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A Crash Course in Digital Marketing for Plumbers

A well-planned digital marketing campaign is far more efficient than traditional marketing avenues and can garner better results. This article will give you an outline of steps to get you started.

Many plumbers rely on word-of-mouth advertising to attract new customers. While referrals are great, they can only do so much. What happens when you run out of customers to spread the word? Besides, you cannot always bet on what other people say about your business.

Plumbing companies need a steady flow of customers to keep going. So, every plumber needs a sustainable marketing plan. Thankfully, modern digital platforms are the right tools for the job.

Done right, digital marketing is a powerful way to spread brand awareness. A strong digital presence also helps attract and keep customers. Digital marketing boosts your market position on a scale that would otherwise be impossible.

Yet, digital marketing often seems daunting. But don’t worry. This article will walk you through various digital marketing strategies ideal for plumbers. It will also share tips for digital marketing success.

But let’s start with why digital marketing matters in the plumbing business.

What Is Digital Marketing and Why Do Plumbers Need It?

Woman Working on Digital Marketing

The term “digital marketing” was first used in the 1990s during the early days of the internet. Today, in a world dominated by smartphones and computers, digital marketing is a critical business practice.

Digital marketing means using web-based tools to promote a brand. Email, social media, and websites are among the tools at your disposal.

Over the years, digital advertising has grown into a massive enterprise. Analysts estimate the digital ad spend could reach $248.72 billion in 2022 alone. This figure accounts for 71.8% of the year’s total U.S. media ad spend.

Why is digital marketing so popular? The simple answer is that it works. Any business—big or small, local or web-based— benefits from digital marketing.

Here are 5 reasons you should invest in digital marketing.

Boosts Brand Visibility and Awareness

Over 5 billion people use the internet today. That’s 63.5% of the global population. The average internet user spends about six and a half hours on the internet daily.

The internet is the largest resource for potential plumbing customers. Digital marketing introduces your business to these vast audiences.

Improves Customer Targeting and Engagements

Imagine speaking directly to residents in your service area interested in hiring plumbers. That’s exactly what digital marketing does. Your plumbing company engages people through precise targeting.

Most digital marketing techniques zero in on your target audience by demographic. Narrow your list by residency, occupation, age, socioeconomic status, personal interests, etc. Connect with everyone in your local area who is looking for plumbing services.

Generates and Converts High-Quality Plumbing Leads

Lead generation is a top priority for professional marketers. Digital marketing is a robust pipeline for high-quality leads. In this case, potential new customers.

Target a specific audience with email, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). This digital engagement generates valuable prospective customers, or leads. Moreover, you can continue to engage leads throughout their customer journey. This is called funneling and eventually converts the leads into paying plumbing jobs.

Yields Measurable Results

It’s difficult to calculate the success rate of traditional marketing strategies. For instance, you can’t tell exactly how many people viewed or acted on a newspaper ad. But digital media is different.

You can accurately measure almost any data set. Analytical tools such as Google Analytics, Semrush, and Mailchimp generate performance reports for various campaigns using many data points.

General performance indicators include:

  • Lead sources and conversion rate
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Marketing ROI

Tracking these metrics tells you how well your digital marketing efforts are working. It also points you to the areas that need more attention.

Levels the Playing Field for Small Plumbing Contractors

Plumbing is a competitive niche usually dominated by larger, more established companies. Digital marketing gives small plumbing companies a fighting chance.

Digital marketing works the same way whether your company is big or small. In that way, it levels the playing field. All players have equal opportunities to promote their brand, and attract leads and buyers.

Your competitors are probably already running digital marketing campaigns of their own. You wouldn’t want your plumbing company to miss out on the same opportunities.

The Different Types of Digital Marketing Strategies for Plumbers

Digital Marketing Team Working

Digital marketing is an umbrella term. It includes a host of marketing tactics. Ideally, digital marketing should take an omnichannel approach. This means incorporating many digital tools and mediums to promote a business.

Omnichannel digital marketing is essential. Your plumbing customer leads are scattered across the vast online space. Reaching them requires many points of contact.

It pays off too. According to an analysis by Omnisend, businesses using three or more marketing channels have a 494% higher order rate than those relying on a single channel.

Here are 5 effective digital marketing strategies to run side by side to maximize your plumbing company’s online presence.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a marketing strategy focused on directing web traffic from a selected area based on particular search terms.

Statistics show that 86% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. Almost a third (29%) are searching for local businesses at least once a week. Local SEO leverages people in your service area searching for plumbers online.

That involves optimizing your website to make you easy to find. Such optimizations include:

  • Providing clear descriptions of services
  • Repeating your business name, address, and phone number throughout your site
  • Interlinking with authoritative local websites or resources
  • Listing your business on Google Business and other online directories
  • Using geo-specific keywords in your content

Email Marketing

Email is a favorite digital marketing technique. It’s a more direct way of reaching prospective and existing customers. This makes it ideal for highly targeted messaging. Use email marketing to cold pitch potential plumbing clients or remind current customers of your services.

Email marketing begins with populating a contact list for your audience. You then send tailored messages to your various contacts. Copy can differ based on their customer status.

Many digital services exist to help with email marketing. These services make email a seamless part of your digital strategy. Constant Contact, Emma, and Mailchimp are three popular options.

Content Marketing

Content is king. It’s the art of storytelling and sharing your information. Curated content creates brand awareness and demand. It can also drive action, and show your expertise in the plumbing industry.

Historically, content marketing has revolved around text (blog articles, web page blurbs, white papers, etc.). But current research indicates that content is trending toward visual media. Fifty-nine percent of marketers cite video as their top content format.

This is good news for plumbers. Showcase your plumbing expertise via job vlogs, how-to videos, or timelapse reels. The possibilities are endless. Video streaming apps like YouTube, TikTok, Twitch, and Instagram are popular ways to extend your content’s reach.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a marketing powerhouse. As of 2021, over 4.26 billion people were using social media. That number is only growing. Additionally, the average internet user spends nearly 2.5 hours on social media daily.

First, promote yourself on social media by creating a presence on top social channels. These are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Nextdoor, and Instagram.

Then, work on attracting followers by creating captivating content. This takes time. But you can fast-track social marketing through paid promotions.

PPC Advertising

PPC or pay-per-click advertising is a form of paid digital marketing. You pay the host a small fee every time your ad gets clicked. It’s essentially a way to “buy” visits to your website. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Microsoft Ads are among the many hosts offering PPC services.

Most people don’t like to click on ads, though. Ads show a low average click-through rate (CTR) across digital platforms. CTR is the ratio of internet users who click on an ad to the total number of users who view it. But PPC is still a viable supplement to organic (unpaid) digital marketing.

5 Tips for Creating a Successful Digital Marketing Campaign for Your Plumbing Business

Plumber with a Checklist on a Clipboard

A digital marketing campaign has many moving parts. Like clockwork, you must get everything working smoothly together to achieve success. It’s crucial to develop and follow a thorough digital marketing plan right from the start. This will serve as your blueprint to get your desired results.

Here are 5 essential tips for creating a winning digital marketing plan for your plumbing business.

Define Your Marketing Goals

First things first. What do you want to achieve through digital marketing? It could be attracting new plumbing customers, retaining current ones, or spreading the word about your new business.

Outline what you want to achieve through your campaigns. Organize that information into actionable goals on a spreadsheet. This will be the guide for your digital marketing. The goals will also put a target in your sights and define your idea of success.

Understand Your Target Audience

Who is your target audience? The straightforward answer is local business owners, homeowners, realtors, building contractors, etc. However, understanding your target audience goes deeper than basic labeling.

Research your audience’s plumbing needs. Find out how far they’re willing to travel to find plumbing services. What services do they need most often?

Learn the best and easiest ways to reach and engage the audience. Where are they spending their digital time?

Doing all this should help you set a marketing angle and choose the ideal strategy for the campaign.

Nail Down Your Messaging

Your message carries your marketing intent. It should elicit thoughts and emotions or move your audience to action.

Messaging should align with your marketing goals and established target audience. It must be clear and concise. Focus on one or two themes per campaign.

For instance, if you want to promote an offer on plumbing services, keep it at that. Stick to the main point to avoid diffusing your content or distracting the reader.

Tone is another important messaging attribute that’s often overlooked. Pick a tone that best fits your brand’s voice and stick to it. A warm, friendly tone is always a good bet.

Speak to your audience as you’d speak to a friend or colleague. It makes your business more relatable and approachable.

Maintain a Cross-Channel Presence

We’ve already established the importance of an omnichannel approach in digital marketing. The goal is to establish as many touchpoints with your audience as possible. The more channels you use, the broader your reach and the higher your success rate.

Once you’ve defined your audience and goals, select a few approaches. Combine those into a multifaceted marketing campaign. Omnichannel marketing affords you some flexibility. You can fine-tune the messaging in each channel to target a specific segment of your audience.

Measure the Campaign’s Performance

Remember the performance metrics we mentioned earlier? No digital campaign is complete without them. Performance reports enable you to test different marketing strategies and compare them. Tracking metrics can validate your marketing efforts. It can also show you where they would be better spent.

Once you’ve identified winning strategies, streamline your digital marketing to maximize ROI. You want a marketing strategy that brings the most value to your company. The one that attracts the most clients, wins.

Continuously measuring and fine-tuning your campaign keeps your marketing on track.

Build a Winning Digital Marketing Campaign for Your Plumbing Company

Man Working on Digital Marketing

To summarize digital marketing for plumbers: Take advantage of modern digital tools to drum up plumbing contracts/jobs.

In today’s digital business landscape, digital marketing is necessary. A strong online presence is the difference between succeeding or succumbing to competition.

Digital marketing is all about cultivating that much-needed online presence. SEO, paid ads, social media, and email are the most effective ways to get there. It takes careful consideration and a solid plan to pull off a successful digital marketing campaign.

Start Building Your Digital Marketing Plan Today

  • Set your marketing goals. Think about what you want to achieve and the steps it will take to get there. Compile everything in a spreadsheet that you can refer back to and keep track of progress.
  • Research your audience. Find out where your customers are and what they want and need. Incorporate that into your spreadsheet.
  • Choose your channels. Once you know where your audience is, make a plan to be there too.
  • Make a content plan and build a calendar. Deciding what type of content you want to promote far in advance helps you put your plan into motion. Putting it into a calendar helps ensure you don’t have any coverage gaps.
  • Get your message straight. Find a tone that comes naturally and consistently works with the message you want to promote. Pro tip: use a spelling and grammar check before posting written content. Mistakes can get in the way of your message.

Misty has been providing engaging content and design for a variety of publications since 2000. When she's not poring over words, she's usually making art, hoarding music and spending time outdoors with her family.

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