Like many industries, fencing and decking for both residential and commercial customers are very competitive industries. Many of these types of companies rely heavily on word-of-mouth advertising and incentives placed in local publications mailed to a potential user’s home or business. If this is you, and this type of fence company marketing is working for you, let me be the first to encourage you to keep doing it. Many trades business owners I talk to are fearful that so-called “traditional marketing” is dead, and they are looking for a way to change their entire marketing approach.
Marketing Strategy for your Fence Company – Not Just Posting
As you’ll find in this article, many fence companies use social media marketing to grow their business, drive revenue, and bring in quality leads. However, this does not mean that you should completely abandon anything other than digital. Social media marketing though, can (and should) become an important part of your marketing mix or plan. However, most fencing and decking installation and design professionals struggle to find the right approach when using digital marketing tools like Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Google My Business, Google AdWords, and SEO. Many of them end up pulling their hair out when trying to achieve a positive ROI.
After working with many of these and other types of trades businesses over the years, the Relevant Elephant team and I have found that good things happen when digital marketing tools are used properly for fence and deck companies. So how can your fence company marketing plan use social media to be successful? Below are some things you should be focusing on and an explanation of how to execute each step properly.
- Identify the Right Audience
- Creating the Right Content
- Focus on Generating Leads
- Analyze the Results
#1 Identify the Right Marketing Audience for your Fence Company
Though this may sound simple and basic (and it is), identifying the specific audience you want to market to on the social media platform you choose is the first (and best) place to start. Start by choosing either Residential or Commercial customers. Why? Because successful marketing campaigns need to be two things, consistent and intentional. I don’t think that an ad designed for a B2C customer will work just as well on B2B customers. They won’t. Keep your campaigns (and your audiences) as specific as possible.
Another thing to identify is where your competition is located. Based on the area your fence company services, how many competitors are there? Use Google Maps, Google My Business, or Apple Maps to figure this out. Just type in “Fence Company Near Me” or something similar and then use the results to map out an area. Once you know how many competitors there are, use this information to decide what geographic area you want to use. Remember, like most companies, you will have a limited marketing budget, so create as many efficiencies as you can.
#2 Fence Company Marketing – the Right Content
For your fence company marketing to be successful using social media, you’re going to need content. That means you will have to take some photos and videos, write some copy, and even create some graphics. Please remember that your content is NOT boring. While it might seem boring to post a picture of a fence on your social media channels, it could be exactly what a potential customer needs to see. Be sure to understand that social media is all about telling stories. Therefore, do the best you can find ways to tell stories about your business that will entice your potential customers to stop and look at them.
A good rule of thumb is to start with what you’ve got. If all you have is a cell phone, then do a little research on taking great pictures or videos with your cell phone. If you have professional photos available, use these shots to create graphics using sites like Canva. If you decide to have professional photos or videos made, be sure to understand the process. If you hire someone to come out to create content, be sure you can get multiple days, weeks, or even months’ worth of content from a day or two of shooting.
Keeping it simple is the way to go. If you are selling new, white vinyl fences, get a few good shots; adding your logo with a simple message will do. Don’t try to sell everything in every post. Campaigns that offer Free Quotes should have verbiage about Free Quotes and not much more. You might also be offering Financing, but that is for another campaign. Give the customer what they are asking for, not for everything in your warehouse.
#3 Generating Leads for Your Fence Company
If there’s one step that divides the failures from the successes, it’s this one. Remember that not every post or ad has to sell something, but to make a solid ROI, be sure to include a call-to-action. More importantly, one that generates leads. This means that each of your campaigns must catch the user’s attention, draw them in, fulfill a promise, and then help the potential customer get more information. This can be done in a myriad of ways, but here are the most popular.
Landing Pages & Lead Forms
Create landing pages for your fencing or decking campaigns. Landing pages are one-page websites designed for one specific purpose that you determine. When users click on your post or ad, they go to a landing page designed to convert them into potential leads. This means providing their phone number, email address, or type of fence. Unless your website’s homepage is designed to convert users into leads, you need to create a landing page that will turn them into leads.
Creating a lead gathering form is becoming more and more common on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, as well as Google Adwords. These forms are great because they keep the user on the digital platform and allow the platform to collect the user’s information without leaving the page. Each platform will have a different way of doing this, but, like a landing page, creating a custom form that easily allows you to collect potential customers’ information will typically be the difference between success and failure. Another way of saying this is if all you are doing is posting on your social media sites, you will likely get marginal results. When you begin marketing on your social media platforms, then you will start to see good results. More information about this can be found in my book “Stop Posting! Start Marketing.”
#4 Analyzing the Results of your Social Media Marketing Campaigns
There are many ways of interpreting the viability of your digital marketing campaigns. While most stats and information freely given from Facebook or Google is excellent, it may be intimidating to someone doing this for the first time. Here, I will focus on three metrics that will help you determine if your campaigns are working or not. Reach, Engagement & Growth.
How many people can you reach? Go back to Step #1 and determine how many people you could get with your budget. Maybe you spent $100, or $1,000, or $10,000; it really doesn’t matter. Determining how much it costs to reach 1,000 people at a time (CPM) will help to know if you are getting your money’s worth.
Determining A Positive Engagement Score
How many people can you get to interact (engage) with your campaigns? Check the engagement score or clicks to your ads or posts. Then, divide by the total number of people who saw your content. A good rule of thumb is a 20% engagement rate. This means that if you get 20% of your audience to engage with your content, then your ads are probably healthy. Engagement can also be broken down into a lead generation percentage. Calculate how many leads you received by dividing by the total leads by the people who engaged with your ads. Now, you can adjust your creative and your lead forms or landing pages to determine which ads have the highest engagement scores. You’ll also now know which campaigns are generating the most leads. Then wash, rinse and repeat.
How many new followers did you get? Check the number of followers at the beginning of the month, and then again at the end and see if you are picking up any new followers. What you want is to achieve good engagement, generate leads, and pick up new followers. If you can do that, then congratulations, because you completed a successful social media marketing campaign for your fence company! If not, keep trying, or reach out to the team at Relevant Elephant. We’re happy to help.
Fence Company Marketing Success
Keep the mindset that you are actively marketing and not just posting on your social media channels. Marketing is a strategic action that requires time, energy, and intentionality. Posting is the action of placing content on social media pages. Follow these steps, and realize that failure is part of the process. Keep at it, and you’ll be in a much better place for successful fence company marketing on social media platforms. For more information on this, be sure to check out our book and podcast.