Our Marketing Firm Delivers Big Wins with Our Strategic and Technical Expertise and a High-Touch Approach to Growing Small Businesses
Small businesses in the home repair and service industries now find themselves at a turning point that can either transform their business for long-term success, or see their initial growth go stagnant despite their talents, technical skills, and outstanding customer service.
This turning point is driven by the necessity of adopting digital marketing strategies. They are now too essential — and too lucrative — to miss out on. While it was once a rule that a business could remain committed to outdated marketing techniques while dabbling in digital marketing and still see a significant benefit, the online marketplace has only grown more competitive because digital marketing is an overwhelmingly proven strategy to ensure success and outperform the competition.
It is unlikely that even a small, local business with niche services can go online and find they’re the only representative of their industry on the Internet — even within their service area. In fact, many businesses have found that their competitors have already taken deep dives into the digital marketing world — especially when the brick-and-mortar world was on lockdown — and now they’re successfully leveraging its powerful tools.
How did they do it? These highly profitable businesses worked with an expert digital marketing firm that has the strategic and technical expertise to use the toolkit that Google (and others) practically laid at their feet.
This case study is a prime example of this kind of success, driven by a business’s persistence, tenacity, and talent, paired with our agency’s gift for positioning them to experience a windfall of leads, conversions, and overall growth, as well as our passion for ensuring that all businesses — no matter how small or niche – can reap the rewards waiting for them in the digital space.
First, a Quick Word on the Generic Case Studies Used by Most Marketing Strategy and Consulting Firms
Allow us to present the iFocus Marketing perspective on the typical “problem-solution” case studies available today. If you’re researching digital marketing firms in Kansas City, you may have seen a few of these and began to lose track of who did what for whom.
- Importantly, we prefer not to describe client success stories as a problem that is “miraculously solved” by a marketing strategy or consulting firm.
- Although we do have challenges to solve for any client — and we have solutions that can far exceed our clients’ expectations – we celebrate success as part of an ongoing, developing relationship between our agency and our clients.
- Sustainable, long-term success with digital marketing doesn’t come from simply handing the keys over to an agency to see what happens. A locally-owned-and-operated business has worked hard to get where they are, and they want to be able to weigh in, ask questions, give feedback, adjust budgets, and learn more without feeling like their “voice” has been taken over by a hip, faceless company that “knows Google.”
- At iFocus Marketing, we build relationships, offer guidance, follow the research and data, and confidently lead the way forward through the challenges and successes that all businesses face — with their blessing at every turn in the road.
- This is what it means to make an honest investment in one’s clients. And this is how we work at iFocus.
How Our Digital Marketing Firm Built a Long-Standing, Winning Relationship with Our Client in the St. Louis HVAC Industry
When we began strategizing on behalf of our client in the St. Louis HVAC industry, they had already seen some modest results with digital marketing, but they were experiencing some very common challenges common among skilled businesses in the home services industry:
- Striking a Balance: In the home service industry, businesses may find they are struggling to strike a balance between residential services and the potential opportunities that offering commercial services may provide. They feel they are being pulled in too many directions.
- Seasonality: Home service businesses experience periods with a great deal of activity, as well as seasonal slowdowns, dependent on their services. Like all of us, however, these businesses want to continue experiencing growth, despite seasonality and other market factors.
- Stagnating Marketing Tools: Some home service businesses may have already tried digital marketing solutions with a strategy or consulting firm or even on their own. But, at some point, the success of these tools stagnates without a strategic, real-time engine keeping pace with the pulse of online marketing to move the business forward — and that’s where we come in.
Our Approach: We deeply understood the nature of these challenges for our St. Louis client, and began working right alongside them as active listeners and experts in our field. Through meaningful discussions, a lot of laughter, and think-tank-like critical thinking and planning, we enacted a digital marketing plan that shot their business — and revenue — to new heights.
8 Key Strategies that Helped Our St. Louis HVAC Client Win Big
Our strategic plan to help our client find major success in their marketing included the adoption of multiple tactics. When these were implemented as a whole, they far exceeded our client’s revenue goals.
These strategies and optimizations seamlessly worked together to make our client’s marketing campaign a success:
- An Investment in Google’s Local Service Ads. Available for eligible local businesses, this tool from Google allowed us to emphasize our client’s services for those searching locally for HVAC services. Local businesses are often priced out of general paid search tactics when CPCs (costs-per-click) are too high due to oversaturated battles for top keywords. Instead, we stayed smart and allocated a portion of our client’s marketing budget to Local Services and optimized their Google Business Profile page to rank highly for St. Louis-area searches, while staying on top of the competition that really matters: other local HVAC companies.
- Taking Advantage of Local Service Ads Tools. Our in-depth knowledge of Google’s Local Services offering allowed our client to switch to a CPL (cost-per-lead) strategy, where they only pay for ad clicks when a phone call is made, or a booking is scheduled. As an added feature, our client and our digital marketing firm can also relisten to phone calls to gain insights on consumer behavior. Further, the Local Service Ads dashboard provides rich data on caller demographics, which allows for deeper insights and effective ad targeting.
- Growing Our Client’s Authority Through a More Robust SEO Strategy. A highly important method for optimizing for search engine ranking is the acquisition of organic backlinks (sites that will link to a client’s websites in their articles). Coming across our client’s website unexpectedly in an industry-related blog post raises one’s authority with readers, and — more significantly — it signals authority to Google and other search engines, leading to a higher ranking when customers are looking at search results for HVAC service. We also strategically the client’s own blogs on social platforms as part of a strategy to highlight their credibility with key audiences.
- Implementation of a Successful Hiring Campaign. Following our recommendation, our client chose to market more than their products and services. To recruit new talent, we provided organic content, social media advertising, and a fresh landing page for prospective hires. Recruitment operates as a powerful marketing strategy in two significant ways: it can remind audiences of a business’s values through the way they communicate with potential hires, and — with a deeper candidate pool — a business can provide better services for customers, which leads to better reviews, referrals, and ongoing relationships.
- Channeling Our Ad Spend to Off-Season Services During Seasonal Slowdowns. All home service businesses have their slow months, and the same is true for our client in the heating and cooling industry. During these seasonal slowdowns, we advertised their service agreement. This agreement provides added value to customers, and includes our client’s signature rewards for signing up, which helps them surpass the offerings of many HVAC businesses in their area.
- Gaining Deeper Insights into Audiences Through A/B Testing, the iFocus Way. When running two promotional display ads — one for an installation rebate and the other for 0% financing – we were able to promote the value-add of partnering with our client for HVAC services. More importantly, however, this dual promotion unlocked an important insight about their customers’ demographics and spending behavior. The preferred option among customers — 0% financing — showed us that first-time millennial homebuyers prefer financing on major purchases, and we continued to retarget this audience with this key insight in mind.
- Emphasizing Our Client’s Industry Credibility. According to LinkedIn’s comprehensive study on lead generation, consumers need to view at least 10 pieces of a business’s content before they convert. Through social media management and effectively positioned ad copy, we accentuated the many characteristics that distinguish our client from their competitors to keep them top-of-mind, even during the times of year when heating and cooling isn’t on homeowners’ to-do lists.
- Helping Our Client Find Their Niche. After getting to know our client, we guided our client toward a focus on residential services, while highlighting their specialization in innovative heating and cooling offerings, including popular indoor air quality products.
Let’s Look at the Results: Our Client’s Remarkable Growth from Dec. 2021 – Dec. 2022
Revenue Goals Exceeded
Our client surpassed their revenue growth goal of 20% by more than $100,000.
Leveraging Google Local Service Ads for Maximum ROI
Our client’s CPL (cost-per-lead) paid media strategy resulted in 459 leads and a total revenue of $160,790 (an $11 ROI for every $1 spent) for this strategy.
Brand Authority Online Skyrockets
Backlink profile increased by 677 percent year-over-year with 2,672 backlinks acquired in 2022 versus 344 in 2021.
Referring domains improved from 134 in 2021 to 278 in 2022.
What Does the Future Look Like for Our Digital Marketing Firm’s Work with Our Client?
In early 2023, iFocus Marketing tackled two major projects for our St. Louis HVAC client.
We developed and designed a new website. Their previous website’s design, overall loading time, and web scheduler were not as effective as they needed to be for the client’s success. The new website was developed especially for our client’s needs.
- Our client’s new website is contemporary, eye-catching, and easy to navigate.
- Their overall branding is far more modern and dynamic.
- A new widget allows customers to schedule a variety of services with automatic follow-ups, creating a hands-free approach to lead generation and catering to customers who prefer virtual interactions.
- On the backend, our web dev team made their site easier to code, so adding content to the site when needed can happen efficiently for the expected and unexpected pivots, content uploads, and getting new marketing assets in front of customers right away.
We also forged a new path into advertising on Hulu’s streaming service for our client.
- Our client’s ads are now in front of new audiences, including new homeowners who need a trusted HVAC partner.
- Hulu is a frequented platform for millennials, thus making our client’s ads more visible to this audience than ever.
- Our client is pleased that the CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) for video ads is far more affordable when compared with traditional TV ads.
Our Digital Marketing Firm Expertly Delivers Omnichannel Strategy with a High-Touch, Relational Approach
We are thrilled for our client in the St. Louis HVAC industry. They’ve seen gains that have far exceeded their goals, which were aggressive in the first place. We admire them for their persistence, as this has allowed them to claim a leading spot among companies in their industry. We’re excited to see what will come next for them as they continue refining their approach with our digital marketing firm.
An omnichannel marketing approach made the difference for our client, along with their willingness to make calculated, yet bold moves with our strategists and technical and creative teams. Together, we integrated a full suite of strategies, including:
- An enlivened web presence
- Leveraging Google’s local business tools
- Smart thinking for the off-season
- Data and analytics
- A/B testing (our way)
- Capitalizing on key demographic insights
To maximize impact, it was absolutely essential for our client’s messaging to be present in all online spaces. The spikes in May 2022 and December 2022 in the chart below represent our client’s highest levels of phone traffic as the hottest and coldest seasons of the year progressed.
Had our client not adopted an omnichannel marketing strategy, including SEO, paid media, display ads, and social media, they would not have been available where customers in need were searching for HVAC service. Our strategies deliver results that à la carte marketing options or dipping a tentative toe in the digital marketing waters can’t provide.
What Doesn’t Work and How Our Digital Marketing Firm Can Fix It
A marketing strategy and consulting firm that doesn’t provide a robust service package or cycles through client after client without taking the time to build a deep relationship won’t cut it in the modern digital marketing space. To marketing and consulting firms like these, businesses are merely problems to solve for their generic case studies and LinkedIn boasts.
At iFocus Marketing, we take a unique approach to digital marketing firm services. We examine the full scope of your business, and seek to understand it from your perspective and your customers’, while building a trusting, lasting relationship and celebrating your successes along the way. There is a whole lot of business waiting in the digital marketing world — and together we can claim all that’s yours.
How to Get in Touch with Our Digital Marketing Firm
To activate an omnichannel marketing strategy with iFocus Marketing, schedule a discovery call, followed by our free, signature audit of your digital presence, an analysis of your competitors, and our recommendations for services that can position your business where you want it to be.
Peter Mishler, senior digital copywriter at iFocus Marketing, is dedicated to using language to help clients find their audiences. He is the author of two books: a Kathryn A. Morton Prize-winning collection of poetry, from Sarabande Books (2018) and a book of reflections for public school teachers from Andrews McMeel Publishing (2021). His poetry has appeared in many national publications, including The Paris Review, and he is a contributing editor for Literary Hub. New to marketing, Peter taught English for 15 years.