Creating Content in 2023: What Will Help You Reach Your Business Goals?

In 2023, creating content that is valuable and engaging to your audience will be key in achieving your business goals. Content creation should focus on building relationships with customers, providing accurate information about products or services, and providing a platform for customers to engage with your brand.

Let’s look at some common business goals and different types of content you can create to help you reach them.

1. Increase Brand Awareness:

Are you looking to boost your brand’s visibility? Crafting content that positions you as the expert in your field is an excellent way of achieving this goal.

Content marketing involves developing and sharing meaningful, valuable content with your target audience. Use your expertise and experience to create content that showcases your knowledge and provides your audience with insightful information about the industry such as:

  • Blog posts – create informative, helpful, and keyword-rich blog content that educates your readers and helps them solve their problems.
  • Infographics – create eye-catching infographic content that can be used to explain complex topics or to present data in an easily digestible format.
  • Videos – create engaging video content that can be used to showcase your products and services or to provide helpful tutorials and how-tos.
  • Social media posts – create shareable content that people will enjoy and engage with on social media.

This type of content should be creative, entertaining and informative. The key is to create content that resonates with your audience and provides them with valuable information. Additionally, you should also ensure that your content is optimized for search engines so it can be easily discovered.

Creating content that is easy for users to consume will help increase awareness about your business and drive more traffic to your website.

2. Generate Leads:

Creating content that will generate leads is an important part of any successful marketing strategy. If you want to generate more leads, you need to create content that encourages customers to take action.

A few strategies you may want to consider include:

  • Optimizing your content (seo)
  • Targeting specific keywords and topics
  • Leveraging social media to share your content with a wider audience
  • Writing content that is interesting and informative to your target audience

You may also want to consider creating content with a call-to-action to generate leads, such as offering a free download or providing a contact form for those interested in learning more about your product or service. With the right content strategy, you can create content that will help you generate leads and grow your business.

3. Build Customer Loyalty:

Creating content that will build customer loyalty can be a great way to increase customer retention and boost long-term customer engagement.

Here are some ideas on how to create content that will build customer loyalty:

  1. Focus on providing quality content. Quality content can include helpful advice, tips, articles, videos, and more that are tailored to customer needs.
  2. Show appreciation for customers. Create content that highlights customer achievements and thank customers for their support.
  3. Offer exclusive content. Give customers early access to new products, discounts, and other special offers.
  4. Ask customers for feedback. Encourage customer feedback by asking customers for their opinions, ideas, and suggestions.
  5. Share customer stories. Highlight customer success stories in your content.

You should also consider creating customer loyalty programs that reward customers for their loyalty. Rewarding loyal customers with discounts, exclusive offers, or other promotional items can help increase customer engagement and satisfaction.

By following these tips, you can create content that will build customer loyalty and help strengthen relationships with your customers.

Remember This When Creating Your Content

Creating content that meets your business goals in 2023 will require a well thought-out content strategy.

It is important to ensure that your content is tailored to the needs of your target audience and is optimized for search engine rankings. Use creativity when creating your content to make it truly stand out. This will increase its visibility and attract more viewers. For maximum impact and engagement from your audience, it is essential to be consistent with your content – this will not only help you gain their trust but also keep them coming back for more. With careful and thoughtful content creation, your business can reach its goals and find success.

Prepare To Meet Your 2023 Goals

By focusing on creating content that is valuable and engaging for your customers, you can build relationships with them and increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build customer loyalty.

By following these tips and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in content marketing, you can ensure that your content creation efforts are successful in 2023.

If you need help creating a content strategy for your brand, contact us today at 412-715-6266.

6 Signs Your Painting Business Website Needs To Be Updated

Remember when it was trendy to have scrolling banners, a website visitors counter, blinking text or Adobe Flash on your website?

Does your website still have those…or does it look like it was designed when boy bands were still cool?

If so, it is definitely time for an update.

Here are 6 more signs that it’s time to redo your website:

✅ Your Website Isn’t Responsive

Does your website look as good or better on a phone than it does on a desktop?

If not, it’s time for an update. 

Your website should adapt and look good on all devices.

Why?

Well, first of all, this could actually be hurting you in the organic search rankings.  Google has started to penalize websites that are not designed for mobile devices because they determine the rankings using the mobile version.  If Google prioritizes a mobile-friendly website, you should, too. Unfortunately, the vast majority of painting businesses actually do the opposite.

Secondly, your customers will think that you don’t care about them having a good experience.  

More of your customers are going to your website using their phones instead of a desktop than ever before.  If they have to pinch, zoom and swipe their way through a non-optimized website, there is a good chance they’ll move on to the next painting company quickly.

If your website was built several years ago, even if it is responsive, it may not be as user-friendly on mobile devices as it could be. There has been a shift in both best practices, loading time acceptability and user expectations. 

In order to determine whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, you can use Google’s own mobile-friendly test tool: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly

✅ Your Website Isn’t Easy For Your Target Market To Navigate

Can your ideal client easily navigate your website?

If not, it’s time for an update.  A client should be able to get to any page they want within 3 clicks.

3 clicks is what the average person finds acceptable while browsing for information.  In this increasingly fast-paced world where attention span is at a premium, prospects should find your website intuitive.

Typically, when business owners prioritize “pretty” websites over functionality and clever wordplay over straightforward descriptions, this is where you can lose people.

Some other common issues that we see:

  • Menu isn’t mobile friendly
  • Too many menu items
  • Too few menu items
  • Inability to navigate back a page or up a level
  • Blogs with no navigation
  • No site menu

If these are a problem on your site as well, you want to start thinking about a change.

✅ Your Website Isn’t Updated Regularly

When was the last time that you updated your website?

If you can’t remember, or if it was more than 3-4 years ago, it’s time for an update.  You want to make the best first impression you can, and that includes what people think of your online properties as well.  In fact, most people will judge a website within the first .05 seconds of seeing it.

An updated website is important for many reasons.

  • Aesthetic trends change, so a layout or graphic scheme that was popular before may not be popular now.  This can date your website.
  • Security protocols will update or change, which may leave you vulnerable to hacking.
  • Embedded code protocols from third parties (like YouTube or Rumble) will change as well, which could break the functionality on your website.

One way to evaluate your website is to compare it to your competition.  Look at the websites of 5 local competitors.  If all of them have nicer looking websites, it’s time to update yours.

Remember, people make assumptions about you based on what your website looks like.  If it looks old or sloppy with broken functionality, they may assume that’s how your business is run as well.

You might not give much thought to an out-of-date website, but it’s the digital equivalent of a high end boutique with bad lighting or a law office with holes in the waiting room upholstery. Putting in no effort to the appearance suggests that you don’t care about how you come across to others.

Customers and prospects want to be cared about.

✅ Your Website Doesn’t Convert Visitors Into Clients

When someone visits your website, do they normally become a client?

If you don’t convert a decent percentage of website visitors into clients, it is time for a website update.

Having a website is essential for any business today. However, merely existing online is not enough. Your website’s purpose is to promote your company.  It should be your BEST (and easiest to control) salesman.

A few ways that you can improve your conversion rate:

  • Be sure to have clear calls to action that stand out on every page
  • Be consistent in your messaging across all platforms
  • Provide helpful content about your business as well as why someone should work with you
  • Add your phone number and email address at the top of the website and make sure they are clickable
  • Adding a chat bot makes it easy to ask questions and helps a prospect decide to go with your services on the spot
  • A scheduler widget that allows a prospect to create their own appointment with you to accommodate a busy schedule
  • Ask for only a small amount of information so it’s easy for a prospect to fill out a form and submit.  The key is for you to get in touch quickly after the submission.

A good metric to look at if you have Google Analytics installed on your site is called Bounce Rate.

Bounce Rate tracks the percentage of first-time visitors that depart your webpage without navigating any further. While it’s normal for some pages to have a larger bounce rate than others, consistently high rates across the board indicate that something is wrong with your website.

✅ Your Website Doesn’t Follow Google’s Rules To Rank Well

Does your website play by Google’s SEO (search engine optimization) rules?

If you haven’t optimized your website in the past year or two, it’s time for an update.  Google constantly is changing/adding to their SEO rules.

SEO lays the foundation for having your website rank well and show up on the first page of results.  For more in depth information on SEO, check out this article from IFTS on “SEO for House Painting Companies”.

A few of the most important SEO rules:

  • Your website should have an SSL certificate
  • Load time for the site should be under 3 seconds
  • Popular keywords associated with your business should be used in the URL, page titles and headers
  • The meta description and page title field should be filled in
  • There are no bugs in the website code
  • There are no security vulnerabilities

While it is true that sometimes a combination of different approaches might solve these issues, if your website is more than a few years old, it is usually best to start from scratch. There is a limit to how many times you can fix a broken website by applying temporary fixes.

✅ Your Website Doesn’t Have Multiple Ways For People To Contact You

If I go to your website, are there multiple ways to get in touch with your business?

If you don’t have a phone number, a contact form and an email address easily available, it is time for an update.  Because people communicate and learn in different ways, it’s important to make it easy to contact you using multiple methods.

A great first step is to add the phone number, email address and social media property links to the top of your header.  These will be easily accessible no matter what page of the website a prospective customer is visiting.

A chat bot can be a valuable tool as well.  The easier you make it for prospects to get their questions answered and any fears allayed, the better chance you have of getting that person as a client.

Finally, a contact form on your website that can be navigated to easily (one click) makes the perfect trifecta of website communication.

🤔Thinking That Your Website Is Ready For An Update?

After reading this list, you may be convinced that a website redesign is in order and you are probably right!

Want help?

Using the newest responsive design trends, search engine optimization (SEO), and other cutting-edge features, our developers will craft a unique website for your company.  Call IFTS today at 412.715.6266 to get started!

10 Of Our Favorite Marketing Hacks For House Painting Companies In 2022

Would you like to know about our 10 favorite super sneaky marketing hacks that you can implement today?

We use these marketing secrets to help our painter clients rank their website #1 for their favorite keywords, get more organic traffic and ultimately, get more leads to grow their business.

In this article, we are going to cover ten actionable strategies that you can use RIGHT NOW.

The best part?

You don’t have to be super tech savvy or Elon Musk to get them implemented.

Let’s start this section with our favorite Google Business Profile hacks.

Hack #1 - Social Proof Will Get You More Leads

The best two platforms to get reviews on are:

  • Google
  • Meta (Formerly Facebook)

Google reviews are the best type of reviews that you can receive because not only do they talk you up and show people how great you are, they also help your website with its SEO.  As an added bonus, once you have 100 reviews, your star rating will be shown when you run Google ads.

Meta reviews are great to have as well because of the platform’s popularity in a house painting company’s target market.  Most house painters that we work with have a target audience of women that are between the ages of 35 to 64.  Consequently, that is the majority of Meta users.  By using this platform, you are more likely to get in front of your ideal client than any other social media option.

If you can get a video testimonial from a client, that can go a long way as well.  A lot of people get stuck on the logistics of creating the video, but it shouldn’t be that hard.  You can interview them via Zoom and record that call or just have them use their phone to record a quick video. 

The more authentic the video looks, the better.  This is for two reasons.  One – if the video is over-produced, it will seem scripted and less credible.  Two – if people see that someone took time out of their day to create a quick video for you, it shows that they really liked you and your work.

Once you have these videos, be sure to put them everywhere a potential audience may look.  This could include:

  • YouTube
  • Your website
  • Social Media
  • Your Google Business Profile
  • and more!

Reviews are a great way to show how great you are without you ever having to say a word.

Want some help getting more reviews?  Check out our article on implementing a review system.

 

Hack #2 - Get Your Listing On Google Maps

Getting your business listed in the Google Maps results is based on many factors.  A few big ones are:

  • how close the searcher is to your business location 
  • your review ranking and volume (which we discussed above in Hack #1)
  • profile completeness
  • local signals

To start, make sure that your profile is completely filled out with correct information.  Your name in the Google Business Profile should match exactly the name on your website.  This goes for your address, website, and phone number as well.  Then, be sure that your business categories and services are filled in completely.  

The final part of your profile that should be completed is the “Photos” section. Be sure to add as many photos as you can as this is a feature that not many painters take advantage of.

For a complete walkthrough of filling out a Google Business Profile, check out our article here: https://blog.iftsdesign.com/introducing-google-my-business/

“Local Signals” are another big factor for showing up early on Google Maps.  These are website links to your website from other local businesses or services.  A few examples of this would be:

  • a back link from the local chamber of commerce
  • a back link from a local scholarship that you sponsored
  • a mention or link to your business from a local paper

Anything that you can do to get your business associated with your area is a great “local signal” to Google.

Hack #3 - Ask and Answer Questions Via Your Profile

An easy way to get keywords and locations associated with your Google Business Profile is through the question and answer section.

Previously, you were not able to add questions to your profile yourself,  You had to wait for someone to ask and then you could answer them.  This has now changed.

The Q&A section of your Google Business Profile is a great way to show all of your most frequently asked questions up front to prospective customers.

Write down the 10 questions that you receive all of the time from prospects and then answer them in 3-5 sentences.  While you are answering them, be sure to use common keywords/phrases as well as locations that you want associated with your house painting business.

Once you have accomplished this task, copy and paste them to your Google Business Profile.

Now, we’ll move to our favorite Paid Ad Hacks.

Hack #4 - Solve Your Prospects’ Small Problems For Free In an Ad

What are the questions you most commonly get asked? If you’ve already implemented Hack #3 from this article, you should have this list already.

Side Note – Need some inspiration?  Check out https://answerthepublic.com/ or https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ for commonly asked or searched questions in your field.

Make videos answering these questions and position yourself as the expert in your area.  Again, just like the testimonials, the videos do not have to be fancy or highly edited.  They should be authentic and can be filmed with your cell phone.  Some painters will even film on the job site.

Sample Common House Painter Questions To Get You Started:

How often should I paint the exterior of my house in this area?

  • What is the best time of the year to stain a deck?
  • How many coats of paint should be used on the exterior of your house?
  • How many coats of paint should be used on the interior of your house?
  • What does it mean for a painting company to be bonded and insured?
  • Should I paint my kitchen cabinets or should I replace them?

Once you have your videos, post them to your social media, YouTube channel and on your website.

You should also run them as Meta ads to your local audience.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just one to five dollars per day.  This helps you get in front of a fairly large group of people in a small amount of time.

These videos will help you create an audience that already knows/likes/trusts you when it comes to painting topics.  When they have a painting project come up, you will be the one that they know they can trust.

Hack #5 - Make Your Ad Stand Out

When creating your video, you want to be sure to stand out amongst the crowded marketplace.

The first way to do this is to use contrasting colors to the platform that you are running the ad on.  If you are going to run the ad on Meta (Facebook), we recommend having a red or yellow bar at the top of the video because it helps you stand out from the Meta blue color scheme.  An easy way to do some small edits to your video is through Canva.  

Don’t want to take the time to do any edits to the video?  Try wearing a brightly colored red or yellow shirt.

The second way to stand out is to immediately call out your audience or target market.  So, if you were advertising kitchen cabinet painting to the residents of Dallas, you could start your video with the sentence: 

“Are you living in the Dallas area and thinking about redoing your kitchen?”

Or, you could do some video editing and add that sentence as text to the beginning of the video.

A final way to stand out is to start your video with a big action or a memorable prop at the beginning.  You want to grab someone’s attention – movement or something unexpected will typically draw the eye.

A few big actions you could try:

  • come in through a door
  • big wave and a smile
  • use a paint sprayer or other tool of the trade
  • jump into the frame

A few memorable props you could try:

  • Comically large-sized paintbrush
  • Wall of stacked of paint cans
  • stand halfway up a ladder

The important thing to remember is you want to get their attention within the first 3 seconds of the video and keep them watching.  These tactics all use “pattern interrupt”.  This basically means – do something to get a person to stop scrolling through their feed and watch your video/read your ad.

Hack #6 - Use Retargeting Ads In Multiple Ways

The average consumer is only prepared to make a purchase about 3% of the time

So, how do you attract the other 97% of people?

Retargeting Ads

Retargeting allows you to stay in front of someone that is interested in your services until they are ready to make a purchasing decision.  If you are advertising on Meta (Facebook), you can do this in 2 ways:

  • Meta Pixel
  • Video Viewers

The Meta Pixel is a small piece of code that you install on your website.  It then tracks who has visited the site and allows you to show them ads on Meta.  

One caveat – The usefulness of the Pixel has diminished over time as Apple now requires users to opt in to being tracked.  Only about 10% of people opt in (not surprising).  Advertisers now have a much harder time reaching Apple users via this method.

The other way you can retarget someone is through their video views.  Meta tracks who watches your videos and for how long.  So, you can advertise to people that have watched at least a certain percentage of a video.  

We recommend retargeting people who have watched at least 25% – 50% of a video.

Sample Retargeting Strategy For House Painters

A good video strategy for painters is to run 3-5 FAQ ads to women 35-64 in your local area.  Then, retarget the women who have watched at least 25% of one of the videos with an ad that has a special offer or a more direct call to action.

Finally, let’s cover our favorite psychological marketing tricks.

Hack #7 - Get an Awesome Business Card With Your Picture

One strategy that isn’t commonly used by painters is to get a really nice business card with your picture on it.

Why use your picture?

First of all, people want to do business with people, not a faceless business.  Secondly, it will help them remember who you are.

Now, how nice is nice, you may ask…

Stand out from the crowd of people that are handing out the white, one sided business cards that they ordered by the thousands from VistaPrint for under $50 and get a card that is plastic, like a credit card.  Check out plasticprinters.com for decent pricing.

Not only that, make the card graphically pleasing and “cool looking” by having it designed professionally.  Look on fiverr.com for a great deal on the design aspect.

Because the card is so nice, people feel bad about throwing it away.  So, you’ve got a tangible remarketing tool that they will keep, unlike other painting companies.  This will set you apart from the cheap lookalike cards that are thrown away easily.

[On an aside] We do recommend having 2 sets of cards created.  One set should be plastic and lux for giving away to potential customers.  The other set can be on paper.  These paper ones should be given away to people that may not necessarily hire you, but you may use as a contact or meet at a networking event.

Hack #8 - Make Your Voicemail Work For You

Your clients should never reach your voicemail.  Preferably, you’d have a call center in place to make sure that they never had to talk to a machine.

However, if the perfect set of circumstances happen and they do manage to reach your voicemail, there is one phrase you should add to the end of the message:

Add “I will call you in the next 15 minutes”

When people hear this, they will be much more likely to leave a message because they have that expectation of receiving a call back soon.  Even if you aren’t able to call back in that amount of time, you still get a chance at that lead.

Hack #9 - Give a Compliment At the Beginning

People want to be liked and this plays into that psychology.

Before you start an estimate, give a compliment to the prospect.  It could be about the house, the neighborhood, a family picture, furniture, their pet etc.  People like people who like them.  People also HIRE people who they like.

Most of the time, people don’t remember what you say, but they do remember how you make them feel.  This applies to most human interaction.  So, if you make them feel good about themselves at the beginning, the feeling should carry through the whole experience.  

By making a prospect feel good about themselves, it puts you in a better position for you to get their business.

Hack #10 - Go Get Started

Getting started is half the battle.  Choose one thing from this list that you want to accomplish in the next 24 hours and GO DO IT!  You’ll be ahead of 95% of your competition.

Want Some Help?

Is there something on this list that you would like to implement, but aren’t quite sure how or don’t have the time to do?

This is where IFTS comes in.  We have been working with house painters (and other businesses) for over 5 years on all aspects of their marketing.  Give us a call at 412-715-6266 or send us an email (si@iftsdesign.com).  We’d love to help you grow your painting company.