The economy shifts, the internet expands, new platforms emerge, businesses adapt, and inevitably, conflict arises. Online and off, a war is waged behind the scenes between the business’s right to promote their goods and services, the consumer’s right to choose for themselves, and what right the government has to oversee it all.
The most high-profile battles being fought include the class action suits against Facebook and Google, billed as a battle for the soul of the internet, and the most important first steps toward increased privacy and accountability. However, at least in the short run, words speak louder than actions, as cases such as these often drag on for years with the final verdict bearing little resemblance to the initial relying cry.
However, there are other battles businesses are fighting right now with immediate implications for entire industries, shifting the status quo right from under their feet. Roofing has always been an important and controversial pillar of the housing and construction industries, and right now, the state of Florida, the roofing industry’s golden egg, is ground zero for a classic battle between industry, consumer, and government oversight.
The Roof Caves In
On July 1, Senate Bill 76 was signed into law by the Florida Legislature. The law carries heavy implications for insurance providers, lawyers, policyholders, and roofing companies. It affects how claims can be processed, how payouts can be disputed, and the Florida Government says it is ultimately designed to lower premiums and increase accountability in an inflated and oversaturated industry.
Lots have been written about SB76 already. If you want to read more about the full scope of the new law, and further thoughts on its effects on multiple industries, we’ve compiled some links here:
Whatever else the law entails, our lens as an Agency must focus on the direct implications for Roofers and how their business practices are being forced to change to accommodate this new law.
We won’t waste space here going into all the ways the industry has now been restricted. Our hope is, if you have read this far, you are a roofer who already knows how you stand to be affected and are looking for guidance on what comes next. How do you keep jobs in the queue now that the claims process is more difficult and may result in less payout to cover the project? How do you educate your prospects on the details of their homeowner policy if you are no longer allowed to build relationships door-to-door?
The status quo may have shifted, but the tools available to help you shift with it are more abundant and more powerful than ever before. The Roofing Companies that lean into the challenge and embrace the change will be the ones who emerge from the battle more effective and well-positioned than ever before.
Here is our list of 6 resources you should consider taking advantage of in an effort to bolster your brand image and effectively speak to your prospective customer base as you navigate the restrictions of SB76.
Search Engine Marketing
When it comes to being seen where people are looking for you, the Google Ads Search Engine Marketing platform remains king. Google has remained the number one starting point for internet research for a good reason. The platform continues to refine and add to its ad offerings creating increasingly targeted opportunities for users to find the right service at the right time.
Google now offers a more localized approach than ever with ads prioritizing map results as well as Google’s new Local Services program, providing local, vetted search results that are directly focused on click-to-call lead generation.
Search Engine Optimization
With so many competitors in the industry, maintaining your organic search presence for sustained visibility creates an edge that your startup competitors and out-of-town sales teams don’t have. This includes local directory listings, online reviews, a responsive and informative web presence, and so much more. A well-optimized online presence helps to foster credibility as a business, and when paired with paid search marketing, solidifies your company’s position as a thought leader and top local prospect.
Without the ability to meet customers door-to-door, platforms that promote a local presence will be incredibly important moving forward. Savvy roofers understand that so often before a prospective customer will perform research on their own, they must first be aware that a path forward exists. In addition to local visibility and brand building, mediums such as television, radio, and billboards provide you a voice and a platform to educate customers about how roofing claims work and why it is important to have an experienced, ethical roofer in your corner. Many times, customers may not even be aware of what their Homeowners Policy says regarding the roof over their heads. This is your chance to plant a seed that will lead them to conduct research and move the conversation online, where your search engine campaign will take over.
Social Media is another great way to start conversations on a local level. Positioning yourself as a thought leader and customer-first business used to be much easier when you could walk a home-owner line by line through their insurance policy to help them understand their options. Well-curated social media channels can help you accomplish the same level of credibility.
Consider infographics or short-form video campaigns utilizing IG stories or IGTV to share helpful information with your audience. Be available to respond to post comments and start conversations on Facebook Messenger.
OTT and Youtube
Streaming Services and Online Video Advertising provide all the merits of traditional local media outlined above with the added benefit of pay-per-impression ad delivery and direct customer interest targeting.
Additionally, with youtube pre-roll advertising particularly, your message is not hindered by time the way traditional media is. Reach your target audience following a major weather event and share valuable information they need to know about filing a claim for property damage. Provide a call to action and a link that sends them directly to your contact information. Ads can target user behavior, demographics, geographical areas, or specifically related videos. With their depth of targeting options and ability to share specific, action-focused content, streaming ads and video pre-roll are positioned to be an effective replacement to door-to-doors conversations.
Personal touches within your sales process can help increase credibility and market share. From streamlined communication to easy payment options to direct follow-up, a well-planned customer experience once you have won their business, can help set you apart from predatory, faceless competitors.
As you complete jobs and build a list of satisfied customers, don’t forget to build case studies to help new prospects see they can trust you. Every tactic we have discussed to this point falls short if a customer does not feel you will be able to meet their needs in the end. An integrated reputation management strategy, paired with an effective review aggregation software such as Podium (https://www.podium.com/small-business/) will help you build a strong culture of customer accountability, follow-up, and positive feedback. Effectively showcasing the satisfaction of your customers could be the final touchpoint that wins you business over your competitors.
Your Mission Remains the Same!
The way you run your business may be changing, but your mission remains the same. There will always be homes in need of repair, and there will always be homeowners unaware of the options available to them. There will always be competition from national predatory sales teams, and there will always be a need for local businesses to step up and do the job the right way.
Digital marketing offers a world of opportunity for those willing to shift the way they reach potential customers, and we hope this article has helped get you thinking about the best way forward for your business.
If you’re ready to make moves, but need help with a game plan, contact us. We’ll work with you to build a strategy for your future success.