Many plumbing companies are small businesses, family-owned, maybe even a small group of contract plumbers who rely on word of mouth and recurring customers to keep business going. However, if these smaller plumbing companies want to see growth, they need to start thinking about marketing. But what marketing should they focus on? And how much should they spend on it? Let’s find out!
What Percentage Should a Company Spend on Marketing?
So how much should a company spend on marketing? It depends on many factors. The size of the company, the intended or expected growth of the company, and of course, how much revenue they make. But overall, there are a few different scenarios, each with their own suggested percentage of marketing spend that companies can follow if they want to get serious about marketing spend.
The suggested percentage for marketing spend depends on revenue, of course, and varies greatly between industries. For example, the consumer packaged foods industry (food, toiletries, household items, cosmetics, etc.) should put upwards of 24% of their total budget towards marketing efforts. These consumer items require more customer-facing marketing strategies like ads on social media or websites that sell these items. That definitely gets expensive the broader your market is.
However, industries like transportation and energy only need to set aside around 4-8% of their marketing budget. This is because these companies are often fewer and provide people a service that is necessary to live. For example, if one city has one metro transit company, then that’s the only option, and marketing efforts don’t have to be as intense to gain customers. So, where do plumbers lie in this range?
Plumbing companies will fall under the construction industry category, which sits around 13% marketing budget. It’s smack dab in the middle, and again, this can vary greatly depending on how many other companies they are competing with and how broad they want their outreach to be.
Now imagine your small plumbing business is setting out to make a solid plumbing marketing budget. First, you can use our handy Marketing Budget Calculator to help get a good estimate of how much you need to budget from your revenue for your marketing spend. The Marketing Budget Calculator can use a few key numbers, plus that suggested 13%, to calculate a decent budget that can be adjusted based on your marketing plan.
Here is an example of a plumbing business making $3,000,000 in annual revenue and expecting to budget for both conservative or more aggressive marketing strategy.
What Types of Marketing Should a Plumber Spend Money on?
Once you’ve got your plumbing marketing budget laid out, it’s time to figure out where to allocate those costs based on which type of marketing you’d like to use. Like we said before, many plumbers and other small B2C services rely very heavily on word of mouth and customers, leaving great reviews. So they already know that their existing customers will be a great jumping-off point for marketing future business. So any marketing efforts used should cater to your customers and entice them to want to hire you. Here is the order of spending for each type of marketing:
- Website Design
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay Per Click (PPC)
- Social Media
Re-building your website to be more aesthetically pleasing and more customer-focused rather than business-focused is the first step towards marketing your business in the best way. A new website might be the most costly expense you make towards your marketing, but it will be a one-and-done expense that will give you years of pay-off. A new plumbing website (a good website) should cost anywhere between $5,000 – $30,000 if you want it to be uniquely yours and designed with care and attention to detail.
When you get your new website designed, you can also get SEO (search engine optimization) alongside it if you hire an agency like Hook Agency. SEO means writing all of your website and blog content in a way that caters to what your key market is searching for on Google. If you choose to work on SEO on your own, you can use such tools as Ahrefs and Surfer SEO to find top keywords and write content that converts your audience. But good SEO can cost a couple of thousand bucks per month for a hands-off approach, and if it fits in your budget, it’s absolutely the best move for your small plumbing business.
Pay Per Click should be the next step and the next in line for your marketing budget. Pay Per Click will allow you to promote your new website and awesome SEO landing pages and blogs across the web to your prospective audience. But PPC works by bidding on certain keywords, and you will end up paying per click, literally, that comes through your ad links. You can set a capped budget for these, but the bigger the budget, the bigger your company’s outreach.
Social media marketing can work in a few different ways. Social media can essentially be a free platform to market your business. But if you really want to boost your reach, you can also do paid ads like PPC on your social media platforms. But you can also hire someone to be your social media manager because if you really want to put strong effort towards your social media presence, especially if you have a large following, you should hire a Social Media Manager. Hiring someone to manage your social media platforms every day can absolutely be a full-time position. And if you can budget an annual salary into your marketing budget, absolutely do it.
Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, you should first give some TLC to your social media platforms. Start by matching your Facebook and Instagram to match your brand new website design. Make your cover photos and profile pictures look nice, and then post regularly and interact with your customers! This marketing platform can be very laid back and casual, and fun to interact one-on-one with your customers.
For the construction and home services industry, video marketing is HUGE. People love to look up DIY home projects, and if you can manage to make videos that show up when they search that, that’s a huge outreach platform that they can see and inevitably hire you. Video can also show a little more personality and personal touch to your business. Even if you do employee spotlights or film on-site projects you’re doing, it all can be utilized in your SEO content in your blogs or even on your website.
And last but definitely not least, spending some marketing budget on your email marketing can be a huge benefit towards customer retention. Anyone who has worked with you can be given the option to receive your emails, including company updates, tips & tricks, or just discount codes and specials you’re running. As we all know, eventually, people might end up unsubscribing to your emails. To keep people interested, make sure you send them appropriately and promptly and with only relevant content.
No matter what avenue you take for your plumbing marketing spend, know that even putting a small amount of your annual revenue into it can not only boost your organic traffic but get your business’s name seen and known across the internet. As a small business, we also rely heavily on word of mouth, but spending a little money to invest in your plumbing business is a great way to see growth and build a reputation among your local community. If you’re looking to invest in your business, please reach out to us today!