Chip and Joanna Gaines are a hit for a reason — that appeal of doing house projects yourself and achieving tangible results that you live with and experience everyday. But the reality is that they’re an aspiration. Most homeowners lack the time, willingness, and/or ability to do it all indeed themselves, myself included.
We’re all on the spectrum from zero to the Gaineses, with most of us closer to the former end. And that’s GREAT news for your business, thanks to content marketing! Here’s why.
The Paradox of Providing Content to Home Owners
By providing helpful content to consumers, you’re helping your business, not turning it over to the Gaineses of the world.
A house is the largest purchase most of your customers make in their lifetime. Through this lens, we can understand why most homeowners want to be informed consumers of the services their significant investment requires — heating and air, plumbing, electrical, roofing, pest control, and landscaping. When you provide educational content, you help prospects and customers trust you as a provider.
As a result of your content, will consumers be experts who will take the information and start their own business? Of course not. They will, however, have a consumer-friendly understanding of how things work, the time and expertise required for your services, and they’ll know what they can do themselves to save a little money and when they need to reach out to you and your business, the professionals.
And those that do try their hand at the DIY for small projects you outline will likely deepen their appreciation for your expertise when they find themselves in over the head!
How to Create Content that Converts
Content that attracts and converts consumers into customers must not only cover valuable topics but take a mix of forms to engage your audience.
1. Cover Topics of Value to Homeowners
The topics you can cover in your content are vast, especially when you consider how many of us are on the lower end of that Gaines spectrum, and all we do not yet know! It’s your business’ time to shine by sharing expertise!
When you’re developing your content, remember it’s about quality over quantity. And your content needs to be useful, fresh, and seasonably applicable. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and shape your content around what would help them relate to the solutions you provide.
Here are a few questions to get the creative juices flowing:
- What are consumers’ frequently asked questions?
- What information might help save them some inconvenience?
- What are some commonly-held problems your customers face? And what information could you include to help them understand why the problems occurred and what to do next?
- For those who are more of the DIY type, what kinds of information could you include to help them feel a little mastery and save a little money?
- What are some relatable customers who had an outstanding experience you can highlight?
Testimonials and Reviews, Checklists (what to do before leaving for winter vacation), How-to’s (replace a ceiling fan, replace a faucet or thermostat, maximize the efficiency of their heating and air system, keep your pipes healthy) — The sky (or, in this case, the home) is the limit when it comes to the topics you can cover.
2. Develop Content in an Engaging Mix of Formats
When developing content, remember it’s more than just text. Create a variety of mediums through which users can consume your information. In addition to written content, consider video and infographics for more impact.
- Blogs and Vlogs. A blog on your site allows you to educate homeowners about your services, provide valuable answers to their frequently asked questions, and position yourself as an expert. Businesses with blogs get 126% more lead growth than small businesses without one.
We recommend blogging regularly and optimizing your blogs for specific terms. These best practices increase the likelihood that a customer typing a plumbing related question in Google will come across your article addressing that topic. In turn, the search engines will direct them to your website where the answer is.
- Video. According to Hubspot, video has become such a common and popular form of content marketing that it has overtaken blogs and infographics. Four times more buyers prefer to watch a video about your services than read about them, according to Social Media Today.
Video is a great way to share information in an engaging way and a powerful visual medium to foster trust with customers. Videos on landing pages are 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of search rankings. And websites with video have a 2.1% higher conversion rate than those without video.
We recommend beginning with some short videos about how-to’s, your team, and testimonials. Remember to keep your videos under two minutes to get more views and engagement.
Leveraging Your Content
You can distribute all of the great content you’ve developed through several means to grow leads and revenue. The more places you can syndicate content, the more authoritative your home services company becomes.
Below we’ll discuss four ways to leverage your content.
When it comes to leveraging content, your website is a great place to start. A strong content strategy sets you apart from your competitors in your consumers’ and Google’s eyes and transforms your site into a conversion machine. Let’s discuss some specific ways you can use content to optimize your site for search and better user experience.
- Optimize Your Blog and Vlogs. Develop and optimize your blogs around popular search terms and employ SEO best practices. Also, consider mixing up written blog content with video. Add YouTube videos to your blog posts, and consider some vlogs as well. Vlogs can feature the video content at the top and a transcript beneath for accessibility. Blogs with videos attract three times as many inbound links as posts without video!
- Optimize Your Service Pages. Make it easy for visitors to see and consume content by adding links to your blogs and YouTube videos on relevant service pages. For example, on your HVAC maintenance page, consider adding a link to a blog about maximizing heating and air system efficiency. Or on your plumbing page, consider adding a link to a blog about maintaining healthy pipes and/or a YouTube video where you walk users through easy DIY projects.
2. Social Media
The blogs, videos, and infographics you’ve developed will complement your social efforts by providing a mix of helpful content alongside your promotional posts. Think of it as thumb-stopping content for users scrolling through their social feeds. Break through the noise with good content such as advice, money-saving methods, answers to questions’ and more.
3. Google Ads and Social Ads
You can also distribute your content through paid ads on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and the Google Display Network.
What kind of ad are you more likely to click on — branded ads and ads promoting services or ads about how to save money and/or inconvenience by doing XYZ, ads answering questions you’ve always had about your plumbing, etc.?
We recommend a healthy mix of educational and promotional advertising content.
4. Email Newsletter
Email is a fantastic way to provide a healthy mix of helpful content with promotional content, fostering loyalty. Email is permission marketing, so each of the individuals on your email list opted into it.
“Establishing good relationships with customers and turning those relationships into ongoing leads and sales starts with the technician communication process,” writes Contracting Business. Email serves as another point of communication between your business and your customers. Leverage your content in those newsletters to share your technicians’ knowledge and expertise with your existing customers and subscribers.
How to Track the Success of Your Content Marketing
We’ve discussed the importance of content marketing in your overall strategy, creating content that converts, and leveraging that content. But how do you measure the success of all of these efforts and improve on them? Our Director of Content Marketing, Phyllis Rush, has you covered. Check out her guide about content marketing metrics to track.
The Bottom Line About Content Marketing for Contractors
You know the ins and outs of your business, but most of your customers do not. Psychologically, consumers will always trust those who demonstrate a genuine desire to help them. For those who have yet to experience your customer service (your prospects), content is how to do that! And for those who have already encountered your service, content one way to foster loyalty. What’s more, when consumers are searching for help with their home services, a content marketing strategy, if executed properly, will help you not only show up for those individuals where they are in their journey, but also attract and convert them into customers