In 1992, Bruce Springsteen wrote a hit song called “Fifty-seven Channels and Nothin’ On.” The reference was to cable TV channels, but today there are almost that many marketing channels in existence – 51 of them according to spectrio. Don’t worry, we won’t go into all of them.
Similar to TV, it can be tempting to keep changing your (marketing) channel or just get stuck wondering what’s on. “On” as in those marketing channels most likely to bring in new business.
This week, consider us your channel guide as we offer up some options that are working for other maid service business owners like Ryan Knoll with Tidy Casa in Phoenix, Arizona.
Defining our terms
A marketing channel is simply a medium for you to communicate about your business to prospects and buyers. And whether it’s social media, the internet, physical, or paid advertising, there are a bunch of market channel options under each of those categories. We’re going to focus on only three, and go deep on those channels.
In case you’re thinking this marketing channel stuff is too complicated with all its analysis and fancy terms. Rest easy. The answers are probably much simpler than you think. Maybe not as easy as you’d like, but very do-able.
Ryan is an SEO expert, and even though he knows how to do the complex stuff, he’s opted for the simple approach. Not easy. Simple.
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Why three channels?
The rule of threes is like magic when it comes to creating communications that are simple, compelling, and effective. Famous speeches, quotes, and music all make use of threes. Did you notice the threes in those last two sentences? It just works.
And it just so happens there are three types of marketing channels that Ryan uses effectively, and so can you.
1. Google My Business (GMB): your local channel
Back in week four, we did a post about GMB and mentioned that half of all Google searches are local. It’s worth revisiting that post if you don’t feel like you’re up to speed yet with GMB.
Here are the three ways you’ll want to optimize your GMB page:
- Create a complete profile
- Post regularly – use images and aim for a weekly post
- Prompt your customers for reviews – you can find the link to email review requests to your clients here.
2. Yelp: your listening channel
Ryan says Yelp is his traffic generator. In fact, a rating increase of one star on Yelp can mean revenue growth of one to two percent (Search Engine Journal, April 2020). Though restaurants are the most reviewed business type at 18%, home and local services are a close second at 17%. That’s you!
Here are three best practices for Yelp:
- Respond to reviews within 24 hours – positive and negative. Respond to the negatives in a way that demonstrates your business philosophy. Consider it as a way of modeling professionalism and service-mindedness.
- Here again, it’s important to fill out your profile and maintain it with positive updates.
- Look for patterns in the reviews. Do they match the brand you’re trying to build? If not, how can you adjust operationally or with your marketing?
3. Email marketing: your personal channel
There’s plenty of noise on the internet, but email is still the digital resource we access most, especially when it’s a message from someone we know, like, and trust. For that reason, it’s important not to wing it. Have something helpful to say when you email your clients.
Ryan tells the story of how a well-crafted email kept his business running in the early weeks after COVID hit. He also knows of other maid service businesses that have sent emails worth $20K or more in a single day, such as Black Friday.
Three reasons to get savvy about email marketing:
- It’s less expensive and more effective than other channels when done right.
- You can set up automated emails that are triggered by an event like birthdays, or holidays or even those instances where someone abandons their shopping cart for signup.
- Email marketing allows you to easily test what works and what doesn’t. Free email tools such as Mailchimp can make it easy to mix things up with your approach and see what works best.
The secret, often missing, ingredient
The better you know your customer, the more effective you will be in using these tools. It keeps coming back to this, doesn’t it? As Ryan puts it:
“You have to use empathy to get into the customer’s shoes and figure out how they’d find you.”
Empathy is the secret ingredient, however, many don’t take the time to walk through each of these marketing channel tools by stepping into their customer’s shoes.
You just have to be able to stop for a moment and picture a harried Mom planning ahead for a holiday like Thanksgiving. She has a running list of stuff that she’ll need to pull off to make it a great day for the family.
How can you best appeal to her at that moment she enters the search term “house cleaning?”
What kind of image could you post on your GMB page?
What kind of promotion would work well on Yelp?
How about an email that begins by identifying with her mental state as the primary project planner for Thanksgiving?
Strap on your marketing channel toolkit!
There are over twice as many cable channels now as there were when Springsteen recorded his hit song, and there are still times when it seems like ‘nothin’ is on.
But that’s not the case with marketing channels. There’s always something on and, remember, you only need the three channels listed above to get your customer’s attention and keep it.
Now is the time to get handly with those tools!