How to Treat Your Digital Marketing Like You Treat Your Fleet of Vehicles
- July 10, 2019
- By: Vonigo
This article about digital marketing maintenance is by Todd Friedman, Owner of Kiraly Marketing, a former exotic car mechanic turned digital marketing agency owner.
Different Tools, Similar Skills
As someone who used to turn wrenches for a living, I have a unique perspective on digital marketing. Using the problem-solving abilities, and creative thinking I learned while working as a high-end automobile mechanic has translated very well into the world of digital marketing and online lead generation.
One thing many service business owners don’t think about is the correlation between fleet vehicle maintenance and digital marketing maintenance.
Staying On Top of Repairs
You rely on your fleet of vehicles to get you and your team to the job on time every time and rely on them to last for years to come. If an issue arises with one of your fleet vehicles, like a bad ball joint or worn brakes, you don’t think twice about having the work done because it keeps your team moving and the revenue rolling in.
In fact, you probably have conversations with your mechanic to keep abreast of the condition of your work vehicles, what to expect in the future, and what maintenance will be needed soon.
But when it comes to marketing online and generating leads, many service business owners prefer a “set it and forget it” type of program. But the truth is you need to be just as involved as you would be with your vehicle maintenance and repairs.
Now, I’m not saying you need to be “under the hood,” nor am I saying you need to understand every moving part of your online marketing and strategy. That’s the job of your digital marketing agency or internal marketing professional.
Think of them as your marketing mechanic. But you should still be up-to-date on your digital marketing’s “routine maintenance” and needed repairs when they arise.
How to Do It
Just like your mechanic systematizes your fleet vehicles when they do inspections, you should set up the same for your digital marketing.
Every time one of your vehicles goes into the shop for routine maintenance specific tasks are carried out like changing the oil, rotating the tires, checking fluids and topping them off, inspecting suspension and brake components for excess wear, checking for leaks, etc… So let’s set up a routine maintenance calendar for your digital marketing, categorized by marketing system.
If you follow this routine schedule closely you’ll ensure that your digital marketing will perform most optimally for years to come… just like your fleet of vehicles. First, let’s break down your digital marketing by “system.”
Digital Marketing Systems
- Social media
- Online reputation
- Organic SEO and Paid Advertising
- Online Video
- Lead management
We’ll start with your website as most would consider it to be the heart of your business. Or, for the purpose of this article, it’s your engine.
You can do this as often as you’d like. We suggest a minimum of once a month and every week at the most.
First and foremost, you’ll want to check on your website’s health and usage.
Google Analytics can’t be beat as it’s free and can give you a good indication of your website’s health without having to get a PhD in website analytics.
You’ll want to, at the very least focus on:
- Number of Sessions
- Bounce Rate
- Average Session Duration
This will give you a good understanding of how people are engaging with your website. Next go through the content of your website, page by page. Are the pictures up to date? Is all of the info presented up to date? If you have a blog on your website, make sure to keep it fresh with relevant, engaging content that pertains to your business (more on that in the SEO section).
Here’s a tip: prospective customers LOVE before-and-after photos, so make sure to take plenty on the job and update them on your website at least every month.
2. Social Media
Social media allows your business to have a personality. This is really the one thing you SHOULD be doing yourself, but with some help from your marketing mechanic.
You’ll want to have a schedule for posting. Every day is best, with a minimum of three times a week.
What to Watch For
Figure out the type of content your audience engages with the most. It might take some time to figure this out, but it’s worth it. It might be before/after photos, pictures of work being performed, video, “how-to” tips, etc. Find two or three types of content that people enjoy and engage with (meaning they like, comment, and share) and create your posting calendar.
Schedule it around certain jobs. You might use Mondays for “before and after” content, Thursdays for how-to videos, etc. Plus, your social media platforms have analytics to show you what people engage with most and at what time.
You’ll want to review your social media metrics on a bi-weekly basis. If you’re having trouble determining the best kind of content to post, take a look at some of your competitors or other similar businesses around the country and see what they post.
3. Online Reputation
This is incredibly important to any business. Online reviews also help with SEO so the more online reviews you have the better. You can also use reviews on your social media platforms.
Ongoing and always-on. You’ll want to review your online reputation scores a minimum of once a week to address any major concerns.
What to Look For
Make sure to respond to both positive AND negative reviews in a timely fashion. Preferably within a few hours, but no more than a day. Many of the popular online review sites have real-time notifications so you can be notified whenever there’s a new review.
Make sure to claim your business on all of the most popular review platforms like Google, Yelp, Home Advisor, or any others that are relevant in your area or industry.
Need more reviews? Not sure how to get them? It’s easy! All you have to do is ask. Either at the end of a job, via email the next day, or even a postcard a few days later. Simply put, if you never ask, the answer is always no.
4. Organic and Paid Traffic (SEO & SEM)
If your website is like the engine in one of your fleet vehicles, search engine optimization (SEO) and paid traffic (SEM) are like the transmission and axle (drivetrain). It harnesses the engine’s power to produce movement.
Again, your marketing mechanic can handle this for you and you should review your backlinks on a monthly basis, and your costs on a biweekly basis (see below).
How it Works
An engine by itself is useless if the power is not converted to movement. SEO can be incredibly complicated, just like the internal workings of an automatic transmission — with its hydraulic valves and clutch packs.
For our purposes here we’re going to boil it down to three main areas; content, ranking, and backlinks.
You’ll want to ensure your website’s content is fresh. You’ll want to add fresh content in the form of a blog to your website on a weekly basis.
Content should be about your business and the services provided. We suggest a minimum of 500 words per article. Not a good writer? No worries, most marketing mechanics will create unique, high-quality blog content for you.
In terms of ranking, obviously, the business that ranks #1 gets the lion’s share of the traffic. so come up with 10-20 keywords to rank for and check to see how you rank on a monthly basis.
Make sure to clear your browser history so you get a true reading of how your website ranks. Not sure what keywords to target? Ask your marketing mechanic or check out online services like SEMRush or Ahrefs for help.
Next, you’ll want to keep abreast of your website’s backlinks. Backlinks are like a vote of confidence for your website. The more the better, BUT some are better than others. One of the easiest ways to build backlinks to your website is by submitting your business listing to local citation and directory sites.
These are some of the easiest ones to create and many are looked upon as high quality. With directory and citation sites, you need to ensure all of the information for your business is not only present but consistent. That means business name, address, phone number, and website URL are all the same, every time.
Watch Your Costs
Paid traffic can be very effective, but it can also be very expensive. This is something to review with your marketing mechanic on a bi-weekly basis for sure. The size of your budget and the area you want to cover will both play big factors into how successful you are, but there are other factors to look at.
With paid traffic, especially search engine marketing like Google Ads you’ll want to pay attention to how much you are paying per click, and what your cost per conversion is.
Conversion meaning someone submits their info as a lead or makes a phone call to your business as a direct result of the ads shown. Lastly, pay close attention to what your ads actually say. Are they engaging or boring? Would you click on your ad if you were a consumer searching for your services?
5. Online Video
With online video today, it’s not a question of should you invest in it, because the answer is ABSOLUTELY!
You don’t need an entire video and production crew to follow you around every day like reality TV, but video is the fastest way for you to grow your service business as it helps you to build trust with your prospects.
You and your marketing mechanic should, just like with your social media, plan out a schedule to publish videos regularly, even if it’s only one or two times a month.
It can be as simple as capturing video using your smartphone and posting it on social media. Use video to educate and entertain and you’ll likely be head and shoulders above your competition.
6. Lead Management
This is by far the most important aspect. I could write a dozen articles on the importance of lead management alone (look out for them soon).
But here’s the thing; without gas, your fleet vehicles don’t run, and without leads, your company goes out of business.
It’s imperative that you and your team are reviewing lead data on a daily and weekly basis.
Yes, it’s THAT important. When it comes to leads you should know your numbers down to the last detail:
- How many leads you get in an average day
- What percent convert to an appointment
- Percentage of appointments that turn into paying customers
- Number of follow-ups performed for each lead, etc
Doesn’t matter what service you provide the effectiveness of how you handle and manage the leads you get in can be the difference between growth and stagnation.
Tying it All Together
I’m sure this seems overwhelming and upon first glance— it is!
But it will help if you have a competent and, dare I say, savvy marketing mechanic that you trust. Just like the mechanic who cares for your fleet vehicles, you’ll know exactly what to expect, what kind of returns you can expect, and above all, you’ll have a reliable marketing vehicle that will perform optimally for years to come.
A good marketing mechanic will be able to work with you on maintenance and routine schedules as well as be able to break down each area and how it is performing and contributing to the business.
Already have someone like this on your team whether internally or externally? AWESOME! Have an agency but they aren’t doing this kind of thing? Well, it’s time to sit down and set some new expectations. Don’t have someone or a team like this but interested in making it happen? Maybe you just simply need some advice or clarity on your current situation? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to provide value to you.
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