The Internet has invaded all aspects of our lives, becoming people’s main channel of communication. Smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots make accessing the Web a cinch, so reaching people has never been easier for contractors. And with the proliferation of constant access to the Web, companies large and small are allocating more of their advertising budgets to online marketing. This has given birth to social media marketing, which has several benefits over more traditional ways of promotion and advertising a business.
The numbers are stunning. On average, the digital advertising industry has grown at a rate of 18%. In 2013 alone, companies spent a whopping $120 billion on digital advertising—that’s 15% more than the previous year—with that number expected to grow to $138 billion in 2014, according to eMarketer.
As you can see, it’s all happening online. So what are the benefits of getting your remodeling company there as well? Here are six, for starters.
Low cost: Advertising through social media platforms is inexpensive compared with many offline platforms. In fact, many social media platforms are still free to engage in—apart from the costs associated with the design and production of what you post. Unlike TV, print media, or radio advertising, you certainly don’t need a model, a voiceover artist, or an actor to create ads online.
Broad reach and targeted focus: One of the key drivers—and advantages—of social media advertising over traditional advertising is its reach. Reaching your audience, and more importantly, targeting and focusing on the right kind of prospect has become much easier compared with many of the “shotgun” approaches you have to take just to get a 1% to 2% return offline.
Easy sharing: Your message gets a second life when it’s shared with others in their circles, and sharing on social media and the Web is almost effortless. (Also, something as simple as a mailing list becomes a bit obsolete when you consider the cost savings of not having to pay for ever-increasing postage rates.)
Real-time analysis: With traditional forms of media, real-time analysis of the impact of an ad campaign is almost impossible, and even if it is done, it’s done in the long-term. Conversely, measuring the efficacy of advertising through social media can be done almost instantaneously.
Future-proof: Last but not least, advertising on social media is the future. As mentioned earlier, with the rise in ad dollars spent on online marketing and the “constant hot” connection to the Web, more and more companies will want to be where the eyeballs are ... and that’s online.
Democratization: The Web provides no cover for companies that don’t perform offline. If you have trouble in markets where below-substandard operators exist, then the Web is where you want to be. Trunk slammers and home scammers can’t exist online because they’re flushed out too quickly. That’s why you want your message heard loud and clear, so you rise above the rest of the competition when people are ready to buy.
There are countless other reasons why you should shift your focus online, but let’s just call a spade a spade: Social media is here to stay. If you don’t have the time or the budget to build your brand online, you will be washed away by companies who make the investment.
—Darren Slaughter is the founder and president of DarrenSlaughter.com, a digital agency focusing on website design, social media management, and content creation for home improvement contractors.