Contractors transitioning online need to know that it’s more than just marketing. As you and your company become more acclimated to the web, you will no doubt seek out other opportunities to increase your online presence. Some will strictly be used to brand your organization, while others will keep your customers and prospects up to date on what’s happening inside your business.
The point is, a website alone is not enough and your online marketing strategy needs to move from a single outlet or ‘website-centric‘ philosophy to one where you engage people on many levels and in many places.
Some obvious places to look for opportunities to connect are:
1. Email newsletters
2. Start blogging
3. Previous sales material that can be used as online content or email marketing materials
4. Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn
5. Directories geared toward your product or service
6. Other sites that fit into your category
7. Mobile devices such as BlackBerry or iPhone
8. Video sites such as YouTube
Understand you are not going to go and start blasting each of the above channels with salesy conversations or content. These are places to help you grow your brand as well as open up subtle selling opportunities. The best way for me to describe this is by using this analogy; you walk into a party and instead of politely introducing yourself, you run screaming into a crowd “Hey, my name is Bob, I remodel homes, how many can I put you down for?” You would walk the hell out if someone did that to you, but so many contractors I see on Twitter and Facebook make this very mistake.
Instead, use your new-found online resources to let your prospects experience more than what they would typically be able to if they simply walked into your office or showroom. Create a vibe online that makes people want to know more about what you do. Then, once you have created enough buzz you can begin to measure the effectiveness of your online advertising and the overall effect it is having on your contracting business.