What You Need to Get Started with New Digital Marketing Channels
Maybe your company or contracting business is just starting out with digital marketing channels like Facebook or maybe you’re already looking towards broadening out your reach. Whether you’re just getting started or expanding what you’re already doing, it’s great to get to know what channels like Instagram or YouTube could do.
Disclaimer: We know Instagram and YouTube are by no means “new”. However, for companies and contractors in the better building sector, like solar installers, HVAC or home performance contractors, using these channels effectively is something that’s just being tested and optimized.
So what do you need (besides a login) in order to get started with YouTube or Instagram?
While it’d be great to just sign up, login and go, getting started with these channels requires thought and planning.
What are your goals?
Most of our clients would say that their number one goal is to get more leads and high-quality ones — at that. We hate to break the news to you, but you’re unlikely to see many leads converting directly from Instagram or YouTube. However, these channels are excellent for increasing brand awareness, establishing your voice in the industry or community, and nurturing potential customers down the funnel.
When you make the decision to get started with yet another digital marketing channel, you need to make sure you establish benchmarks. Be sure you understand what that channel can do for you and establish a way to track what’s happening with Google Analytics. Also, be sure you understand the implications of using these channels organically via using them to advertise. With a great amount of attention and care, you can succeed in building a community organically. However, if you want to increase reach and get in front of new people, you should have your wallet at the ready.
In addition to being prepared to expand your audience, you need to make sure you know who you want that audience to be. If you’re already using Facebook, using similar targeting parameters on Instagram and YouTube can be successful. Remember, if you decide to advertise, include some type of call to action — have something along the lines of “Are you experiencing a similar problem? Call us to see how our team can help.” or “Learn more about how we helped.” at the ready for each ad.
Apart from a solidified strategy, to get started with platforms like YouTube or Instagram you need to have the right assets.
High-Quality Images & Videos
It’s no secret that these channels are highly visual. In fact, everything on the internet nowadays is heading in a more design-driven direction — you wouldn’t dare post a blog without at least one image to go along with it, right?
Although in the better building sector many companies still rely on stock photography for channels like their website or even Facebook, on Instagram and YouTube, you have to get personal. That means taking out your smartphone and snapping images and filming videos on the job, of your crew and even of your customers. This will require some work on your end that you might not be used to, so be prepared — plan some shots you might want to take and then don’t leave the site until you have them.
Some ideas to get you started include:
Before and after shots
Actually installing an HVAC system or insulation might not be the most appealing image to capture, but everyone likes a before and after comparison.
Feature customers by describing their pain points and how your company was able to help — give people something to relate to.
Unusual, unique or funny things that happen on the job
Highlight things that might be interesting so your company’s personality shines through.
Show off your staff by featuring their expertise and putting even more faces to the name of your business.
Whatever your business is doing in the community, be sure to share it. Snap a picture or a quick video that highlights your company’s involvement.
Walk people through the process of what you’re doing. How exactly does that energy audit reveal air leaks or how are solar panels actually attached?
Although case studies are effective in helping customers choose your company, we find some companies seem to drag their feet on getting all the required information gathered. The visual and quick format of Instagram and YouTube make getting a photo or a short video on the job easy. Yes, you’ll have to write a caption or explain the story throughout the video, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be sharing the stories of what you and your company do on a regular basis instead of posting a case study on your site once every two years.
Getting started with new marketing channels isn’t necessarily easy and definitely takes a lot of strategy to successfully impact your business. With the right plan, however, it can be done — and it can even become routine.