Technology is driving digital marketing to new heights. Though traditional advertising such as billboard signs, flyers and banners remain popular, they are being overshadowed by the Internet’s methods of advertising. Some day, consumers may be too distracted by streaming digital marketing on their mobile devices to see these old-school advertising methods.
Reviews on the Internet also are playing a major role in business. A 2012 survey conducted by marketing research firm Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange reports that 59% of consumers say online reviews have influenced their purchasing decisions.
Most businesses, if not all, acknowledge word-of-mouth marketing is a key factor to obtaining new customers. The difference between online vs. verbal recommendations, however, is that words travel much faster when customers surf the Web. One negative online review can be seen by many potential customers in a matter of minutes, or even seconds, and the business may not even be aware of it.
That is the power of online marketing and further data suggests businesses will require an online marketing plan to remain competitive. Digital marketing research firm eMarketer notes that in 2013, about 45% of U.S. adults accessed some form of digital media. Compare that with 30% in 2010.
Organic content is key
The plumbing and heating service industry is large and competitive at a local level. Business owners battle for pricing, customer satisfaction, positioning, location and offering the best service package. All these factors are as important to online marketing as they are to traditional marketing.
Online marketing may be thought of as pop-up ads, banner ads, pay-per-click and the ever so trendy social media marketing. In fact, Google’s analytics sink in much deeper when it comes to online marketing. As Google is the primary source for Internet research on products and services as well as customer reviews, it becomes the marketing goldmine for businesses. It is the organic content the giant search engine seeks in order to naturally optimize web content or, in this case, a plumbing or heating business.
So what is this organic content in which Google treats as a dragnet for information? The accurate answer would only be known by its engineers and its analytical language. When you Google for a certain service, the results are websites, paid ad spaces and a section that ranks the services surrounding you with letters A, B, C, D, E, F and G. That lettered section is the key section of organic results.
The geographic location and web information is what plumbing service companies need in order to be strategically placed on the first page of Google. Picture the Internet as an incomplete puzzle where pieces of information are scattered on the Web and are misplaced or submitted incorrectly, thus not allowing Google to read a company’s profile correctly. In order for Google to do so, businesses must complete their profiles on the Internet.
Hundreds of online directories are available on a local and national level that need data input, social media links and web content. In theory, any person can perform these tasks, but in practice these tasks require months of commitment to complete and see results. If done incorrectly, a plumbing or heating service business runs the risk of lost time and possibly money, thus having to repeat the whole process.
But if all the tasks are done correctly, then the return on investment will bring guaranteed results. Hiring an online marketing company can help service businesses with this process. It will gather data and analysis, and plan a marketing campaign to start completing the pieces of a plumbing or heating company’s puzzle by doing:
- Data entry. Hundreds of online directories and hyper local links need updated information. This includes correctly submitting company info, photos and videos.
- Content management. This includes: selecting the right blogging tools, such as Google-owned Blogger; making the company’s YouTube channel a busy one; using the business-oriented benefits of Google Plus to the company’s advantage; and following the right people, joining the right communities and growing the network.
- Social media. It’s not only Facebook and Twitter; look at StumbleUpon, Flickr and other sites. Online activity needs to be consistent and done properly without risking being a spammer. This means long hours of work but results should be expected in four months at the earliest.
- Hard work. The marketing company you hire must be committed to work and not finding shortcuts.
As a result, Google would have the ability to read the plumbing or heating company’s information cleanly and set it on the first couple of pages of a search. This applies for mobile devices as well.
Over the last few decades, businesses have either embraced or ignored the technological advancements with computers, the Internet and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Today, some businesses underestimate the power of online marketing. In using online marketing through organic results, the plumbing and heating service industry can build a successful strategy to keep up with the evolutionary changes of marketing.
About the author: Michael Peroni is the director of client relations at Who Can I Hire, a marketing company businesses and services turn to in order to build their online foundation. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 888/700-8290, or visit the website www.whocanihire.com or www.locationalmarketing.com.