In the restoration business, effective marketing boils down to two things: showing your work, and proving your process. By staying focused on those ideas, you will give prospective clients confidence you can handle the job, and make the restoration experience smooth and enjoyable. Here are a few ways to put these ideas in motion.
1) Add or Improve an Image Gallery on Your Website
Before and after images, as well as series of images showing the evolution of a restoration project, convey a strong sense of your company’s capabilities and skills. Having a gallery on your website will be persuasive, but it must be set up correctly.
- Make the gallery easy to navigate at a high level. Divide images according to the type of restoration, or whatever other high-level differentiation makes sense for your business.
- Add captions to the images. Captions allow you to highlight essential aspects of the job and important ways you do the job better.
- Have a competent Web designer manage the handling of images on your website. They must be properly formatted and stored on your website server to make gallery Web pages load quickly. Slow loading pages are a huge turnoff for website visitors.
- Provide at least a brief narrative for every set of images. The narrative should again highlight key aspects of the project, and be written in a way that is scannable - website visitors scan rather than read.
- When visitors view your gallery, they will be impressed, and thus in a mood to contact you. Be sure to have a prominent contact form on all gallery Web pages (you may want separate pages for each set of images or each project). Also, make sure your phone number displays prominently.
2) Put Your Gallery to Work
Email. Once you have a first-class gallery, don’t let it just sit there waiting for people to visit. Link to the gallery in your email marketing; for instance, write a blurb that you just completed a project, and include one high-powered image of the project as a teaser. Link to the full project-gallery Web page, or your gallery home page. This is effective because it brings visitors to a part of your website where they will be inclined to browse and make contact.
Social Media. Share gallery images on social media! Social media platforms are highly visual. People love sharing images; when your images include links to your gallery pages, you have another way to bring qualified traffic to your website. There is a huge, active DIY audience on social media, which is good and bad for restoration companies. The good news is, lots of people will be interested in your gallery images. The bad news is, you need great images and a robust social media presence to stand out from the crowd. It’s probably a worthwhile effort for residential /DIY restoration.
User Reviews. Make your gallery an even stronger tool for lead generation by including user reviews/testimonials in your gallery, and gallery project subpages. When visitors see not only the images, but also clients talking about how great a job you did, you’ve turned a simple Web page into a lead generating machine. Encourage clients to talk about the quality of the work, and also the quality of the restoration experience.
Don’t stop there. By giving clients access to their project images and encouraging them to post those images along with a review of your work on sites like Yelp, Google Plus and Angie’s List, you will improve your local SEO results, extend brand awareness, and open whole new channels of qualified website traffic.
3) Galleries Serve Many Purposes
Links to your website gallery can also be displayed on your sales collateral, as links in early- and late-stage email communication with prospective clients, in online press releases, and in off-site articles you write on restoration industry websites and blogs. By consistently concentrating on one aspect of your website as the focus for lead generation, you can cut the process of online marketing — which often seem overwhelming — down to manageable size.
That’s the formula for success!
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