If you’re starting up your own cleaning business, you’ll be spending a lot of time planning it. From equipment hire to insurance, this can be a long-winded and difficult process.
On top of this, you’ll have to consider how to market yourself — and the best way of doing this is through online marketing. This type of marketing is increasingly important to customer acquisition, as both commercial and residential clients continue to go online in their search for service providers. Whether you’re looking for information on setting up your own website or using social media, here we’ll take a look at how you can use online marketing to showcase your business.
Why online marketing is important
Broadly speaking, online marketing refers to all the different ways you can help potential customers find your business via the internet. This includes social media, online advertising, email marketing, search engine marketing and setting up a business website. These digital activities now play a key marketing role for many businesses, alongside traditional methods like flyers, radio ads, and print advertising.
In fact, around 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses, and so it’s more important than ever that you focus on online marketing in getting your business out there.
Digital methods also have a key advantage over traditional marketing, as their effects are often easier to measure. With a sponsored post on Facebook or Twitter, you can see in real-time exactly how many users have engaged and clicked through to your site — something you’d never get with traditional newspaper ads.
Marketing online can also be done well on a low budget — in some cases without spending a penny. You’ll need to use some elbow grease, but by mastering online marketing you can showcase your cleaning company like never before.
Online marketing channels: what to focus on
As a cleaning company, your website is going to be your shop window for prospective customers. If set up correctly, it should attract search engine traffic from people looking for cleaning services in your area. You’ll probably also receive direct website visits from people who’ve been told about your company and want to find out more about it.
If you’re comfortable with computers, you could try setting up your own site with a service like Wix (which best for beginners) or WordPress (which can be a bit trickier). Alternatively, and if you have the budget, it might be worth commissioning a website design from a local web design company.
With so many social media platforms to choose from, it’s tricky to know where to start in this area of online marketing. We recommend focusing on one or two social media profiles to begin with, and running them as well as possible.
Facebook is often a great place to start, as it can accommodate a wide variety of content that can convince customers to use your services — including video banners, images, reviews, and informative content.
Beyond Facebook, it’s a tossup between LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. If you plan on heavily targeting commercial clients, we’d recommend the business-focused social platform, LinkedIn. If you’re targeting residential clients, then Instagram or Twitter might be a better option.
Pay-per-click advertising is a type of paid-for advertising, usually done via search engines. For example, the PPC service Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) can get your website listed as a sponsored result at the top of relevant Google search results pages. Unlike with “organic” search results, you’ll pay a fee every time someone clicks through to your site.
PPC is widely considered the most specialised digital marketing discipline, so we’d generally advise paying an expert to do yours for you. However, if you’re up for the challenge of doing it yourself, you can get free help with the setup from a Google Ads Specialist.
Marketing for commercial and residential clients
Commercial cleaning clients and residential cleaning customers tend to differ in terms of the services they require, how they look for those services online, and which marketing messaging resonates with them most strongly.
We’d advise targeting commercial and residential customers with separate marketing activities — for instance, dedicated services pages on your website for each client type, and separate Facebook sponsored post campaigns.
Online marketing isn’t an exact science, and it’s not always easy to predict which type of marketing will appeal most to each type of customer. The best way to get some clarity on the situation is to continually monitor how many people are engaging with your marketing activities, and how many sales and enquiries are coming through as a result.
These marketing ‘success metrics’ can be monitored using free analytics tools that link up with your social accounts and website, such as:
- Facebook Analytics
- Twitter Analytics
- Google Analytics (this tells you about who is visiting your website, how they find it and what they do on it).
Using analytics to track your campaigns will help you form successful online marketing strategies for both the commercial side and the residential side of your business.
Is your company set up and ready to go?
Before you put your plan in place and start using your online marketing campaign, you need to be sure your company itself is properly set up. Whether this involves office registration, accounting assistance, or insurance, we’re here to help you with the process.