Pool service marketing benefits from most digital marketing channels, from direct-response ads to informational videos. Here is a rundown of the essential tactics you need to promote your pool business online.
#1. Develop Your Pool Business Website
The linchpin of your marketing efforts online is your business website. It’s not only an indispensable information resource, it’s also the first impression most customers have of your business. If you sell pool products, it’s an eCommerce point of sale.
With all these critical jobs, a website is no place to skimp. You want to look professional, communicate value, and help people find what they need fast. Here is an example mockup from our UXI® designs:
Templates like this are affordable and can be designed fast. They’re also mobile responsive, which means they automatically format for phones, which is vital since over half of today’s web traffic is mobile.
In just a matter of seconds, visitors will form an impression of your business and they’ll make a decision. Either you look legit or you don’t. Make sure your website is getting things off on the right foot.
Pro Tip: Use Infographics
One way to get information across quickly with strong visual element is to use an infographic. For example:
You can also use these on social media or in emails.
#2. Craft a Clear Value Proposition
Why should someone choose your pool services instead of your competition? What do you do better than other pool services that’s important to your customers?
One of the keys to website marketing is to have a clear value proposition. This is a statement that sets you apart from other pool services. For example:
This statement appears on the homepage. It defines a clear specialization, in this case that they work with HOA swimming pools.
If you’re looking for HOA pool maintenance these guys have a clear advantage.
Perhaps you specialize in certain type of installation like in-ground pools or have deals on steam saunas. Maybe your customer service and pricing are what set you apart.
Consider that your prospective customers are comparing you to the competition. Give them a clear reason to choose you by clearly communicating your value offering on your homepage.
#3. Content Marketing
Content marketing uses information to engage prospective clients, and is particularly useful in big-ticket items like swimming pools.
In fact, a fellow who’s become kind of legend in the content marketing field named Marcus Sheridan got his start marketing his pool business, River Pools and Spas.
Marcus realized that people shopping for a pool have a lot of questions and do extensive research. He started creating articles, blogs, and videos for every question he could come up with. Before long, he had a learning center that was the most in-depth resource for in-ground pools on the internet.
This content achieves a number of important goals. First, it fills information gaps so people feel prepared to buy the right pool. Second, it builds trust by providing helpful, unbiased information. And third, the content ranks on search so as people ask these questions online, this website gets the traffic.
Pools and spas are a big investment, so people buying them usually do a lot of research. Use information on your website in a way similar to River Pools & Spas. Help them make the right decision for a pool in your area. It’s likely that their decision will be to buy from you.
Watch our video on small business content marketing tips.
#4. Master Search Marketing
To drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to show up for pool and spa related searches in your area. There are three ways to dominate the search results.
The first is pay-per-click advertising. These ads are run through auction-based systems like Google Adwords and Bing Ads. The main advantage here is that you show in the top positions (reserved for paid ads) and that you can control the ad copy and landing page. For example, you might want to run an advertisement for spring pool maintenance. Your ad and the page it goes to on your website can match that offer.
Next, you need to set-up and rank for Google My Business. This is the maps listing and review platform Google uses for geo-targeted searches. It’s a free listing you can optimize with your descriptions and by getting customer reviews.
Then you have the organic website listings. These are also free clicks, with ranking gained by optimizing your website for keywords, gaining links, getting social media traffic, and adding content to your blog.
If you do it right, you can show up in three spots on page one:
Search is your best chance to engage prospects as they first start searching for pools. Make sure you’re ranking on page one in at least one of these areas.
You can get a lot of mileage out a video that conveys your value proposition.
Embed this video on your homepage and optimize it for search on Youtube. You can show a gallery of pools, describe your services, and even throw in a customer testimonial, all in less than a minute. Make sure to have a call to action which includes your contact information.
#6. Manage Your Reputation
Today’s digital consumers turn to online reviews to get an authentic look at what it’s like to work with a business. This content is very influential in the decision making process. A strong review profile will be a huge boon for your marketing, while a negative one can sink you.
Far and away the most important thing you can do to get a great reputation is to earn it. Have your staff take on the mindset that every client is a potential reviewer (which is true) and dial-up your service to truly exceed expectations. Also know that cutting corners can have a long-term negative effect on your marketing.
But even your fine work isn’t enough. The unfortunate reality with reviews is that people who have negative experiences are more motivated to write them. Getting comments from the happy majority requires a bit more effort.
Ask happy customer to leave you a review or give a testimonial. Follow-up calls are the perfect time to ask. You can send an email like this:
This email sends them to a review site if they liked you, and a feedback form if they had a negative experience.
Watch what’s said about you online and use the Rating Score™ Checker to keep tabs on your reviews from across the web.
Learn how ot respond to negative reviews.
Because of the long sales-cycle with pools, retargeting is a vital marketing tactic. Retargeting displays ads to people who previously visited your website with banner ads like this:
Retargeting is more than just a way to display a direct-response ad. It creates brand awareness and funnels people through your informational content. For example, you can create a retargeting list based on people who watched 50% or more of video. You can retarget people who reacted to a certain Facebook post. There are dozens of ways to segment lists so you target people at different levels of consideration.
With all the information and options available to people online, you can’t expect one website visit or social media post to stay with them. Retargeting is automated sales persistence that keeps your brand in front of people so they know you well when they’re ready to buy a pool.
#8. Social Media Marketing
Social media sites are becoming the lifeblood of the internet. The consumer public is on these platforms, which means marketing can be very effective when it fits into the conversation.
Because pools have a lot of visual appeal, image based content on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest works well.
Think about what you’d like prospective clients to see. Images of projects in the works and completed pools. Customers enjoying their new pool. Info on how to care for your pool. Ways to save on pool chemicals and maintenance.
Here is an example Instagram page:
Social media is another way to create relationships and nurture leads. Because pools are fun and family oriented, they make a great topic for social media posts.
Encourage new customers post about their pool and tag you in their posts. This is effective advertising for you, and it’s free.
If you’re too busy to keep up with social media, hire some SMM management. For a minimal investment you can greatly increase your brand’s exposure.
Pro Tip: Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are a effective way to target new audiences based on location and interest. These ads work well to create brand awareness with people who have an interest in swimming pools, home improvement, or even luxury lifestyles.
Here’s an example ad:
Use these ads target pool owners – or those that want to become pool owners. One they engage with this ad, you can retarget them to deliver more conversion-focused content.
#9. Use CRM and Email Software
A CRM tracks all your interactions with prospects and clients so you have all your information in one place. It also ties in with email, which is another important lead nurturing and client retention tool.
Email marketing is effective for pool services throughout the lifetime of the customer. Create lists of leads and send them informational and sales material that keeps your brand in front of them. Then have lists for existing clients that have information on seasonal weatherization, pool care products, pumps, and filters.
It’s particularly important to have a quality email newsletter for your existing clients as a retention tactic. Keep your brand in front of your best customers and offer them seasonal deals. Don’t forget there’s always competition ready to advertise aggressively and low-ball on price to steal your clients.
With email automation and a CRM, you can make regular, personalized contact with customers – providing ongoing value – with a minimal effort. This helps you retain customers and increase their lifetime value.
#10. Hire a Marketing Service
The way things stand today, it’s becoming impossible to run a business and manage all the marketing tactics we’ve discussed here. The breadth of knowledge and skill needed is too great for the casual novice to be effective.
If you’re a really large pool retailer moving millions of dollars in product per year, you might be able to afford a full-time marketing person in-house. But you’d get more ROI by hiring a company like Marketing 360®.
Marketing 360® accomplishes two important things for you. First, we offer all the skill sets, from design to advertising to video production, in one place. Each tactical area has a team of specialist.
The second is we communicate what’s happening with your digital marketing across all channels with one, easy to understand reporting tool. Marketing 360® is a software platform that integrates all marketing data, social media, email, and CRM. It puts all these platforms and tactics into one easy to understand report. Here’s how it works:
Digital marketing is incredibly dynamic. It’s a challenge just to keep up with the new advertising features on Facebook alone, much less every search, social media, and content creation platform online.
Run your business and keep your weekends. Contact us today to discuss the specifics of your pool business and how it can best be marketed online. We’ll even do a free website design mockup for you.
Today, a dialed-in, consistently executed marketing plan is itself a big competitive advantage. Get the internet working for you to keep a consistent flow of new customers that have high lifetime value.