BIA: Digital Marketing Boosts Contractor Business

BY Kathy Crosett
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Your local plumbers, electricians and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors tell researchers that they’re happy with the state of business this year. There's always room for improvement though as your clients find that digital marketing boosts contractor business. The booming economy means that 60% of these businesses will not be spending more on advertising in 2019, but they may change how they're choosing to advertise their services. These results are from SAM™, BIA’s Survey of Advertising and Marketing.

Average Budgets

The average trade business spends about $37,150 on advertising on an annual basis. Of that amount, $6,040 relates to yearly promotions. The HVAC sector may be especially prone to promotional advertising. These contractors and installers often qualify for co-​op advertising support from their vendors who want to sell heating units in advance of winter and air conditioning units in advance of summer. You can find information on co-​op advertising programs and limited time opportunities on AdMall from SalesFuel​.com. The funds available to support promotions can help increase your sales and those of your contractors. Some of these co-​op plans also allow for digital marketing which can boost contractor revenue. 

Traditional Advertising

You should also be talking with these clients about their current media mix and how well it’s working for them. BIA findings indicate that the average home and trade service business spends about 48.1% of its advertising budget on traditional media formats. That amounts to about $17,870 every year. These service providers often deliver items like flyers directly to consumer residences. These small to medium-​sized business (SMB) owners also rely on direct mail, newspapers and traditional yellow page advertising efforts. They tell researchers that, for traditional media formats, broadcast TV and radio deliver the highest return on investment.

Digital Marketing Boosts Contractor Businesses

Targeted social media ads rule with a second-​place position in terms of use frequency by contractors. A related survey from the Construction Marketing Association reports that 94% of construction professionals, and this includes plumbers, electricians and home repair and remodeling businesses, use digital marketing to boost their business. Specifically, 49% of these businesses have paid to advertise on Facebook. And, 36% say that Facebook is their most effective social network that they advertise on. At least 70% of these businesses also say that social media advertising has resulted in better brand awareness for their companies.

Your local trade businesses may not be prepared to increase their ad budgets this year. But, they might still want to hear about vendor promotions and how they can reduce the cost of their advertising this year while also expanding its impact. These businesses might also need help improving their social media strategy for their future advertising efforts. Many of these business owners will likely view digital marketing as time consuming and complex. So, you should be prepared to show them how they can track their return on investment and how you can target specific prospects for them. That will be your first step to landing a signed contract.