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Hey contractors—think you don’t need to be advertising on Facebook? Think again.
We work with a lot of contractors, and it’s safe to say that of the ones with an actual Facebook presence, very few are actually getting it right when they first come to us.
I get it—Facebook ads are difficult to wrap your head around, especially now that the platform has matured. It’s SO much more than just boosting posts on your wall—and I’ll tell you right now, if that’s your strategy, you should dump it like yesterday’s Chinese food.
Yes, Facebook advertising works for contractors, but there are several different types of Facebook ads, and when it comes to contracting clients, they are not all created equal. So, for the sake of saving you time, I’m only going to include the ones we’ve had success with for contracting companies.
And just as a preface: All of Facebook’s ads allow you to customize your audience by:
- Age range
- Website and remarketing information
This post was originally written in 2015. A lot’s happened since then, so we’ve updated it with the most current information.
Types of Facebook Ads for Contractors
The very first thing to understand about Facebook advertising is that there are different types and formats of Facebook ads, and they’re all unique. Each objective (website clicks, conversions, engagement) is shown to the people in your selected audience that are the most likely to complete the action. While Facebook ads are incredibly cheap, if you pick the wrong objective your cost will go up and your results will go down.
For example, if you select the “Traffic (Website Clicks)” objective, Facebook will show your ads to the people most likely to click on your ad. If you select the “Conversions” objective, Facebook will show your ads to the people most likely to convert.
Here’s the kicker: only a few of Facebook’s ad objectives are good for contractor marketing.
- Traffic (Website Clicks)
- Brand Awareness
- Lead Generation
- Engagement (Page Likes, Boosted Posts)
Stay with me and I’ll dive into the details on how each one can benefit your contractor marketing strategy.
Not sure if you understand? You can read everything you need to know about the Types of Facebook Ads here >>
If You Want to Get More… Website Visits in Your Service Area
Take out a Facebook Traffic (Clicks to Website) ad.
These ads send people to a designated page on your website, rather than sending them your company’s Facebook page.
Pages you might want to send people to:
- Your homepage – I used this option recently on a Clicks to Website Ad when I wanted to get people to visit our new website. If you don’t have a lot of organic traffic right now because your website is new, this can be a good way to boost visitors in your location.
- A product or service page – This can be especially helpful for contractors with seasonal lines of business. For example, HVAC companies can use Clicks to Website Ads to send traffic to their air conditioning tune-up page right before the cooling season and swap it over to a furnace tune-up page right before the heating season. Or maybe if your flooring company now offers bamboo flooring for environmentally-conscious consumers, you can send your Clicks to Website Ad right to your bamboo flooring product page.
- A promotions page – I’m a sucker for sales. A lot of people are. For some reason, people flock to sales to buy things they don’t even need—just because it was on sale. Maybe someone wasn’t planning on having their air ducts cleaned this month—that is, until they saw your Click to Website Ad that sent them to your limited-time-only air duct cleaning special page on your website.
If You Want to Get More…Website Conversions
Conversion Facebook ads encourage people to carry out a specific action or purchase your product or service. I.E., conversion ads’ main goal is to convert users. Facebook offers an option to add a snippet of code—called a Facebook Pixel—to your website’s HTML to track people’s activity on your site, including conversions. A few examples of conversion ads include sending users directly to a contact or product check-out page, sending people to your store, or complete event registration fill-outs.
From our experience, need-based services (HVAC repair, emergency plumbing repair, etc) do not do well with conversion ads. Think about it—if someone’s wading through a foot of water or shivering because the furnace is out, they aren’t going to browse Facebook hoping for an answer to smack them in the face. They’re going to pull out their smartphone and frantically search for the quickest solution.
What does work? Promoting maintenance plans, roofing specials, and other contractor work that isn’t as pressing as a repair job.
For contractors, sometimes people won’t fill out a form, but instead pick up the phone and call you. For this reason, it’s important you have the proper call tracking set up to get your true return on ad spend.
If You Want to Get More…Facebook Business Page Likes
You finally created a Facebook business page for your contracting business and it has a whopping two likes—you and your mom. Getting likes to your company’s Facebook page shouldn’t be your first priority if you’re just bursting onto the online marketing scene (I recommend you start with a website optimized for conversions and for search engines), but if you’re well established in the search engine results page and you need to compete with other contractors with 1,000s of likes, take out a Page Likes Ad.
If You Want to Get More…Likes on Your Posts
We wrote an entire blog in the past called “Why Nobody Likes Your Facebook Posts.” Facebook’s newsfeed has an algorithm to determine exactly what content to display in each user’s feed. Imagine how overwhelming it would be to see every update from every person, business, and organization you follow!
This is a common misunderstanding about social media among business owners—that if you have 350 followers, all 350 of them will see your posts. In reality, unless you pay to promote your posts, only about 2% of your followers will see them. And they can’t like what they don’t see!
And here’s the bad news: organic post reach is going to continue to decline, which means Facebook is now strictly pay-to-play for contractors.
To get more likes, consider a Page Post Engagement Ad.
Types of posts you might want to promote:
- All of them – Seriously, put at least a few bucks behind all of your posts or else no one is going to see or engage with them.
- Awards you’ve won – NARI’s Contractor of the Year Award, Angie’s List Super Service Award, ABC Excellence in Construction, Best of Houzz—doesn’t matter what the award is, it just matters that you show your Facebook fans you’re a winner.
- Recent projects – Before and after photos are one of the best performing ads we’ve ever run!
- Recent blog posts – Yes, you need to be blogging, and then you need to share those blog. Unfortunately, “If you build it, they will come” only works in cornfields.
- Testimonials – People love testimonials, and depend on them to make key decisions. These boosted posts have worked very well for our clients in the past.
- Contests – Here’s an easy way to get engagement—a caption contest. Or a giveaway. Or a raffle. People love to win things, it really doesn’t matter what it is. It’s the winning that counts.
If you’re like most contractors, you probably don’t have time to be messing around on Facebook (plus it’s way too tempting to creep on your high school sweetheart while you’re on there) and don’t have the resources to hire a full time person to do it. Do your marriage, your bottom line, and yourself a favor and start with a free social media analysis from Blue Corona or download one of our social media case studies today.
You might also be interested in our contractor SEO services.
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's in-house Digital Marketing Specialist. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod