Do you often read comments like this: “Marketing doesn’t work. Pay-per-click (PPC) is a waste of money! SEO agencies are all cowboys!’?
Back in April, our Boiler Business article in HVP explained how to use SEO to attract new customers to your business. A year later, there seems to be a lot more talk among community groups about using various SEO and PPC companies to grow businesses, often accompanied by horror stories and distrust of those offering the services.
So let’s get back to basics and pull out the so-called “Plumbers Marketing Handbook”. Both SEO and PPC are what we would call “top of the funnel” marketing channels.
The goal is to attract new customers’ attention to your business and encourage the customer to take action by filling out your online form or calling the company’s number to request your services.
Now, I’m not going to pull the rug out from under the knowledgeable, experienced and honest people who serve this industry with these services and say that SEO and PPC aren’t valuable tools. However, content development and optimization also has a vital role to play in the long-term development of your business, which I will discuss later in this article.
However, before embarking on any type of marketing campaign, it is worth considering whether you have the systems in place to support the extra work it will likely generate for your business.
An analogy I like to use is that of a leaky bucket of water with many holes up and down. Some holes are larger than others. However, the holes in the bottom of the bucket probably lose the most water over time. No matter how big the holes are at the top of the bucket, if you want to catch more water, you need to solve your problems before you turn on the faucet. Does your heating business look like that leaky bucket?
A few years ago, we explained to a group of interns that it doesn’t matter how good your marketing is if your systems aren’t in place to deal with and make the most of the increased volume of new business inquiries.
Speaking from experience, I told the group how our first venture was too one-sided. Stronger in its marketing than in systems, and built on shoddy foundations. It was a thriving and busy business, doing good volume and watching the role of everyone outside the company. Our logo and slogan were visible everywhere you looked in the region. But we had built the leaning tower of Pisa – it almost completely collapsed.
Sales software for industry
About five years ago, my team adopted sales CRM software solutions to improve boiler sales. These software solutions introduced us to the possibilities of arranging customer journeys specific to the way we wanted to sell boiler installations.
Clickfunnels was first, costing £150 per month, followed by Pipedrive’s top option for £35 per month. However, after a few years of building our customer database, we changed the direction of the business, moving to ServiceM8 to focus on servicing the existing database we had built.
Fast forward to 2022, and in recent months two new companies have come forward with their solution for our industry, to deliver a Pipedrive-like customer journey.
Leadpal and Payaca both focus on using technology to improve your business’s quoting and selling process. Unlike many other software systems, these companies have years of experience in the UK heating industry working with other national brands which is extremely valuable to the companies that will be using them.
The crucial difference between the two companies’ platforms is that Leadpal must be used with your field CRM software, such as ServiceM8, SimPro or Commusoft. If you prefer to use one platform rather than putting two together, the other option is Payaca. Payaca has a broader scope for those who want an end-to-end all-in-one software solution.
Content development and optimization
As explained at the top of this article, SEO is all about optimizing your website for search engines like Google. SEO is still a great long-term investment for your business, but it doesn’t solve the problem of the leaky bucket and your business systems.
Before investing funds in the top of funnel marketing channels, you need to fix these holes and improve your front-end customer communications with backend automation to get the best return on time and money invested.
Software systems such as Payaca and Leadpal help optimize content throughout the customer journey, helping you win more work at a higher margin due to the improved perceived value these platforms offer.
Imagine how effective it would be to create blogs and video content, while adding to your SEO top funnel and lead generation.
Is it possible? Yes, it certainly is. If properly planned from the start, your company’s marketing and systems could be much more effective if they were combined rather than treated as two separate areas of business development.
Over the past three years, hundreds of heating engineers have embraced business development with The Boiler Business – Built to Last team. Why not start your journey with the one-day introductory workshop or jump into a six-month program, surrounding yourself with like-minded people from the industry.
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