Traditionally, plumbing services have been seen as essential in every way. Therefore, plumbing companies did not need to shut down completely during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine periods. While this was a good thing in many ways, it only served to underscore the degree to which plumbing companies are now in competition with one another. And furthermore, why what will set one company over another will ultimately be the internet. Right now, Americans are being forced to stay home more than ever. A lot of recreational parks and businesses are still closed, and people are reluctant to go outside. This means that they likely won’t be able to have as much exposure to traditional advertising as they once would. Furthermore, people simply prefer shopping and researching online. It may seem strange to some, but many Americans aren’t even exposed to television advertising, once the perfect site for plumbing business ads. First, the advent and normalization of systems like DVR allowed them to fast-forward through commercials. In more recent years, streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, which are either ad-free or offer ad-free tiers, eliminated the need for cable or satellite TV for many. The point is that whether they’re using their laptops, phones, or even their television monitors, people are spending more time online. This means that businesses must follow them in turn. Initially, plumbing companies may not seem like the perfect candidates for online ads. However, online marketing for plumbers specifically has already been devised, and has proven quite valuable.
At first, digital marketing can be a bit intimidating, as it comes in so many different forms. Furthermore, it’s certainly true that residential plumbing services can’t be ordered quickly online in the same manner that shippable products can be. However, there a number of ways in which plumbing companies, in particular, can advertise their specific services. Many of these may even be more convincing than traditional print or television ads. With that being said, let’s look into how online marketing for plumbers works, and the types of strategies that plumbing companies should focus on.
1. Utilize Video Demonstrations
Even television ads only give a plumbing company a certain amount of time with which they can advertise their services. Plumbers can’t exactly demonstrate their services in a quick commercial that is just thirty seconds long or less. With that being said, there is a lot more opportunity to advertise a company through video when utilizing online marketing. How does this work? Well, when a consumer searches for a how-to guide on how to handle clogged drains, for example, a plumbing company could offer a blog post. This could feature a video featuring tips and tricks for common plumbing issues. While this might seem like they’re giving away services for free, these tips and tricks would of course be very basic. The key here would be to subliminally advertise to consumers in a manner that isn’t obvious.
The fact is that a lot of consumers are feeling quite tired of the typical ads that shove products or services in their faces. These types of “how-to” guides and demonstrations allow people to organically discover businesses. Without even realizing it, they will come to recognize the business that advertises to them as something they associate with the services. People don’t impulsively use plumbing companies. They’ll never simply commission an outdoor kitchen without a good bit of thought. The key for a small business is to be the first company that a consumer thinks about when attempting to get in touch with plumbers for particular jobs. Of course, in part, these advertisements will depend on the types of plumbing services that a company provides. Not all plumbers focus on the same services and products. But no matter what is being advertised, a lot of consumers like the idea of feeling as if they “know” the people that work for a company. Offering video demonstrations or question and answer sessions creates a kind of bond between the consumer and the business itself.
2. Focus On Local Directories
Most of the time, plumbing companies are locally-based, which means that it’s important for them to be a part of online local directories. Consumers rely on these directories for a number of reasons. For one thing, it’s easier to use these directories than to simply Google search for plumbers in your area. It essentially slims down the search from the start, which means that the consumers will end up wasting less time. A part of online marketing for plumbers can be simplified just through the use of popular directories. Now, when working with a professional digital marketing firm, it’s often easy to discover which directories are popular in your area. Yelp!, the Better Business Bureau, Facebook Marketplace, and Angie’s List are some of the most popular business directories online, and it’s easy to see why after some research.
The fact is that people like being able to see reviews. Plumbing services often aren’t cheap, and before using the services of residential or commercial plumbers consumers like to know that other people have had good experiences with those companies. It’s important for businesses to keep their reviews authentic; as much as it might seem tempting to plant a good review here or there when you’re just beginning to launch your business online, this simply isn’t good practice. The point of good online marketing in general, and particular good online marketing for plumbers, is authenticity. When consumers feel as if they no longer trust a company, they’ll be much less likely to work with that company in the end. Another important aspect of working with local directories is creating that small business feel and using that to enhance a business’s relatability. People feel good about supporting small businesses; and that status is often easier to communicate online, where consumers today do most of their research.
3. Have A Social Media Presence
It might seem odd at first that social media would be a part of online marketing for plumbers. But in fact, social media is now a part of digital marketing for virtually every kind of small business. This is because social media essentially provides a constant stream of advertisement to consumers, and allows them to be “available” to consumers whenever necessary. Furthermore, social media takes down the barriers between the consumer and the business even more. There’s a reason why major businesses now have Twitter accounts, often with funny jokes and relatable memes. This allows smaller businesses to let consumers get to know their employees on a personal level. Some small businesses even “vlog”, showing consumers what it’s like to be a part of the business on a daily basis.
There is also the security that a social media presence allows. If a business is present on Facebook or Twitter, consumers can have their questions answered promptly, and read authentic reviews. With over 51% of smartphone users handling a lot of their online shopping through mobile searches, it’s easy for us to imagine how a person could stumble onto a small business while browsing a social media app. Plumbing companies need to take advantage of that, and in that vein, it’s important for social media pages to be taken seriously. Questions shouldn’t be left to linger for days on end. For that matter, those operating social media accounts need to strike a careful balance between professionalism and friendliness. This is why a lot of companies consider the next tip.
4. Work With A Professional Marketing Firm
It might seem easy for companies to try to handle online marketing for plumbers on their own. But there’s a difference between theory and reality, and the fact is that it’s often difficult to handle online marketing if you’ve never done it before on your own. This is why it’s so important for companies to have their marketing handles by third parties. Some marketing firms handle everything, while others focus on a company’s online presence. It really depends on what you want. You could get everything from custom shirts for your team to web development handled in one place, or you could work with several different firms. Either way, it’s important to consider looking at professional digital marketing firms rather than attempting to work on it yourself. A lot of companies initially attempt to work on online marketing on their own at first, but skipping that step and jumping straight to the offerings of marketing firms will allow you to save both time and money.
A digital marketing firm can start with your website. While you may be happy with your site as is, it’s important that it is up to date and appeals to a broad audience. Websites that have unclear instructions or an unattractive appearance can turn users off surprisingly quickly. For that matter, many people find themselves struggling with the fact that lots of websites are actually quite slow-moving, and difficult to use. This is why it’s important to employ a professional web developer, many of which can be found through digital marketing firms, to handle both the practical and aesthetic aspects of the website. For that matter, a digital marketing firm can also aid in mass emails, as well as search engine optimization and customer communication. There are a lot of different ways in which people can be affected by signing on with a digital marketing firm. It essentially takes a lot of work off the shoulders of employees within the plumbing company. Indeed, it’s often less expensive to outsource online marketing for plumbers to a professional marketing firm than it would be to simply handle your marketing on your own.
5. Try Cross-Promotion
When considering the manner in which you should design online marketing for plumbers, you should consider the implication of cross-promotion. Not all plumbers specialize in the same services. While some may offer more practical skills, like drain cleaning services, others may work more on renovations. There is often more money in renovation, as opposed to emergency services or practical services. Therefore, it often behooves a small plumbing business to begin cross-promote and to attract customers who might not normally notice them. Of course, the question is really one of how you can cross-promote your business in a cohesive way.
For one thing, social media often figures into cross-promotion. You can collaborate with businesses that you feel would complement your own business and collaborate with them on social media. For example, you could work with a tile company in a video demonstrating how to lay tile down during a bathroom renovation project. You could also co-sponsor a charitable event with another business, cross-promoting in a way that benefits a good cause. Some businesses also cross-promote by sharing a discount. If a consumer buys from both businesses, they could potentially get a 10% discount or something along those lines. A lot of what you choose to cross-promote may be dependent on what your business model currently offers. But this form of online marketing for plumbers could very well change the way that people view your business, and can draw new consumers to it.
There are a lot of issues that a plumbing company can help take care of. For one thing, something as simple as a faucet installation can be covered by a small plumbing business. On the other hand, a small plumbing business can be an important part of a whole-house renovation. There are a lot of issues that come with promoting a business online, chief among them the fact that the transition can be somewhat rocky. But ultimately, it’s worth it. Promoting your business online allows more people to reach out to you and connect with your business. It gives you more of a presence and is an important part of your business becoming the most prominent plumbing company within your community. Keep in mind that hiring a professional digital marketing firm can make a big difference. Ultimately you need to have a great strategy regarding online marketing for plumbers if you want your business to last.