Online marketing on a budget: A guide for home service providers

Online Business Budget

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Accessibility is one of the reasons why digital marketing is so popular among small and medium businesses. You don’t need a large marketing budget to run an effective digital marketing campaign. As long as you are willing to invest some time, digital marketing is the perfect instrument for reaching your small business’s potential customers.

Depending on how you approach digital marketing, the return on investment, or ROI, will be different. Fortunately, you can also take active steps towards optimizing your online marketing efforts and gaining a higher ROI. These tips and tricks we are about to discuss in this article will help you fine-tune different parts of your campaign right away.

Use Facebook’s Power Editor

Facebook Ads can be the perfect tool to help your business gain the traction it needs, but only when you use the advertising network optimally. You can achieve a lot with a limited advertising budget, especially with the many optimization tools offered by Facebook.

To better access those tools, it is time to give Facebook’s Power Editor a try. Power Editor is an advanced ad management tool designed for businesses who want to run a better advertising campaign and reach the right target audience. The tool works best in Google Chrome, and it really makes managing even the most complex advertising campaign easy.

There is another benefit offered by Power Editor, and that is the ability to customize reporting. Keep in mind that evaluating your marketing efforts is a fantastic way to gain more insights and further refine the campaign. With the custom reporting tool, you can learn a lot about each campaign and apply the knowledge to future ones.

Create a Portfolio

For businesses that offer tangible products, a complete catalog is a must-have. What if your business offers services? In this case, what you need is an online portfolio website. A portfolio is an essential marketing tool to have. It allows you to feature your best work, past projects, and even the current ones you are doing right now.

Setting up an online portfolio is a lot easier than you think. With the help of portfolio builders and platforms such as Format, you can create an online portfolio as well as other parts of an optimized website in just a few minutes. You even have multiple portfolio templates to choose from, so you can really make the site suitable for your brand and the services you offer.

The challenge isn’t set up the portfolio site. The real challenge is choosing the right projects or pieces to feature. You want your portfolio to be compact and effective, and the way to achieve that is by curating your past work objectively. Stick with the pieces that will wow potential customers and watch as the portfolio website generates more leads than a static landing page.

Highlight User Reviews

We instinctively seek the opinions of others when comparing products and services. This is exactly why user reviews and websites dedicated to reviewing products and services are so popular in the first place. Recent studies have shown that marketplaces that incorporate a star-rating system convert more users than the those that don’t.

As a service provider, reviews are your most valuable assets, especially when they are posted on third-party websites. Some businesses are actively asking their customers to post reviews – with rewards for those who do – and you can take this approach too.

To complete the cycle, highlight positive reviews by displaying them on your site or social media pages. The more reviews you get, the more credible your business will appear in the eyes of potential customers. That credibility will lead to more customers deciding to use the services you offer.

More Than Promotions

Next, you need to make sure that your digital marketing efforts don’t circle around promotional offers only. While it is great to offer deals and special offers to attract more customers, that is certainly not the only focus you should maintain when marketing your business online. In fact, the same deals will be less and less effective when used excessively.

Offering deals repeatedly means your objectives are not aligned properly; it usually means you are aiming for more immediate sales rather than long-term relationships. You may still get those sales, but you will struggle to grow the business in a more sustainable way due to the lack of connections with the customers.

When you aim for relationships, on the other hand, you keep expanding your audience base while working towards converting them into customers. At the end of the day, you may still get the same amount of sales, but you also win loyal customers who are more than happy to promote your business and services in the process.

Get the Badges

Just because you are running your online marketing on a budget, doesn’t mean you cannot splurge on certain things. Third-party audits and security badges are exactly the kinds of things you want to invest in, especially in a competitive market. You are not only investing in security badges but also investing in your credibility as a service provider.

Badges issued by entities like Verisign are affecting the customers’ decision-making process. The same can be said for reviews from third-party news sites, badges from industry-related associations, and credible sources. Display the badges on your site and make sure they link back to the official page about your business. Keep in mind that some reviews and badges – especially those related to site security – require you to make purchases.

The security of the site and your terms and conditions should also reflect your stance as a credible service provider. These are as many online marketing instruments as newsletters and ads. They affect your level of credibility and, in turn, the way customers see you as a business. The more credible you are, the easier it is for customers to decide to use your services.

Mobile-First

Not having a mobile-optimized user experience is a huge mistake to make in today’s market. Over 80% of visitors will come from mobile devices, and not catering to them is a waste of good opportunities. In fact, many site developers and platforms now focus on mobile users first. You too need to make sure that your site, your social media content, and other elements of the online marketing efforts are optimized for mobile users.

It is possible to really target mobile users with your marketing efforts. Rather than aiming for every user, you can set Google Ads to only display your ads on mobile devices. Facebook Ads let you advertise on Instagram exclusively, including on Instagram Stories and the new IGTV. You can even tailor your search engine optimization or SEO to target mobile users specifically.

Persevere

Gone are the days of trying to attract new visitors and expecting them to convert right away. Today, digital marketing is all about persevering as you try to build a better relationship with the audience. A customer may not make a purchase on the first visit to your online portfolio, but that doesn’t mean that customer will not use your services in the future.

The six other online marketing tips we discussed in this article will help you persevere with better results. More importantly, they can all be implemented even when you run your online marketing on a tight budget.

Online marketing on a budget: A guide for home service providers