The challenge for effective digital marketing is to send ads to reach potential customers while at the same time ignore people who do not need your services. That's true of all marketing really. The idea is to spend the least amount on marketing to get the most leads. We discovered that once you stated the problem this way, the solution fell into our lap. The secret is to get VERY specific relative to who you are targeting and then to devise a plan to reach that audience. So? How would you target people who were recently hit with roof damaging hail? We know that some roofing contractors are sending postcards and mail to areas and neighborhoods that were hit by hail. By the time that mail gets there, the digital marketing audience will have seen 20X more of our ads before that postcard gets to the same people and eventually ends up in the trash - IF you're targeting them correctly.
If you already send postcards or flyers to people likely hit with hail damage and heavy winds, you're ahead of the game. Many roofing contractors aren't even doing that. The question becomes: is there an analogous digital marketing strategy that helps you target people in hail stricken neighborhoods more effectively. The answer is a resounding yes. We've had such good luck with this strategy that we created a product called "Storm Track Marketing". It works like this:
- Discover where in your region hail damage has occurred.
- Setup a geofencing campaign to send ads to those identified regions
- Retarget visitors that either clicked your ad and spent time on your site reading about hail or wind damage
Of course, that is just the front end of the funnel. Most digital marketing companies focus on the traffic side of digital marketing. That's a hugh mistake - here's why!
DEFINITION: Geofencing is simply a strategy that sends ads to people who fall within certain geographic boundaries. It is a mobile phone strategy and uses the GPS on the phone to indicate location. If the location is correct, ads are sent to the phone through the persons web browser and web apps. It is also possible to target desktops and tablets but the amount of traffic on the phone is far greater than these other devices.
Geofencing drives traffic
You might be thinking GREAT! That's what I need! But not so fast. Through a lot of trial and error, we discovered that the traffic you drive to your website via GeoFencing isn't necessarily intentional. Imagine yourself playing a game or using some other free app on your phone. Those apps make money by showing ads. Ad placement is always just where or near where you'd normally click. So you're playing along and you accidentally click an ad. That ads sends you off to a website that you weren't intending to visit. So you probably didn't read the ad and you don't plan on spending any time on the website. You go right back to your game. So, yeah, traffic increased to the website, but it really didn't generate a lead.
Retargeting drives leads
So, how do you fix the above issue. The challenge is to get the person to actually read the ad and to click when it makes sense. Amazon has made retargeting famous (as has many other shopping sites). When you're shopping for something, but not ready to buy - how often have you noticed that the thing you were shopping for or looking at on Amazon is suddenly showing up in ads all across the web, in your gmail, in your hotmail and even on Facebook? That is retargeting.
Here's how retargeting works so you're not completely freaked out but the ability of a website to follow you everywhere. When you're on a given page that is retargeting, a "cookie" is dropped on your browser. That cookie is just a snippet of code that is not much more than a number. The number identifies an ad set for advertisers to show when you're on their website.
The geofencing campaign correctly identified your audience. The retargeting campaign is setup to bring them back once they're more in a state of mind where they're more likely to respond to an ad. Ads are placed across the web and usually across multiple devices (phone, iPad, Tablet and Desktop). Retargeting ads are not clicked by accident - the ad was read and clicked because it was relavent to the visitor.
Follow Through - Conversions
Talk to any sports coach and they're tell you that FOLLOW THROUGH is the most important step of any skill. This is where most digital marketing companies miss the mark. If you're not engaging with the visitor after they land on your site, you're likely to lose them. Most digital marketers stop at driving traffic. The worse thing you can do with an effective traffic strategy is to send someone to your home page and hope they find what they need. The best way to deal with an effective traffic campaign is with complete follow-through. Send that traffic to a specific page on your site that goes deeper into what you're ad was promising and discusses how the visitor will benefit from working with your company.
Roofing Contractors - Conversion Campaigns
Hail and wind damage can often lead to a new roof paid for by insurance. Clearly that should be part of your campaign detail. Retargeting should send the visitor to a page on your site specifically discussing how you can help with hail and wind damage. There are three common strategies that most roofing contractors mention but ALL THREE need to be on this page so that the visitor is very clear about how you can help.
- Offer Free Inspection
Discuss why it's needed. In the case of hail, you probably can't see damage unless you're up on the roof. Further, if you wait, the damage you end up seeing is leaking into the house, down the walls and ceilings. A little bit of a scare tactic doesn't hurt here to increase the urgency of the need for a free roofing inspection. With the prospects safety in mind, tell him to NEVER go up on the roof to do self inspections. First, it's just dangerous. Second, they are not trained on what to look for.
- Offer to Work Directly With Their Insurance Company
This will take a load of the mind of anyone who has ever had to deal with insurance claims. By presenting the idea that you know how to present the damage to the insurance company to get the maximum claim is comfort to anyone going through this process.
- Offer financing
It is possible that the prospect doesn't have insurance, the insurance claim is denied or the customer needs a new roof but there really isn't an insurance claim. Still, roof replacement is a big chunk of cash. If you can ease the pain by helping the prospect get financing, you've lifted another weight off that's persons shoulders.
- Discuss Roof Repair
Lastly, if the roof doesn't warrant replacement or if only parts of the roof need to be fixed, consider discussing roof repair options. This may still be covered by insurance in the case that the entire roof doesn't need to be replaced. Discussing roof repair as an option shows that you have your clients bases covered and you are willing to help even in the situation that doesn't generate a lot of revenue for your company.
Beyond having this type of information on the landing page, you would do well to also post some of your best reviews (relavent reviews are better). Discuss some recent wins with insurance companies and ACTIVELY solicit an appointment. By "actively" I mean, drop a form over the page that is basically a popup. You can set this up a number of ways:
- Pop-over a form when the person enters the page (Name, address, phone, email, best time for inspection)
- Pop-over after the person has spent 15-30 seconds on your page
- Position a form in-line with the page that is highly visible
- Reference the form several times with a call to action: "Set up your free roofing inspection appointment now".
Why do this? Again, put yourself in the shoes of the visitor. They are on the page where you want them to take action. They will quickly lose interest, or worse - get lost, if you make them click around the site to find the contact us page or the contact information. Make sure they can call, email or fill out a form without navigating away from the page.
That , in a nut shell, is Storm Track Marketing for roofing contractors. If you need help setting up a campaign like this, let us know. We keep starting campaign costs very low to make sure you are getting results before you scale the campaign to get more customers and more leads. Campaigns include:
- Ad creation for geofencing and retargeting campaigns
- Page build recommendations (we can also build it for you).
- Page copywriting and conversion widgets (popup forms for example)
- Completely Local SEO and Dashboards (while you're paying for digital marketing, we want to make sure you're getting all the free traffic at your disposal!)
Or send us a note using the form on this page.