Category Archives for "online marketing"

Don't Get Duped: Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Online Marketing Company
Jan 13

Don’t Get Duped: Questions To Ask Before Hiring An Online Marketing Company

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

One of the biggest mistakes I see roofers make is the belief that they are not “technical” people.

This belief absolves many of them of taking responsibility for not learning about online marketing and websites.
Since a lot of roofing contractors are older and not a lot of young people are entering the trades this puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to the internet.

Contractors are far behind other niches when it comes to online marketing.

Past negative experiences and online lead generation companies like HomeAdvisor have held a lot of contractors back from understanding what it takes to succeed online.

This stuff is not rocket science.

Anybody can understand it.

You just have to take the time to learn and understand the strategies at a high level.

The two main reasons why marketing campaigns fail is because of incompetence and fraud.

Fraud

Although this is rare fraud still happens with many marketing agencies.

With fraud, you have to use your gut to determine if you are being lied to. Your gut is the best lie detector in the world.
Asking for referrals might prevent this from happening but does not guarantee it.

It’s much harder to get defrauded if you know what to look for.

Incompetence

This is the most common reason why marketing agencies fail to deliver.

How can you determine if the person you are dealing with is competent?

This is tough to determine if you don’t know what to look for.

The best way to do this is to ask the right questions.

What are the right questions?

Keep reading below to find out…

The most important metric

The most important metric is past success within your niche using a particular strategy.

For example, have they had success with previous roofing clients using PPC or Facebook?

Can they show you the results?

A lot of agencies have case studies but they don’t have case studies in your particular niche. This is an important distinction.

The reason is that marketing strategies change depending on the market. What works for an attorney might not work for a contractor.

When you are dealing with a generalist marketing agency you have to know if they have gotten results with other roofers.
If they haven’t and you decide to work with them then you’ll be going into uncharted territory.

 

I’m not saying they can’t be successful, in fact, if they are good then success won’t be that difficult. But you should keep in mind that there might be a few bumps in the road.

SEO is the exception here. If you are hiring an SEO agency and they are good then they would have productized their service.
Which means that they will consistently deliver the same SEO service/product to all their clients and the niche won’t matter.

You should look for case studies

Case studies are difficult to fake. This is the best type of proof that you can use.

Even if they have had success with past clients this is no guarantee that they will do the same for you.

Marketing has a high failure rate. An entrepreneur understands that marketing is an investment.

An investor knows that not all his investments will provide a return.

This doesn’t prevent him/her to stop trying.

Past negative experiences should not stop your business from growing.

You don’t know what you don’t know

To determine what you need to know you have to first determine what questions you need to ask. The answers to these questions will help you determine if you are making a good hire.

Questions to ask before hiring a PPC agency:

  • Do you use landing pages?
  • Do you have clients in my city?
  • What are the expectations?
  • What’s the conversion rate of the landing page?
  • Do you track the calls?
  • What is the average conversion rate of the leads?
  • Reports?

Questions to Ask when hiring a Facebook Ads agency:

  • Do you use a marketing funnel?
  • What is the offer that you are providing to prospects? Free Roof Inspections, Gift Cards etc..
  • What is the expected conversion rate?
  • Will you be sending reports?
  • What are KPI (Key Performance Indicators) will you be looking for?
    Reports?

Questions to ask before hiring an SEO agency:

  • How will you improve our website rankings?
  • What kind of backlinks will you be linking to?
  • Do you follow Google’s best practices?
  • Can you share some information on your past client’s results?
  • Will you be sending reports?
  • Can you guarantee that our site will rank #1 for a major search term? If they answer yes then this is a big red flag. No one can guarantee a #1 ranking
  • What are the timelines for ranking?

Reports & Tracking

Your marketing partner should track everything. I can’t tell how many marketing agencies don’t track their results.

Without proper tracking, you will never get an understanding of what is working or not. Tracking provides a compass on your journey to your marketing destination.

Here are a couple of examples of what your reports should include. They can be sent weekly or on a monthly basis.

  • PPC
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Avg. Position
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cost/Lead
  • Amount Spent
  • #of leads
  • Web Leads datasheet
  • Facebook
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cost/Lead
  • Amount Spent
  • #of leads
  • Web Leads datasheet
  • Facebook Relevance Score

All SEO reports should include a few things:

  • summary of activities
  • search traffic
  • search rankings
  • conversions

Conclusion

Information is power.

The more information you have the better your decision making will be.

I don’t expect you to become an overnight digital marketing expert but these questions will help you determine if you are hiring the right marketing partner for your company.

Even if they answer these questions with flying colors and you are impressed by their expertise this does not guarantee success.

Marketing will always have a high failure rate.

But that should not stop you from doing whatever it takes to succeed. The company’s future depends on having an online marketing strategy that works.

Sell Security Not Roofs
Jan 04

Why You Should Sell Security And Not Roofs

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

Are you selling roofs or are you selling security?

People are not rational.

This is one of the best lessons you’ll ever learn.

No matter how intelligent one is a person will make a decision based on emotional reasons.

Now, I am not saying all decisions are emotional but the bigs ones are.

Small daily decisions are usually made with logic.

The same is true with roofing.

When a homeowner decides to replace the roof on their home they are making an emotional decision.

Investing tens of thousands of dollars is not easy for some people.

As a roofer you are not selling roofs, you are selling security and peace of mind.

If you focus on the emotional reasons why someone would choose to replace their roof your conversions will skyrocket.

Sell with emotion and close with logic.

If your sale is all emotion then you run the risk of getting buyer’s remorse.

What is buyer’s remorse?

It’s the sense of regret after having made a purchase.

You have to use logic in your presentations in order for them to justify their purchase in their minds.

Emotional Reasons To Buy

An exercise you should try is to write out all the emotional reasons why someone buys a roof.

Things like:

  • Security
  • Peace of mind
  • Fear of loss

Logical Reasons include

  • Pricing
  • Time to complete work

Marketing Message

If your marketing message focuses on providing content that addresses the buyer’s biggest objections then selling would become easier.

Marketing is supposed to make selling superfluous.

For the contractors that actually use marketing, their marketing tends to focus on the low hanging fruit.

These people are at the top of the buying cycle. They usually have a problem with their roof and they need someone to fix it.

This is the strategy that I would recommend that most contractors follow but this is only one piece of the entire market.

According to Chet Holmes, only 3% of the market is looking to buy your product/service.

This is a good video showcases Chet Holmes “Buying Pyramid” where each person is in the buying cycle:

The buying Pyramid breaks down the prospects into 5 stages of the buying cycle:

  1. Percent who are interested in buying “right now” (3%)
  2. Percent who are “open to considering such a purchase” (6-7%)
  3. The amount who are NOT thinking about it at this time (30%)
  4. Those who don’t “believe” they are interested (based on the info they have at hand) 30%
  5. Those who are definitely NOT interested (30%)

It would be a mistake if your marketing only focuses on the 3% of people that are ready to buy. You are ignoring the majority of the market

If you spend some of your time marketing to the 6-7% and to the 30% who are not thinking about it right now it gives you a first mover advantage.

What is a First Mover Advantage?

From Wikipedia:

“In marketing strategy, the first-mover advantage (FMA) is the advantage gained by the initial (“first-moving”) significant occupant of a market segment. … A market participant has the first-mover advantage if it is the first entrant and gains a competitive advantage through control of resources.

Let’s face it most people never think about their roofs unless there is a problem. However, if you promote your services then they might start thinking about replacing their roof.

By promoting your message across as many channels as you can you’ll be top of mind and when the time comes to repair or replace their roof they will call you first.”

Conclusion

People are not rational.

They buy because of emotional reasons. Your marketing & selling should focus on the emotional reasons why someone buys a roof.

If your message focuses on things like security and peace of mind you’ll see higher conversion rates.

Roofing Lead Magnet
Dec 30

Become The Roofing Expert With A Lead Magnet

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

A roofer is a marketer that sells roofs.

How many roofing contractors have this mindset?

If you think you are a marketer that sells roofs your mindset will change completely.

If you think with a marketing first perspective you’ll understand the value of differentiation.

What makes you different than all the other roofers in your city?

Most people do not think about their roofs.

They only think about their roofs when there is damage or when there is new construction. As a roofer, it’s your job to educate your customer in making the right decision.

One of the best ways to educate your customers is to provide highly consumable content that helps homeowners and commercial property owners make the right choice when choosing a contractor.

Here are some questions you can answer with your content:

  • What kind of content can you provide that can help the homeowner or commercial property owner?
  • What things can you teach a homeowner or a commercial property owner on selecting the right roof?
  • What things can you teach about insurance?
  • What’s the difference the material that you use?
  • What are the different types of materials you offer?
  • What things can you share that are considered common knowledge in the industry but are not common to most people?
  • What secrets can you share that not many know about?

One of the best ways to indoctrinate your prospects is to use a Lead Magnet

What is a Lead Magnet?

Lead Magnet — noun — an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.

For some reason, a lot of contractors are afraid of sharing this type of information. I am of the belief that the more you share the better results you get.

Roofing Lead Magnet

How To Create A Lead Magnet

There are 2 rules when creating a lead magnet.

Make it specific.

Make it easy to consume.

We live in an ADD world and most people will not read a large amount of information if they don’t know who you are.

Your lead magnet needs to be consumed for it to have an impact. A specific lead magnet that answers a question will have a real impact.

For example, a homeowner doesn’t know a lot of information on how to choose a roofer. An Ebook that answers this simple question will be great.

Some examples include:

“Insider’s Guide to Selecting Roofing Contractor”
“Selecting a Roofing Contractor – The Secret Manual”
“Roofing Contractor Cheat Sheet”
“The Homeowner’s Secret Guide to Choosing a Roofer”

The table of contents can be simple:

  • The difference between small, medium-sized, and large roofing contractors.
  • Does your roofer sub the work?
  • What materials are best to use?

Here is a great worksheet from Digital Marketer on How To Create A Lead Magnet

Content is all about detail

The more detailed the information you present the better results you will get. A question that can help you with the content would be what type of information is considered common knowledge with roofing contractors but is not considered common knowledge with the average homeowner?

Video or Articles?

A video is a more powerful medium for sharing information than the written word. However, some people prefer reading vs. watching a video.

Ideally, you would like to produce both types of content so it can make maximum impact.

If you are not a writer then you can create videos.

If you don’t have experience being in front of a camera you are going to suck the first few times you record videos.

The only way to get better is practice in front of a camera. I recently did a Facebook 30 Day Live challenge in which for 30 days straight I got in front of a live audience and shared some content.

Once you’ve created this piece of content you can use this as bait to get people’s information.

This is called an Ethical Bribe. You share free information in exchange for someone’s contact information.

This is another name for “Lead Magnet”

A lead magnet is a great way to introduce yourself to your prospects. Keep in mind, even though people download your lead magnet it doesn’t mean they will read your content.

People today are ADD. They request information all the time and forget even to look at it.

In order to facilitate them reading your content, you need to follow up. An easy way to do is to create an email drip campaign directing people to your piece of content.

Some examples of Lead Magnets that can work well include:

  • Ebooks
  • Video series
  • Checklists
  • Cheat Sheets
  • Infographics

Repurpose content

Not many people realize that you don’t need to keep creating a lot of content. You can create the content once and then repacked it in different formats.

Roofing Lead Magnet

For example, a Cheat Sheet can turn into an infographic pretty easily. You just need the data you get from the cheat sheet and have a graphic designer create an infographic for you.

Where can I use A Lead Magnet?

You can use on your website, your social media accounts, and any Facebook Advertising campaigns. You can use it anywhere that your prospects hang out.

Why Should I use A Lead Magnet?

The main objective of using a lead magnet is to position your business as an expert and authority. Another reason why you should use a lead magnet is that you can target people that further down the buying cycle.

These are people that not necessarily looking for a new roof but will start thinking about once they see your ad.

Not many roofers use a lead magnet.

In many markets, using a lead magnet is nothing special, but using a lead magnet in the roofing space puts you in the top 1% of all roofing contractors in terms of marketing.

Using a lead magnet is also a great way to educate your prospects.

An education first approach is one of the best ways to sell roofs.

Another benefit of using a lead magnet is that it allows you to build a database.

A database is one of the most valuable things your company can have.

A database can be a potential goldmine of new revenue.

Not many people will buy the first time they hear about you. But if and when the times that they need a new roof you will be the first ones they call.

Conclusion

The main objective of a good marketing campaign is to sell more roofs. If you remember that marketing is supposed to make selling easy than using a lead magnet is a great way to hit that objective.

Using a lead magnet is a great way to position your company as the expert and authority in your marketplace.

Online Marketing Roofing
Nov 19

Online Marketing Made Simple For Roofing Companies

By Mauricio Cardenal | online marketing

There is so much information online that it can be overwhelming for a newbie. My goal with this article is to simplify things and give you a roadmap on the things that are important.

There are many channels in which you can promote your product and services.

Each of these channels has many different strategies that you can try.

Different industries require different strategies and tactics to make it work on these channels.

What might work for one industry in one channel might not work for another in the same channel.

Additionally, what might work well in one location might not work as well in another location with the same strategy.

There are many different variables one has to take into account and these variables are constantly changing.

And, once you have seen results you have to maintain it which is a whole different ballgame.

The point is that unless you educate yourself on the things that matter you won’t be ready for the changes when they come.

The failure to anticipate what is going to happen in your business marketplace is the #1 reason why businesses fail.

Understanding Online Marketing

Online marketing is constantly evolving but the fundamentals stay the same.

Think of an online marketing strategy as a way to organize your resources to get consistent results from your campaigns.

Good marketing comes down to three things: Developing a message that connects, promoting your services where your prospects hang out and making it easy for them to get in touch with your business.

Good marketing is supposed to make selling easy.

The vast majority of the time the first time a prospect will interact with your business will be online.

The vast majority of people spend their time on two platforms: Google and Facebook.

Google dominates search while Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, dominate social media.

Almost all your prospects are using these two platforms on a daily basis.

It’s your responsibility to develop a message that connects with them on these platforms.

If you fail to do so your competition will eventually dominate you.

Roofing is a competitive market and the competition will only increase in the coming years.

Do You Have A Website?

Having a website is not enough.

A website is just the first step in building an online presence. However, a website by itself won’t generate leads or customers.

Think of online marketing as a real estate developer.

A real estate developer invests his capital on a piece of land (a website). The investment in the land won’t provide a return unless he develops the land. (Marketing campaigns)

He needs a general contractor (marketing people) to actually build the properties. He needs buyers to buy and lease properties on his land (website visitors)

He finally gets a return on his investment when he develops the land.

Online Marketing Present and Future

The internet is the present and the future

The internet has become the #1 way most contractors generate new customers that do not include referrals.

According to Contractors CRM, the internet has become the #1-way contractors generate new customers.

The two most popular channels, that have many documented case studies in roofing, are Google and Facebook Ads.

All these channels require a serious investment and can take months or even a year to see results.

Even if you’ve had negative experiences before that should not stop you from creating strategies that will get you a positive return.

Google/Search Engines

The goal of AdWords and SEO are the same. To rank on the search engines and to generate clicks and leads.

How you get to these objectives are different.

Both are expensive compared to what most roofers spend online but much cheaper than traditional advertising.

Results come faster with AdWords.

AdWords

Here are some things that can help you succeed with AdWords.

  • Target High Commercial Intent Keywords
  • Bid on single keyword groups
  • Use a landing page to facilitate higher conversion rates
  • Track all your conversions and calls
  • Minimize the lead response time
  • Follow up and set appointments with all the leads

To read more about how to create a winning AdWords campaign check out the guide we wrote here.

SEO

SEO takes a lot longer to see results.

Both are effective with residential and commercial.

SEO is defined as a way to organize your online resources to rank in the search engines to generate rankings and clicks to your website.

Here’s a good metaphor that I found SEO and Pirates:

“As an SEO, I can help identify the opportunity and draw a loose perimeter on the map. But I can’t necessarily tell you exactly where in the perimeter the booty is; nor can I guarantee how deep it is.  But, as luck would have it, I can also help you dig.  The time is all dependent on how many shovels we have in the dirt, and how hard we dig.  The timing may be up to luck, but we will find the gold to offset all the effort.”

It’s important that when you create an SEO campaign that your website is designed to convert. I recommend a WordPress site that uses Thrive Themes as the theme.

These themes are all designed to convert. You can build a nice looking high converting website with these platforms.

When it comes to SEO there are two basic strategies: On Page SEO and off Page SEO. Off-page SEO is where you create content, link building campaigns, and a social media presence.

You need to continually create link building opportunities to achieve rankings on the search engines.

On Page SEO has everything to do with creating an optimized SEO website with title tags, keywords, and schema markups. It’s also important that you have the right NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) of your business.

Social Media

Facebook dominates social media. There are over 2 billion users on Facebook. The average American spends 45 minutes a day on Facebook.

There are several strategies that have done well with Facebook Ads

Run a Roof Giveaway Contest

These types of campaigns can go viral if your message connects. Roofing Annex based in Cincinnati recently ran this campaign with great success.

Online Marketing Roofing

Roofing Survey

You can make a survey on Facebook and let your prospects that they might qualify for a free roof in the event of a storm.

Storm Ad

After a storm, you can target the affected areas with a storm ad. Whether it’s a Hailstorm or a hurricane these ads are effective.

Make it simple.

Call out the storm and a picture or video and explain to them that they might qualify for a free roof if they have insurance.

Online Marketing Roofing

Ebook/Infographic

You can offer to provide insider information in the form of an Ebook/Infographic that most people would not know in exchange for their contact information.

Online Marketing Roofing

Instagram

Instagram is the second largest social media channel in the world. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook you can create your ads on Facebook.

Instagram has limitations. You can only create 60-second videos and the images have to be certain dimensions. Overall, I would follow a similar strategy that you use with Facebook Ads on Instagram but with some differences.

Conclusion

The company that is dominating online are dominating with real-world results. Roofing is a crowded marketplace but roofers lack marketing skills which make easier to stand out.

Now is the time to invest in online marketing. Keep it simple. Focus on three strategies: PPC, Facebook Ads, and SEO. This three have proven to give you results.