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:
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 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
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.
- Create a social media advertising campaign (Facebook and Instagram) designed to create curiosity with a lead magnet
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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:
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.
For locally based campaigns, it’s always best to call out the residents in your ads.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.