Online Marketing for Landscapers — 5 Affordable Options
By Hibu |
With a market value of about $130 billion, there’s no doubt that the US landscaping industry is booming. Of course, that means you have a lot of competition – which is why marketing is critical for your landscaping business. But it’s not always easy when you have a limited budget.
Luckily, online marketing is cheaper and more profitable than traditional marketing. In fact, your landscaping business, like most small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is four times more likely to gain customers when you advertise online.
And speaking of your competition… no matter which state you’re in, no matter how long you’ve been in business, you have a lot of competitors online. So, if you want to compete — with both big corporations and brick-and-mortar operations down the street – online marketing (aka digital marketing) is the way to go… even if you’re on a tight marketing budget.
Here are five affordable and effective options for online marketing for landscapers…
[Related: Top Tips for Your Small Business Marketing]
1. Search Listing / Business Profile
This one plants you on the digital map, and that’s crucial when you’re marketing online with limited funds. With 5.7 million Google searches per minute, it’s where your customers are looking…and you need to make sure they can find your landscaping business..
The first step is having someone create a Google Business Profile for you. But you need to do more than simply create a basic profile. The information customers find must be:
- Accurate – image the business you could lose with an incorrect phone number
- Thorough – make it easy for searchers to find the information they want
- Consistent with your other online business listings
With your name, address, phone number, website URL, hours of operation and more (including positive reviews – more on that later) filled out, your Google Business Profile can show up when local customers search phrases like “landscapers near me.”
Since your Google Business Profile is free, this is an easy way to get customers’ attention regardless of your budget. But make sure your business profile is as complete and comprehensive as possible. Customers are much more likely to call or click when they see all the info they need.
But remember, your business profile is really just the first step – there’s a lot more you should so around your listings to maximize your visibility. A digital marketing company can help you do so much more:
- Control and synchronize information about your business across search engines
- Request and post positive customer reviews
- Manage your business’s online reputation (one negative review won’t entirely discredit your business, but make sure to respond to customer reviews quickly)
Managing incorrect business information ensures credibility among customers. One survey found 73% of participants lost trust in a business when they found inaccurate information – so it’s crucial to keep your information accurate and up to date.
And reviews in particular are critical to word of mouth (WOM) – a great form of “free” advertising for budget-conscious landscapers.
As part of a digital marketing solution, you can upload images and post updates to your online business listings that showcase your top-notch landscaping work. It’s a smart and cost-effective route.
[Related: 5 Reasons Why You Need to Focus on Reviews Now]
2. A Professional Business Website
Investing in a website is one of the best decisions you can make as an SMB, especially since so many of your digital marketing efforts will point back to your website.
You might think having professionals create your website is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. And investing in having a professional website built for you — and built to convert visitors into customers – is worth enough that you should seriously consider having a professional do it, rather than doing it yourself. While DIY websites are tempting, they’re unreliable and lack the effectiveness of a custom-built site.
Having professional website developers and designers at a digital marketing company create a website for you can significantly increase your ROI. They can incorporate many more features than template, DIY, cookie-cutter sites.
Here are some of your options when you partner with the pros:
- Attractive design
- Glitch-free user experience (UX) and user interface (UI)
- Easy-to-find, easy-to-use contact info and logo on every page
- Content and copy that engages your customers and generate leads
- Search engine optimization (SEO) that raises your ranking in search results
- Design that works flawlessly on mobile devices (an incredibly important factor that free or cheap DIY sites often miss)
- Security features that build customer trust
- Comprehensive lists of your services and prices
- Visual galleries of your work (like before-and-after photos and videos)
- Voice search visibility
Having a great website is extremely important to attracting and retaining customers — and you can have one without breaking the bank. You just need to find a company that knows what it’s doing – one that has experience working with landscapers– rather than trying to do it yourself.
Not sure about the investment? Remember – any money you put into a professional website can lead to increased profit.
[Related: Today’s Website: Free Guide for Small Businesses]
3. Social Media Marketing
It might seem like social media is just for connecting with friends and family, but that’s far from the truth. You can reach a huge customer audience on Facebook, Instagram and more.
But to get the most bang for your buck, you need to reach a targeted audience, the customers youu want, with relevant social media ads…and you need to do it without taking time (and money) away from your day job.
To reach your local customers among the 180 million Facebook users in the U.S. – and to regularly post and advertise across multiple social networks – you need to work with a social specialist.
Specialists will take care of your social marketing so you get the best ROI on whatever social media marketing investment you can afford:
- Create and coordinate all your social media profiles
- Target the customers you want to reach
- Link back to your website and other profiles
- Optimize your profiles with regularly posted content and targeted ads
With an ongoing, engaging social strategy, you won’t just be present — you’ll attract customers. As part of a comprehensive digital marketing solution, social media marketing is an invaluable part of an affordable online advertising strategy.
[Related: The Smart Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media]
4. Email and SMS Marketing
In the U.S., 90% of the population uses email, and 85% of the population has a smartphone. In other words, reaching customers via their inboxes and text / SMS messages is a must.
Let’s say your custom-built website has a field for customers to enter their name, email address and phone number. With a marketing automation tool, your landscaping company can then send them personalized messages at the right time.
Think of the timely messages you can send to contacts that have opted in to receive messages from you:
- Seasonal specials
- Changes to your services as the seasons change (hello, snow removal!)
- Reminders about how long it’s been since you last serviced their property
In theory, you can write, target, schedule, and send email and text messages to your customers for “free”… but only if you don’t count the time you’re spending working emails instead of working on landscaping jobs. So how can you tap into that massive email-plus-phone segment without hiring new employees, or doing the work yourself?
Here’s a case where outsourcing the work — partnering with a digital marketing company that has the tools and the time to send coordinated email and text messages – is more than worth the time you’ll save. Plus, you’re almost guaranteed to get significantly better results. And you won’t have to check for typos or manage your own contact list.
You see where we’re going. Email and text usage may be everywhere, and the cost to send messages may be small, but putting all those pieces together demands a lot of time and attention. With marketing automation set up by a professional digital marketing company, you take the labor out of sending those valuable offers… keep your customers in the loop… and you can trigger six times the revenue. Not bad when you’re budget conscious!
[Related: Top 5 Ways Your Small Business Should Be Using Email Marketing]
5. Search Marketing
If you’ve ever done a web search for a product or service, you’ve seen search marketing ads. They’re usually those links with “Ad” right before them in search results… and they’re usually the listings at the top of the page.
When you use basic search marketing for your landscaping business, you only pay when a customer clicks your ad (which is why search marketing ads are also called pay-per-click ads, or PPC). It’s simple, affordable and highly effective when paired with other online marketing strategies.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. A digital marketing partner will know all the ins and outs of budgeting, choosing the right keywords, writing and submitting your ads (and making sure they’re in a format that will get approved by the search engines), optimizing your campaign over time and reporting on your results.
If you have a little leeway in your budget, combine search marketing with display advertising and social media marketing. You’ll have ads everywhere you need them online — everywhere customers and potential customers could be searching for you — and you’ll generate more revenue as a result..
[Related: 4 Ways to Find Your Business Online]
Maximize Your Landscaping Marketing Budget With Hibu
Online advertising can seem complicated, especially if your marketing funds are limited. But overall, it’s a necessary investment in growing your business (if you’re still not sure, just check out these eye-opening stats).
At Hibu, we offer one-on-one service and flexible pricing, so you can choose which digital marketing solutions work best for your landscaping business — and for your budget. To talk to a specialist, call us at 877-237-6120 or complete our Get Started form.