There’s no time like the New Year to rethink, refresh, and re-inspire your tradie marketing strategy. To help get you started, we’ve curated 21 must-know marketing tips, tricks, and industry secrets that all successful trade business owners should use in 2021 — and beyond. Let’s get started.
1. Get your Google My Business listing
Make sure you have claimed your free Google My Business listing and entered your information, logo, products and services, and photos. A well-optimised listing is the first step to getting ranked in the coveted three-pack.
2. Encourage online reviews
Did you know that 82% of people read online reviews for local businesses, with the average person reading ten reviews before they'll trust a business? Having solid reviews on different review platforms will help people choose you over your competitors. And, the more positive reviews you have, the better you will rank in Google local search.
3. Become genuinely customer-focused
Be customer-focused and show you understand. When people visit your website, they will stay longer, look around more, and contact you if they can see that you understand their problem and see proof that you can help them in a competent and trustworthy way. Your home page website copy (the words) needs to be all about your customers and their needs. It should not be just about you. Do that on your About page.
4. Get your business a website
It sounds shocking, but 59 per cent of small businesses in Australia don’t have a website. If you’re among them, you are missing out big time. Online searches are an integral step in the process of contracting a tradie, and without a website, you are removing your business from the equation.
Stop sabotaging your marketing efforts and start attracting customers while you sleep. Websites for tradies don’t have to cost you thousands or take weeks and weeks to set up. In fact, you can get yours live almost instantly — here’s how it works.
5. Invest in excellent content
Alongside a professional website, your online content (the words you publish on your website, your blog, your social media accounts, your emails, and so on) is the most critical aspect of your marketing strategy. Excellent content helps you achieve several things:
- Quality content positions you as a credible industry leader that knows what they’re talking about. This helps you earn all-important trust.
- Search engine optimised content drives organic (free) traffic to your website.
- Evergreen content can be used and reused again and again to create fresh social media posts, video, infographics, and more.
Don’t forget to add a compelling call-to-action in your content to convert curious web browsers into customers.
6. Experiment with video
Eighty-five per cent of businesses use video as a marketing tool… why aren’t you? Video is an excellent medium for tradie marketing, as it enables you to showcase your work as if you were face-to-face with a potential customer. And don’t fret if your setup isn’t professional. People trust people, not businesses. They crave authenticity and value, and you don’t need anything other than your smartphone to turn on the charm and deliver.
7. Don’t discount email marketing
Email isn’t dead — nowhere near it. Email delivers an average open rate of 17.8 per cent and an average click-through rate of 2.6 per cent. Continue collecting customer and prospect email addresses, revisit your automations, and keep sending your monthly newsletters. They work, particularly for generating repeat business from past customers.
8. Revisit past tradie marketing successes and failures
2020 wasn’t the greatest year for anyone, let alone those of us running small businesses. Take the time to review the marketing actions that led to success and the activities that fell flat on their face over the past 12 months. What can you learn? What can you do better?
9. Create a referral program
Happy customers are your tradie marketing secret weapon. In 2021, reward them for their enthusiasm with a referral program. Referral programs prompt existing customers to recommend your services to friends, family members, and colleagues. If that results in new business, you send your existing customer a little reward, such as a gift voucher. We’ve implemented this for many of our tradie clients because it works very, very well.
10. Leverage your best customer testimonials
Don’t let your best testimonials and reviews sit unused on page five of your Google My Business listing. Get them in front of your prospects by posting them on social media (use tools like Canva to quickly and easily create high-quality graphics incorporating testimonials), including them in the footer of your email newsletter, and more.
We can also add a feed to your website to showcase your best Google and Facebook reviews. The feed updates automatically whenever you get new reviews.
11. Nudge warm audiences with retargeting
Retargeting involves getting ads in front of audiences that have already interacted with your business; for example, they may have recently visited your website. Retargeting ads typically have higher conversion rates, and that means more return on your investment.
12. Try social media advertising
More than half of business discovery happens on social media, and that number is likely to rise in 2021. Get your trade business in front of people in your local area using social media advertising tools. A word of caution: a social media user judges an ad in the blink of an eye, with weak ads generating a negative emotional reaction. Know who your audience is and create advertisements that focus on their problem and how you solve it.
13. Commit to regular blogging
Do you want to know the secret to success on the internet? Consistency. It’s that simple. There is no point publishing the most fantastic, comprehensive, generous, well-researched blog post in January if you’re not going to continue publishing content in February, March, April, and the rest of 2021. Devise a realistic publishing schedule and stick to it. You’ll not only be providing ongoing value to your website visitors, you’re also improving your indexing with search engines, so you keep on being found in online searches. Google stops indexing sites that are not regularly updated.
14. Show your values
People choose businesses that align with their values, so don’t be afraid to put yours on display. Your About Page is a great place to outline your values. And if you give time, money or help to charities or local community organisations, mention that too. Others might also want to join you in helping.
15. Ensure your branding is consistent
Effective content is tailored to a particular medium, but everything you publish must be tied together with consistent branding. Choose a voice, colour scheme, logo, messaging and incorporate them into your online and offline marketing assets. See our article What Makes a Powerful Brand for more info on how to go about this.
16. Don’t forget offline customer care
Tradie marketing tips are often wrapped up in online strategies. While these are critical to success in 2021, do not forget to invest in offline customer care, too. Phone calls, face-to-face visits (if safe), and even snail mail can differentiate your business from its competitors and show your customers and prospects that you’re thinking about them.
17. Measure everything
If you’re not measuring your marketing efforts, you cannot improve your results. No exceptions. Here are some of the key metrics and when to pay attention to them:
- Click-through rate: Facebook ads, email marketing campaigns and newsletters
- Conversion rate: Facebook ads, landing pages, services pages, blog posts
- Return on investment (ROI tracks how much you spent on a marketing activity and how much that activity returned): everywhere, including offline
Tracking key metrics is one thing; putting them to use is another. Be sure to revisit campaigns that delivered a low ROI and make tweaks to see if you can improve results.
18. Replenish your supply of business cards
Who said business cards were old fashioned? They are still extremely valuable, so make sure your stockpile is packed to the brim and ready for 2021. Pass them out to prospects, customers, and even other businesses you meet. Make sure you use both the front and back of the card. We have several great ideas on what you can add to your business card to make it work harder for you.
19. Collaborate with others
Advertising is effective, but the power of recommendations from trusted people is invaluable. Seek out partnerships with complementary businesses, perhaps those that provide services related to but not overlapping your own. This will help you reach new audiences. And don’t forget to keep referring your own trusted business colleagues so you maintain the momentum.
20. Create an introductory offer
People love a bargain, so why not kick-off a new product or service with an irresistible introductory offer? Here are some deal ideas to get you thinking:
- Discount the price
- Create a joint promotion with a complementary business
- Include a voucher with each purchase
- Bundle the new product or service with existing best-sellers
- Use the tried-and-true buy one, get one free deal
Whatever approach you take, make sure that you really hammer it in that the promotion is only available for a limited time. Create a sense of urgency, encouraging prospects to take action now rather than later. And don’t do it too often.
21. Compete on value, not price
In 2021, customer experience reigns supreme. People are looking for value and are willing to pay a little extra for a better experience. Here’s a stat that drives the point home:
73 per cent of companies that deliver above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors.
If you currently cut corners to lower your prices, stop. Instead, charge customers a fair price for exceptional service — and be transparent about it. Hidden fees never go down well.
Feeling inspired? Success in 2021 starts here
Ready to thrive in 2021? Fantastic. Equipped with the marketing tips above, you’re sure to crush it.
As we mentioned, if you haven’t got yourself a professionally designed, lead-generating website, you’re already on the backfoot. We know the thought of setting up a website is daunting; the process can be expensive, time-consuming, and extremely frustrating. Instant Tradie Websites takes the pain away — check out our affordable web designs now.