Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google - Marketing & Sales - Contractor Talk

Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google

 
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:13 PM   #1
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Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Hey guys,

I just moved to Western Washington and got my GC license after a 5 year hiatus in Alaska. I don't know anyone here so I'm relying on advertising to get my name out there. I'm currently spending $1000/month with Home Advisor and have got some great leads and some not so great leads. Overall I'm happy with Home Advisor but I'd be fine with dropping my HA budget to say $500, in order to market elsewhere.

I've got pages on Thumbtack, Facebook, and Google, and my own website, but I haven't spent any money to advertise them yet.

So, what has been the most cost effective way to market your business online? I know these options have all been covered in other threads but I'm curious to see how they compare when you start throwing money at them.

Thanks - Sam
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


You just have to experiment and measure. Put 250 into each for 90 days and then reallocate.

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Old 09-01-2018, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


You should take a break from all the external advertising topics, and at least create a website so there will be a central aspect of where all these leads go. Eventually you will get leads directly to your website which will offset you only spending money on services.

I googled your company name and state, and judging by it being a smaller market, I was expecting to easily find you, some pictures of your work, as well as some reviews.

But since I didn't, I only find the services you mentioned, and then you need to pay for the very activity that could also be coming directly to you.

Just a suggestion since not having a website will impact your long term opportunities where you never have an option but to continue to keep paying services.

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Old 01-15-2019, 11:46 PM   #4
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Move all your online money into Facebook ads.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:35 AM   #5
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


you have to get your name out there.

sponsor a softball team(s), youth soccer, t-ball, basketball teams.

pass out simple high quality business cards until you are sick of them.

check with your local county, city & school districts and see if they have a bidders list for small projects. (can be very lucrative)

join your local builders exchange/plan room to see what is out to bid.

usually prevailing wage jobs but there is residential and non pw commercial also.

think about groups like the elks, moose & rotary also, great contacts.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:08 PM   #6
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
you have to get your name out there.

sponsor a softball team(s), youth soccer, t-ball, basketball teams.

pass out simple high quality business cards until you are sick of them.

check with your local county, city & school districts and see if they have a bidders list for small projects. (can be very lucrative)

join your local builders exchange/plan room to see what is out to bid.

usually prevailing wage jobs but there is residential and non pw commercial also.

think about groups like the elks, moose & rotary also, great contacts.
Some good advice here.
Networking is much more effective at actually getting work vs random advertising.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:07 AM   #7
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


I definitely agree with the advice about investing in creating and optimising a website first and foremost. You need to have an active online presence these days, people will always check out your work online and if they don't like your site, or you don't have one, it's likely to put them off.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:31 PM   #8
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Quote:
Originally Posted by James Stedman View Post
I definitely agree with the advice about investing in creating and optimising a website first and foremost. You need to have an active online presence these days, people will always check out your work online and if they don't like your site, or you don't have one, it's likely to put them off.
Investing in your website first is a good idea for a couple reasons:

1. You have a central place to direct all your ad traffic/leads (and re-target them later).
2. Your site could be used to make a good impression of your brand. This can be done through good design, educational resources, and testimonials on your site.
3. Having a strong website will pay back more and more over time. Once your site builds authority, you can use the same-ish monthly budget not only to maintain page 1 rankings, but to cost effectively rank in surrounding areas or for other services.

A business website is a long-term investment and takes a little longer to payoff than paid ads, but it will bolster your ad conversions and ability to scale in the long run.

Hope this helps,
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Old 03-28-2019, 09:01 AM   #9
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Just to throw in my 2 cents, I completely agree with everyone on the website front. We rebuilt ours a while ago, and have invested in SEO etc since then, and the difference it has made is measurable. We've tried running paid ads in the past but without a good website to send people too, it's turned out to be wasted money...
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:11 PM   #10
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Here are my thoughts on three major digital marketing channels that I have extensive experience with. All specific to general contractors.

Google Ads (Formerly AdWords) - Google Ads can be incredibly effective if your campaign is set up right. You'll be getting in front of people who are ready to buy now and it's great for straight up lead gen. Some leads will have 5 figure budgets and will be looking to redo a bathroom or a kitchen. Some leads, on the other hand will have 6 figure budgets and will be looking for much larger scale renovations. There is a learning curve for sure and it will take time to optimize your cost per lead down, but when a Google Ads campaign is dialed in, you'll have all the leads you'll ever need. That being said, if you can't figure out how to dial in your campaign, it will never be profitable.

Facebook Ads - So much different than Google Ads in that people aren't actively searching Facebook for your services and they are at different stages in the buying cycle. On Facebook, your challenge will be moving your audience through awareness, interest, desire, and action in that order. This requires much more complex campaigns than Google Ads and you'll have a hard time generating straight up inquiries about your services (profitably anyway). There's also a steep learning curve with Facebook ads. I wouldn't suggest a large investment in Facebook ads at this point in your business.

SEO - If you're ranking in the top results of page one for search terms like "renovation contractor Washington" you'll have more leads than you'll ever need. What no one tells you though is that every other contractor in Washington wants those top three spots and some will invest A LOT to get there and stay there. You're playing a game with hundreds, if not thousands of competitors and only three(ish) winners. If you win this game, the results can be amazing, but if you lose, you have nothing to show for it.

In terms of cost-effectiveness, that's a tough one to answer and could only be answered definitively by testing different channels, markets, etc. I've found Google Ads to be very cost effective in that the cost per lead can be very reasonable and the lead quality is good overall.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:01 PM   #11
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


I would first spend funds on a quality website. I have been spending ad funds on a SEO manager with somewhat good results. Expensive but perhaps necessary.

However, Lately and unexpectedly I have gotten a lot of new work from nextdoor.com seems to be the new thing, at least in my area. Got a couple of positive recommendations on nextdoor and have gotten plenty of phone calls as a result. just signed up and contribute every now and then. Zero financial commitment.

Anyone else use nextdoor?
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:07 PM   #12
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


The people in our neighborhood love Nextdoor. Recommendations are golden.

Ideal for handymen and individual trade contractors. I donít see it as useful for GCs.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:21 PM   #13
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


just experiment with everything, there is no just one simple answer. In some area google works the best, in other - homeadvisor or yelp
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Old 07-01-2019, 04:32 PM   #14
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Hey there,

Whatever you do, stay away from Thumbtack! I first started using them around 2016-17, back when their bidding system only allowed up to 5 contractors to contact a client, and the one with the quickest response time usually won the bid. That stopped newcomers from using the service. Quotes used to cost anywhere between $5-20. That was the "golden period" of thumbtack.

Now they are more popular and they have totally changed their business model. Now, each client can have up to TEN CONTRACTORS bid for the same job, and Thumbtack charges EACH ONE UP TO $75 per bid. The system is set up to milk contractors for their money AND they will arbitrarily suspend your carefully-honed account without a moment's notice (like they did to me).

TLR; in my experience, thumbtack was a waste of money and very frustrating to work with. I'd take that $500 and invest it in Houzz, which is becoming more and more popular with the millenial crowd (read: lots of disposable income).

Thanks for reading!
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Old 07-01-2019, 09:15 PM   #15
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Re: Where To Spend My Marketing Budget: Home Advisor, Thumb Tack, Facebook, Google


Regarding seo (managers).

A lot of seo companies will charge per keyword, or something similar per month. They build links they control and if you cancel the links disappear. That's b.s. seo. Links developed and paid for are links earned and should be there until its natural life cycle ends.

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