Guest blog by Wendy Komancheck, who blogs and writes web content for the lawn care and landscape industries. You can learn more about her at www.landscapewriter.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ve heard it a million times. You might’ve gotten emails, Facebook & LinkedIn notifications to do it yourself. You probably used it to find a local pizza joint or other local business.
What in the world am I talking about?
Content marketing means that you use social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, your blog, Twitter, your website, etc., to grow your audience, build trust, and become an expert in the lawn care industry.
And it’s no longer an option—but a necessity—if you’re going to survive and thrive in this new business atmosphere.
But don’t feel that you need to do this alone. A lot of service companies are popping up to help green businesses put their companies on the Internet. There are Internet marketing companies, business management companies, and content marketing writers who can help you get your business on Google’s map, both figuratively and factually.
Here are 10 ways to effectively start using content marketing to boost your lawn care company’s bottom line:
- You want to build trust– Building trust is one of the fundamental purposes to using social media to market your lawn care business. Why? Because today’s consumers research you before they call you. The more you engage them through social media, the more they learn to trust you.
- The new word of mouth– I read on one Linked In group’s post that actual word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. And I agree. Why not capitalize on that to include the new digital word of mouth which is social media?
- You want to be seen as an expert– When you use good sources and can speak to people’s concerns over their lawns, you’ll be earning their trust. And they’ll keep coming back to your blog, Facebook page or Twitterfeed to see what else you can help them with.
- Localization – I can’t preach this one enough. It’s imperative that you localize your business on the web—from your site, to your blog posts, to other forms of communicating with others in your geographic network. The people within a 100-, 200- or 300-mile radius are the folks that you’ll be doing business with. Read more about localization at http://tinyurl.com/p4t279e.
- Speak to your ideal client– Picture him or her in your mind. How do you find your ideal client? Think about who mostly calls you to come to their home to analyze their yard. What age group? Is it the wife or the husband? Are they dual career families? How much can they spend on lawn care? Think of that “person” and speak to them when you write blogs, Facebook posts, etc.
- Focus on your clients’ needs and wants– What kinds of questions do you field most often from your clients? What grass diseases is your region prone to? Does your area have sandy, clay or a mixture of both types of soil? Do most of your clients want you to use organic methods? Do they know what IPM is? Start with blog posts on these topics. Then you can take points from your blogs to share on your Twitterfeed and Facebook posts.
- Watch the buzzwords– Sure, you know the ins and outs of thatch build up and how to get rid of it. You know the Latin names of all types of grass-eating insects. But do your readers care? They may care to a certain extent, but don’t bog them down with too much information because they’ll start to tune you out. Think of it this way, when you go online to find a restaurant, do you want to know the origin of basil or do you want to know who makes the best homemade spaghetti sauce in your region? You may appreciate that they make their own sauce with fresh basil, but you don’t need to know the intricacies of basil’s origin and varieties.
- Google keyphrases – This is an area where I’ll try not to bore you with my industry’s buzzwords. Yet, knowing the keyphrases that people plug in to find you will help you better target your blog posts and other social media content. This is an area where your web designer or Internet marketing agency can help you. Here are some tips to bringing your web designer and content writer together, http://tinyurl.com/nzqcho2.
- Use the best available information – For example, for my lawn care and landscape clients, I rely a lot on PLANET and land care universities, such as Penn State and Cornell, to get the latest information that my clients’ readers need to know.
- Don’t plagiarize – Can you tell I was an English teacher in a former life? If you have a hard time taking information and putting it together your own words, then hire someone who does know how to do that. If you do write your own content, don’t forget to list your sources at the end of your blog. Don’t worry about technique as much as putting down the author, title of the piece, where you found it, and a link.
All of this information may sound overwhelming to you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to Internet marketing agencies, web designers, and writers to help you with some of these social media chores.