Times have changed. And so has marketing, especially the cleaning industry, and specifically, commercial cleaning marketing online. Why? Because the cleaning industry has been considered "low-tech" in the past. Industries that have defined themselves as low-tech often are the last to adopt innovative marketing practices to gain new leads. If your competition is asleep, and you wake up, you win. Right?
You know your commercial cleaning business is not low tech, right? Of course you do. The use of chemicals, other risk management factors, in addition to careful HR management practices for employee retention, require your professional attentiveness just as much as any other industry.
So, times have changed. But when you Google the title of this blog, "Five Great Tips for Commercial Cleaning Marketing On-line," you'd think nothing has changed. Aside from this article, page one of that search will return the "tips" you know already. Frustrating, isn't it?
Let's see if we can get up to speed and get on the path of marketing tactics that really will do something.
Tip #1: Take Advantage of ROI-charged Online Marketing Tactics
Many larger commercial cleaning companies have rebudgeted away from traditional outbound marketing tactics and are taking aim at inbound. This strategy is very simple: If you can reduce your cost per lead (CPL), you will generate more profit. Inbound leverages the amazing power of the Internet to pull potential leads to you - and not only just any lead, but those leads - your ideal customers - that you're looking for.
Source: 2013 State of Inbound Marketing
Of all the digital marketing channels in the chart above, blogging offers the most value. Notice that PPC appears to have a lower CPL, but you have to pay for PPC, and sometimes pay a lot. With blogging, if you pay an agency to blog for you, you're only paying for the blog, you're not paying per-click or per-read. One good blog article could generate hundreds of qualified leads and offer years of viable performance.
Tip #2: Write Quality Content
Assuming you're not a slouchy commercial cleaning company, don't be a slouch on creating on-line content. Within the last couple of years, we've noticed a lot of "junk" content springing up on the web. I just read a great article about quality content, but in the first three lines of the blog there are two typos! Nobody's perfect, right? But when it comes to marketing your business, it's important to try.
Aside from doing proof-reading, it's important to supply content that will contribute something. That's what everyone is looking for, your customers, and the search engines. Google' advice is to "Create a useful, information-rich site..." Because if you don't, you're ranking will suffer, not to mention your readers.
Don't just hire some junk blogger. Junk blog content is proliferating faster than anything else on the Internet. Fueled by out-sourced, low-budget and poorly monitored content creators, it's degrading the quality of information. Putting poorly written content on the Internet will hurt you as much as good content will help you.
Tip #3: Become Goal-Oriented
It's not enough simply to write quality content. Just writing quality content alone is the blogosphere of yesteryear. When blogging first became the hit of the Internet, you could write whatever you wanted and it would suffice.
Today, smart bloggers are writing content for a goal. That goal: To develop leads. Even your potential commercial cleaning customers are going to want to go somewhere with the content you're providing. They're coming to your website or to your social media channel to find solutions. For some of them, their best solution will be deciding to contact you. And when they do, you've just hit a home run.
Does writing goal-oriented content mean you need to be stealthy or manipulative? No. It means giving your website visitor what he or she wants: solutions. In the first article I wrote in this series, "How to Overcome the Top Five Commercial Cleaning Marketing Challenges," the first challenge I noted was to identify your #1 customer.
Once you've identified your #1 customer, you can:
- Assess their needs, pain points, areas of interest.
- Write good content.
- Create paths to turn visitors into leads through inbound methods such as landing pages.
Tip #4: Provide Means for Audience Engagement
Contrary to popular belief, people want to interact. Your goal is to get them to interact with you. Here's how:
- Turn on blog comments. Say what? Yes, you'll have to moderate them and you may have a few trolls and you'll need a good spam filter.
- Publish on more than one social media channel. Facebook and Twitter are the two hot ones.
- Interact on your social media. "Favorite" great tweets. Repost when you find a super great tweet.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions on social media, like, "what's your favorite green cleaning product line?" Have fun with the responses.
- Send out a survey (don't over-due this) to your customer email list. You have a list, right?
No matter how "professional" you've chosen to brand yourself, you need to create an inviting on-line atmosphere.
Tip #5: Leverage the Power of Metrics
Applying and using metrics is the secret weapon of inbound marketing. Conventional marketing methods afford very little opportunity to track results. With Internet marketing, nearly everything can be tracked, thus supplying enormous data so you can see what's working and what's not.
Here's a small sampling of what can be tracked through Internet marketing:
- Page views, blog views.
- Amount of time each visitor spends on your website before leaving.
- What device they're using (use of smart phones and tablets is growing).
- Opening rate of email campaigns.
- Link authority.
- Lead generation.
- Conversion rate.
Armed with data, you can tweak what's not working and focus more on what is working. In the end, with inbound marketing, you can eliminate the guesswork and generate more ROI.
Key take-aways from this article:
- Inbound marketing tactics are more cost-effective than conventional marketing efforts.
- Content rules, but only if it's relevant content and
- Content must have a target audience; it must be goal-oriented.
- Your visitors want to engage you in dialog but only if it's safe and friendly.
- Through inbound, you can measure the success of your campaigns and adjust accordingly.