Can you recall how often you are talking to an automated machine on the other end, feeling frustrated, and eventually giving up?
If possible, hire customer service staff to handle your business’s communications with customers directly. This will make your brand seem more human and friendly. A personal touch is especially important for plumbers, as customers invite you into their home or building.
Host a Social Media Contest
Social media contests are a fun way to engage with your audience, build your rapport, and simply promote your business.
Offer a fun reward for the winner (like a gift voucher, special discount, or free merchandise) in exchange for their email address or sharing the contest post with a friend! This is a great way to capture potential customer information and get referrals.
Here’s just a quick example of a social media contest your plumbing business can hold:
Want to win a $100 gift card to Amazon? Share our post with three friends by tagging them below to enter a chance to win! We will randomly select a winner on (date). Good luck!
Create Videos That Show Off Your Expertise
YouTube has become the go-to platform for many business owners that want to create informational or educational content for their audience. For home service businesses, videos are especially helpful in showcasing your business’s services and respective expertise.
Check out this YouTube channel all about home services and home improvements. Your business can create curated playlists as such that showcase specific expertise in different home upgrades, DIY repairs, and general contracting.
Informative videos will draw potential customers and establish you as an industry expert, giving your business an edge over the competition. While a viewer may come just to learn how to repair a faucet on their own, they have now been exposed to your business name and expertise. They might just call you the next time they can’t DIY a project.
Pro-tip: Make sure to brand all videos properly. Develop a banner or opening that plays at the beginning of each video with your company name and contact information. Don’t record and publish a video that seems like it was thrown together by a random person online.
Claim Your Business Profiles on the Appropriate Channels/Forums
Lastly, if you haven’t already, make sure you’ve claimed your business profiles across popular platforms such as Google My Business and Yelp.
You want to make sure you’re representing your business on all possible plumbing marketing avenues, and this is a great way to do that!
We’ll Help You Implement Your Business’s Marketing Plan
Marketing is part of the secret formula to every plumber’s success. There are tons of different strategies out there, and marketing your plumbing business may seem overwhelming at the outset.
Plumbers don’t have to be marketing experts or hire a costly marketing company to begin standing above the competition. Let Signpost help you get to where your business wants to be.
Check out Signpost’s marketing services and get your business one step closer to the perfect marketing plan you’ve dreamt of.