Traditionally, trades have relied on word of mouth and the Yellow Pages to win work, but nowadays consumers have becomes heavily dependent on finding local businesses online. So, which marketing channels are consumers using, which are the most useful and what are they useful for?
What are marketing channels?
A marketing channel describes nothing but the outlet through which you market your business and ultimately, where you win customers.
Different marketing channels for trades
The modern consumer base is so fragmented that it’s difficult to choose which marketing channel to use for your business. Nonetheless, below are a couple of channels that our members have found the most success on…
Traditional marketing channels
In a very traditional sector, traditional channels will always hold significance and whilst they might be losing their effectiveness with the upcoming generation, they’re definitely not dead in the water. You can publish your trade in newspapers, magazines, the Yellow Pages and deliver business cards and flyers.
Traditional word of mouth between family and friends will likely always hold significance in the trade. Interestingly, there have been instances where trades have won customers online, delivered a fantastic service and have been rewarded with a referral for more work from that original customer – perhaps evidencing that a combination of online and offline marketing is best!
A website gives your business your own space on the Internet where you can showcase your services, reviews, work and your knowledge of the trade. A website is very direct and it’s useful for selling directly to the consumer.
It’s likely if a consumer is on your website, they’re interested in your services and what you have to offer. All you need to do is make sure your content is clear and concise and there is a very clear call-to-action.
Social media marketing channels
Social media offers a platform for trades to get their business name out there in a fun and more engaging manner. The key is to create engaging content that ensures your business remains top of mind should a consumer ever need to hire somebody in your trade.
That said, there are also opportunities to advertise your business on Facebook and it’s likely that the platform will become increasingly important over the coming decade, so it might be a good idea to get started sooner rather than later!
You can also showcase your work on other social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc., but the success and usefulness of each platform will depend on your trade.
Like the Yellow Pages of old, online directories are great for getting simple information out there like your name, address, phone number and services. There are two main types for trades:
– Listing directories (Checkatrade, Yell)
Before joining these directories, particularly Checkatrade considering the fee involved, assess the competition in the area and consider whether the channel can create enough revenue to ensure the time and money spent remains worthwhile.
– Pay Per Lead (MyBuilder, RatedPeople)
These directories differ to Checkatrade and Yell in the sense that you have to pay for the customer/lead. Even after you’ve bought the lead, it’s still not a guarantee that you’ll win the work as they’ll put you up against a few competitors to fight for the work. However, pay for lead has proved useful for some members and can be used as a filler between other jobs.
Monitor and review marketing channels
The key to success is to track where you’re winning work from so you can identify exactly how successful each channel is and how much profit they’re bringing in for your business.
Try this: When you next win work, jot down where the customer heard about your business and calculate how much time/money went into winning that work through that specific channel. From there, assess whether the channel is profitable, sustainable and more importantly, worthwhile. Continue to do this and you’ll quickly realise which marketing channels are right for your business.