Running a plumbing business has its unique challenges. Unlike other industries that can target a specific audience or rely on seasonal upticks, you need to reach two distinct markets all year round:
1. The panicked customer with a burst pipe or other emergency who needs to find a nearby plumber ASAP
2. The routine maintenance or install customer, who takes their time to research and compare plumbing companies to find the best fit for their project
To grow your plumbing business, you need marketing strategies to address both types of customer, all while competing in a crowded market. We won’t pretend there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. The good news is, you can start small and still get great results.
What is the starting point to market my plumbing business?
Online marketing is the best place to start because it’s easy to scale; you can reach a wide audience with little cost and effort. Even if you’re just starting your plumbing business and have little to none experience with digital marketing, you can still get started without having to hire an expensive marketing agency.
So what do I do now?
1. Claim your Google Business listing
Search engines such as Google are the first place emergency call-in customers will go to find help. If you want them to find you, you need to set up your Google my Business listing. Setting up your local listing is easy—all you need is your company name, address, and contact info.
2. Create a plumbing website that converts
The second step to being found online is to beef up your online presence. A professional-looking website will increase your visibility and credibility to help you get more leads. The trick is to keep your plumbing website simple, clean and informative so emergency call-in customers can find the information they need, fast.
3. Set up a Facebook page
A professional Facebook page is another way to be found fast. Of all the social media platforms, Facebook has the most users and the most conversion-friendly features. Plus, it’s free, easy to set up and track.
4. Gather and manage online reviews
Positive online reviews are crucial to growing your plumbing business, you’re entering your customers’ home or business, after all, and often in unpleasant or stressful situations. Before they buy from you, they need to trust you. Plumbing businesses with bad reviews will ultimately work against you.
5. Use call-only ads
Put yourself in your emergency customer’s shoes. They don’t have time to research or fill out web forms—they want to speak to a real person who can help them now. If you’re ready to start advertising, try using call-only online ad campaigns. These ads show up only on people’s smartphones and offer direct click-to-call functionality. This is a simple way to target your ad spend straight at the emergency call-out customer at the exact moment they need your services.
6. Create expert plumbing content
Plumbing is a specialized industry, and most consumers don’t know much—if anything—about it. Help your market feel educated and empowered, and you’ll win their trust and their business. The IOPSA & PIRB websites have a wealth of knowledge that you could use as a starting point for this content.
7. Get more leads with work requests
Unlike emergency customers who want to talk to a plumber right away, the research-phase customer will probably want to send a brief description of their project and find out if you can help. In order to win their business, you need a system to respond quickly and professionally to these requests.
Emails aren’t a very good option because it’s easy for them to be lost in your busy inbox or sent to spam. Instead, give your customers the option to create a work request right from your website or social media page.
8. Use customer service as a marketing tool
Advertising and social media are pieces of the marketing puzzle, but excellent customer service is by far the most effective, cost-efficient, and long-term growth strategy for any plumbing business, providing impeccable customer service will help boost good reviews and testimonials which consumers trust.
9. Align yourself with an organization
Aligning yourself with an organization can help market your business in a multitude of ways. Showing on your platforms that you belong to an industry body helps promote professionalism and trust in your business. These organization’s will also market the use of their members over others such as the Institute of Plumbing SA who currently has over 220 customers searching for a plumber on their system EVERY DAY!
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get marketing!
Written by Kaela Wilson
National Marketing Manager - IOPSA