Cleaning Business Marketing Strategies and Tools

Cleaning Business Marketing Strategies and Tools

Once you have your business put together and you're ready to start reaching out to customers, you will need to determine what your marketing strategy is.

Social Media:

In today's age, your social media platforms are such a crucial part to marketing, as this has become a primary way to reach customers. One of the great benefits, also, is that is an extremely inexpensive method of marketing. Why does your new business need a social media platform?

  •     It's How Customers Will Find Your Information: You might have a company website, but there's no guarantee that customer's will be able to find it or that they will even take the time to check it out. However, most of today's consumers have a presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Since they are already spending so much time of their day on these sites, you can reach them with your information in a place that is familiar. You need to assume that many of these customers will refer to your social media platform as your actual website, so make sure you include all of the critical information. You can also include a link to your actual website that they can follow for further information.
  •     Connect With Your Customers One-on-One: Social media platforms are far more interactive than your website typically will be, so this gives you the opportunity to create a connection with customers. You can answer questions and converse with them about any concerns they may have. Having this personal touch can make people feel more trusting of your business and want to hire you.
  •     Offer Special Deals and Promotions: Your social media is a great way to get information about special holiday deals or promo packages that you may be offering. Since clients won't be checking your website daily, they won't have the opportunity to see these special offers. If you post on your social media, however, then the offer will appear on their news feed and they can take advantage of the special deal.

    Now that you know all the reasons why you will want to maintain your social media platform, your next question might be: how? What is the best way to run your social media platforms, so that you can market your business most effectively?

  •     Don't Overwhelm: Be very careful with posting on your social media too often, as this can get annoying quickly.
  •     Routine Updates: Be strategic in the timing of your posts. Don't post six in one day and then not post at all for another two weeks. Keep the posts spread apart enough that people won't get annoyed, but also frequent enough so they'll remember your business exists. Two or three times a week, or something along those lines, could be a good routine to set.
  •     Tasteful Choices: Keep your posts aesthetically pleasing, and try to make there a point for your post. Is there a special offer you're running? Do you have exciting news about new services you're offering? Are you celebrating a business anniversary? Post with a purpose, rather than meaningless photos constantly. Share information that your connections care about, and they'll be more likely to pay attention. Occasionally you might want to share articles about how cleaning can help with health, or how the new "green" approach you're trying can help the environment. Get people to care about what you're doing, and this will greatly aid your business.
  •     Keep Your Target Audience in Mind: Are you marketing towards commercial clients? Then keep your posts and outreach professional and detail-oriented. If you're marketing towards families and residential clients, you can afford to be a little more personal in your online marketing campaign. Just keep your posts limited to things you know that your target audience would have an actual interest in, and it doesn't always have to be self-promotion. As mentioned above, it can be articles that might be beneficial to your customers, or you can participate in discussions about certain industry issues. Just get involved in the community and get your name and logo out there, and people will start to notice, even if you aren't self-promoting constantly.
  •     Acknowledge and Respond: If somebody called you on your work phone with questions or concerns, you wouldn't ignore them, nor should you ignore the comments on your social media page. Ignoring questions or concerns posted on social media is a blatant way to show customers that you aren't listening to their concerns, because everybody who can view your page can see that you aren't replying. When a customer expresses a concern or question, take the time to answer. Thank the people who leave reviews, good or bad, and work to solve the problems that the negative reviewers complained about. Show your customers that you care about their satisfaction.

    If you don't feel that you can run the social media platform successfully, then hire someone who can, as this can play a large role in connecting with new customers. Social media marketing is a popular and effective tool that many new workers are now specializing in, so it is certainly something you need to look into.

    Other Online Marketing Tools:

  •     Search Engine Optimization (SEO): One way to get customers to your website is through SEO strategies, and particularly local SEO. The online marketing game is extremely competitive, so you need to make sure that your business stands out among all the rest. If a potential customers goes online to search "cleaning services near me," don't you want your business to be the first one to pop up? You can help achieve this through SEO strategies.

    This process often involves incorporating relevant key words specific to your local area into your website, so that your website comes up as the most relevant. There are little tricks to using the algorithms that search engines use so that you can come out on top. These methods can get technical and complicated, however, which is why many companies offer SEO services to help you out. Look into these if you are willing to pay a little more to get your business on the top of the results page.

    Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Starting Your Own Cleaning Business course?
  •   There are also less expensive routes you can take to boosting your business on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and these aren't nearly as complicated. Encourage your customers to leave online reviews, as many potential customers will look at these ratings for reference as to which company they should choose. Online reviews can boost your business on Google's SERP, which takes those reviews into account and displays them when somebody searches for your business. You can also verify your business in Google by searching your business name and then making sure that the website and phone number are correct. This will help your business draw more attention!
  •   Join a LinkedIn group for your industry! LinkedIn is a free website for connecting employers and employees of all kinds, and there are specific groups for every industry out there. This can keep you in the loop about the latest advancements or techniques for marketing, and also help you make valuable connections with other entrepreneurs, suppliers, or even new employees.

    On-The-Go Marketing:

    You need to be prepared to be marketing your business while you're out at client's property. You can increase your marketing capabilities in a couple of ways  such as magnetic logos for the car and professional business cards. Always have these business cards on hand, because you never know when someone will notice your logo and ask about your service, or the topic might just come up in other ways! If you simply tell people your business's name and expect them to look you up later, you can't count on them following through. Providing a business card, however, is a sure way to make sure that your contact information ends up in their wallet. Even if they don't end up using your service, you have still succeeded in spreading the word of your business.

    Creating a Marketing Plan:

  •   Step One: The first step towards organizing your marketing efforts is to create your marketing objectives. What do you hope to achieve from all of your marketing efforts? Perhaps you have a specific percentage in mind of how many new customers you hope to draw in. It might take a year or two in the business to figure out the proper estimation for how many customers your marketing efforts will attract, but you can still set objectives that you strive to meet from the very beginning. If you aren't meeting those objectives that could be a sign that you need to put more effort into the marketing side of your business.
  •   Step Two: Focus on your target market. If your cleaning service is residential cleaning, then narrow in on what types of clients you would specifically like to market towards, since you can't market to everyone at once. Take into consideration who will be most likely to use your services, and that won't be college students or financially tight families. Your target market might be busy single parent homes, retired homes, or an upper-class two-income family. Having a very specific and direct vision in mind can help you tailor your marketing efforts to fit these demographics.

    If your target market is commercial clients, then you might describe in this section they type of business you will focus on. For example, warehouses, schools, office buildings, hospitals, and restaurants are all to be considered.

  •   Step Three: What highlights of your business do you want people to notice and be drawn towards? You're cleaning efficiency? Use of "green" products? Professionalism? Figure out what people are interested in that you have to offer, and use that to your advantage. Other businesses will be sure to offer and promote the same things, but that shouldn't mean that you shouldn't also highlight the positives of your own business. Just make sure that the qualities you are promising are top-notch, so that you can deliver honestly on your guarantee.
  •   Step Four: Apart from online campaigning, how do you plan to achieve your marketing objectives? You can plan to post an ad in a couple of local newspapers, print brochures to distributed widespread, and then organize a word-of-mouth referral system, rewarding customers who refer others to your business. Lay out a detailed plan of your marketing strategies, including how your tone of approach will be and how you hope customers will perceive it.
  •   Step Five: You will need to answer a few of the following questions:

    1.  How much of your finances will you set aside for marketing?

    2.  How far will your distribution reach? (e.g. Within the nearest 30 miles)

    3.  Which of these approaches do you foresee being the most successful, and therefore worth more of your time?

    Running through this five steps and developing a focused marketing plan can help you get started and stay on track. Keep those marketing objectives at the forefront so that you don't lose focus while running your marketing campaign.

    Now, while you're developing your marketing plan, you can be sure that your competition down the road is doing the same thing. So when everybody with a cleaning business has a marketing plan, how can you make sure that it's your campaign that people listen to?

    • Listen to the Market's Demands: Hear what the market has to say about your competition, and what their weaknesses are. Read online reviews to gather an idea of what customers are dissatisfied about in general. Then make sure that your business is capable of offering a better version of whatever that is, say for example, customer service. Enter your marketing campaign with that specific quality or service at the forefront, because you know that your competition's customers could be on the lookout for a business that doesn't have that weakness.
    • Find a Unique Selling Point: What is it about your company specifically that you can be proud of and think customers would appreciate? Is it your experience and expertise in the cleaning industry? Is it your versatility to fit into any of the cleaning industries? Is there a service you offer that no other cleaning business does? Find your unique selling point, and use that to your advantage. If you use it often enough, subtly, then consumers will come to associate your business with that quality or idea.
    • Promote Benefits: Offer potential customers special deals or benefits if they were to switch over to your cleaning business instead of your competitions. Don't make it just about the savings, because although this is an important factor, you don't' want your customers thinking that just because your prices are cheap that means your quality of service is too. So offer a discount or special promotion, if you feel that your finances can afford it, but then also stress the other benefits they'll gain from switching to your business. Maybe these benefits are more flexible hours, better-trained teams, or timely cleaning delivery.
    • Talk With Your Customers: Ask them questions about your service so that you can improve and also keep your current customers satisfied. Are they satisfied with the service delivery, the rates, and the terms and conditions? If they choose to stay with your business, what areas might they want you to improve on? Ask their preferences for cleaning chemicals, scheduled cleaning times, and other areas of your business. Just talking with your customers can make them feel heard, and then you can work to improve your service in the trouble spots they may have identified. This will encourage them to stick with your business, rather than running off to another service when one problem arises. They need to know that you want to hear about any issues and that you are dedicated to solving any problems.

    Marketing Alliances:

    It might sound backwards to start considering an alliance with your competition, but this can actually help you out tremendously. Depending on your location, you might find a large number of cleaning services that specialize in one certain area. Take your business, for example. You might solely focus on carpet and upholstery cleaning, or floor cleaning. You won't lose any customers, then, by making a marketing alliance with a cleaning service that specializes in window washing.

    What this marketing alliance means is that you will gain referrals from your competition, and you in exchange will refer customers to their service as well. This doesn't mean you refer away your own customers, but only the individuals that you can't help because you don't offer that specific window washing service. Having this alliance can bring in more word-of-mouth customers, or you can even work together with that other business if there is a contract that requires both of your services.