There are many advertising channels for you to consider, but it’s important to narrow in on the platforms that perform the best for your local services business. Overall, social media platforms are going to be great for brand awareness. Google and Bing ads are going to be your best option for attracting customers who are actively looking to buy your services.
GOOGLE & BING ADS
Utilizing Google and Bing ads can help put your business in front of customers who are shopping with intent.
For Google Ads, you have the option to choose to use the Search Network or the Display Network.
Search Network ads can help you target high intent keywords. They look like text ads on the search results page to help people go further in the buying cycle.
One opportunity for local services businesses that is unique to the Search Network is to encourage your audience to reach out and contact your business directly through call-only ads, as well as call and message extensions.
Display Network ads typically show ads to people who are still in the “research” phase of the buying cycle. They can show ads on other websites with a topic related to your business, or to people who show an interest in your product or service. They can also show ads to people who have already visited your website in order to bring them back while they are researching. Using the Display Network, you also have the option to create new audiences to show ads to people who have similar traits.
Using Google and Bing ads, you’ll be able to easily remarket to any visitor who interacts with your business without asking for their contact information because you’ll be able to place your ad on other relevant websites that they visit.
If your business targets big decision-makers of companies, then your business may want to utilize LinkedIn because you can advertise specifically based on job titles, company size, industry, skills, and more.
It’s important to note that since your audience is likely not actively searching for your services – like they would be on Google or Bing – they will be early in the buying cycle, and thus conversion rates are lower on LinkedIn than they are on other platforms.
However, LinkedIn has many unique benefits compared to other social media platforms. Not only can you target your audience by company, job title, industry, and more, but you can also layer multiple targeting options to reach the ideal customer.
There are multiple ad types on LinkedIn:
- Sponsored content ads are similar to “boosted” posts. They are made to feel like posts from the company’s own page, which are a good option for strengthening the company’s brand awareness.
- Text ads are similar to the ads shown on Google or Bing and are featured in the sidebar. These ads are smaller and less prevalent than the other ad types but may provide a cheaper source of clicks.
- Sponsored InMail ads are unique to LinkedIn. These allow marketers to send personalized messages directly to a person’s LinkedIn inbox. This ad type is not ideally used as the first touchpoint but is great for re-engaging prospects who’ve already interacted with the business.
When it comes to choosing which types of LinkedIn ads to use, consider your goals. Sponsored content ads and text ads are great for the initial outreach to decision-makers of companies in the industry you want to target, but don’t expect many direct purchases from these ads. Sponsored InMail ads work best as part of a remarketing strategy.
LinkedIn advertising does come with a few minimums that all advertisers must spend:
- $10 daily budget per campaign
- $10 total budget per campaign (this is optional for Sponsored Content)
- $2 bid for CPC or CPM on Text Ad campaigns
LinkedIn advertising also has a minimum bid for Sponsored Content campaigns, but the exact amount for this ad will depend on the audience that you’re targeting.
facebook & instagram
Utilizing Facebook and Instagram ads enables you to spread awareness of your brand to virtually everyone in the local area and target people at a very granular level by leveraging Facebook’s robust demographic data of all their users. No other social platform allows you to target with this sort of sophistication.
Facebook and Instagram ads are best used for lead generation efforts. These ads are great for collecting user information directly on the platform and promoting things such as free estimates or free consultations.
direct mail campaign
Local services businesses can use direct mail campaigns to target specific audience groups in specific areas, which can increase brand awareness and work alongside digital campaigns.
Direct mail campaigns work best when they are a part of a larger campaign that utilizes both print and digital means. They also require specific locations to work effectively. The location utilized for the campaign needs to be in your service area and chosen by demographic or another determining factor. For example, a roofing business can see what year many neighborhoods were built and determine when many of those homes are likely due for a new roof or a roof repair after a big storm; the roofing business can then send a direct mail campaign to these neighborhoods to provide a timely recommendation.
To improve effectiveness, the roofing business will send one campaign with three separate postcards (over the course of a month) with one call to action to “call today” and their digital advertising efforts will promote the same offering.
The content of that direct mail piece should utilize the details in your Brand Guidebook and include one call to action. Timely promotions work well for local services businesses sending mailers. However, it’s important to know that one mailer will probably not lead to a lot of business. Just like all marketing, it takes consistency and multi-channel campaigns to drive conversions.
Our team works as a fluid extension of each of our member’s businesses by developing strategies and executing projects in whatever capacity is best for their unique needs.