Struggling to come up with exciting marketing ideas for your “boring” service business? Here are seven ways to turn up the heat on your next campaign.
1. Get visual with your content marketing
Since the takeover of visual social media like Instagram and Pinterest, it might seem like businesses that sell sexy products are having all the fun. But there’s no reason that less glamorous industries can’t get in on the action.
For businesses that don’t lend themselves naturally to visual media, the key to success is to think in terms of the abstract – and don’t be afraid to bend the rules. For instance, an audience that appreciates home décor is also likely to be interested in home improvement services, so why not feature images of beautiful interiors on your HVAC business’ Instagram account?
Alternately, think about the benefits that people gain from your service, or the problems that your business helps solve. For example, HVAC services can help reduce the effects of seasonal allergies, so use images to draw attention to this pain point.
2. Run a contest on social media
Social campaigns – like sweepstakes, quizzes, and photo contests – are a great way to add a viral effect to your marketing. By offering an incentive, even businesses in the most boring industries can boost engagement, drive traffic, and generate new fans and subscribers.
Tools like Woobox and ShortStack make it easy for anyone to manage and track social campaigns. You can reward visitors who share your contest with their friends, or require entrants to complete specific actions, such as liking your Facebook page.
3. Create share-worthy local resources
Local service businesses can raise awareness and generate leads by producing or sponsoring helpful reference material for the local community.
Examples of locally relevant content include:
1. A guide to kid-friendly restaurants
2. A list of live music events
3. An interview with a local celebrity
Promote your content via social media or your e-newsletter, offer it as a lead magnet, or publish it in a local magazine or newspaper.
4. Teach your followers something useful
Tutorials and how-to content have always been popular with the Internet at large, and they present an opportunity for service businesses to shine. To find out what your potential customers could use help with, spend some time hanging out in forums or on Quora – or, better yet, ask your followers what kind of content they’d like to see. To give your tutorials an extra dimension, use multimedia like YouTube videos, podcasts, or live webinars.
For inspiration, check out licensed contractor Beth Allen’s YouTube channel, DIYHipChicks. She takes the relatively bland subject of home improvement and makes it appealing to the everyday woman, while infusing her message with a bit of provocative humor.
5. Get creative with your blog content
One of the greatest marketing challenges for service businesses is coming up with blog content that potential customers actually want to read. By branching out into broader, tangentially related themes, even the most niche businesses will find themselves with unlimited topics to blog about.
Take Dollar Shave Club as an example. The company sells a monthly subscription for razor blades, but they don’t limit their blog to shaving topics. Instead, they publish a diverse mix of content – often irreverent and always entertaining – on lifestyle topics ranging from barbecuing to drinking beer in the shower.
6. Start a community of enthusiasts
Major social platforms like Facebook and Google have made it easy for anyone to start their own niche community, and small businesses and brands alike are latching on. A successful group can range from just a few enthusiastic members to millions of members strong.
Do you own a daycare service? Start a group where neighborhood parents can exchange tips and resources. Run a landscaping company? Consider building a community where local barbecue enthusiasts can swap recipes.
An active community can help strengthen your relationship with current customers and connect you with potential future ones. While your members may not need your services right now, when the need arises you’ll be top of mind.
7. Team up with other local businesses
Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to keep things interesting. Consider pairing up with a local business that offers products or services complementary to your own. For instance, a local laundromat might team up with a wedding planner to offer deals on dry cleaning services.
A smart partnership can open the door to some uniquely interesting possibilities.
- Co-authoring an ebook
- Trading exclusive promo codes
- Co-hosting a podcast
- Collaborating on blog content
With strategic partnerships, you can create more exciting campaigns while extending your reach and delivering compelling value.
No matter how boring you think your business is, there’s always a way to spice up your marketing – all it takes is the right angle.