Every painting company is unique, and every digital marketing campaign requires a unique strategy tailored to the needs of your business. With that said, there are consistent “pillars,” that together can work to help your painting business increase online traffic, leads, and sales.
In part one of this two-part post, we discussed two of the five local digital marketing pillars. In this post, we’re going to discuss the importance of earning online reviews, community involvement, and tracking.
Pillar #3: Reviews
Earning reviews from satisfied clients is important for a couple reasons. One, they provide social proof that can influence a potential customer’s decision to contact you. In fact, one survey found that 90% of customers are influenced by online reviews and that 85% of customers reported reading online reviews.
Two, reviews are a major visibility factor on platforms like Yelp, Houzz, Porch, and Google My Business to name a few.
I reached out Lauren Poblete, one of the account managers we work with at Houzz, to get her thoughts on how painting professionals can increase their business’s visibility on the social platform. Here’s what she had to say:
Build out your profile and get reviews – reviews are the #1 reason why clients decide to choose a professional! You can check out our guide on reviews here
Now that we’ve established the importance of receiving online feedback, here are a few tips that can assist painting contractors with consistently earning new reviews:
- Make it easy for customers to find your social networks and even easier to leave a review. This can include adding social badges to your website, and/or creating a reviews page that links directly to where customers can provide feedback
- Ask a customer if they’d be willing to leave an online review before a project. Get their permission to follow up once the project is complete
- Once the project is complete, follow up with a phone call, SMS, or email. In addition to making sure the client is 100% satisfied with the entire project, let them know that you’d value any online feedback they’d be willing to provide
- Provide customers with a small gift after a project is complete that includes a thank you note and a message stating how you’d appreciate an online review
- Give your team an incentive. There’s nothing wrong with running a contest internally that rewards the team member that’s able to get the most online reviews from your satisfied customers
- Focus on a specific social network. Yelp and Google have algorithms in place to detect unnatural activity. It’s best to let customers know you’d love online feedback and provide them with options
- Entice your customers to leave a review in exchange for payment, gift cards, discounts, etc. It’s against most providers’ terms of service, and jeopardizes the reviews you’ve worked so hard to earn
Reviews Page on Your Website
In the “Do” section, I mentioned creating a reviews page on your website. Here’s an example of one we created for a client that lists the four most important social platforms for their business:
Pillar #4: Tracking
A wise person once said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” This is a mantra we live by at Congruent Digital. Without proper tracking in place, it can be challenging to understand what online channels are driving new leads. While a new customer may say they found you in Google, was it from the paid search campaign, your local pack result, an organic result? The reality is that many customers don’t know the difference.
Here are a few tools available to help you track and evaluate success:
Use Google Analytics to assess what channels are driving qualified traffic e.g. visitors that are completing forms, signing up for a newsletter, or calling your directly from a mobile or desktop device.
While Google Analytics is a powerful tool out of the box, in order for it to be as insightful and actionable as possible, three things need to happen:
- Have a professional that’s certified audit your implementation and setup
- Create and apply filters for clean data. Unfortunately, GA is still plagued by referral and bot spam that can really offset key metrics
- Goal tracking. Understanding what visitors are completing desired interactions can help you assess the value of an online channel or marketing campaign
Dynamic Call Tracking
Dynamic call tracking works by adding a script on your website that dynamically changes the number so it can assign the source of the call. The number(s) that are dynamically displayed direct the calls to your primary phone number.
Pros – many of the top call tracking tools have dashboards that can include the name of caller, phone number, time of call, source of call, and call duration. Also some like CallRail, have integration options for popular CRMs and Google Analytics
Cons – it’s not your actual number. If you decide to discontinue the service, there is the chance someone has saved a dynamically generated number and will use it to try and reach you
It’s important to note that Yelp, Houzz, Google My Business, and others all have their own reporting dashboards to help you understand how potential customers are interacting with your business’s profile.
Chances are, many of you use a CRM to track leads and sales. I’ve always considered CRMS to be the final piece of the puzzle that can assign a lead from your other channels to an actual sale. If you aren’t using a CRM, David Chism, a marketing coach who works exclusively with painting and home remodeling contractors, had this to say:
There are dozens if not hundreds of CRMs available on the market. Many of the painting clients I work with use PipelineDeals, Salesforce or Base CRM. PipelineDeals is a bit more of your basic CRM but can do a lot. It is a rock solid CRM with great support. Base is a few steps ahead of Pipeline and offers a lot more mobile capabilities. Salesforce is the name brand for CRM. It was one of the first on the market for being online based. It can do a lot or a little depending on how much you pay and how you customize the platform. I also know many a painter who thought it was a little too complex for their needs and settled for less features.
Perhaps the most affordable and easy to use CRM I know and have enjoyed is Highrise. The cost is only $24 a month for up to 6 users. This will do the trick for many painters out there. Then as your company grows, or you want more features, move to some of the others I mentioned above.
Tracking typically involves combining data from multiple tools to help you paint a complete picture of how your marketing efforts are working to bring in new leads and sales.
Pillar #5: Community
Getting involved with your local community is a great way to give back, but can also be an effective way to get the word out about your local business. Many painting contractors have started charity paint programs where labor and services are donated to a family or nonprofit organization in need. Some of the benefits of starting your own charity program can include:
- Content – sharing photos and videos from the event on your website, social channels, etc.
- Partnerships – many large paint providers will partner with painting contractors for these events and donate the paint. You may also want to explore other local partnerships with businesses that are looking to get involved and give back
- New business – as you know, referrals and word of mouth marketing are huge! Giveaways, events, and charitable donations help raise awareness and strengthen your value proposition as a local business
- Media/Press – donating your time and services to someone in need in your community is newsworthy! Get the word out about your event
If you’re thinking about starting your own charity program, here are a few examples to help you get a feel for what other painting contractors are doing:
- MB Jesse’s Project Color
- Catchlight Painting’s Community Service
- ALLBRiGHT 1-800-PAINTING’s Paint-It-Forward
- Ireland’s Finest’s Hard Times Soft Hearts
Wrapping It Up
Combined, these 5 pillars can effectively work to help you increase awareness for your painting business and increase traffic, leads, and sales. Questions? Feel free to email me here or leave them in the comments below.