Digital marketing connects businesses with customers where they are online. Because we conduct so much of our lives online (roughly six hours per day) digital marketing for all businesses has become a core business activity.
As a landscaping business owner, digital marketing will increase your company’s online visibility, help you stand out from the competition, and generate new leads. In this landscaping marketing primer, we look at 12 basic strategies and lawn care marketing ideas to help your business get more landscaping customers and establish itself as an industry leader.
You have a landscaping business, but do you have a brand? Most conceive branding as deciding upon a logo and ensuring the company’s visual identity is consistent on their landscaping vans, yet it is much more strategic and encompassing than this.
Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company, including its products and services in customers’ minds by combining elements such as a logo, design, mission statement, and consistent theme throughout marketing communications.
Why do you need branding? Well, if all landscaping businesses offer similar services at more or less the same price, then they won’t be able to differentiate themselves from competitors or build a loyal customer base. Branding gives clients a reason to choose your products.
Take McDonald’s and Burger King, or Nike and Adidas. What makes consumers prefer one brand over another? Branding!
A well-defined brand can immediately answer the questions below:
Once you’ve established the unique selling points of your landscaping business, you can develop tangible assets incorporating and communicating your brand, which includes:
Your brand will only work if you integrate it throughout your business and marketing strategy. Just like other aspects of landscaping marketing, you should set up branding key performance indicators and track performance, so you know where to improve brand performance.
Landscaping companies typically experience peak seasons from spring to fall; therefore any marketing campaign should begin well in advance of this time. With a landscape digital marketing strategy, timing is everything; however, it’s often overlooked by businesses, especially those with small teams and budgets.
Many owners think they have to market with the same gumption throughout the year, yet deciding on specific times to push their efforts can lead to better ROI. When you appeal to your audience around the time they need your services, they are more likely to engage, increasing engagement, leads, and sales.
A perfect and somewhat clichéd example is the importance of Christmas marketing. This doesn’t imply companies don’t market throughout the year, but rather that they strategically time their efforts with the seasons, trends, and notable calendar events.
As part of your landscape marketing strategy, you should develop marketing timelines to plan, monitor, and execute campaigns. Having an overview helps you see what needs to get done, as well as organize and delegate tasks.
Some marketing tactics take longer to perform than others. For example, preparing a social media campaign compared to writing blog posts.
When you have a clear timeline, it’s easier to allocate adequate time to the components of each campaign, preventing roll-out bottlenecks.
Among digital marketing experts, its common knowledge, 90% of consumers read online reviews before buying products or hiring services. Additionally, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as referrals from friends, family, and co-workers.
When reviews positively reflect the quality of your landscaping services, they build credibility and trust. Reviews are gatekeepers to your business’s reputation and essentially free advertising. Importantly, they also factor into local search rankings.
The more positive reviews and ratings you have on Google, the higher your business will rank online. In fact, a 0.1% increase in star ratings can boost conversion by up to 25%. Further evidence suggests that 72% of people asked to leave a review will do so.
Clients are less likely to leave a review if it’s a hassle, so you need to make the process as easy as possible by:
Landscaping website optimization is the process of using tools and strategies to improve the performance of your website and achieve your business goals. It’s estimated Google handles 1.2 trillion searches on a yearly basis. The reality is, it doesn’t matter great your website looks if you don’t optimize it, it will effectively be lost among 50 billion web pages.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your web pages to rank higher in search engines like Bing and Google. Because search is the main way people discover content online, it’s important your landscaping business ranks high.
Website traffic (users that click on your website) comes in two ways; either from paid ads at the top of the page or by regular search results known as “organic search traffic”. Basically, when marketing content and websites contain words and phrases (keywords) that users search for online, Google is more likely to rank those pages and present them to users.
Of course, this is a rudimentary explanation of a very complex, algorithmic process, but in a nutshell: If you’re not using keywords, then you probably won’t rank at all. This has nothing to do with the actual quality of your website or content. It’s just that the web is highly competitive, and search engines strive to provide users with the most accurate information possible.
Keyword research can help you identify which terms qualified leads are using online, and provide direction on what content marketing material to create, or where you can update your existing web pages.
Tip: Using tools like Google Search Console and Google Ads Keyword Planner can help improve search engine rankings and fix technical SEO issues.
Lead conversion optimization nurtures and converts prospective clients who visit your website into loyal paying customers. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your company website is full of calls-to-action, or buttons, links, and forms that encourage further action. So, when designing your website, think about what you want your visitors to do on each page.
Should they sign up for a newsletter, contact you, buy products or schedule a service? Each web page should prompt potential clients to act, even if it’s to click through to another page. eCommerce website design is always developed in such a way to lead potential clients further down the marketing funnel.
An important factor to pay attention to is the number of clicks it takes for visitors to purchase a product or book a service. The smaller the number, the less friction the user experiences, and the more likely they are to check out. Every click should take users close to their goal.
When it comes to calls-to-action, make they are clear in what they ask for and what the user will get in return for completing the action. This calls for careful strategy. You won’t have much luck, for example, if you ask potential customers to call a sales rep on a page that is designed to display blog posts.
Potential clients should always know exactly where they are on your website and have easy access to where they would like to be. From color-scheme to mobile-friendly designs and SEO-tailored UX, there is a lot that goes into even the simplest website designs, which is why businesses tend to hire website development professionals to ensure they offer users the best online experience.
The goals of your landscaping business will dictate your website’s hierarchy and navigation layout. When developing the design, you should consider the following:
Additionally, you’ll also need to adhere to mobile navigation best practices and standards. Over 90% of the global internet population use their mobile device to go online. In all probability, your potential customers will likely search for something similar to “landscape business near me” or “lawn care business near me” on their mobile.
Now, imagine if your website looked terrible on a mobile phone? You would lose out on a sizeable share of the local market. Google recommends using only responsive web design templates because you only need to maintain one version of your website instead of two.
According to leading inbound software company HubSpot, content marketing is important because “it answers your audience’s questions and helps you build trust, develops relationships, improves conversions, and generates leads.”
Overall, 80% of consumers prefer to get company and product information in a series of articles rather than an advertisement. Instead of pitching your products and services, content marketing captures your target audience’s attention by providing valuable information that helps them address informational and task-orientated needs.
The idea is that over time potential customers will come to trust and rely on your guidance, recognize your landscaping business’s unique value proposition, and become loyal customers. Through SEO-friendly blogging, video creation, and newsletter sharing, to name a few, you can:
Google also likes fresh content. When there are frequent visitors to your site (due to interest in new content) it signals to the search engine that the website is active and in use, and therefore relevant, leading to a higher search engine ranking.
Search, paid, and email marketing has the highest ROI. For every $1 spent on email, you can expect an average return of $36. Most people check their emails every day; therefore, it is more likely to drive sales than social media channels, which may be checked less frequently.
A well-written email with a clear call-to-action is far more likely to move potential customers closer to conversion. SEO, while still the most effective long-term digital marketing strategy, takes at least six months to a year to produce results, and social media requires frequent upkeep.
Email marketing, however, allows you to reach high-quality leads who have already shown an interest in your services, without inundating them with relentless advertisements. Direct mail also works in the same way, although we’d recommend email over a direct mail campaign because you can track email open rates, click-through rates, and conversions more accurately. It’s far more challenging to track the effectiveness of mail sent via the post.
If a prospective client has completed a lead capture form, your company can use this to send further content marketing material reminding them of your services and offering discounts to encourage them to make a purchase.
While we know across all devices, the average U.S. citizen spends six hours and 58 minutes online per day, there is still room for more traditional marketing methods. Especially for organizations with high neighborhood visibility, like landscaping services.
Since landscaping marketing is very much local, handing out flyers is still a highly effective form of advertising. A simple leaflet left underneath window wipers or in the post box will get your name out there and generate awareness, in new and familiar areas. You could even provide a discount for first-time clients.
Remember, part of branding is ensuring your landscaping business is easily recognizable. Making staff wear branded clothing, even if it’s just a t-shirt with your logo, and investing in vinyl wrapping your company’s logo and contact details on your car, are also great offline marketing tactics.
Just by driving around, you can get between 30,000 to 70,000 daily impressions. Meaning, that many people will conveniently see what you have to offer, without you going out of your way to spread brand awareness in your service area.
A landscaping company thrives on seasonality, yet it needs regular customers to thrive. Encouraging new and current clients to sign up for long-term contracts brings stable cash flow. Launching a loyalty program boosts profits and cushions the blow during low seasons.
For instance, you could encourage current customers to sign up for ten services and give them the eleventh one for free. Loyalty programs make customers feel like they can save money with your business, and they are lucrative if you have a large volume of small residential clients or big-ticket commercial clients.
Customer profiles, personas, and the “ideal client”. If you’ve been around marketing speak, you’ve likely heard these terms countless times before. If you haven’t, you’re probably wondering why they’re important.
Small businesses that don’t define their customers’ risk marketing to nondescript audiences, which can waste time, resources, and money. Now, you might be thinking, “my customers are anyone who has a backyard”, which may be true, but if that is the case, you can still refine your marketing efforts.
The digital age affords marketers the privilege of targeting precise groups of customers, or what we call audience segments. For example, you can advertise to people according to their interests, age, location, and online preferences.
So, within your target audience of “anyone who has a backyard” there might be single mothers, families, and government bodies with civic buildings that need a lawn care company. To refine your target audience, and its subsequent segments, you should answer the following questions:
Of course, there are many more questions to ask, but you get the idea!
This is a rewards-based strategy that’s initiated and directed by marketers to encourage word of mouth and customers’ personal recommendations to grow a landscaping business’s customer base. Referral leads convert 30% better and have a 16% higher lifetime value than leads from other channels.
Developing a referral program will help you target a more precise audience, who in turn recommends your services to others who will benefit too. As a result, you’ll acquire high-quality customers, without spending a tone on advertising.
These types of programs also help build and nurture long-term relationships with customers. If your landscaping business provides a good service at a reasonable price, there’s no reason why customers won’t hire you season after season.
Besides, it generally costs more to find and engage with new customers than retain existing ones. Referred customers have an 18% lower churn rate than customers acquired by other means. Furthermore, businesses with rewards-based programs can expect 81% more engagement from their customer base.
Local SEO is critical to maintaining and promoting your business’s online presence. Without consistent and accurate information, it’s impossible for new customers and search engines to find, verify and promote your company.
Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographical area benefits from local SEO. Google figured out that people frequently searched for businesses in their immediate area and adapted its algorithm to proximity factors.
If you’ve ever searched Google and a map with 3 listings appears (called a map pack) then you’ve seen Local SEO at work. To reap the benefits of local SEO, you need to open a free Google My Business account, so Google can verify your business. Be sure to fill out all contact information accurately, and encourage customers to share reviews online.
A quick tip: The more positive reviews you have from satisfied customers, the higher you’ll rank for local SEO listings. Landscape companies in the United States also benefit from listings on Express Update, Neustar Localeze, Yelp, Facebook, Apple Maps, and others.
While social media doesn’t necessarily drive more leads, it provides ample opportunity to create brand awareness and connect with current and new audiences. It’s about meeting your target audience where they are and socially interacting with them.
You don’t have to be on every platform to be successful, but to be effective, you will have to conduct some research on your own to understand how your specific audience spends their time online. It’s also perfectly fine to use different channels to pursue different business goals and reach various audience segments.
The average social media has 8.4 social media accounts, so selecting 2-3 platforms is a good starting point. Once you know which ones best suit your landscaping services, you’ll need to draw up separate marketing strategies and content marketing plans.
Pay-per-click or PPC is a form of advertising where you pay a small fee each time someone clicks on one of your ads. PPC ads appear in carousels at the top of search results on mobile and desktop, and in the right column on desktops in blocks called “knowledge cards”.
With this type of paid advertising, you have complete control over your budget, targeting, and ad placements. With some experimentation (A/B testing), you can find the perfect balance between your budget and positive results.
While content marketing and SEO can take time, PPC creates a middle-ground between nurturing potential new clients and serving the middle of the marketing funnel through providing downloadable resources, seeking email subscription signups, and hard-selling services.
Visitors from targeted PPC ads are 50% more likely to make a purchase than those derived from organic traffic. When you refine your research and use the correct keywords, you won’t only get high-quality leads, but you’ll also climb in organic search engine results.
People don’t buy products or services, they buy the results of each. So, when you’re selling, you want to focus on the benefits you provide your landscaping customers. Perhaps it’s spending more time with the family, or simply the convenience of never having to worry about mowing the lawn. Either way, make sure your sales pitch appeals emotively to your audience.
If you’re a large landscaping business, you might consider using a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to track the sales process. CRMs streamline communications and centralize customer data, giving you a better picture of business performance. In some instances, conversion rates have skyrocketed as much as 300%.
CRM advantages include:
Once you’ve developed an SEO-friendly website, you can gradually incorporate these marketing strategies. Just remember to set goals and monitor your results to make sure you’re on the right track. If you’d prefer, you can also outsource your lawn care marketing to us at Comrade Web Design & Digital Marketing. As a full-service agency, we can take care of all your landscaping marketing. Contact us today to kick-start your digital marketing strategy!
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