marketing guide

Marketing & Sales For Local Service Providers

Kurt GraverBusiness Development

Market Research

Market research is crucial to any successful business. It helps you gain insights into your target audience’s needs, wants, attitudes, and behaviours to create more effective marketing campaigns and products.

Knowing your target audience and their needs and wants. Preferences can help you make informed decisions about your business and develop the right strategies for growth, more effective marketing campaigns, finding product gaps and identifying areas for growth. Market research can be conducted at any stage of the business lifecycle — from developing your marketing strategy and roadmap to optimising your product and customer experience. 

Whether you’re looking to build a new product, launch a new campaign, or improve your existing business, market research can help you gather insights to inform your decision-making. Every business needs to know who its customers are and what they want or need to meet their needs effectively. Market research is the best way to uncover these details about your target audience.

 Market research can also help you better understand your product or service offerings. It can help you uncover gaps in your product offerings and find ways to improve the customer experience. 

Internal data – Before you go out and conduct market research, you should conduct internal research, i.e. research conducted within your business, to help inform the decision-making process.

  • Existing research – You can also use studies and data from other businesses in your industry to understand how they serve their customers. 
  • Paid market research – You can also outsource market research to professional research firms to help gather insights.

Research Methods

Keyword research: It’s always good to find out how many people are searching for your services. You can do this by using SEO Tools such as Ubersuggest, SEMRush or Google Keyword Planner.

Competitive Analysis– look at your competitors, what works for them, pricing, customer service etc. Search for reviews of your competitors to find gaps in what they offer.

Audience: You can use Google’s Keyword Manager to analyse audience data. Facebook’s Advertising Network is a fantastic tool to pinpoint how many people are interested in products/services like yours. 

Market Research Tools with Free Versions

Similar Web – Type in your competitor’s website and find out where they get their traffic from

Spark Toro – Good tool to find out where your target market is most active

Buzz Sumo – Look for content in your niche and find out what is the most popular types of content/

Lead Management

As an expert in your field, you need to set up your marketing to provide you with leads consistently.

Lead Types

Prospects – 95% are people who have never heard of your business but have used a similar service or would be interested in this. 5% of these people are actively searching for businesses just like yours.

Leads: People who have seen your business and expressed interest in your services or content. 

The main goal of your marketing is to put your business in front of your prospects and convert them into leads.

Your sales plan aims to convert as many of your leads as possible into customers.

A good website and social media platforms are crucial to this process.

Marketing

Website

First, you must understand that your website is a marketing and sales tool. It’s not a vanity project for yourself. 

Your website should reflect your business USP and highlight your personality, but it needs to comply with search engine guidelines and science-backed methods on user behaviour.

Call To Action (CTA’s)

You need to have clear goals of what you need from your website and what you want people to do next. 

Do you want them to

  • Call you
  • Email you
  • Fill out a form
  • Download content
  • Look at a video

Make it clear to the user what the next step is and how they can engage with your business more. 

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can be simplified by breaking it into 

  • Search Engine Marketing 
  • Social Media Marketing

Both can be powerful but different and require different content and advertising campaigns.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is important for creating a successful online presence. It involves the optimisation of websites to appear higher in organic search engine rankings, ensuring that your website is easily visible and accessible to potential customers. 

With the right SEO strategy, you can ensure that your business maximises its visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs), driving traffic and potential customers to your website.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential part of any online business strategy, as it involves understanding how search engines work and the factors they use to rank websites. This includes things such as keyword usage, content quality and backlinks.

Additional Information:

https://www.rankingcoach.com/en-gb/search-engine-optimisation

Content Marketing

Quality content and keywords are essential for any successful SEO strategy. Creating content that meets user needs and includes relevant keywords is important. Additionally, building links from other websites is paramount to ensure search engine optimisation of the website. Without these components, the website will not be indexed appropriately and will not be visible to those searching online.

To build a great website that ranks high on google and offers what people want to see in a website, it needs to be EAT.

Expertise – Enough content on your website that demonstrates your expertise.

Authoritative – The business has several backlinks from various sources, demonstrating you are an authority in your field.

Trustworthiness – The business is registered on significant business, social media, directories and networks (professional networks would be great) 

Additional Information:

https://ahrefs.com/blog/eat-seo

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-eat/what-is-it/

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is an important element of any successful search engine optimisation strategy. It includes page load speed, mobile-friendliness and website crawl ability, which are crucial for good SEO performance. So, to ensure that your website has the best chance of appearing in organic search results, it’s vital to get your technical SEO right.

Site architecture is an incredibly important element of SEO, and the structure of your pages can determine how easily search engines find them. Ensuring that your website has a logical layout and clear navigation will make it easier for search engine bots to index your pages, leading to better SEO performance. Good site architecture also makes it simpler for users to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and effectively.

Thereafter, ensuring your content is properly set up for search engine optimisation is essential. This means that all content should be tagged with proper HTML tags and be keyword-optimised so that search engines can see it. With a proper approach to SEO, you can make sure that potential customers easily find your website so you can boost traffic to your website and gain more sales.

Search engine optimisation is critical to any business’s digital marketing strategy. It is important to track key metrics such as website traffic, keyword rankings, and average session duration to measure SEO performance and inform ongoing optimisation efforts. This will help you maximise the return on your SEO investment by ensuring your website remains optimised for search engines.

When undertaking search engine optimisation, it’s essential to consider how your site performs relative to competitors. 

Identifying opportunities for improvement can be achieved by carrying out competitor analysis and observing differences in search engine optimisation performance between your website and theirs. 

This insight can then inform strategies that drive further improvements in your search engine optimisation efforts.

Off-page SEO includes activities done off of a website to increase the site’s search engine rankings. Common off-page SEO actions include building backlinks, encouraging branded searches, and increasing engagement and shares on social media.

Additional Information:

https://backlinko.com/off-page-seo-guide

https://ahrefs.com/blog/how-to-get-backlinks/

Tools You Need

The Basics

Ranking Coach – This is a very powerful tool for people with new websites who lack an understanding of digital marketing. Follow the recommendations and use this tool for 3-6 months.

Advanced Tools

When your website has been optimised, use a more advanced tool to take your business to the next level.

These tools allow you to find new keywords to target and provide content suggestions. Choose one of the following. They all have free trials and free versions.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay Per Click (PPC) Marketing is a powerful form of paid search engine marketing. It’s a great way to get your message out quickly, appearing at the top of search engine rankings and results pages. 

PPC advertising can be tailored to reach the right type of customer and target them cost-efficiently. PPC has become one of the most popular online advertising models around.

PPC campaigns are also incredibly measurable, making it easier than ever to track the effectiveness of your investment in terms of leads or sales generated from the ads. This is one of the most significant advantages PPC can provide – giving businesses a better understanding of their return on investment and helping them focus their resources where they’re needed most. 

Google Ads is the leading platform. If you don’t feel confident, you can work with an agency or freelancer who can manage your PPC campaigns.

User Intent

Keyword intent is one of the most crucial aspects of paid search. Without a keen understanding of the intent behind visitors’ searches, even the most well-funded PPC campaign will almost certainly fail. 

High-intent keywords are also said to have high commercial intent. These keywords signify a strong intent on the part of the searcher to conduct a transaction, whether it be to buy something, inquire about a service, or another type of action that has a strong possibility of leading to a later sale.

There are four basic types of search queries:

  • Commercial – searches performed to prepare for a transaction
  • Transactional – searches performed to buy something
  • Informational – searches performed to answer questions or learn something
  • Navigational – searches performed to locate a specific website

Commercial intent keywords are only relevant to transactional searches. If keywords can be considered “signals” from prospective customers, keywords with commercial intent are the most promising.

By contrast, low-intent keywords can be considered either navigational or informational. People looking for information on a given topic or searching for a specific website are unlikely to commit to a purchase due to these searches, meaning their commercial intent is considerably lower.

Final Thoughts on PPC

I recommend paying Google for commercial and transactional keywords only. Only pay for traffic from people who have already decided to buy.

Use your blog and other content on your website to rank high in google for the 95% who still need convincing about your service.  

Answering the key questions people ask about your service and area of expertise should be the first blogs you write. Once you have exhausted all of the questions,

Always check the keyword popularity of the keywords you are targeting. The higher the potential traffic makes your blog more comprehensive.

Social Media

People are increasingly using social media for product and service discovery, but most people are there to connect with friends, read, and watch content. 

This means you need to attract their attention with your marketing. You can create entertaining content that solves their problems and entertains them.

Social media marketing is essential to any digital marketing strategy, and it’s important to understand how each platform works to create effective campaigns. By getting to know the different characteristics of each platform, you can ensure that your campaigns are targeting the right audience and maximising your return on investment. Investing time and resources into understanding the nuances of social media marketing will be nothing short of invaluable for achieving success.

Social media marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to create content that engages and grows their target audience. It involves leveraging social media platforms to generate brand awareness, increase website traffic, and promote products and services. By successfully harnessing the power of social media marketing, businesses can drive growth in their customer base and reach new potential customers.

Identifying your target audience is essential to effective social media marketing. Understanding who you are trying to get and engage with will help you create the most effective content and set achievable goals for your social media strategy.

Main Social Media Platforms

PlatformPurposeFrequency
FacebookStill the most significant user base (90% of adults have an account)1 and 2 times a day
InstagramGreat for visual businesses like food, fashion, pets and fitness.3-7 times per week
TwitterI recommend it for most small brands if you can prove this is the network in your target market that is most active. Good for B2B marketing.1 and 5 Tweets a day
LinkedinThe best network for B2B social marketing and selling.1 and 5 times a day
TikTikThe fastest-growing social media platform. Initially, its demographic was mainly teenagers. This is now changing. Plenty of advertisers are moving away from Facebook and concentrating on Tiktok.1 to 3 times per day.

Every social media account is unique, so testing and analysing your results is key. 

Google My Business

Google Business Profile is a free business listing from Google. It allows you to provide details and photos of your business, including your location, services, and products. 

Creating this free profile is a great way to increase your visibility across Google services. Information from your Google Business Profile may appear in Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping.

Validate your account and fill out your profile with your services from your website. Post pictures and videos to your profile and keep your profile updated regularly. You will start to get local traffic from customers.

Business Directories 

A business directory is like an online version of the Yellow Pages. Every business directory contains an index of companies listed alphabetically by industry.

The main general directories in the UK are.

Additional Information:

Specialist directories are also very important to SEO and ensure your business can be found by buyers searching for solutions.

To find directories/marketplace, type in Google your main search term and look for platforms that aggregate service providers.

Bark and Airtasker are two of the biggest marketplace platforms.

Offline Marketing

As a local business, you want to ensure your offline advertising is effective. 

By ensuring your advertising is focused on your target market, blanket advertising may increase awareness of your business, but it may not result in sales. It can also be very expensive.

  • Trade/Industry Magazines focused on your target market
  • Local newspapers and radio stations
  • Flyers / Posters 

Tips

If you’re using the same ads as your competitors, your ads don’t have much impact.

  • Keep it consistent – You want your ads to be memorable, so you want them to stay consistent. If you keep changing your ads, they won’t be as effective because your audience won’t remember them. 
  • Be creative – Although consistency is important, you also want to be creative. Ads must be creative to stand out from the rest and catch your audience’s attention. 
  • Be unique – Your ads also need to be unique. 

Sales Plan

It is important to have a solid sales plan in place to ensure success. Crafting the perfect sales plan for startups requires understanding the marketplace, your customers and the competitive landscape. 

Your sales plan is the roadmap that guides your business through sales activities and helps you achieve your sales goals. Businesses need to have a sales plan in place. Sales plans help organisations plan for growth and support strategic decision-making. Without a sales plan, businesses run the risk of failure.

Setting sales goals requires understanding the market, customers and the sales process. It is important to remember that sales goals can and should change over time.

As your business evolves and the marketplace changes, it is vital to reassess your sales goals. This will help you stay focused and remain on track toward success.

Lead Qualification

When someone contacts your business, you need a straightforward process of what to do next to convert this Lead into sales.

The best way to do this is by Qualifying Your Leads

Lead qualification is the process businesses use to determine which prospects are the best sales targets. Not everyone who expresses interest in a product or service is ready to purchase. That’s why lead qualification is a critical part of any sales strategy.

Lead qualification is critical to ensuring your sales and marketing resources are allocated as efficiently as possible. Suppose you invest equal resources into all potential customers without assessing their qualifications. In that case, you will spend time and money on prospects who may be less likely to make a purchase, no matter how well you engage with them.

Customer profiling

Most people who contact you will be interested in ensuring you are who you say you are and can back up what you mention on the website.

Have a means of proving your expertise and trustworthiness

  • A 15-minute call where you explain how you will solve their problem
  • A brochure or video describing your services
  • An email series explaining what you do or 
  • A short video explaining what you do

Asking qualifying questions will help you get to know the different types of prospects better and gauge their readiness for the next stage of the sales cycle:

  • Are they interested in buying?
  • Do they have a use for the product or service you’re offering?
  • Do they have the money to buy what you’re offering?
  • Is this the right time to buy?
  • Do they have the authority to authorise the purchase?

Make it clear what the next step in the process is:

  • A contract
  • A deposit
  • A direct purchase on the website.

Closing The Sale

ObjectionMitigation
MoneyThey say or think your service is too expensive. To block this objection, you need to sell the benefits of your service, how much time you will save, and how much money they will save. Explain to them how their lives will improve once they use your service.  
TimePeople are intrinsically lazy. They won’t want to spend a long time implementing your service.
To overcome this, make your service as simple as possible, letting them know you will quickly take care of all the important parts of the process. 
For the areas that need customer interaction, ensure you make it clear you will guide them fully, giving them full instructions.
NeedMost people have a problem, and if they have contacted your business, they have recognised they have a problem. This is the first step. However, people tend to buy when they realise it’s a problem they need to solve. Many will only be convinced they can invest their time and money in your service.
To close the sales, you will need to explain the consequences of 
An inferior or cheaper service taking no action at all
UrgencyEven if they recognise they have a problem that requires your help. Most leads still need convincing they need your help now, and they will always think a solution can be delayed.
Problems tend to get worse over time; ensure the prospect understands this.
TrustThis is the most important. People will only buy if they believe your service will do what you say it will.
Build trust by showing your expertise and telling them quick wins, which will help them immediately. Let them know how this will take them to the path of success.
Use case studies from previous customers similar to them and show them how you helped them.

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