Before COVID-19 rocked the world, marketing trends were increasingly focused on digitization and enhancing the virtual customer experience. Now, over a year into the global pandemic that has made us even more reliant on the internet and all the ways we stay connected virtually, incorporating digital strategies into your marketing plan is not just a nice-to-have, but a must-have. Consumer behaviors and the way they absorb marketing messages have evolved as people are spending less time in-person and more time on their screens. As a result, your marketing plan needs to evolve as well in order to better engage with your audience and anticipate their needs. Fortunately, making this shift does not have to be an arduous task. If you’re looking for ways to get started or freshen up your marketing strategies to ensure you are embracing this shift to virtual and making the most of your marketing dollars, start with the following three strategies.
While our in-person contact is limited, it’s important that customers can follow your company on social media to keep your business and its services top-of-mind. Your business’ social platforms should be active and engaging, so posting regularly and responding to any inquiries and messages in a timely manner is essential. According to generational research conducted by PPMA, Facebook is the most influential social media source used by all generations for information about pest control services, so it’s important your business is utilizing this platform and the marketing tools it offers to reach customers.
One of these tools, Facebook Live, is a great way to share personal anecdotes and real-life experiences with your followers on Facebook. “Going live” has plenty of perks—it allows you to develop a personal connection with your followers, boosts awareness of your brand and helps to increase overall engagement on your page. You can livestream anything, from a routine home inspection to an unusual pest encounter, and more. If this sounds like a daunting task, think again. Livestreaming on Facebook is extremely user-friendly thanks to advances in mobile technology, so you can broadcast right from your phone. You also have the option to save the live video to your feed afterwards so it will continue to garner engagement even once the live stream has ended. Mainframe subscribers can check out our how-to guide for step-by-step instructions for going live on Facebook.
INVEST IN VIDEO
According to Wyzowl’s 7th Annual State of Video Marketing Survey, video remains a key priority for marketers, with 93 percent of those surveyed saying it’s an important part of their 2021 marketing strategy. Video content is, in general, more engaging than text content. Video is easy to consume, captivating and allows you to tell the story of your business in a concise and impactful way.
We’ve already touched on one way to incorporate video with Facebook Live, but there are many other ways to integrate video into your marketing plan—your company website being one of them. It’s a great platform to showcase video content while enhancing the consumer experience. Customer testimonials, an overview of your business or services and employee spotlights are all areas where video can be a great tool to connect with consumers and add a personal touch. Subscribers to Mainframe also have access to an exclusive library of eye-opening pest footage that can be embedded as video content on your company website.
MONITOR ONLINE REVIEW SITES
PPMA’s generational research survey found that online review sites are among the top three sources that Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers all turn to when looking for a professional pest control service, making sites like Yelp, Google and Angie’s List important tools when marketing your company. If you haven’t done so already, claiming your business on these sites is an important first step. From there, be sure to update your company profile with current information, as consumers come to these sites to learn more about your business, its services and overall customer satisfaction.
One way to make sure no negative mention of your business slips through the cracks is to set up Google Alerts to monitor for posts using your company name alongside other keywords. When a review is posted mentioning your company, you’ll get an email alert sent right to your email at whatever frequency you designate. In addition to setting up and updating these review sites, marketers should also be responding to reviews in a timely manner and encouraging happy customers to leave reviews to reflect the quality of your services and what potential new customers can expect when they come to your business for their pest control needs.
It’s no secret we are all living in a much different world since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe. Between working and schooling from home, Zoom happy hours, family Facetimes and more, our lives are more virtual than ever. As consumer behavior evolves, so too should your business’ marketing strategies. Increasing and optimizing social media use, incorporating video content and monitoring online review sites are crucial steps to ensuring your customer’s virtual experience with your company is a positive one. As we navigate this new way of life and start to think of our lives beyond COVID-19, one thing is certain: digital is here to stay.
Cindy Mannes is the executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance. Visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma for more information.