The landscaping industry is growing like a weed. Get it?
But seriously, the growth didn’t slow down during the pandemic. And based on millennials’ interests, the upward trend will continue into the following decades.
That’s excellent news for landscaping companies. But it also means more competition on the horizon.
So, how can landscaping businesses stand out from the crowd in the coming years?
Easy—savvy landscapers should focus on creating a digital marketing system.
In this article, we’ll explain why digital marketing is important for landscaping companies. Then, we’ll dive into some digital marketing strategies you can use to grow your business.
What Is Digital Marketing for Landscapers & Why Is It Important?
Let’s back up a bit.
Digital and online marketing campaigns are simply ad campaigns that use websites, search engines, and social media to reach customers. They’re more effective, require less work, and reach more people than traditional marketing methods.
And why are these campaigns important for your landscaping business?
Because multiple online marketing strategies can work together to create a digital marketing system. And these systems are what drive traffic to your business.
Simple as that.
Digital Marketing Strategies for Landscapers
To help you reap the benefits of digital marketing, we’ve gathered up some top-tier digital marketing strategies for landscaping companies.
Some are basic, and some are more advanced. But all of them are evergreen. (No, that’s not the last lawncare joke in this article.)
Now, let’s get into some practical online marketing strategies. All of these strategies can work on their own or in tandem.
Analyze Existing Customers
Start your online marketing journey with some basic info—customer data and demographics. Most landscaping businesses already have this on hand.
Try answering the following questions:
- What age range are my customers?
- Where do they live?
- Why do they need or want a landscaper?
- What services do they value?
- How did they find my landscaping company?
Go as in-depth or surface-level with these as you’d like.
Use your answers to create an ideal customer avatar, or what Forbes calls ”a little fiction that helps us understand” our ideal customers.
Then, compare current customers with your ideal avatar. If there are differences, consider what needs changing to attract that ideal customer base.
Now that we know our customers, we can start reaching out to them with an online presence.
Set Up Free Social Media Profiles
An online presence is key to successful digital marketing campaigns.
To customers, an online presence is a personality associated with a company on the internet. To companies, an online presence “expands to all the touch points a consumer may have with your brand online.”
It’s easy to start cultivating an online presence with social media pages. Here are some well-known platforms that offer free and easy-to-use business profiles:
- Nextdoor (This platform is particularly useful for landscaping companies since it targets homeowners in specific neighborhoods.)
When you’re ready for it, each of these social sites offers paid advertising options, too.
Before posting, think back to that customer avatar. How do you want the customer avatar to perceive your landscaping business? There’s no wrong answer here. But it’s essential to keep that online persona in mind with every post.
It may help to make a personal company avatar, or an image of how a landscaping company would act if it were a person.
With a persona in mind, start posting relevant content. Anything goes!
For example, try a blog approach. Share photos of your best yard work or stories about your toughest cases. You could go educational and whip up some lawncare and gardening articles. Or you might even have a little fun with landscaping memes.
Create a Google Business Profile
Even if social media’s not your thing, there’s one platform every landscaping company should use—Google Business Profile.
Your Google Business Profile provides an at-a-glance view of your company to anyone in the area looking up landscaping services on Google.
It showcases everything from your website URL to existing customer reviews. Setting up this account takes minutes. Plus, the base version is free and easy to personalize.
If you’ve already got a Google Business Profile, great! Double check that all the info is correct. Make sure to use every feature, like the services section and profile photographs.
These small touches ensure anyone hunting for a landscaper will get the complete picture. Moreover, your Google Business Profile allows easy and direct communication with existing customers.
Interact with Customers Online
Once your online presence is live, start using it to interact directly with customers.
Customer interaction is vital for a few reasons. First, their questions and reviews provide free market research. For instance, what they liked about your work or their recurring lawn care needs.
Second, a landscaping business that interacts with its customers appears engaged. This deepens trust between you and your customers. It’s also a chance to practice in-house online reputation management (ORM).
The best way to go about this is in small bites.
Create a list of social accounts. Then, take 15 minutes each day to respond to reviews, comments and questions on each platform.
If you find yourself needing more time, congrats! That’s a sign of high online engagement and a healthy digital marketing campaign.
These four strategies above alone are the bedrock of a great digital marketing system.
Maintain a Business Website
Free social and business pages are a great starting point for a marketing campaign. But they do even better with help from a business-specific website.
An individual business website helps your landscaping company seem informed and professional. Without one, you’re just the guys that mow the lawn.
Again, it’s best to start small and build out the site to suit your needs. Squarespace is a great tool for DIYing a website. And if you’re at a loss, investing in professional web design might be right for you.
At a minimum, the site should include your landscaping company’s history, mission, services offered, and contact info. Incorporate the business persona we cultivated in strategy two, and you’re all set.
Once all the above stuff is up and running, it’s time to polish it.
Research SEO (and Use It Correctly)
Now that your online marketing systems are in place, it’s time to polish them with search engine optimization.
Search engine optimization terms, or SEO terms, are words or phrases that search engines pick up on when scouring the internet for information. Websites and social profiles using SEO effectively have a higher chance of appearing first in search results.
Homeowners interested in landscaping likely use a few general terms to find service. Your customer avatar, however, probably uses those plus specific or unique terms.
Free services like Google Analytics can reveal who is searching for what. They can also offer insight into how to best incorporate those terms into your website.
With an idea of what your customers search for, you can backfill your social profiles and website with those search terms. (Did you catch that one? Backfill? We told you there was more landscaping humor.)
Bonus Pro Tip: Search engines prefer websites with SEO terms blended into helpful text. So don’t just slap a few word-salad paragraphs together and call it good.
Offer a Review or Referral Program
With the above systems in place, it’s time to start expanding your customer base.
The easiest place to start? Using current customers to fuel a review or referral program.
First, figure out how to best contact your customers. Again, there’s no wrong answer here. Just think about how the customer avatar prefers to communicate.
Then, use that communication method to offer them services for free in exchange for a referral or a five-star review.
The specifics of this look different for every landscaping company. For example, some landscapers might prioritize referrals over five-star reviews. Others may only be able to offer a discounted service rather than a free one. Use what works for your unique situation.
These types of programs are super effective. What word-of-mouth referrals are to real-world marketing, five-star reviews are to digital marketing. All it requires is a little creativity on your part.
Invest in Email Marketing Programs
Spam might seem annoying. But the numbers don’t lie—email works.
Email is one of the most relied-upon marketing tools for the lowest cost.
Email marketing can be super versatile. You can send emails to confirm appointments, push a referral program, update customers on special offers, and much more.
Really, emails are a way for you to share anything you think would be helpful.
Next Steps for Your Digital Marketing Journey
Many digital marketing strategies are low-cost or free, ideal for any landscaping business. And soon, these strategies will provide more capital for paid ads on search engines or social media.
If you’re not sure which strategy to use, no worries! Here are a few ideas on where to start:
- Start small (and free). Use some of the many free digital marketing tools available before dipping into your pocket. The best campaigns start small and snowball over time.
- Examine your current marketing strategies. Are they working? Would your customers prefer to be contacted differently? If so, try it out.
- Interact with negative reviews for strong ORM. Remember, these posts are public, so be polite! Try offering a way to make things right or a discount on a future service.
- Update your SEO. Spice up your SEO with region-specific knowledge, like plant diseases or pests. Consumers often search for information on those independently of finding a lawn care service.
- Keep an eye on your paid ads. Once you invest in paid advertising, track the sales they generate. This will help you ensure their ROI (return on investment) is worth it.
- Look into marketing agencies. Still overwhelmed? Not a technology person? No worries! Consider investing in a marketing service. They’ll get you into greener pastures. (These grass jokes never get old.)