Whether you’re an established small business or a startup, you’ve worked hard to get your roll-off business up and running. Now, effectively marketing your services will serve as a vital part of your growth.
If you’re worried that good marketing will break the bank—don’t be. There are plenty of strategies you can utilize to effectively market your services on a small business budget.
Here are 10 easy ways to get the most bang for your marketing buck.
(1) First and foremost, develop a marketing strategy.
Just like when you created your business plan, you need to set clear goals and establish a specific audience—like home remodelers, roofers, landscape companies, and other contractors. Your marketing strategy should also build on your company’s identity, engage both new and existing customers, establish a digital presence, and create high-quality, useful, actionable content.
No firing blindly here. You should only invest your time and budget in the marketing tactics that will further your goals and reach your intended audiences. Check out these five steps to building an effective marketing strategy, and browse this marketing plan template to get the ball rolling.
(2) Create a Google My Business account.
One of the first things people do when they’re considering a service like yours is to google it. So, setting up your Google My Business account is one of the most effective—and completely free—ways to drive traffic to your business, create visibility, and demonstrate your value through reviews (See Idea #3 for more on reviews and testimonials).
Setting up a Google My Business account means your business will show up on Google Maps, the local section of Google Search, and a specific side panel for branded searches.
And, if you complete the steps to verify ownership of your business, your Google My Business page will show up even higher on Google Maps, which will, again, drive more traffic to you. In this post, Google has helpful and clear instructions for how to sign up and verify your My Business profile.
(3) Ask for testimonials and reviews.
Reach out to happy customers and ask if they’d provide you with a testimonial to post on your website, or send them the link to post a review on your Google business page. Comments made by real people about their experience with your company can be a massive motivator for new customers. After all, when people are looking for a service provider, they’re more likely to trust a third party. That’s where those reviews come in—they can really help you sell your business.
Then, make sure you’re managing those reviews.
Keep in mind that it’s important to respond to those reviews, good and bad. Be sure to thank people for the positive ones—and if it’s negative, share a phone number or email where they can get in touch with you, or let them know you’ll reach out directly to learn more and try to resolve the issue.
Responding in this way not only helps service that particular customer, but it also demonstrates that you care for your customers to everyone else who might be reading your reviews—proving you can be trusted with their business.
(4) Optimize all available avenues for advertising.
Enter: Decals. Brand your company vehicles and equipment with your company logo and contact information. If a full paint job isn’t in the budget, you might opt for magnets or decals. Pick colors, logos, and decals people will remember—like Go Green containers—something that stands out from the competition. You want customers to look at your decal and think, “Oh, you’re that green container guy!”
In the roll-off industry, container decals are an important and cost-friendly way to market your business. Your containers are out where plenty of other people can see them, after all. If those containers are clearly marked with your logo—and not just the manufacturer’s, which can cause confusion—you’re bound to get some interest from people who’ve seen your equipment in their neighborhood, on their way to work, or while running errands in town.
Not sure where to start? We offer some supplier recommendations right here.
(5) Collaborate—build industry partnerships.
Form a group of likeminded, non-competitive businesses in your area, and agree to cross-promote one another.
Industry partnerships grow your client base by filling it with customers from other local, trusted companies. For example, you might partner with local construction contractors and home renovators. You might also co-brand things, like coupons and fliers, share reciprocal website links, bundle promos, or cross-advertise on social media with your partner companies.
(6) Post and engage on social media.
Managing social media profiles can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Think of social media as one of many tools that help you engage with your customers—veteran, new, and potential.
Remember: Social media is not so much a broadcast tool, but a conversation tool. That means it works best when you engage with audience comments as opposed to posting and then letting comments sit unanswered. You can even promote your blog posts (more on this later) on your social media pages—which drives traffic to your website and increases engagement with the content there.
You might use the big platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to share photos of your rigs so gearheads can geek-out, tell a story about the local vet who hired your business, and post photos and stories about your staff to build trust by helping customers feel a sense of connection with your team. These stories frame you in a positive light and give you an opportunity to thank them for their business.
Overall, you want to keep your social media presence friendly, approachable, and informative. But have some fun with it, too! Share funny videos and gifs on occasion—laughter can serve as a reward for your audience when they give you their time.
And if you’re looking for a simple, free way to create professional-looking graphics to post on your social pages, check out Canva. They have templates for everything from flyers, brochures, and posters, to logos, coupons, and gift certificates.
(7) Launch a customer referral program.
Offer existing customers a discount on future service for sending new customers your way. Word-of-mouth is a force—use it to drive your sales and business growth.
To borrow from this article with tips for creating a customer referral program, “A happy army of satisfied customers can do a lot of legwork for you.”
(8) Invest in a professional website.
A well-designed, interactive, easy-to-use website helps establish trust. If people see a website that’s poorly designed or has typos, that negative experience will carry over to their perceptions of your business. If your website looks sloppy, they might wonder, “will their service be sloppy too?”
When exploring options for website design, keep it clean—and uncomplicated. You want to clearly communicate the benefits and value that you deliver with your service, and demonstrate that you are reliable, affordable, and get the job done well.
What you don’t want is for your customers to get lost in endless content, as that can slow sales. Often, it helps to look at your content from the customer’s perspective—and call in reinforcements. Invite a family member or good buddy to take a look at your content. Ask them to clarify that your content is clear, and relevant to your customers.
If you need tips on how to build a simple, low-cost website for roll-off businesses, find some here.
(9) Create a company blog.
Simply put, company blogs are good for business. And, they present the perfect opportunity to write about what you know best!
When blogs are done well, they:
- boost SEO—SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. That basically means, optimizing a website for search engines, like Google, Yahoo, or Bing, so that the website appears in a higher position on the search engine.
- drive traffic to your website
- establish authority—they demonstrate how and why you are an expert on the topics and industries in which you have expertise
- connect you to veteran, new, and potential customers
- create reciprocity—when you give away free, valuable information to customers, they’ll remember that you provided the information without any expectation of sale. This shows that you care about their business.
You can read more tips on how to craft an effective small business blog here.
(10) Get involved in your local community.
Establishing and maintaining a physical presence in your local area:
- increases brand recognition
- boosts your company’s reputation
- helps you learn more about your client base.
People are more likely to choose a company that invests in their local community over one that doesn’t. This could look like:
- becoming a member of the local Lions Club and other community boards or clubs
- reaching out to the local newspaper to share your community involvement—which gives your business more visibility
- attending farmers markets, annual celebrations, and other raffles or contests
- participating in local parades, and handing out stickers and/or coupons
- hosting or speaking at an event—like taking the time to talk to students at the local elementary or middle school about the role they can play in recycling
- applying for local business awards
For example, when residents decided they needed to clean up their waterway, a client of ours, Modern Disposal, stepped up—they committed to bringing roll-offs to the site and pitching in on the effort.
These are all low-cost ways to show your part of the community that you care what happens in the community—all while raising awareness of your business, strengthening existing connections, and building new relationships.
At the end of the day, remember:
When it comes to marketing, keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Especially as an established small roll-off business or a small startup, you have to define what will work best for your budget, your intended audience, and your objectives.
But, if you’re strategic about investing your time and energy into some of these low-cost marketing ideas, you’ll grow your client pool, increase sales, and start checking off milestones on your business growth journey.