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Increase your site’s exposure with a content strategy
Your website is a tool. As a local contractor, you know that any tool is only as good as the hand that wields it. So what good is a website if you don’t know how to use it? If you’re not posting content regularly, your website is nothing more than an online business card. And these days, you need your site to be more than that. Having a content strategy can help take some of the guess work out of creating content and help keep you focused.
What is a content strategy?
It’s a plan of attack. It helps you define who you’ll be speaking to, as well as how you’ll be communicating with them. When you think about a content strategy for local contractors, you want to consider who your target audience is. Think about if you’re a residential or commercial contractor, how old your average customer is, and what their common problems are. Create an outline of the type of person they are. You’ll need to keep this in mind in order to know what networks they like to use. Then you need to decide what platform is best to reach them on.
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3 easy content strategies that WORK
Focus on your jobs
People love to watch experts do their jobs. And it can be easy to integrate this approach into your day to day work. All you need is a smartphone or similar device. While you’re working on a job, take a few minutes to document what you’re doing. Explain the work you’re doing and some of the challenges that you faced. As you’re finishing up, don’t forget to showcase the end product as well as your fine craftsmanship.
To really make this work, you should consider setting up a social media account at YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. Then, as you’re taking pictures and videos, you can simply start a livestream. You won’t need to edit and it is instant content. Then if you’re really feeling ambitious, you can easily spin this into a supporting blog post or showcase the new content on your homepage. You can also use any images or videos to spruce up your existing content pages.
Help identify potential issues
How many jobs do you get called on that could have been avoided with some simple preventative maintenance? While you don’t want to put yourself out of a job, you will build trust and credibility with your customers if you help them identify problems before they become critical issues. For example, a rattling pipe or flickering light could be taken care of more easily than a broken pipe or shorted circuit. By creating content that helps them see these problems, you also open up an opportunity to promote regular maintenance checkups as a service that you provide.
This type of content makes great fodder for a blog, or for before/after pictures that showcase what can happen when you don’t take care of problems early on. Make sure you have a blog section on your website. You should also create a profile on an image-based platform such as Instagram. You can post a picture slideshow of before, after, and even a short video explanation of what happened and what type of maintenance could have prevented it.
Tell customer stories
Nothing helps you connect with customers better than a good customer story. Think about some of the clients you’ve done work for over the years. Think about the problems they had and the worry that was in their voice when they first called you. Then think about their relief after a job well done. This can be a great source of stories for your content strategy. By telling customer stories you can demonstrate your value, skill, and the connection that you make with the people you help.
The best way to relay this is either through a traditional written blog, or a video blog where you speak directly to the camera. You can also include quotes or clips of your customers themselves. This option may require some light video editing in order to bring it all together, and you’ll need to find some customers that are willing to speak to the camera. Most customers are happy to help if you position this to them honestly. Explain to them that their testimony will help other people get a better understanding of how you can help them so they know exactly what to expect.
Don’t forget the right tools for the job
The easiest way to make sure you’re producing high-quality content is to use a modern smartphone. The iPhone X is great option for content creators. With a 12 megapixel, wide-angle and telephoto camera, you’ll have an easy to use device with professional-grade results. The iPhone X also includes ‘portrait mode’ which lets you focus in on an object that is close to the camera, while blurring the background, creating an even higher level of professionalism in your content.
For users that are looking for a larger display and may want something more traditional that can serve the all around working device, we really love our Microsoft Surface Pro. It is light-weight and super portable. While it may be small, it still packs all the punches of a computer with the familiar Microsoft operating system that is great for running your whole business.
But you don’t need to be on the cutting edge of technology to create great content. Even the most basic smart phones or an old-school point-and-shoot camera can save you money while still enabling you to create great content.
Whatever you do, just make sure to pick a strategy, set a posting schedule, and then stick to it. Then, re-purpose your content into other mediums such as ebooks or newsletters. Your continued engagement with customers through various channels will ultimately be the primary driver of your success.