SEO vs Google Pay-Per Click Ads

seo vs ppc lawn care landscaping irrigation tree snow removal

Landscape Marketing Pros CEO Matt Wacek explains the differences between search engine optimization and Google pay-per-click advertising for getting more clients for your lawn, landscaping, outdoor living, irrigation, tree service or snow removal company. Also included are weighing out the pros and cons of the two strategies and which is best for your business based on your current revenue situation and scaling capabilities.

Our video explains everything you need to know about both methods for getting more landscaping leads and clients.

Major Differences Between SEO and PPC

Search Engine Optimization

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the process of adding content to your website with the intent of improving your site’s visibility to the search engines and users of the aforementioned search engines, allowing your website to show up in relevant searches.

For an outdoor services company, this would be search such as “lawn care near me” or “landscaping [city, st]”.

Google Pay-Per-Click Ads

Google Ads is Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform. This allows your business to bid on search appearances when a prospective client types in a relevant keyword such as “outdoor living designer near me” in the Google search. You pay when someone clicks on your ad. Using pay-per-click is extremely advantageous because you can turn them on and off with a few clicks, adjustments to the ad copy can be made when needed as well as targeting specific geographical areas.

Which Should You Invest Into?

Unlike SEO, PPC ads can be set up and running within days whereas SEO is a multi-month plan, however, that’s not to say SEO is not a winning strategy because the cost per lead can often be much cheaper plus it contributes to a long lasting online presence as a whole. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on a company’s current revenue, size and ability to grow.

Our YouTube video above explains which is best based on your company’s current revenue and other factors.

 

6 Elements The Best Lawn Care & Landscaping Websites Have

Lush Landscape & Irrigation Website

The goal with your company’s website should always be to maximize its potential earning power. That potential earning power is the inbound phone calls and contact form submission leads it generates. Otherwise, your website is essentially a billboard in the middle of nowhere. In this case, nobody nobody would see it, and nobody visits it. Which means you would have to rely on other methods to grow your business.

This should never be the focus, as a website has the potential to practically become an ATM machine for your company. This video describes six elements you need to implement on your website to increase its conversion rate – which is prospects requesting a quote or making a phone call to talk with your team about a project request.

How To Rank Your Google My Business Listing

Rank landscaping website on Google

How To Get More Calls/Leads By Increasing The Ranking of Your Google My Business Listing

If your Google My Business listing is in the top 3 map listings of the google search (map pack), you can capture more website traffic and calls. This article explains steps to take to increase the ranking of your GMB listing.

By Matt Wacek
Published: October 11, 2020

Google My Business For Lawn Care & Landscaping

The first step is to claim and verify your Google My Business listing. If you do not have one yet, check out our post and watch our tutorial video on how to claim your Google My Business listing, it’s 100% free to set up – the potential upside is exponential. 

Once you have completed setting up your Google My Business (GMB) listing and you’ve received the postcard to verify it, you’re ready to go.  

1. Complete The Profile Throughly!

Make sure to fill out everything on your profile – business categories, service areas, hours of operation, phone number (same number that is shown on your website), about, opening date (can use year and month), and add photos. Our video guide mentioned earlier explains how to set all this up. This is crucial because there’s a very low likelihood that Google will display incomplete listings near the top of the map pack.

2. Congruency

This is one of the most overlooked factors that has a HUGE impact on the placement of your Google My Business listing in the search results. Google bots will crawl your website to ensure the data and information there lines up with what is displayed on the Google My Business listing. Including your company name, address, phone number and hours of operation. This needs to be written in the same exact manner on your website (this information should be placed in the footer). 

For Example:
Johnson Outdoor Services
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(763) 123-4567
M-F 8am-5pm

Everything from the company name, especially if you include “LLC” or “Inc” in your name, company phone number written with two parentheses ” (763)” then a space, first three digits, a dash “-“, then the final four digits. Same with the city your company is based. If the city name has commonly used abbreviations, then they should be in place on both your website and GMB listing. 

3. Directory Listings/Citations

Get your business listed on as many local, national and industry relevant directories as possible. Beginning with the biggest – Yelp, Angie’s List, City Pages, Cylex, etc. The more of these profiles that you have claimed, the better. Google sees these profiles as building trust in your GMB and website since most directory profiles allow you to have a link placed to your website in your profile. 

Another crucial factor of your citations is congruency! It is imperative that you make sure the information displayed on all the directory profiles is 100% synced with what is displayed on your website and GMB listing. 

Use the tips in this article, plus the additional optimization guidance in our claiming a GMB listing tutorial and you will see your Google My Business listing start to climb the map search results eventually getting into the map pack and driving more calls and traffic to your website.

4. Reviews

One of the main reasons Google My Business exists is to ensure that their users (Google searchers) have a great experience when navigating their platform. Meaning they are able to find the best lawn, landscape, irrigation or snow service provider for their property. Asking existing clients to leave a quick review after a project is completed at their property is one of the best ways to get your first reviews published. 

Having the highest rating or most reviews won’t be the full deciding factor when it comes to ranking, but an upper 4.X or 5-star rating will most definitely help. Plus it drastically improves click-through-rate, which is the amount of people searching that will actually click on your listing to call or visit your website.

Our informative video below shares insight on how to do this process:

Ready To Grow Your Business?

Claim A Google My Business Listing For Landscaping/Lawn Care

How To Claim & Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

A Google My Business listing is one of the most vital assets in addition to your website to generate more leads and clients for your company.

By Matt Wacek
Published: October 8, 2020

How To Claim A Google My Business Listing For Your Business and Optimize It So It Can Be Found By Your Prospects

This in-depth training video shows exactly how to claim a Google My Business listing for your business, verify it, and set it up so it is search engine optimized and can be found by your prospective clients. Get your Google My Business listing here.

Ready To Grow Your Business?

Ultimate Guide To Snow Removal Marketing

The Ultimate Guide To Snow Removal Marketing

Our informative article provides snow removal advertising ideas, templates & examples so you can plan when to start advertising for snow removal and how to get clients.

By Matt Wacek
Published: October 1, 2020

Snow plowing and ice removal is a completely different ball game compared to the spring, summer and fall season work. A few extra inches of grass during a rainy stretch is generally not a big deal, but a few inches of snow can lead to a slowdown in traffic, being susceptible to slipping and falling, and more. Snow removal is a crucial service for residential and commercial clients and can be quite lucrative with dense routes. 

Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting Snow Removal

Before we get into the process for advertising and how to get more snow removal clients, there are a few things you need to write down and assess before you start advertising for snow plowing and ice removal.

Methods of Advertising For Snow Removal

When To Advertise For Snow Plowing

Ask any snow removal contractor when to start spreading the word to your existing clientele and advertising to get more clients, and you will get different answers. There is also a huge variance between residential and commercial properties, and there can even be a big difference between large retail or restaurant chains, office complexes, etc. depending on who your point of contact is – property management company or the actual business property owner.

The short answer to the question: “when to start advertising for snow removal” is long before winter begins!

Here is the general timeline for snow removal advertising that Landscape Marketing Pros’ CEO used in his Minnesota-based snow removal company that he owned from 2011-2016: (this timeline may differ slightly depending on where exactly you are located)

August: Decide what advertising methods to use.
If you are going to employ SEO (the best method to bring in the highest interest prospects) – start now! The sooner, the better.

September: Put your strategy together – are you going to offer a discount, special offers, etc? 
Print Ads – Get them ordered from your designer/print shop!
Google, FB, IG Ads – Build any necessary landing pages
Existing clients – Initial reach out
SEO – link building to get your snow removal page ranking

The snow side of fall/winter services postcards.

October: Put the strategy to work.
Print Ads – Get them distributed throughout the month even into November – can continue until the snow flies
Google Pay-Per-Click Ads – Turn them on!
FB/IG Ads – Turn them on around the middle of the month – it’s also a great time for retargeting your existing clients
Existing clients – Reach out with up-sell letters, email broadcasts, etc.
SEO – Link building to get your snow removal page ranking

November: Continue generating leads. November is often when the first snow arrives – the week and days leading up to it your phone and inbox will be going crazy as prospects scramble to find a snow service provider.
Print Ads – If it has not yet snowed, continue distributing them
Google Pay-Per-Click Ads – Keep them running (they can run all winter long if you want to bring in new clients and your budget allows)
FB/IG Ads – Continue with them if you are seeing a positive return
Existing clients – Reach out email broadcasts, direct email, etc.
SEO – Link building to get your snow removal page ranking – if it’s ranking – maintain the positioning

December: Keep everything going if there has not been any snow yet.

January: Winter’s wrath has usually arrived by now. After the first snow event the demand will drop. The best method to generate new clients through the rest of the winter is with referrals, Google Search Ads (you don’t have to pay to run the ad unless someone clicks), and SEO (once your website is ranking – the direct cost for traffic is zero dollars)

Unless it’s near the end of winter, it’s not too late to advertise for snow removal, however, the bulk of the demand for snow removal will be in the fall and early winter for the prospects that plan ahead. You can always count on a lot of demand for residential service the week and days leading up to the first snow event.

After plowing a residential property on a bitter-cold January morning.

How To Get Commercial Snow Accounts/Contracts

All of the marketing/advertising methods mentioned at the beginning of this article will work for generating commercial snow removal leads. One other method that worked well for me was cold calling. Some of the best commercial snow removal clients can be landed simply by finding the business property, locating their contact information, picking up the phone, having a short conversation and then putting in a bid via email. These properties were always locally-owned establishments.

Not Every Commercial Snow Removal Bid Process Is The Same

Most contractors that have been in the snow removal game for a while will know that there is a gigantic difference between bidding on chain retail stores & restaurants, government facilities, HOAs/Townhomes, a locally owned business property, and property management companies. Large chains often hire a regional or nationwide property management company, whom often have a network of contractors they provide a list of bid specifications to and do a Request For Proposal. This is typically the process for most large chain stores and restaurants. Cold calling these management companies can get you on their list of contractors.

Small, local property management companies may do the RFP process, but they reach out to a snow removal company via website – which is the best because they are coming to you, instead of you going to them.

Plowing a commercial property (a local bank) during a big late-winter snow storm.

The inbound marketing methods covered earlier in this article are great for bringing in local businesses, HOAs, and townhouses as clients where your point of contact is usually the business owner or association manager. These will primarily be smaller office complexes, retail shops, strip malls, local restaurants, banks and other service businesses. Being as many of them are small business owners themselves, both parties have similarities in which they both own companies and understand business ownership, versus the person that may just be an account manager for a large property management company. Which means that as long as your company provides great service, you can expect to retain them for the long haul, versus the RFP bid process where you could lose accounts after just one year even if your work was flawless.

Based on your current fleet of equipment and what is in your budget for expansion, use what is presented in this article as a guide to see what marketing methods you want to employ to get more snow removal clients for your company. If you have questions or would like to talk with us about growing your business using the internet, schedule a strategy session today!

Ready To Grow Your Business?

4 Easy Tips For Getting Started With Online Marketing

4 Tips: Getting Started With Marketing Your Landscaping Business Online

The best methods to get started and gain initial results from online marketing for your company.

By Matt Wacek
Originally Posted: April 17, 2018
Last Updated: April 11, 2021

1. Optimizing Your Website For The Search Engines

The first step to take in building your online presence is to have a website.  A website should be thought of as your online business card.

Your website will serve as the foundation for your online presence.

Having a great looking website is the first step to building a great brand online.

DISCLAIMER! The simple website builders such as Squarespace or Wix can allow you to create a beautiful looking website, however when it comes to indexing in the search engine result pages (showing up for the keywords you want your website to show up in), they often experience issues.  I highly, highly, highly recommend using WordPress as the CMS (Content Management System) and use a high converting, theme that allows for front end drag-and-drop building. 

Next, after installing WordPress, download an SEO WordPress Plugin (plugins are essentially tools to add to your website that allow you to customize more aspects of your website) such as Yoast SEO to make sure that your website’s pages, titles, and other content are set up to be SEO friendly and communicates 

2. Google My Business

Google My Business is Google’s online directory. It’s the biggest and most important directory in the world.

If you have been in business for a while, chances are that Google has already created this listing for your business.

If you are starting out then you would need to create a listing yourself.

There are two basic steps involved:

This is a relatively quick & simple process which can be completed in minutes here: https://www.google.com/business

The best thing about creating and verifying your listing is that it does not cost anything but a few minutes of your time – the upside & ROI is truly exponential. 

There are many outdoor service business owners that have not taken this step, and creating this crucial listing will put you ahead of a majority of your competition.

3. Create A Facebook Page For Your Business

The second most important directory in the world are Facebook Pages for your business.

Here are some stats to demonstrate the importance of Facebook Pages:

Just like a Google My Business listing, setting up a Facebook page is free.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for setting up a Business Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/business/pages/set-up

The majority of the internet has basically consolidated between two companies, Google (who owns YouTube) and Facebook. Google is where people search for information or be entertained (YouTube),  and Facebook is where people spend their time to connect with others.

It’s crucial that you utilize the free tools that are accessible for your business, because the ROI is absolutely priceless even when factoring in the amount of time the pages & listings take to build.

4. Get Reviews For Your Company

This is another strategy you can do to build your online presence without spending any money.

There are 3 primary review focused directories that to focus on: Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Google and Facebook are the most important (however having a listing on Yelp will not hurt!).

One of the BIGGEST mistakes I see outdoor service companies do when it comes to their reviews online is not acknowledging them whether they’re good or bad – this can place doubt into any prospective clients minds when there is a negative review on your page and there has been no response by the company.  Doubt is the LAST thing you want a prospective client to be thinking prior to reaching out to get a quote for services! 

If a review is good – it’s best to “react” to the review (Google you can “like” and Facebook offers a variety of reactions). It is even better if you comment and thank them for the positive review & their continued business.  If a review is negative – address the problem immediately in your replies, you need to do damage control and do whatever you can to ensure that client becomes satisfied with whatever their pain point is.

“Over 84% of consumers trust online reviews. Online reviews are like the modern referrals.”

Inc Magazine

If you’re just starting out and you have no reviews on any of your pages here is the best way to get your first few reviews:

Conclusion

These strategies are the fundamental building blocks of creating a robust online presence.

Pros follow the fundamentals while amateurs ignore them.

Most of these strategies do not cost anything but your time.

Your time is your most valuable resource and by implementing these strategies you’ll be spending it wisely.

Ready To Grow Your Business?

How Much Is Each Client Worth To You?

calculating how much a lawn care landscaping business can earn

Earning Potential & Calculating How Much Is Each Client Worth To You?

Calculating the average lifetime value of your clients helps you figure out how much you can afford to spend to acquire new ones.

By Matt Wacek
Originally Posted: November 8, 2017
Last Updated: April 11, 2021

First things first, I could talk about this subject for hours & hours because it’s one that gets me the most excited when it comes to business of all shapes, sizes, & types.

Also, I’m not the type to get hyped up about something and say it’s the “Key To Success” or “Getting Rich Easily”. . .

BUT when a lawn service or landscaping business calculates what we’re going to cover in this post, it gives them the clarity of raw numbers it needs to know which allows them to know how much they can spend to acquire leads/clients and this is what big businesses (not just the green industry such as TruGreen or Brightview, but Target, Best Buy, etc.) primarily focus on:

This can somewhat be a technical subject for those who are new to business ownership or have never broken down their numbers in this fashion – but it’s imperative to know, so get ready & let’s dig in!

This Crucial Unknown Metric

One of the most important metrics in your business is knowing how much each client you obtain is worth to your business.  Once these numbers are calculated, everything else (labor, materials, equipment, office staff, etc.) can be fit into place when it comes to budgeting.

Giving you an accurate picture to grow your business in all aspects – hiring employees, investing in new equipment, and more. It all begins with knowing how much a client is worth to you.

I also can’t stress this enough that these numbers are POWERFUL because they give your company the ability to know exactly how much can be spent to acquire clients.

One of the best ways to describe how essential knowing the value of every client is to your business, is if you’ve ever seen advertisements (online and offline, generally from larger local & regional or even national companies) for services at prices far below the “going rate”.

Most green industry business owners (including me until I realized the importance of this metric) will simply balk at this & lash out by saying…

“Man! How are we supposed to compete and make a living with prices this low?! I’m done!”

The most unfortunate part of this thought process is that it’s incredibly short sighted!  The biggest profits are in the higher ticket & higher margin back-end services, for example in lawn maintenance this would be having the front-end service be weekly/bi-weekly mowing and the up-sell (back-end) services such as:

The same process can be replicated when advertising to acquire landscape design/construction clients (dropping margins to obtain sales) with the ever-present goal to sign on as many of those clients into recurring maintenance packages.  This practice can also be done with any first service to entice a client to sign on and then up-selling them (ie. 1 free fertilizing application if they sign on for the season with 5 total fert./weed control applications). . . the possibilities of these promotions is endless and requires testing which offers convert best (get the most clients) and the direction you want to take your company.

When a company is willing to run an ad promoting low-priced front-end at break even or potentially lose money strategically (such as free month of mowing when a client signs on for the season, or free spring clean up with signing on for mowing for the season are just some of many examples), the majority of the time they know their numbers and how long it takes for them to get an R.O.I. on their advertising and then eventually make a profit after a certain point in time because they know the average lifetime value of a client.

So many business owners don’t know these numbers and it really hinders knowing how much they can invest into advertising and worse, it prevents them from calculating how to grow strategically.

He who can outspend his competition to acquire a client, wins.

- Business Owners That Know Their Numbers

When your business calculates how much a client is worth on average along with gross/net margins, you’re then able to see how much your business can spend to acquire a client.

The company that’s spending more on advertising (for ex. beating their competition in the organic search rankings or bidding higher to pay more per click on Adwords/Facebook) is certainly well aware they may be losing money at their front-end (ex. deeply discounted weekly mowing for the first year or a landscape installation that’s 20% off, etc.) but they will make their money back & eventually become profitable from:

This puts your company in a powerful spot by purely being able to outspend and push out your competition (especially online with pay-per-click on Google Adwords & Facebook Ads) who is still complaining about your ad for a low-cost front-end service and how it’s “undercutting”.

Calculating Long Term/Lifetime Client Value

Now, let’s figure out how to do all this. There are two main factors that must be determined right away:

Calculating how much a client is worth to your business is very simple using the Lawn Maintenance Client LTV chart:

Now that you have an idea of calculating this figure, you’ll need to do this for every client in your business (also be sure to determine the amount of time a client stays with your company).

Then once you have the total revenue generated for each client, add up your total revenue and divide that figure by the amount of clients you have which will give you the average revenue from each client lifetime value.

As shown in the example on the right, it can be kept simple by just using the overall revenue & profit figures or it can be super-detailed to calculate the average of client value for each service offered.

The important takeaway from this is that the more about your numbers that you know, the better off your business will be when it comes to investing in growth – advertising, equipment, employees, etc.

When you know this number, can you justify spending $100 to acquire a client when they generate an average of almost $1,300/year or $25 to acquire a lead if your average close rate of 25% (1 client signed out of every 4 leads), or investing even more?!

Yes, all day long!

This is how the largest companies in the world operate! Raw numbers and knowing their client acquisition costs & lifetime value.

calculating how much a lawn care landscaping business can earn

This Is Key To Growing Your Business.

These averages were lower priced estimates with a low profit margin, and do not include any longer term client relationships OR high margin & higher ticket landscape construction services. 

This also does not include having every prospective client on an email follow up funnel/newsletter where additional sales can be acquired for mere dollars without having to start another advertising campaign.

Finding The "Hidden Value" In Your Company (Simple Changes To Explode Client LTV)

Acquiring new clients is very important to growing a business, however it’s also equally important to increase the value of your existing clients by continually contacting them throughout the season to educate them on the array of services your company offers, whether it’s through email marketing, retargeting ad campaigns to past website visitors & email list subscribers, or simply sending announcement letters via mail or included with client invoices.

Even the best of sales processes can let extra revenue slip away – clients may not be interested in specific products/services at certain times, or their budget doesn’t allow for it quite yet, but regardless of the reason it’s imperative to dig in to the “hidden value” in your existing client-base by employing the aforementioned strategies to keep your company & its offerings in your clients’ minds.

This will also help with increasing referrals when your clients may be discussing their lawn, new outdoor space your company constructed, trees/stumps removed, irrigation system installed, etc., to their neighbors, friends, & family.  This is a subject that we will go more in-depth about in another post, but having a solid referral program in place to encourage your clients to spread the word about your services is very powerful because word-of-mouth jobs/projects cost MUCH LESS than most other forms of advertising because your clients are already paying you to go out and tell everyone they know about how amazing your products/services are!

I’d say that giving them a free mowing service, fertilizing application, or a bottle of wine & a Christmas card to spread the word and help you obtain another client that didn’t require additional ad spend & had minimal competition to get the job is worth it, wouldn’t you?

This can increase the value of every single client greatly!

Here’s another big kicker – if these clients came on during the fall, for example – irrigation system winterizations (blow-outs), core aeration, or fall leaf clean ups (these services require specialized equipment that most clients see more value in paying a company to do the work vs. investing in the equipment and the time to do the work themselves), make sure these new clients are added to your database to send them spring service announcement letters next spring, as well as get them on your email list so you can get them into your long term sales funnel and retarget them more offers.

The possibilities are truly endless when a business owner knows their numbers and looks at advertising from a 30,000 foot view instead of that first sale where they may be just breaking even.

Ready To Grow Your Business?

How To Guide: Social Media Marketing For Lawn Care/Landscaping

Facebook Ads for lawn care and landscaping

How To Guide: Social Media Advertising

Learn the proper way to execute Facebook and Instagram ads for your lawn care, landscaping, tree service, irrigation or snow removal company

By Matt Wacek
Originally Posted: August 10, 2019
Last Updated: February 1, 2021

The Most In-Depth Guide To Social Media Advertising For Green Industry Companies

We hear it all the time. . .

Facebook Ads don’t work.

Social media is a waste of time.

Most businesses try Facebook Ads and fail to execute a strategy and then blame the platform.

They fail to learn what their target audience wants, the behavior of the traffic on Facebook, and don’t have the patience to see the results.

Logically, this doesn’t make sense. There are thousands of documented cases of local businesses succeeding with Facebook Ads, even in the green industry.

As a green industry business owner, you have to remember that people are not going to invest in your services from just anyone on the internet. Facebook provides the perfect opportunity to create a value-first marketing campaign that can deliver remarkable results.

This article will provide a step-by-step guide for getting started on your first social media marketing campaign.

Why Facebook/Social Media Marketing?

First off, Facebook and Instagram are MASSIVE. They have tremendous potential for all green industry businesses. Advertising on social media has grown tremendously the last few years and a lot of businesses are straight up killing it.

Whether you’re a landscape construction contractor, lawn/snow service provider, tree removal company, or any variation of a business that operates within the horticultural industry, you would be doing your business a disservice if you ignore social media advertising.

Here are some mind blowing stats that will show you the size and scope of Facebook:

Value and Education Based Marketing

Social media marketing is different than other channels. Facebook and Instagram want to protect their user’s experience no matter what. The users are the people who use these platforms as a place to hang out.

As an advertiser, you have to adjust your approach and lead with an educational marketing strategy.

Facebook & Instagram are similar to a party.

It’s a social gathering with your friends and family.

At a party do you think people are looking to buy things?

Not necessarily, they are looking to hang out, entertain themselves, and learn new information.  But when presented the right offer, many make the jump to initiate a purchase (this occurs often in the e-commerce space) or join an email newsletter list when an ideal piece of content is offered.

Most services sold by green industry companies are not something most people would buy directly off social media. It takes a relationship based approach to identify, qualify and then finally make a sale.

A new landscape, large scale tree removal, long term lawn care services, etc. are a high-ticket purchase. In marketing, as a rule of thumb the higher price the product/service the more education is needed to make the sale.

Social Media Advertising vs. Google Adwords

There are several advantages that Social Media has over Google AdWords (Quick disclaimer: social media & Google Adwords are amazing platforms that should certainly both be utilized for a successful digital marketing campaign).

Comparatively speaking, the traffic (visitors clicking on your ads to visit your website) on Facebook and Instagram is cheaper than Google AdWords in many instances.

You have more control on who you can target. Facebook’s insanely detailed targeting options allow you to target almost anyone in the world.

You can target by demographics, net worth, zip code, home value, etc…

Creating a winning social media marketing campaign is a bit more complicated than an AdWords campaign.

Unlike Google AdWords, the behavior of the traffic you will get is different.

If your company primarily focuses on servicing commercial clientele, Facebook is a great supplemental strategy. One of the best kept and most powerful secret techniques used by marketers is using your database of customer email addresses by uploading that database to Facebook and creating a custom audience campaign.

The "Value First" Approach

As you can now see, social media marketing is different than most advertising channels (such as print ads), you MUST lead with a value-first approach.

What is a value-first approach?

It’s simply about educating your prospects first by offering a piece of valuable content that can help them in deciding which contractor to choose for their product.

Social media marketing is interruption based marketing. This means you are interrupting users’ Newsfeeds with an ad.

The best strategy for this is to create a piece of content that you use to “ethically collect” a prospect’s contact information.  In the online marketing world, this is known as a “lead magnet.”

Chances are that you’re visiting our website thanks to an ad you saw on social media offering a lead magnet (piece of educational content) in exchange for joining our email newsletter list.

Creating an effective lead magnet is about being very specific. Digital marketer lays it out pretty clear:

You simply need to solve a specific problem with a specific solution for a specific segment of your market.

Here’s the key…

Your Lead Magnet must be consumed by the prospect for it to have an impact.

There are many different types of “lead magnets” you can create.  Here are some examples of lead magnets you can use.

Infographics

Infographics can provide great informative content in a visually appealing format. The best infographics understand the context of what the prospect is shopping for.

Infographics can be expensive to create. You can hire someone on Fiver or Upwork to create an excellent graphic.

Like all other forms of marketing, Infographics should be seen as an investment, not an expense.

Even if the results from a social media marketing campaign aren’t stellar in the short term, a high quality infographic can provide valuable information to your prospects for years to come and you’ll be the first company in their mind when it comes time to make a purchase.

EBooks and Downloadable Guides

An Ebook, a report, or PDF guides have been used for years as a lead magnet for millions of different types businesses for a reason. They can provide valuable information and incite curiosity.

The whole goal a downloadable guide is to create curiosity in your product/service. The fact is most downloadable guides will likely not even be read by your prospects.

The attention span of people online is unfortunately so short that often times, they will even forget they downloaded the guide.  Fear not though!  By employing an email marketing campaign that automatically follows up with your prospect sending them value & education about your services, this will keep your company in front of them and in their mind as they move closer and closer towards reaching out to you and your sales process starts!

Checklists and Cheat Sheets

A checklist/checklist works very well. They provide the opportunity to give valuable specific information in a concise manner. They are also more likely to be read as they are generally shorter in length than an ebook.

As a green industry business owner, you have to think what piece of information can you provide that will make you seem like an authority?

Some lead magnet ideas:

The list of possibilities are truly endless, but the ideal way to see what performs best is to test different checklists/sheets (or ebooks/downloadable guides) and see which become most popular and your new audience engages with the most.

Social Media Marketing Funnel Example

Social Media Marketing Funnel

Here’s an example of a powerful social media marketing campaign with a short email follow up sequence. This works great for residential lawn care, landscape, tree, irrigation, and snow service providers.

  1. Create a social media advertising campaign (Facebook and Instagram) designed to create curiosity with a lead magnet
  2. On the thank you page, you’ll want to have a greeting video introducing yourself (president, owner, marketing manager, etc.) and let them know their lead magnet is available down below on this page.  Then include testimonials, imagery from previous projects, etc. between the video and the link to download the lead magnet.  Also, a voucher (discounted service offer) can be placed on this page to entice a buyer to immediately sign up for a low-ticket service or get a quote on their project.  This is done to liquidate the traffic cost (ad spend) by instantly generating revenue
  3. Employ retargeting ads to ensure anyone who visits the landing page is further enticed to return and opt in to claim their lead magnet and join your email list
  4. A 4 or 5-part email sequence providing educational content (with a “light” call to action at the end of each email) pertaining to your company’s services to the prospect
  5. For the leads that opt in for the voucher discount, you and/or your sales stuff must follow up as soon as possible – this increases the chances of closing the sale
  6. After a successful follow up process, you now have a new client!  The fulfillment of the service is placed on your schedule and the up-sell process begins (ex. a new landscape construction client being up-sold a weekly maintenance program after project completion)
  7. As the email sequences are automatically sent out, prospects receive value/education about your services, then after the automatic sequence is complete, individual broadcast emails are dispatched 2-4x per month with education about your services and calls to action/special offers – encouraging them to do business with your company and increasing the Lifetime Value of every lead/client in your business

Creating Your Social Media Ads

Now that you have an idea of a proper value-based sales funnel, it’s turn on your social media ads. Here are step by step instructions on creating a Facebook campaign.

First, create a campaign and select “conversions” as your objective:

social media marketing lawn care

Audience Targeting

The key component to having a successful advertising campaign will be the targeting. You have to get this part right or else your campaign will fail. You have to target people that are in the market for your services.

There are several ways you can do this.

You can target all the homeowners in your city with Facebook targeting. You can even target by the home’s value. You can also target by demographics, interests (such as lawn, landscaping, patios, etc.), net worth, the list goes on and on.

facebook ads for lawn care
facebook ads for snow removal

Audience Targeting

For locally based campaigns, it’s always best to call out the residents in your ads.

Ad Breakdown

Body:

Attention Twin Cities Homeowners!

Feeling overwhelmed with your landscape project? In this free checklist find out what questions you need to ask your landscape contractor. Arm yourself with the inside knowledge and. . .

Protect one of the largest investments you’ll purchase for the exterior of your home.

Free Checklist download here>>> [insert link to your landing page]

Headline: [Free Checklist] The 10 Best Questions To Ask Before You Hire For A Landscape Project

Here are is an ad example that you can model:

landscaper facebook ad
facebook ad for landscaping business

One thing to note is that when people search on Google they are looking for information. On social media, people are scrolling through their news feeds and are not necessarily looking for a contractor to install their patio or clean up the lawn.

They want to check out what their friends and family members are talking about. At that point in time, most don’t have any interest in their lawn, landscape, sprinkler systems, or tree branches that need trimming.

This is why it’s better to lead with a curiosity and value-first approach. A value-first approach will create desire.

Image

Our brain processes images much faster than text which makes the image the most important part of your ad. The image is the first thing people see when they are scrolling through their newsfeed.

As a good rule of thumb, your image has to be relevant to the rest of your ad. If your ad is not performing then the image is ideally the first thing you should change.

Follow Up

Anybody that fills out the voucher discount/offer, it’s best to follow-up immediately with a phone call.  According to Forbes, 71% of web leads are wasted because the follow-up is not done immediately.

Email Marketing

If your leads did not fill out the voucher discount form, it’s still great practice to follow-up with the leads that only downloaded the lead magnet with an automated email sequence sales funnel. The emails would be consist of educational content that provides value to the prospective client.

Retargeting

When it comes to retargeting/remarketing (a.k.a. one of the most powerful ways to reduce your advertising costs and recover potential leads that may not otherwise have opted-in), you’ll need a few different audiences & ads for those audiences to dispatch your ads to:

Conclusion

Social media marketing is an incredibly powerful tool to promote your green industry business. There are several advantages that social media has over other platforms.

You can target your ideal customer, build your authority, and generate leads for your business. Unlike a lead broker, a Facebook/Instagram ad campaign will serve to promote your business locally and puts you in control what you want to offer.

Client Testimonials

Ready To Grow Your Business?