Content marketing ideas for plumbers
For writers and content creators, a mental block is up there with a blocked drain in terms of serious problems. If you’re running a plumbing business (or a content campaign for one), then sometimes it seems like there’s very little to say about the company except “emergency 24 hour call-outs”, “free quotations” and the like.
Well, we lovely people at Trendzer have put together a guide to help plumbers generate content that engages and educates readers, while building brand and site authority.
That’s not bad when we’re telling you this all for free!
So, you might want to bookmark it now and then you can come back to it for reference.
Improve your plumbing website
It might seem difficult for you to produce content that people want to read. After all, who wants to read about blocked toilets? But just remember: you are an expert in your field, and people always need to learn information from someone in the know.
If there’s a foul smell coming from the overflow or the toilet isn’t flushing properly, then troubled householders will want to know why. And if you can provide the answers, search engines will increase your search visibility when they notice your website has increased customer visits and high engagement levels.
Do some market research
The best way to find out what your customers want is to ask them. They may have a variety of plumbing queries. It is better that they turn to you for answers than a random Google search or a WikiHow article.
You could invite your followers to ask you questions on whichever social media platform you spend the most time on - even better, make time for your social media weekly or fortnightly and see if anyone has left any questions.
If you prefer the traditional method of actually talking to your customers face-to-face (remember when people used to do that?), then you can use that approach as well. So, when they offer you the obligatory cup of tea, take two minutes to find out if there’s anything they want to know (preferably plumbing related: you don’t want your blog to be about why the neighbours at number 22 let their dogs bark until all hours).
Either way, you can tap into what your customer base wants to know about and provide them with answers directly but also through your website and possibly social media. You’ll be doing your clients a service and quietly establishing yourself as a helpful and authoritative voice on all things plumbing.
How to form a basic content strategy
So, where do you use this information? Once you know what questions the public need to know about, figure out how you want to respond. If you’re a dab hand with the written word or have a family member or office admin who fancies themselves as a bit of a writer, then you may want to create a blog, FAQ, or Plumbing Questions page on your site.
If you’re a Facebook fanatic or a member of the Twitterati, consider using your favoured social medium of choice to engage with your customers. You could set a regular time slot to answer questions in real-time, or simply respond as and when people post questions.
The most important part is to make a plan and stick to it. Choose what outlet you’re comfortable using and stick to that plan. Don’t open 4 different social media accounts, then leave them all growing dust with a handful of unengaged customers. Tell your followers where and when they can find you, and their expectations will be set in advance.
Most important of all, make sure that you are finding information that you can use to refresh your website. Social media is important, but it should be used to bolster your site rather than distracting you from the fact that your content hasn’t had an update in two years.
7 Content ideas
Well, now we know why, how, and when you’ll be engaging your audience, but the final unknown is “what”: specifically, what you’ll post. We’ve put together the following ideas to provide you with some inspiration. Take them and make them your own!
1. Plumbing FAQs (Website)
Take all your customer research and compile it into a series of the most popular questions posed by your client base. Create a page on your website and just put each in a question and answer format, such as:
Q. Why is there a foul smell lingering in the bathroom?
A. You might want to light a scented candle in there after hubby is done.
Perhaps keep it more serious, but you get the point.
Top Tip: a lot of tradesmen have thought that they could copy-paste FAQs from a rival page. Don’t fall into this trap. You’re skipping the customer engagement and adding plagiarised or duplicate content to your website, which will harm its ranking.
2. Live Q&A (Social media especially Twitter)
Establishing a social media presence is cheaper than print, TV, or radio advertising. It can also help you to make real connections with your local customers. As you already know, trust is vital in the plumbing game, as people need to feel safe to allow you into their homes. A social media presence will help to develop customer relationships.
Set an agreed time to field people’s questions online and you’ll be able to engage them directly. It will be great for your brand profile, especially if you can keep it light and amusing at the same time.
Alternatively, you can invite questions at all times but respond as and when you can. Just make sure that you’re checking for questions regularly, as it could have the opposite effect if people leave questions and you never respond.
Set expectations of how often you’ll be checking and you should avoid any upset customers: something like “PM us and we’ll post answers to your questions every Tuesday at 7pm” should do the trick.
Top Tip: use these questions for an FAQ page (see suggestion 1).
3. Case studies (Website or sharing)
A case study is a short story about how you resolved a particular client’s problem. Ask someone who was overjoyed with the service if they wouldn’t mind putting their name to the story - you can call them “Mr S from Edinburgh” instead of “Paul Smith from 9 Forrester Park Drive” if they don’t want to be named directly.
Every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. So, that’s how your case study should pan out.
- Beginning: Mr S has an odour problem from the drain in his back garden but didn’t want to dig up his prized petunias
- Middle: we used a CCTV survey to investigate and discovered a tree root had pierced his old drain pipe and caused a blockage (you should also explain why you took one approach over another and the relative benefits or drawbacks that you considered)
- End: we unblocked and restored his pipe using dig-free relining techniques, so his petunias went unmolested and everyone was happy.
Throw in some quotes from the happy customer and you’re on to a winner! Writing a case study serves several purposes:
- It shows your professional competence and customer service to potential customers
- It demonstrates your expertise to your peers
- It serves as a resource for informational traffic
Unless you have a degree in marketing, you might be saying “informational what-now?” at this point. Simply put, people online search for two things: things to buy and things to learn. If they aren’t coming to your site to buy, they can at least be learning something new - including how good you are at your job - and storing that for future reference.
Meanwhile, search engines will notice the increase in engaged traffic or backlinks to invaluable information and assign your site more authority, which is great for your page rankings.
Top Tip: remember to ask for permission to use names for case studies and testimonials – it’s just good manners!
4. Video guides (website, sharing or social media)
As long as you don’t have a “good face for radio”, then a smartphone and the ability to post on YouTube could provide you with a ready source of traffic. Whether you choose to leave the video on your YouTube channel, embed it in one of your webpages, or share it on Facebook or Google+; adding a simple but helpful instructional video will get good results.
Informational videos such as “How to Fix a Leaking Radiator Valve” will drive traffic from DIY repairmen. You can even monetise your video with advertising if you’re in the know, but that’s for another blog.
5. How-to guides (website and sharing)
Establish your expertise and give yourself authority in the eyes of DIY enthusiasts with a series of How To guides. With belts tightening around the UK, people may want to know how to bleed their radiator or fix a leaking pipe without calling in a specialist.
Making a step-by-step guide (with pictures if at all possible) may mean that although you won’t get money in your pocket, you’ll get page views and shares which will lend your site authority: a key part of search rankings. Plus, you’ll be fresh in a customer’s mind if their DIY job proves to be too difficult.
6. Product reviews (website and sharing)
More and more people are buying products online, but they need reassurance that they are spending wisely. Ecommerce websites report dramatic increases in sales if customer reviews are displayed under a product. If it’s good enough for Amazon, it’s good enough for everyone.
So, if you can put your technical expertise into an honest pros and cons analysis of an essential product - whether it be a combi-boiler or a designer bathroom unit - people will want to know if it gets a tradesman’s thumbs-up.
Top Tip: search engines love balanced articles, so make sure to point out benefits and drawbacks alike.
7. Blog posts (website and sharing)
Regular blog updates are a superb way to show search engines that your website is dynamic, active, and informative. You can take your pick from any number of topics that we’ve discussed, from regular “How To” articles and case studies to product reviews or comparisons.
Get more site visitors with specialist web design for tradesmen!
At Trendzer, we are experienced in building websites for the trade. We know what type of design and content works best for plumbers, and we have the techy knowledge to make sure your website is optimised for search engines. Take a look at our web design services for more information!