This is a million dollar question for a lot of small business owners. Diana Bagas of Launch Web Marketing helped us answer this question during a recent Workspace Podcast. Reviews are the backbone of Web 2.0 marketing. Some 90% of consumers look for reviews of products or services before they buy a product or hire a contractor.
Here are a few of the key points she covered during the podcast:
Is Yelp effective?
Yes and no. It depends on the size of your business, how fast you can respond, and the quality of the leads (just like with HomeAdvisor or Angie’s List). If your business is large, and ROI is high on lead sources, you should invest in these types of platforms. If your business is small or medium, and you can get better ROI elsewhere with limited marketing resources, you should seek alternative, more sustainable and less volatile lead sources.
Content marketing (social media, blogging, web content, email marketing) can produce more reliable and predictable leads. No matter the size of your business, remember that lead sources are always changing. Don’t become too dependent on third party vendors as your only lead source.
What other marketing options are available for a contractor?
Contractors get inundated with solicitations for SEO, direct mail, website design, Yelp, Yext, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, direct mail, print newspaper or local shoppers, luxury home magazines, radio, email marketing, promotional products….but contractors are not marketers. Even marketers don’t understand the intricacies of each platform.
Our approach is: we can reach everybody, for a super low cost, and it’s measurable with Facebook and Facebook advertising. A strong website, Facebook or social presence, and plenty of positive reviews are all your business needs. And, of course, consistent content on each.
How can Launch help?
Launch focuses on Facebook page management, Facebook ads, and online review generation. These three methods of audience outreach are the most cost-effective ways for businesses to get seen by their target audience.
There are a lot of companies in the marketing landscape that offer multiple digital and non-digital advertising services, and it’s hard to find a company that specializes and executes social media well.
For example, when Launch takes over from an owner or another marketing company, they often grow engagement, impressions or clicks by over 100%. Other agencies charge about $1,000/month per social channel (without the cost of paid ads - which are the backbone to any successful business page). Since Launch specializes in Facebook, we can offer a premium service at half the cost of competitors. When you partner with a specialist, you get better value and performance.
Facebook ads are the backbone of a social media strategy because they offer a low cost per click and low cost per impression, plus you have a large level of control on the targeting.
The best strategy for a business owner is to compile a team of experts. It’s oftentimes less expensive to build your own team of experts than to contract with one large marketing firm. You also get better results.
Ask for help!