Before the internet, roofers mostly relied on outbound marketing methods to generate leads. These included billboard ads, print ads, radio ads, and even cold calling. In 2021, those kinds of pushy marketing tactics are far less effective. They’ve been replaced with inbound marketing techniques like search engine optimization and content marketing. When a customer finds your roofing company on a Google search, they feel like they found you. This is a major difference between cold calling, for example, where you find them.
Why is Inbound Marketing Effective for Roofers
The reasons are mostly psychological. But keep in mind that consumers are more educated, they ever have been before. An ad in the local paper was once a way to generate leads, but some homeowners would still go with the roofer they knew best from personal recommendations and word of mouth. Today, word of mouth still exists, but it travels at the speed of a WiFi connection. Online reviews have replaced word of mouth recommendations and now every consumer has a chance to probe your roofing company before hiring it. This makes inbound marketing even more effective today.
Types of Inbound Marketing
The internet is so big that there are so many opportunities to market to consumers. It used to be that a website was the main way people connected with roofers online. Today that is no longer the case. While websites are still valuable as the central hub of a marketing campaign, they are not the only way to appeal to future customers. Any way roofing companies can get people to discover their services without “pushing” them is considered a form of inbound promotion. Examples of inbound marketing include:
- Blog Posts: Attract users through natural channels like Google search, Bing search, Facebook shares, etc.
- Content Marketing: Content on your primary site or elsewhere (directories, social media) is considered inbound
- SEO: Does what its name implies; optimizes web content for search engines
- Social Media: Posts, tweets, or shares that are unpaid and appeal to a large audience
Salesmanship is less effective in 2021. Why would a homeowner look at a business card in their door hinge when they could easily compare the reputations of every local roofer within a 10-mile radius? Google My Business is far more reliable than the sales pitch of a local business. That is the new reality for roofers promoting their services in the digital age. The only way to take advantage of this is to implement an inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound vs Outbound Marketing For Roofers
Some roofers are dead set on promoting services how they used to. Outbound marketing strategies can still be effective if done correctly, but their rate of return is far less overall. Take direct mail for example. Mailing postcards to homeowners in your service area will cost you dollars and end up with your logo in the nearest trash can. There’s no incentive for a homeowner to do anything else with that flier than to toss it in the waste.
Think about other forms of outbound marketing that simply don’t work:
- Cold Calls: Pitching sales via random phone calls, perfectly illustrates outbound promotion
- Email Spam: Paid email lists often blur the line — either way, mass emails are “outbound”
- Intrusive / Pop-Up Ads: Ads that “pop-up” on a website are intrusive and “force” the user to view them
The outbound strategies worth pursuing in certain cases include billboard ads along with radio/TV ads. While they don’t have the same kind of demographic targeting as social media advertising or Google Ads, they still have brand recognition value for larger companies. Roofers should only do this when they’ve become successful enough in their community to warrant these kinds of branding exercises. For most contractors, keeping it simple is the best practice.