With fall here and the economy in a different spot than last year, pool and spa professionals, like most small businesses are looking ahead with some trepidation. After enjoying a strong post-pandemic boom in the industry, providers are now looking ahead at a more normal course of business in most markets. This extends to planning marketing and advertising spend for the off-season and into 2023.
With so many options to choose from and so much ad "clutter", how do you know where you are likely to receive the best ROI for your company? While traditional advertising options such as home magazines and direct mail have long been a tried and true approach, the return on investment is difficult to quantify and can be quite costly. At the same time, online options have become extremely complicated to make work and for some, a straight up mystery.
Working with companies all across the country, we hear every story. While some operators insist on managing their marketing internally, others engage an agency or trusted advisor. Much of the time, they end up questioning themselves about which approach is the right one. While it is true, effectively communicating a message through advertising has become much more challenging, trusting an agency or marketing company to truly have your best interest at heart can be equally perplexing.
Recently I sat down with Dominick Mondi for the NESPA Podcast and he asked me what we recommend. That answer remains fairly consistent for most companies dealing with the public- start with the basics. We all know that this year, last year and ten years from now, the best potential customer is one that is coming to you with a personal recommendation. Make sure that you've paid proper attention to your online visibility, so that when a consumer is looking for you directly, you are easy to find, offer a solid call to action and that your presence is consistent and represents you well.
Here are some specifics to look out for:
Take stock of your rank – Google represents 90+% of online search. When searching for your business on Google using your company name, how does your business profile look to you? Now try running a few keyword searches from your office and notice where you are placed within the map results.
Maximize your visibility – Google is important, but you never know where someone is going to search for you, which device they are using and where are they geographically in relation to your business. Making sure that you have claimed, built out and maximized all the available directories is an important piece of the puzzle.
Consider social – Facebook remains the most dominant platform to consider, as its users include the most decision makers in U.S. households, so ensure you have a solid business page up, lots of high quality pictures, videos and consistent, creative content added.
Check the competition – Take note of who is advertising in your market for those important key words. Do you know of them, are they truly your competitors? How long have they been running those ads? These answers will give you important insight to consider when creating your plan and an associated budget.
OMG National is a proud associate member of NESPA and we are always here to talk shop with you. There are new options coming down the pike which are game changing and can yield significant increases in picking up market share for your company. Visit us online at www.omgnational.com/nespa and schedule a consultation with us, we're here to help!