As home service business owners get back to work after the holiday season, many turn their thoughts to planning for the next year. What better way to start 2018 off strong than with a look into some of the marketing trends set to dominate 2018?
For decades, businesses in the home services industry relied on old-hat marketing tactics like Yellow Page ads and word of mouth. While these strategies can certainly produce results, in 2018 we'll see a major shift into personalization and technology based strategies to produce real results.
Instagram Is Here To Stay
The old adage "a picture is worth 1,000 words" has never been truer than in 2018 marketing. As one of the fastest growing social networks, as of 2017 Instagram boasts an average of 500 million daily active users. With such high level of engagement coupled with Facebook's big data at their disposal, Instagram stands to be a major player for any business – especially home services – over the next year.
It's no secret that homeowners rely on user reviews and photo galleries when choosing a home services provider for everything from plumbing remodels to new deck installations. Instagram offers home service providers an outlet to showcase professional photos of their work to thousands of potential customers every day. What might be more of a secret is how much revenue potential lies within Instagram marketing.
In 2017, the International Business Times reported Instagram advertisers accounted for $1.53 billion global ad revenue, a 144% increase over the previous year. Wordstream reports that 120 million users engaged with Instagram ads by contacting the company directly or visiting their website. Whether your business is niche and focuses on new bathroom remodels, or is a "jack-of-all-trades" business, you cannot afford to ignore Instagram marketing in 2018.
Invest In Live Events
In a 2017 study conducted by Bizzabo Blog, it's estimated that 63% of businesses will invest in live events as part of their 2018 marketing strategy. And it's not hard to understand why.
2018 marketing is all about making real connections. Among the many ways to meet potential new customers, live events – either hosting or attending – remains chief among them. If you run a home improvement business, live events provide an opportunity to showcase your talents with live demos, Q&As, and even DIY tips and tricks all while building up contact information, promotional video and photos from the event, blog coverage, and of course, even signing up a few new customers.
Though by no means comprehensive, Absolute Exhibits has compiled a list of popular trade shows to consider attending in 2018. And if none of these appeal to you, think about hosting your own live event!
Be Prepared For Voice Search
Siri. Alexa. Google Home.
These are just some of the major players in voice assistant software developed over the last decade. As use of these assistants become more commonplace in 2018, home service marketers will need to make sure their content strategies are prepared to handle voice search.
Before the rise in popularity of voice search, SEOs focused their content efforts primarily on keyword targeting. While this strategy isn't going away, as voice search becomes more dominant, your content must be prepared to handle the way this artificial intelligence "thinks."
The Mark Growth Blog has cited three core qualities of optimizing your content for voice search:
Question Phrasing: Focus your content around answering popular "who," "what", "where," "when," and "why" questions posed around your theme.
Be Local: Mark Growth cited a study that showed over 50% of searches are looking for local businesses on their phones. Make sure your ads emphasize your locality to ensure you show up in these voice searches.
Length Could Be Key: Based on their research, Mark Growth recommends the sweet spot of 1-3 words to maximize clicks and impressions
With Google's own blog estimating that over half of all search traffic will be voice search, now more than ever it is vital to have a plan in place to optimize your content and ads for voice search.
Highly Targeted Ads
If you want to maximize conversion and see real results, you need to tailor your ads to the right kind of people. Being able to separate your ideal customer from your actual customer is going to become one of the single most important things to learn when refining your 2018 marketing plan.
The name of the game in 2018 is personalization, but you can't make your ads personal if you don't know your customers. As digital companies with access to big data like Facebook develop tools like the Facebook Pixel to help you understand conversion and get an idea of who is responding to your ads, businesses have access to more insight into their audiences than ever before. Once you determine your most likely customer, you can begin targeting the right customers with the right keywords.
Professional Quality Video Ads
Video ads aren't a new concept, but in 2018 expect marketers to up their video production game. Gone are the days when low quality, amateurish videos will get the job done. This year, marketers will invest time and money into producing high quality, concise video ads to capture the attention of their audience.
While the best way to ensure high quality would be to hire a professional, that may not always be in your budget. As a home service provider, one of your most powerful advertising tools lies in proving your work and using your expertise. With this guide to creating professional quality videos from your smartphone, nearly any worker on your job site can capture beautiful before and after video to share with your audience.
Each new year brings a variety of new trends in marketing. With a focus on these trends, your home services business can be a cut above the rest and spring into 2018 ahead of the curve.
What 2018 marketing trend has you most excited? Share with us in the comments below.