EVERYTHING

Landscape & Design

By Sophie Rhéaume • February 28, 2019

Understanding the Digital Marketing Landscape - Everything a Hardscaper Should Know

Techo-Bloc

Lost in the digital marketing landscape?

It's time to face the reality: in 2019, if customers can't find you online, you're off to a bad start. Your potential clients follow the trends and they evolve so quickly it's hard to keep up with them. Amongst many initiatives you can take to grow your business, harnessing the power of digital marketing will get you exactly where you need to be.

Quick Facts

In 2018, 96% of Americans between 30 and 49 years old, and 80% of 50-64-year-olds use Internet when researching local services. If you want to reach your audience, they should be able to locate your business online.

You should also represent your business with a professional and easy to use website, since more than half of them will use it to communicate with you. 30% of potential clients won’t even consider your landscaping business if it doesn’t have a website.

If you are not on social media, you’re missing out, because 70% of consumers will trust a company much more if it has a social media presence. Plus, they spend two hours on social media sites per day, so it gives you plenty of opportunities to interact with them.

Finally, personal recommendations got you more customers over the years, but nowadays, online reviews will have the same impact on 88% of them.

Are these enough reasons for you to consider building an online presence?

Digital Marketing in 2019

To gain more customers, they first need to be aware of your existence. Then, if you capture their interest, they will convert into leads, and if you pursue these leads the right way, into customers.

customer-acquisition-funnel

The following online marketing initiatives will help you get people into that funnel to win more clients.

Website

Your website is your storefront, portfolio, and a 24/7 sales representative.

You don’t need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to build a quality website. Technology evolved fast and made it easier.

Here are examples of popular website platforms you can use:

Although many Do-It-Yourself tools are available, we recommend at least consulting a professional.

Would you trust a handyman to build your house? Why would you trust your geek nephew to build your website? He’s probably very talented, but nowadays, a LOT goes into having an optimized website, like SEO optimization, file compression, responsive design, schema markup, etc.

It’s too much for one person to handle on their own and getting an external professional opinion will always provide you with creative and useful ideas you most probably didn’t think of.

In fact, it only takes 0.5 seconds for a visitor to form their opinion, and 39% will leave your website if the images take too long to load or won’t load at all.  Plus, you must make sure it looks good on a smartphone, because more than half of Americans will search for your website on this device.

Your website should be able to answer these three questions within three seconds of landing on it:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do/offer?
  • How do I contact you?

website

It should be fast, display pertinent content, be functional and SEO optimized, mobile-friendly and secure.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What exactly is SEO?

It means optimizing your website in such way it will appear in a high position when potential clients look for it in a search engine such as Google. It’s important because nowadays, most people find what they are looking for in the first page of the search results and won’t even go to the second page.

What can you do to optimize your website, so it ranks high in search results?

  • Start by analyzing your service area and local competitors. Who outranks you in Google? What search terms do they use? What are the monthly search volumes of those terms?
  • Once you figure out what are the most popular keywords, publish high-quality well-written website content, along with beautiful images and videos.
  • Review your listing in Google Map. Did your address change and should be updated?
  • Increase the number and quality of links pointing to your website.

We recommend taping into more advanced SEO only once you cover these four points.

SEO

Social Media

Social media is a free large-scale advertising tool you need to use to your advantage. 

You should focus your attention on these platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Houzz
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Check out How to Use Social Media Marketing to Promote your Landscaping Business to learn more about why it’s important to be on social media and how to get on it.

Online Advertising

There are two types of digital advertising you can choose to promote your business: social media ads (SMM) and Pay-Per-Click ads (PPC). 

For social media advertisement, we recommend sticking to Facebook and Instagram in the beginning.

If well done, social media ads are the cheapest compared to all other channels.

There are multiple ad formats you can use:

  • Impressions and clicks
  • Post boosts
  • Lead ads
  • Event promotion
  • Remarketing

PPC ads describes any type of digital advertisement that charges you per click of your ad. There are many different types of PPC ads, including Google Search, Google Display, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.

However, the most effective ads for contractors are Google Search Ads that appear at the top and bottom of Google search results when a user searches for a relevant query.

ppc-ads

Reviews

Reviews are the digital equivalent of word of mouth. People filter/choose their service providers based on the reviews they can find online.

The main reviews platforms are:

  • Google business
  • Facebook business
  • Yelp
  • Houzz
  • Trustpilot
  • Nextdoor

Your number one priority should be Google reviews, then Facebook reviews, Houzz, Yelp and the others.

Make sure your happy customers leave a nice review on one of those platforms. You should also reply to all reviews, especially the negative ones.

Local Listings

Your landscaping business should be listed in Google My Business.

If you have an address, setup your Google Business Listing as a business with a location.

If you don’t have an address, setup your account with a service area instead of an address. This is commonly used for contractors.

Email Marketing

Email marketing should be used in two main ways: lead generation and lead nurturing.

Lead generation permits to identify and cultivate potential customers, while a lead nurturing campaign develops relationships with them.

Example of content you could use for lead generation campaigns are the following:

  • Contests and raffles
  • Suggest booking a meeting or requesting a quote
  • Provide design guides
  • Talk about landscaping trends
  • Promote local events
  • Give a product discount (ex: subscribe and get 100$ off)

As for lead nurturing campaigns:

  • Series of videos of a showcase project
  • Testimonials
  • Before and after stories with photos and videos (time-lapse, …)
  • Talk about the art of outdoor living
  • Build a sales pitch in video capsules
  • Why you shouldn’t DIY when it comes to backyard, driveways…
  • Suggest backyard enhancements: firepits, outdoor kitchens, etc.

Quick Tactics

Remember when we discussed how to gain more customers?

Here’s a summary of the tactics you can use for each level of the funnel:

digital-marketing-tactics-1

We know there’s a lot to learn. It might seem complicated at first. If you need help to find out how to apply digital marketing initiatives to your landscaping business, get in touch with us!

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE? WE DISCUSS DIGITAL MARKETING AT OUR CONTRACTOR SHOWCASE EVENTS.

REGISTER TODAY