There are two types of clients in the plumbing industry: the emergency need-it-fixed-yesterday customer and the routine maintenance customer. For your business to thrive, you must have a steady stream of both.
Plumber marketing strategies help you acquire and retain customers. You can advertise a plumbing business with business cards, radio ads, and even local TV ads — but online marketing tends to be the easiest way to bring in leads quickly.
Let’s take a look at 9 of the most effective plumbing marketing ideas out there.
Why Plumbers Need Internet Marketing
Whether you’re a one-person show or a small business with multiple plumbers available to take service calls, chances are you’re not the only game in town. You have to stand out from the crowd in a competitive market. Online marketing gives you multiple opportunities to do just that.
From local SEO to social media marketing and everything in between, you can choose digital marketing strategies based on your available resources. If you don’t have the time to record a series of how-to videos for a YouTube channel dedicated to plumbing maintenance, that’s fine. You may want to run pay-per-click advertising instead.
Advertise Your Plumbing Business With These 11 Plumbing Marketing Ideas
Take a look at these 11 plumbing marketing ideas to get you started. Even if you’re a brand new business, you can take advantage of these tactics to compete with well-established companies.
1. Build a Search Engine Optimized Website
If you don’t have a website, you’ll struggle to gain traction with any kind of online marketing effort. Your website is the home base of any online advertising you may do – paid or otherwise.
Of course, not just any old website will do. Your customers are more demanding than ever when it comes to finding the information they need online. This means you need a website that is:
- Fast: The faster your website loads, the better. Google says to aim for three seconds or less. Slower than that, and customers start to get upset.
- Mobile-Friendly: Over 60% of online searches come from mobile devices. Google says your website should be mobile-friendly. Not sure if yours is? Use the Mobile-Friendly Test to find out.
- Easy to Use: Your website should be set up so that people can easily navigate to the information they are looking for.
Your website should at minimum have:
- Your business name and logo
- Your unique selling point — how are you different from the other plumbers in your local area?
- Your phone number
- Business hours
- Service area
- Accreditations and awards
- Photos and reviews to support your work
- A quick and easy way to request work — for non-emergency needs.
To increase visibility, your website needs to focus on relevant keywords and phrases your potential customers will likely use when trying to find plumbing services. This is part of what search engine optimization helps with.
If you’ve already got a website, that’s great! Is it performing the way you’d hoped? If not, it could be a variety of issues. The key is to focus on your users. When they have a good page experience, the rest falls into place. Use the Google Core Web Vitals tool to see how your website stacks up.
Don’t have a clue where to start? That’s where Orbit Local can help with all your website design needs. Our team has years of experience working with plumbers and other service-based businesses. Whether you need a brand-new website or improvements on your existing one, we’ve got you covered.
2. Claim Your Google My Business Listing
If you haven’t already done so, search Google for your business. If there’s already a listing for it, claim it. It’s free and only requires a few minutes to claim and verify. If there isn’t a listing for your business, create one.
Claiming your listing gives you a chance to provide Google with additional information about your business, which in turn helps your potential customers. Using your GMB listing, you can add things like:
- Business categories
- Business hours
- Service area: Up to 20 suburbs can be listed
- Questions and answers: Provide your prospects with answers to their most commonly asked questions
- Appointment URL: If you use a booking page on your website or have a third-party booking app, you can direct people there to schedule appointments.
- Photos: Post photos of your business and team
- Posts: Use these to provide updates about your business, such as special offers. Posts are visible for seven days, but you can up to 10 visible at once in a carousel.
- Reviews: This is where customer reviews will display. More on this later.
3. Invest in Creating Quality Content
You don’t have to be a wordsmith, artist, or director to create content for online consumption, but your site does need content to draw in visitors, build brand awareness, and establish expertise. Plumbers can benefit from blog posts that cover things like:
- How to Prevent Pipes from Freezing
- X Ways to Improve Water Pressure in Your Home
- Tankless Water Heaters 101
If you’re comfortable in front of a camera and have some basic equipment, consider creating some video demonstrations, too. You can use these on YouTube (as part of your social media marketing that we’ll cover in the next strategy) and your website. For instance:
- How to Check for Water Leaks (or Slab Leaks, Toilet Leaks, etc. Get specific.)
- How to Install a Bidet on Your Toilet
- How to Unclog a Drain
For variety, you could also do video product reviews on water heaters, garbage disposals, showerheads, and toilets. Homeowners are constantly looking for quality products to improve efficiency. Even if they don’t need you to fix a plumbing issue right now, they may reach out to you for installation or regular maintenance later if you give advice they can trust.
4. Begin Using Social Media
Once you’ve got some solid content on your website, create a social media presence as a promotional tool. But beyond promoting your content, seek to share useful information that doesn’t originate with you. Social media tools are to build community, not to toot your own horn constantly.
Why social media? Social browsers — or internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 who use social media to pass the time — engage with brands. Fifty-four percent of them use social platforms to research products and services. If you don’t have an active social presence, you’re potentially missing out on customers.
A word of caution: Don’t try to be on every social media platform at once. It can spread you too thin and cause content quality and engagement to decrease over time. You can hire a team of experts to help you with social media marketing, but you still shouldn’t spend time and energy on platforms your target audience isn’t using. A good rule of thumb is to start with Facebook and Twitter. If you find that you want to expand later, you can add more. If you need to recruit employees, a LinkedIn presence can be helpful.
One of the most effective ways to generate a social following is to run a special offer or promotion.
In addition to creating your own social media profiles for your business, you can join local Facebook groups and networking groups to make connections.
5. Submit Your Business to Online Directories
Part of getting your plumbing company to rank well in the search results is getting links to your site from others online. One way to do this is to list your business in online directories. Having a listing also helps potential customers find you.
There are some plumbing directories to use in our master list of 217 Best Online Business Directories for Local Marketing & SEO. You should also use directories like Yelp, HomeAdvisor, and Angie’s List.
These platforms provide an excellent avenue for connecting with consumers. You can gather reviews to help you build trust and loyalty.
Claim or create profiles on any of these directories as described with the GMB profile. Take time to fill in as much detail as possible on each.
6. Generate Leads with Paid Ad Campaigns
You can use PPC advertising on Google and social media platforms to generate leads. Google ads make it easy to promote your services to people in your local area to help you bring new customers. Social media PPC ads can increase page likes, drive people to your website, and more.
You can use this type of advertising to provide a special offer to customers who find you through your ad.
Call-only ads are a great way to reach customers. Think about things from the POV of your emergency customer. Something’s broken – leaking, flooding, or worse – not working at all. These are customers who need a real person, now, not just a form to fill out. With call-only ads, they click a button and don’t even have to dial your phone number to reach you.
A bonus? As the name suggests, you only pay when someone clicks your ad.
7. Google Local Service Ads
Unlike Google Ads PPC campaigns, Google Local Services, also known as Home Services ads, is a pay-per-lead advertising option for specific industries, including plumbing. It takes a bit more work to use these because you have to become Google Guaranteed.
You can run these alongside your standard Google Ads.
8. Gather Reviews from Current and Past Customers
Online reviews are a vital part of any marketing plan. Ninety-five percent of people read online reviews to help them make decisions about who to do business with. Research shows that companies with more than nine reviews earn an average of 52% more revenue. And when the number of reviews goes to 25? The revenue increases an average of 108%.
Encourage customers to leave reviews for your business at the end of your service call. Explain that reviews and referrals are the lifeblood of your business. Hand them a card with your preferred review sites and thank them for their time. Alternatively, send a follow-up email after the job is complete. Ask specific questions to entice customers to leave more detail than just a five-star rating.
Avoid offering freebies or discounts in exchange for reviews. Many platforms probit incentives in exchange for reviews because of the potential to skew the review data.
Take time to respond to reviews — even the negative ones. This tells your audience (and Google) that you pay attention to what people say about you. Someone who sees a negative review is far more likely to be forgiving if they see that you have responded to it and taken steps to remedy the situation.
9. Use Customer Service for Marketing
Word-of-mouth can make or break your business. People share experiences, whether good or bad, with friends and family in person and online. Research shows that 30% of consumers say they’d post a negative review online, and 49% would post a positive review online to help others.
It also found that 74% of consumers say they will stop doing business with a company because of a bad customer service experience, with 50% of people saying they’ve already stopped doing business with a company because of that.
That’s why you should strive to provide a good customer experience to everyone, all the time. Mistakes happen, and things fall through the cracks. No one expects 100% perfection. It’s about what you do in the face of an issue and how you work with the customer to resolve it that matters.
10. Partner with Other Businesses for Cross-Promotion
Cross-promotion can help you reach audiences you’re unable to reach on your own. Social media collaborations with businesses that complement your own are a great place to start. Look for companies that can add value to your customers. Reach out to them and suggest a partnership.
For instance, you can partner with local hardware stores and create content around the plumbing products they sell. In exchange, they can recommend your services for installation and maintenance.
You can also connect with builders, offering a “finder’s fee” for any projects they send your way.
Consider sponsoring events for charity or providing discounted or pro-bono work to charities in your local area. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a selling point for many consumers today. Research shows that nearly half of consumers (46%) pay attention to a brand’s CSR efforts when purchasing a product.
Partnering with other businesses to co-sponsor charitable events helps reduce the expense for you while still boosting your exposure. Go beyond investing your money and invest time in these causes, too.
11. Keep Customers Informed with an Email List
If you’re not working to build an email list, you’re missing huge potential. Email gives you an easy way to stay in touch with all your customers, past and present. You can send offers and promotions and spark interest during periods when business is slow.
That said, email marketing is both art and science. You don’t want to email too often. But, if you don’t email enough, people will forget who you are. And you don’t want to only send emails offering or asking your customers for something. You’ll just end up upsetting your subscribers.
Instead of only emailing promotional content, send out content with helpful tips and tricks. For instance, before winter, send a message with suggestions for winterizing your plumbing. Send an email with a recommended routine plumbing inspection schedule. Offer tips for finding leaks in your home, etc.
Build Your Marketing Strategy With Orbit Local
Want more plumber marketing strategies and tactics? Take a look at our post on actionable tips to promote your business locally.
Want to send your plumbing business into orbit? Orbit Local is a full-service marketing agency that can help you boost your local presence online. Book a free strategy session with us today!