Roofing Contractor caught up with Greg Hoffman, the president of Roofing Contractor Marketing, to get a preview of his IRE presentation titled “New Marketing Fundamentals for Roofing Contractors in 2012”and some insights on marketing in the modern era.
Roofing Contractor:What are some new media tips contractors can use to help their businesses?
Greg Hoffman: The most important thing every business owner should do is to claim their Google Places map listing as well as Yahoo and Bing local listings. To claim your company listing is simple but you also need to follow the instructions from Google on completing all the information requested. A complete listing will give the search engines as much info as possible about your business, improving your chances of being listed higher in their results.
Next, get positive reviews posted on Google, Yahoo and Bing. You need at least six reviews to get the “Gold Stars” listed under your company name. People like to see five Gold Stars and will more readily click on one who does versus one who does not.
RC: Does social media play an important role for roofing contractors? How can they put it to better use?
GH:Social media is evolving and most people think of Facebook first or maybe twitter but social media is more than that now and will continue to integrate into everything. Social media is the integration of information and personal influencers. Media was formerly a one-way street of TV, Radio, Yellow Pages or Newspaper, etc delivering content. ALL media is now “social” to some degree and will be more so moving forward. Social media is an integration of content from all sources, public and private, mixed with opinions or “likes” and experiences of people you know, trust or admire.
The challenge for roofing with social media is that most people replace the roof on their less than one time in their lives. It’s not a high frequency purchase so the options on how to drive business with social media are different for roofing than for retail or others products. The greatest opportunity in social media for roofing contractors is reputation building. Encouraging happy customers to share their experience about your company is fantastic. People are leery of roofing contractors in general. They want to know your company is trusted and well liked. Reward customers for liking your Facebook page or for writing a note of thanks on your Facebook company page. Then make sure your Facebook page is integrated into the home page of your website so people can easily view all the amazing reviews.
RC: Where do you see the media market heading in 2012?
GH: RCM sees media continuing to evolve towards complete integration of all media — meaning mobile phones, social media, traditional media with internet access and that dependence will deepen – no matter what your age, there is no ignoring it.
Many people thought only “twenty-somethings” were the tech savvy generation who “get it,” but even the oldest baby boomers, who are now in their late 60s, are fully integrated into the modern world. There is no avoiding it. What that means to a roofing contractor is that they too need to fully embrace technology and integrate it into their operation at all levels or be left behind and fast.
RC:What are some critical elements to include on a company’s website?
GH: First of all you need a website that Google can read so you have a chance to show up when someone looks for you or for someone in your business category.
After the proper technology platform, every website should have the following:
• Make an offer or give an incentive to call now.
• Include a phone number in the upper right hand corner.
• Links to read reviews about you on third party sites (Google Reviews, Yelp, etc).
RC:What is the importance of Google map placement for local search results?
GH: Google maps are very important but the reviews are more important. You need to show up on the maps but your reviews need to tell a story of good work.
For more information about Roofing Contractor Marketing, call 888-474-7276, e-mail info@RoofingContractorMarketing.com, or stop by booth 963.