If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times. Find “creative ways” to stand out from the crowd in your marketing. But with competition being so prevalent in this industry, how does a restoration company really do that? Is it marketing to insurance agents and adjusters, to plumbers, to the general public? Is it traditional marketing or online marketing – what?

Often when we start talking about “creative marketing” our ambitious, entrepreneurial brains begin trying to concoct clever ideas. We think we need to come up with something “no one has ever done before” and this is simply not true. Creative marketing is mainly about finding ways to create new strategies that reach, impact, and move people to action– no matter who that audience is.

To truly create impactful marketing you must remember one thing above all else… be genuine. Consumers are smart and can see right through marketing ploys that are gimmicky or overly salesy. Look to resources and platforms you have already invested in and try to find ways to improve them with a little outside-the-box thinking that is true to your identity and that of your company.

Here is a look at a few creative ideas that you may not have thought about, but that can differentiate you from your competition.

Build Your Email List

You are probably thinking “but how do I get people to give me their email address”?  It’s simpler than you think. First, give your potential customer a compelling reason to give it to you. Give them something for free in exchange for their email address. It can be something as simple as a free report that outlines the benefits of your particular service versus that of the competition or a guide on how to remove spots from carpet, or a discount on your service. This is a great place to get creative with an appealing offer.

Gather email addresses directly from your website and give EVERYONE who visits the opportunity to give you their contact information. If you are like most restoration companies, you underutilize all your website can do for your marketing. Your website can be a huge resource, so look for ways it can help you build your email list. This is best done with a “pop-up” on the homepage of your website.

You always want to be building your list of prospects and providing informative and engaging messaging through email. At the end of the day, when it comes to marketing your business online – a big email list is really the only asset you own. Plus, once you have someone’s email address, it’s absolutely FREE to market to them. Talk about a “no-brainer.”

Be Social

Use social media and in particular – Facebook. Seriously, with over half the population of the U.S. on Facebook, there is literally no other platform that allows you to get in front of your preferred, target market more consistently. But remember to be SOCIAL and not SALESY. And, don’t fall victim to the adage that restoration companies can’t effectively market on Facebook.

Simply put, if Facebook marketing is not working for you it’s because you are doing it wrong. Bottom line is, your customers are there and you need to be there too. However, you are going to need to find your voice. Be real, be genuine, and be likeable.

A fabulous tool is “Facebook Live”. It allows you to engage with your followers by streaming live video out to them. It offers endless opportunities to give people a glance into the world of your company. Let them see who you are, what you do, and how much you care.

Facebook Live is now available for Facebook Business pages. Go to your page, select publish (just like you are going to write a post), select Live Video, describe your video and then select “Go Live”.  Your fans can be notified that you are live on Facebook and afterwards the video will save to your Facebook wall for others to view.

This is the perfect place for your company’s message to cut through today’s media clutter and genuinely connect with people who may need your services. You must be authentic, which just means real and genuine. Authenticity in marketing refers not only to your brand, but to every aspect of your business.

Improve Interaction

Interact with your customers, lead sources and potential customers by using trivia, surveys, pools, game brackets, etc. You will NOT be the first one to use these ideas, but people love to see the fun and interesting side of the people inside the business and they love to take part in cool stuff.  So do cool stuff with them.  People love the “chance to win” something, no matter what it is, and when it’s done in a group setting where everyone can see the results, it makes the “competition” a lot more fun. If you want a lot more bang for your buck, make sure you do it all “online” as part of your website. You’ll drive traffic to your website where you can take marketing to the next level with retargeting.

Once you get someone to your website you should take advantage of retargeting (remarketing) to your customers, potential clients, agents, adjusters, and more. While driving all of this traffic to your website, don’t miss out on the opportunity to re-engage with people by having your company ads show up on other sites they visit. This concept is really simple and very cost effective. Chances are that if you’ve ever searched for something online, you’ve been retargeted. For example, have you ever searched Disneyland and then suddenly start seeing ads for Disneyland and hotels in that area all of the time? That’s retargeting. And you should definitely be retargeting your web visitors too.

Keep in mind that customers today prefer to do business with companies that are real, genuine and authentic.  The online world makes it easy to show that side of your company. To be creative in your marketing you do not have to reinvent the box…just start thinking outside of it a little more. It takes some effort, but the dividends pay off in big ways.