Just 12 months ago, Rob, the owner of ABC Pest Control was feeling frustrated. He’d fallen into the common, small-business trap of relying on “word-of-mouth” to get new customers.
(Don’t get me wrong WOM is great. But it’s not a reliable and systematic way to grow a business.)
Why was Rob relying on WOM
Because every Pest Controller in his area was fighting for the Google top-spots. This meant Google advertising was about $35 a click.
Rob was talking to ‘marketing companies’ to see how he could solve his problems.
SEO was going to be costly and time consuming. Results weren’t ‘guaranteed’ because the competition wanted to be number 1 in Google too.
The Yellow Pages marketing proposal boiled down to adding him to all of their directories. Rob was convinced competing with the other Pest Controllers in directories would be just as bad as the Google situation.
When Rob made his enquiry to us, we went through our consultation procedure. This allowed us to understand his business, the local area, the competition and his objectives in detail.
I felt a different approach was needed.
So, I ‘borrowed’ (read ‘stole’) the marketing tactics of the Hollywood movie makers, made some minor adjustments and presented my plan.
Rob was skeptical. Especially as we never met face-to-face. (ABC Pest Control is in a different state to us.)
However, as I explained each part of our plan and how it related to his business growth, I could hear the sense of understanding in Rob’s voice. He instinctively knew it would work.
Here are some highlights of the last 12 months:
- Rob made an extra $255k (this was measured at 9 months at the end of the financial year, so is actually much higher)
- We do all of Rob’s marketing – he speaks with us for 30 mins each week on the phone
- Rob has 2 offers to be bought out by 2 different competitors
- Rob has employed extra staff to cope with the increased workload
And here’s the best part…
Without even “trying”, the marketing approach I ‘borrowed’ from the Hollywood movie makers has put Rob’s site at the top of Google. Not just for one search term but for nearly every search term associated with his pest control business. In most cases Number 1. And the competition can’t knock him off these top spots because they’re still using “fake” SEO tactics.
Want to do the same for your company?
Here are the thought processes and steps I went through:-
Thought Process #1
The first thing I did was understand who Rob’s buyers are. In his case, they were all of the home owners in his local area. (This may sound stupid but many business owners spend a ton of money advertising to an audience of people who are unlikely to ever buy from them.)
Step #1 – Solid Foundations
We needed a ‘good’ website to land potential buyers on. What’s a ‘good’ website?
- First off, we researched the keywords people typed into Google, so we could properly structure and format his website pages. Although my plan wasn’t based on dominating the search engines, I knew we would eventually. So it made sense to get things right from the beginning.
- Along the same lines, we built his website on a platform we know can rank at the top of the search engines, is robust and well supported (We used WordPress. Most platforms are OK to use but at the time of writing Wix isn’t, as Google won’t put their sites in it’s index – in other words, Wix sites won’t show up in Google.)
- We wrote the content of the site for the homeowners in his local area. We didn’t just write content and be done. We made it relevant to his local area, put useful local numbers for related services and so on. In other words, relevant content for his target audience.
- We made sure the website was modern, looked good on mobile devices, was easy to navigate and had relevant images.
OK, so far nothing ‘out there’ but simply a solid foundation on which to build.
Thought Process #2
If we advertised Rob’s products and services, we could only advertise a number of variations on ‘pest inspections’. It would become ‘tiring’ to his local audience after just a couple of weeks.
Thought Process #3
People are going to look for Pest Control services when they need them. They don’t want them every week.
Thought Process #4
We needed to find a way to have ABC Pest Control in front of the local audience all of the time. So when they needed a Pest Control Company, they would naturally think of ABC Pest Control.
Step #2 – Hollywood Movie Maker Content Plan
When you’re deciding on which movie to watch, how do you do it?
Well, the chances are it’s one of 2 ways…
It might be because a certain actor is in the movie. Or, it might be because you’ve seen the trailer.
We ‘borrowed’ both of these concepts to formulate a “Hollywood Movie Maker Content Plan”.
#1 – The Actor: This is the same as seeing ABC Pest Control frequently, ‘liking’ what you see and getting to know them.
#2 – The Trailer: This means ‘exposing’ ABC Pest Control to our audience in easy-to-consume chunks.
We planned an initial 6 months, so we created a 26 week plan of 26 pieces of content. All of the content pieces were designed to be either interesting, useful or entertaining to Rob’s audience – the homeowners in his area.
It didn’t have to result in a sale for his business the first time someone saw a content piece. (I know this is counter-intuitive in today’s age of being able to measure every click)
A good example is ‘Brown Snakes.’
ABC Pest Control aren’t snake catchers. But we still created a piece of content on the topic of Brown Snakes. How to identify them. The number of the local snake catcher. What to do if you get bitten. Useful information for Rob’s local audience, as brown snakes were on the increase as summer approached.
Step #3 – Promote Your Content a.k.a. Advertise Your Movie Trailer
Each week we advertise Rob’s latest piece of content on Facebook to his local area buyers. Again, this sounds counter-intuitive as we’re not advertising his products or services. We’re paying to advertise content useful to his local audience which is unlikely to result in an immediate sale.
What does this accomplish?
We advertised the post with Brown Snakes. It went worldwide. Lots of comments, shares and response.
Each week we advertised the latest ‘post’. Some went more ‘viral’ than others. Some were more popular with older people, some with younger people.
But we haven’t stopped and we’ve gone past the 12 month mark, meaning there are over 60 articles all written for the local homeowners in Rob’s area.
Lots of the home owners in Rob’s local area have interacted with at least one of the posts. They don’t go and search for pest control companies when they need pest services. They search for Rob and ABC Pest Control.
You know what Google loves and rewards? Fresh content. So, Rob is now in the fortunate position of being top in the search engines. Not because he got an ‘SEO Company’ to build hundreds of thousands of spammy links. But because he has a weekly piece of fresh, engaging content on his site.
How can any of the other companies ever catch up to that?
The steps and thought processes are the same for any Pest Control Company in Australia. The steps aren’t difficult but they take up significant time.
It’s more than worth it.
The rewards come after the first few weeks. The more you do the better it gets. Your competition don’t stand a chance.
If you’d like us to create and implement a solid marketing plan for your company, get in touch. You can book a free consultation here.
As a bonus, if you book a consultation I’ll show you a consistent way you can grow your customers even if you decide not to move ahead with us.
(To keep the integrity of my client’s campaigns, I use the substitute names ‘ABC Pest Control’ and ‘Rob’ in these articles. I’ll be delighted to showcase the company and proof of results, if you want me to market your pest control company)