Trapped! Selecting the Appropriate Inside Insect Monitoring Lure – PCT

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As the pest season warms up and brings high consumer demand for pest control services, now is the time to make sure your marketing plans are updated for the busiest time of the year. While many homeowners have forgotten about the timely return of these summer pests, I wouldn’t acknowledge that this summer is not going as usual.

While the vaccine launch plans provide a clearer timeline for a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent article on Marketing Dive stated that 2021 will be another volatile year for marketers. While we will certainly continue to feel the pressure of the long-lasting impact of last year, there are steps business owners can take now to get their summer marketing plans in tip-top shape as we gradually move towards a post-pandemic world.

START WITH THE OPTIMIZATION. According to Forbes.com, SEO is still one of the best customer acquisition strategies for locally-based businesses. However, a study by Small Business Trends found that only 30 percent of small businesses actually have an SEO strategy in place. With summer pests arriving just around the corner, residential and commercial customers will no doubt be looking for a pest control company. So it is important to make sure these people know where to find them. But with the Internet continually growing by millions, if not billions of web pages per day, this can be a daunting task.

Ahrefs conducted a study of nearly a billion websites to find out how many of them are completely invisible – meaning they don’t get any organic search traffic. The study concluded that a whopping 90.88 percent of websites are completely invisible. While you can assume that you don’t want to find your business in the middle of these invisible pages, there are ways you can keep your business from drowning in the mess.

With SEO, you can make sure your business stands out from the crowd by building backlinks, choosing content with organic traffic potential, matching search intent, and making sure everything is properly indexed. Investing in the right seasonal strategy goes a long way towards maximizing your annual marketing budget during months of high pest pressure, and SEO is one of the most effective strategies for doing this.

Let’s face it – SEO, because of its cost effectiveness and efficiency, should be a key strategy for businesses of all sizes to grow their digital presence. The good news? Most small businesses manage their SEO strategies themselves through the use of programs like Moz Pro and Ahrefs, so you don’t have to invest in experts to start optimizing.

STRENGTHEN SOCIAL STRATEGIES. As the world’s population continues to rely on the internet more than ever, it is clear that social media will be the focus of the post-pandemic marketing world. To put things in perspective, only about half the world’s population is now on social media. So it’s clear why companies can and should build a strong foundation for their social campaigns from the start.

According to Facebook’s Small Business Report, 51 percent of companies increased online interactions with their customers due to the pandemic. Harvard Business Review also finds that companies looking to reassess their social media strategies in a rapidly changing landscape are minimizing risk and maximizing the opportunity to connect with consumers.

In the past, marketers planned campaigns months in advance. However, the unexpected pandemic bulldozed this practice, forcing us to adapt by tweaking entire campaigns on the fly. With these new experiences, we’ve learned that shorter schedules will be the new norm and we’ll be able to adjust campaigns and priorities on the fly.

An effective social media strategy is consistently maintained. Show yourself to your audience and deliver consistent content. Awareness Weeks are a great opportunity to connect with customers on current pest-related topics while ensuring a healthy rhythm of content. Not only does this keep existing customers hooked, but it also invites potential customers who stumble upon your page to follow them and, in most cases, drive traffic to your website.

Effective social media marketing strategies are based on data. Therefore, pay close attention to metrics such as reach, clicks and engagement, as well as organic and paid likes. Platforms like Facebook Analytics and Hootsuite are great, easy-to-use options for closely tracking how your content is performing and how it is being received by consumers.

Punctuality is more critical than ever for marketers. Customers not only expect quick reactions from brands, they also long for meaningful, authentic conversations. Whether it’s a bizarre answer to a compliment or a quick answer to an unanswered question, meaningful engagement goes a long way toward helping customers get more and more used to the modern concept of customer service via social media.

BE AVAILABLE. As temperatures rise, so does the need for pest control services. With unlimited information at hand, consumers can quickly and efficiently review professional services with the click of a mouse and use a company’s online presence as an indicator of the quality of service they would receive if they chose to continue.

Make sure your contact information is easy to find and provide links to various platforms to reach you, including current social media pages. Once people can find you, make sure they feel supported. According to customers, fast response time is the most important characteristic of high quality customer service. While research by Sprout Social shows that the average response time from a brand is around 10 hours, most users expect a response within four hours. A study conducted by Applied Marketing Science found that customers are willing to spend more money when a company is quick to respond to their request. So, consider implementing customer service software like Hubspot to provide 24/7 support.

WHAT WE LEARNED. In the past year we have learned more than ever the importance of maintaining open communication – both internally with employees and externally with existing and potential customers. Engaging and being available to customers reduces the likelihood that a negative experience will go unanswered. While it may sound small, these steps can work wonders in making customers feel like you really care about them.

If there is one thing we have learned in 2020, it is imperative to maintain a personal connection with consumers. Ultimately, keeping customers satisfied and informed is of the utmost importance to the success of any business. It is therefore imperative to take additional steps to ensure an organic customer-business relationship.

There’s no denying that we live in a hyperconnected world, so customers naturally expect companies to be available 24/7. Staying available for customers and keeping in touch with them at every stage of their respective journey are essential steps in building lasting trust.

Like many other industries, pest control is heavily influenced by seasonal factors. By maximizing your business during these peak months, you are taking the steps necessary to maintain a strong online presence year round and position your business as a consistent, reliable leader in pest control.

Cindy Mannes is the Executive Director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Management Association. Learn more about PPMA at www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.