Traditionally marketing services over products has been looked at as an arduous task. As a digital marketing consultant the question I am asked most by serviced based businesses is how do I market a service when there is no tangible product to feature. The answer is somewhat more than a few sentences. So if you're a service based business maybe operating in what's traditionally seen as a stuffy, unsexy industry struggling to develop a successful marketing strategy online, this one's for you.
1. Provide Value
Few people care to see how much better you are than your competition. Shouting about how good you are will rarely result in custom. No one wants to follow a social media page to be sold to in every post. People like to buy but they do not like to be sold to. The phycology in the human buying process involves control, if someone feels they are being controlled they won't buy. Businesses get easily confused between 'marketing' and 'sales'. The aim of any good marketing strategy is to gain attention from the right audience. To do this you have to put the right content in front of that audience. This is what 99% of businesses fail on.
If you are a serviced based business produce video, image, audio and written form content to bring value and help your audience to the point that they don't need your service.
A practical example of this would be a roofer. Roofers should be making videos on how to maintain your roof. Who's attention would this pique? - Homeowners who have older roofs possibly? Who's target market does that sound like? A roofers maybe? When these people notice, consume and interact with your content they are entering the top of your funnel.
These consumers are now aware of you and your brand. The buying process generally takes for a consumer to see your brand 8 times before they make a purchase. Rarely will anyone buy from a brand the first time they see an ad. You have just presented yourself to your target audience. The way the social media algorithms work, people who consume and interact with your content will see your future posts more so if you can continue to provide content that brings value you're able to nature these leads down the funnel and keep your brand top of mind so when the times comes for them to need a new roof the trust and recognition will have been built up meaning you are their first port of call.
2. Build Trust
Referring back to the psychology of the buying process - another essential component is trust. This is the case anywhere but more so online than anywhere else and more so now than at any other time. Trust can be earned over time by offering value to your audience and positioning yourself as a market expert which builds authority. This leads us to major part of a strategy that can be implemented by any business and is more powerful than ever in 2019... building a personal brand. Another way to build trust is to post testimonials. These can be screenshots of your Facebook/Google reviews or even better a video testimonial.
3. Personal Brand
In competitive industries the one thing that differentiates you from the rest is you. Getting people to know, like and trust you will expedite your growth. When this is achieved you no longer need to sell yourself. People will come to you. The best way to grow your personal brand is through video.
- Document, Dont Create
The point to building your personal brand is to show you. Raw, un-edited, authentic, transparent you! Show what you're up to in your day to day and do not script a thing. People appreciate authenticity and they can also spot a fake a mile away. Show your truth which should include your skills, experience and personality. Tell your story and how they reflect in your conduct, behaviour, values and attitude. There's nothing more interesting to people than people. This is the reason reality TV has been so successful. Show off different sides or your life and different interests you have away from work to relate to different people.
As perviously mentioned, video is the single most effective way of getting across who you are and what you're about. Not only this but social media algorithms prioritise video content in the feeds - even more so live video.
Facebook and Instagram stories are also great places for people to get to know you and for you to encourage people to interact with you and build those all important connections. Look at some of the world's most successful person brands like Gary Veynerchuck and Richard Branson. These make millions directly as a result of their personal brands which is the best return on investment as it doesn't cost them anything to simply be them.
Got an interesting success story that others cold be inspired by of how you got to where you are? Write up a press release and send it to your local paper. No good at writing? Post a job on upwork.com and pay someone else to write it for you. Getting an article featured in the press will build authority and position you as a market expert.
4. Company Brand
Getting your brand out into the world at every opportunity you can is the only way to achieve brand recognition. Consumers on average need to see your brand 8 times before they will make a purchase. Try to include your logo, company colours and fonts in as much content as you can. Written inspirational quotes can serve as a great catalyst to push your branding. These are highly shareable and can resonate with the masses so can help your brand get seen by a wider audience. A great free app to make beautiful, branded quotes is called 'Word Swag'.
The key to any marketing strategy is consistency. If you follow these 4 steps continually and optimise your efforts by learning which work best you will refine your processes and be able to concentrate on the ones that work the best. This is not a quick sale process. It's about creating meaningful connections and nurturing these connections into leads and paying customers or clients.
If you'd like to learn more about these steps I am available for one to one coaching. More info here
I also have a free Social Media Marketing Hints and Tips Facebook group made of small local businesses sharing knowledge and best practice. You can apply to join here