All roofers need marketing. And we bet that you're already doing some kind of marketing. Knocking door-to-door? Marketing. Driving around in branded trucks? Marketing. Handing out business cards? Marketing.
For many roofers, the idea of diving deeper into marketing from must-haves (like branded shirts or business cards) to digital forms of marketing is what can feel intimidating. Business cards VS a website are two very different things... right?
In some ways, yes. In others... no.
In this blog, we're diving into the world of digital marketing for roofers, including:
- What digital marketing is
- Why you should be marketing online
- Tips for being successful with online marketing
- Digital do's and don'ts
Plus, we'll give you some additional information and resources you can check out.
What is digital marketing?
The purpose of marketing is 3-fold:
- Make people aware of you.
- Help people trust you.
- Communicate next steps to contact you to make a purchase.
Digital marketing is using online tools to achieve these three things. Instead of printing door hangers, you send email newsletters. Instead of volunteering at a community function, you’re posting in your neighborhood Facebook group. Door knocking turns into paid ads. You get the picture.
Digital marketing is not here to fully replace more traditional marketing techniques. Each of these — as we’ll explore in this blog — has a time in place for roofing companies.
4 reasons roofers should use digital marketing
There are a few reasons your roofing company needs to have an online presence.
1. Homeowners are online
The first key to high-quality marketing is to go where your ideal customers are. Today's homeowner is not the same as it was 10-15 years ago. Marc Hansen, VP of Marketing at Roofr, explored the qualities of today's homeowner in a Masterclass episode on small business marketing, sharing:
Great marketing and lead generation starts with understanding your buyer. So do you know the modern homeowner or are you communicating with them the way that they prefer? Or are you using old school marketing methods like knocking doors and print ads? All of the above can work, but it's just a question of who you're targeting, what your neighborhoods are like, and if they're responding to your current efforts.
Some key points you should know:
- 36 is the average age of the first-time home buyer. Why this matters: People are getting into the market later, but the people who may want to replace a roof on a new home right away are also older. This age group is tech-savvy.
- 70% of homeowners have an education beyond high school. Why this matters: Research and buyer diligence are alive and well with new homeowners. They're more likely to have money for a new roof and won't wait until it caves in to replace it.
- 42% of homes use smart devices in the last year or two. Why this matters: Tech tools are intrinsic to homeowners. Their expectations are higher about your adaptation of tech. Digital quotes, online payment, customized quotes, and an easy-to-find website will meet them where they are.
2. People shop for services the same way they shop for goods
As a society, we're very accustomed to shopping online now. 87% of shoppers, in fact, start their search online. And, while referrals are still HUGE in roofing and other service industries, online shopping habits absolutely do carry over. 93% of people search for reviews or information online before making a purchase. Those who want to protect themselves against roofing scams or untrustworthy companies will go online to make sure that you're legit, and your business is trustworthy.
3. Social proof is powerful
Social media and the internet have made it easier than ever to read and ask for the opinions of others. Sure, homeowners will still ask friends and family for their opinions, but our social circles now expand to those we don't personally know. And we trust them! 88% of consumers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations.
4. Once is not enough
63% of consumers need to hear company claims 3-5x before they actually believe them. It takes a lot of manpower to knock on the same door or hand the same person multiple forms of printed ads. But, using digital media to connect with the same homeowner in multiple ways over a time period is super effective — and way less work for you.
Digital marketing channels for roofers
Now that you know what digital marketing is and why you should be using it, it's time to get into the "what" of it all. First, let's look at some examples of digital marketing.
This broad category — digital marketing — includes, but isn’t limited to:
• Social media marketing
• Email marketing
• Paid ads / PPC
• SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
All of these have subcategories or subsections, too. Social media marketing, for example, includes Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc. Each of these platforms has its unique challenges, benefits, techniques, and best practices.
Here's a bit more on these categories.
**NOTE: You don't need to be doing all of these. It's better to pick a few digital channels and do them well than spread yourself too thin.
Social media marketing
Social media is an incredible tool to grow awareness of your brand and promote your work. Images, stories, and videos help potential customers get to know you as a service provider. Do you love your job? Are your roof installations beautiful? Do your crews look professional? Are you currently active and taking on jobs? Believe it or not, all these questions and more can be answered by a social media presence.
Social media is also a great way to drive interest and direct homeowners who are interested in getting a quote from you. Linking from your social accounts to your website, sharing seasonal promotions, posting customer reviews, and having contact information on your profiles all answer that “next step” question.
Emails are alive and well, believe it or not. 99% of email users check their inbox every day, and 73% of millennials — people born between 1981-1996 — prefer email as their method of communication with businesses. So, as a roofer, emails can be a great tool for you.
Some ways roofers can use email marketing:
- Initial contact after a new lead is generated (email automation tools can help make this easy).
- Follow-up after a proposal is sent.
- Yearly check-ins with past customers.
- Post-installation call for reviews.
- Reminders a week / 3 days / day before a job is booked.
- Sharing promotions / discounts.
If you want to learn more about email marketing, check out our Masterclass episode all about it!
Paid ads / PPC
Paid ads and PPC — Pay Per Click — require a budget to run. Digital ads can live on Google, Facebook, Instagram, third party websites, Spotify, or anywhere else you want to run them.
PPC is a form of paid advertisements in which you pay every time a person clicks on your ad. PPC ads are usually on search engine pages like Google or Bing while paid ads refer to all money-backed ads on other websites. You can run ads on Facebook, for example, that aren’t paid per click.
When choosing where to put money behind ads, really think about where your audience is.
Search engine optimization — or SEO for short — is technically about making your content findable by search engines, and therefore findable by people who search. But, in a more top-level explanation, it’s really about answering the questions your ideal customer is asking, and providing high quality, trustworthy answers to those questions.
Keywords are usually the go-to point people think of when it comes to SEO. And keywords — the topics that people search and the terms you use in your blogs — are for sure important. But there are other things that Google uses to “rank” a webpage, including:
- Title tag
- Header tags
- Image quality
- The copy on the page
Google understands what a website is about by examining the content that’s on it. It looks at keywords, these above points, and other parts of your website. For example, in order to rank your website for a search term like “roofing companies in Portland,” your website has to mention that you’re a roofing company in Portland while having other roofing-focused webpages to make them confident that you are in fact a roofing company.
SEO is a really big thing to tackle, and it’s always changing with algorithm updates, but there are some easy things you can do to help make your website SEO friendly and start ranking when people google roofs.
- Make sure you include location on your website and mention the service area on your about page.
- If you provide more than one service — siding and roofing, solar, etc — build a separate webpage that talks about each service separately.
- Try to include at least 500 words of copy per page, and use sub-headers.
- Review your website in mobile view and make sure it is mobile friendly.
- When writing blog topics, put yourself in the mindset of a homeowner and the questions they’d ask.
Some examples of topics you may want to include on your website are: • How to tell when it’s time to replace your roof • Pros and cons of shingles / metal roofs / solar • How much will it cost to upgrade my roof?
Your website is different from social media, emails, content, or any other type of marketing because it's a space that is entirely yours. Customers coming to your website are there to learn about you! They aren't looking to be entertained, they aren't seeking opinions from other customers (although we will talk about using reviews on your website).
Websites are vital to roofing companies because it's the space for you to show homeowners your story and help build that trust. Talk about yourself, your contractors, your jobs, and your business. Share pictures of your team and your past jobs.
The key to a website for roofers is to make it clear what the next step should be for them if they want to contact you. It's a great place for an Instant Estimator!
If you don't have that, make sure to have a contact us form, button to call you, a clear spot for your phone number, or an email in an easy-to-find space.
Reviews can be captured in a few different places online like Facebook or Google My Business profiles. But getting reviews alone isn't digital marketing. Taking those reviews and putting them on your website is!
Remember what we said about social proof? Make it easy for homeowners to see what others say about you! Include quotes both on your home page, and scattered throughout your website.
**NOTE: Reviews are also great to share in social media, so be sure to use them there, too.
Blogging is a great tool that feeds into a few other forms of digital marketing. Blogging is great for SEO because it’s how you can answer all those questions your customers could be asking, and it grows your keyword ownership.
Blogging also, however, gives you content that you can promote on your social platforms, share in newsletters, and link to when pitching to homeowners. It’s a way to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge, building that trust between you and potential customers before they even contact you — leading to more leads!
Business-to-customer companies who blog can generate up to 88% more leads than businesses who don’t! And that’s not from blogging multiple times a week. Posting 4 blogs a month — or just one a week — can be enough to impact your leads and search engine performance.
3 most common marketing mistakes
Now that you know why digital marketing is important for roofers, and what channels we include in that category, here’s 3 things to be aware of when you get started.
Mistake #1 - Spreading yourself too thin
Dead social channels or sending one random newsletter every 4 - 8 months doesn’t project consistency or reliability to homeowners. If you’re getting started in digital marketing, start small.
Pick one or two channels and focus on doing them well. Which ones should you start with? Well, that leads us to mistake 2.
Mistake #2 - Not focusing on your ideal customer
Too often, people pick platforms because it’s what’s popular or trendy. But your ideal customer may not be popular or trendy! Depending on your location, neighborhood demographic, or homeowner breakdowns, you may want to focus on some channels over others.
Remember — your marketing shouldn’t be about what you think will work, but rather on where your customers spend their time.
The United States Census can be searched by neighborhood and location, with information on homeowner gender, age, monthly household income, average household costs, year the houses were built, and more. It’s a great tool to get to know your service area and the people who live there. Once you know their average age, income, etc, you can compare that to statistics on social habits and social media practices.
Mistake #3 - Not being patient
Marketing takes time. It won’t work for your roofing company overnight.
Don’t give up if you’re a few weeks into marketing your roofing company online and you’re not seeing leads. Monitor the performance of your test channels for other indicators that it's “working”. New followers on a social account, likes or comments on posts, clicks on an email, etc are all signs that your efforts are working, even if the leads aren’t coming in yet.
Keep experimenting with your content to see what clicks with people. Marketing takes a lot of time investment up front, but if you’ve got the stomach to ride it out then you’ll reap the benefits of it down the road.
Getting started with digital marketing for roofers
Marketing trends come and go. Don't worry about chasing quick trends, but focus on your customers. Don't be afraid to try new marketing techniques and adapt your strategies for your ideal customer. If you're just getting started, social media like Facebook and Instagram, and email marketing are great places to start. Don't worry about being everywhere or doing everything. Be where your customers are. For more resources on marketing for roofers, check these out:
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