Is your plumbing business struggling to dominate its target market? “Business is slow because the economy is still recovering and I need to establish my reputation and client base in my target market,” you might say. Though your immediate circumstances might agree with this assessment, data from the major research firms tells a different story.
The American plumbing industry is huge. According to data from the industry research firm IBISWorld, the plumbing industry is worth $97 billion and employs approximately 504,371 professionals. With the resurgence of the U.S. economy and strong growth occurring in the construction sector, there’s been an increasing demand for the installation of plumbing appliances and pipe-fitting services.
Moreover, the plumbing industry generates significant revenue from maintenance work done on existing buildings and structures. While the current industry is made up of independent businesses and franchises, no single company dominates the U.S. market. In short, though your circumstances might paint a different picture, there is in all likelihood a significant target market ready and willing to patronize your plumbing business.
While it’s true that many plumbing businesses succeed the old fashioned way (by providing quality services to their clients, and getting referrals and word-of-mouth promotions as a result), many plumbers add more leads and prospects to their pipelines—and get more work as a result—because they have a great marketing strategy in place.
Marketing Your Plumbing Business the Old Fashioned Way
Many plumbers and plumbing contractors prefer to market their services the traditional way—they make a minimum number of sales calls per week, hand out an X number of business cards each day, and knock on doors to introduce themselves to prospective clients. Many also ask existing clients for referrals and go back to them periodically with new offerings.
While these marketing tactics are obviously important, this “hands-on” approach won’t suffice. Why is that? It’s because the vast majority of your prospective clients are turning to the Internet when they’re looking for a plumber or plumbing contractor in their area. Gone are the days when prospective clients used the yellow pages or asked the neighbors next door for the number of a reputable plumber.
In fact, 81% of consumers conduct online research before purchasing a product or service, and an overwhelming 89% of consumers use search engines to acquire services. Furthermore, your prospective clients aren’t just conducting online research on their desktop computers, as many are also using their mobile devices, tablets, and other gadgets to conduct online research.
You Need to Complement Your Traditional Marketing with a Dynamic Digital Marketing Strategy
While traditional marketing can help plumbers establish a strong client base and funnel more leads and prospects into their pipelines, this should be complemented with a dynamic digital marketing strategy.
You need to establish a well-designed and well-optimized website for your business. This website should contain accurate and up-to-date information about you and your business, as well as relevant and informative content. As for technical requirements, your website should be navigable and mobile-friendly, and should make proper use of keywords and links.
Why is mobile-friendliness important? It’s vital because a growing number of consumers perform searches on their mobile devices. (According to the latest statistics from comScore, 190.3 million people in the United States owned smartphones during the three months ending in June 2015.)
Unless you possess a mobile-friendly website that adjusts and displays seamlessly across an array of devices, you won’t be able to target prospective clients who’re looking for reputable plumbers in their area using multiple devices.
Your website and other web properties should show up prominently in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when your prospective clients perform local searches. Aside from organic traffic, you also need to ensure that your business website is getting quality traffic from referral, paid, direct, and social sources.
Even if your prospective clients do find you, will they find solid reviews about you from your past clients? Do you have active social media accounts that enable prospective clients to learn more about your services? Do you offer relevant and informative content on your blog and other publishing platforms?
As plumbing services target a specific geographical area, you need to maximize the full potential of online local searches. According to recent studies, consumers who conducted local searches increased from 70% in 2010 to 80% in 2014. In addition, 54% of searchers include a local modifier (such as a city or zip code) in their searches.
Aside from search results, does your plumbing business have a strong presence in local listings, maps, and directories? If your answer is no, then you could be losing out on a significant number of leads and prospects, as well as conversions and sales.
Busy plumbers like you don’t have time to create and implement a digital marketing strategy. You need to focus on your business.
Don’t worry—we’re here to help.
Our Brand Optimization Service and other online marketing services can build and expand your brand’s presence online.
Whether you’re offering your clients residential, commercial, or industrial plumbing services, our online marketing services will help you attract and nurture more leads, convert them into clients, and build a positive online reputation for your brand.