In today’s competitive market, no moving company can survive without marketing their business.
Sure, word-of-mouth is an important strategy, but without getting customers or others to refer your company first, there is no word-of-mouth.
It’s a chicken and egg scenario.
So how is a moving company supposed to know where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve pulled together some of the top marketing tips for moving companies to get started.
(And remember, we’re not suggesting you do all of these things. No two companies are alike. The trick is to try some, track the results, and see which strategies and tactics work best for your business specifically.)
Referrals or word-of-mouth
Let’s start with the elephant in the room – referrals. Since that’s obviously the goal and referrals tend to lead to the best customers, how do you get them?
The short answer: become an active member of your community.
The long answer: join networking groups and build real relationships with other community leaders.
These include (but are definitely not limited to):
- Local Chamber of Commerce
- Local Business Improvement Areas (BIA)
- Local BNI chapter
- Realtor associations and real estate agencies
- Young Entrepreneur Council
- Regional Convention, City and Visitors Bureau*
- Merchant associations
- Meetups (find events online)
*Find out what events are happening in your community so you can become either a sponsor through either financial or in-kind donations
This is a great place to pause and note that you MUST have a great product or service. Otherwise no amount of networking or other marketing tactics will provide a worthwhile ROI.
Again, you don’t have to join all the groups, but this list is just meant to help get you started. Find out which groups really put an emphasis on community and networking (vs sales and referrals only).
Make sure to take the time and get to know your fellow members on an individual basis. Whether that means taking the time to have a coffee or sitting down and getting to know them, their business, and what they are looking for. This will truly set you apart from everyone always trying to sell-sell-sell.
Bonus #1: speaking at events
Another way to maximize your membership in these groups is to speak at their events. Some of these groups are always looking for experts to share their knowledge to other members.
This is your (business’) time to shine. As Tim Campbell, CVO of Dearman Moving & Storage shared in one of our past Ask the Experts series, don’t just talk about your business. Instead, show up as an expert and share information that will be helpful to your audience.
Realtor groups, associations and agencies in particular are always looking for speakers for their agents. (Bonus tip: real estate agents always love free food, so bring some crudités or cookies to butter them up.)
Once someone sees you as a trusted resource, they will be much more likely to think of you for moving services, and share referrals.
Bonus #2: sponsoring events
Sponsoring local events can also be a great way to get in front of your target audience – your community. Depending on the type of event, your donation can be in the form of paying for the whole event, just the food or drinks, or providing moving or storage services for the event.
Ads and SEO
Moving companies of yesteryear used to buy out the biggest ads in the Yellow Pages. Nowadays, that translates to online advertising. There are two ways to make sure your company can get found online when potential customers are Googling:
- Paid ads
- SEO (search engine optimization)
Let’s get into each of them as they serve a different yet complementary purpose to each other.
Paid ads are exactly what it sounds like – you’re paying to get your ad seen online.
These come in the form of banner ads (when you’re on a website and you see a banner at the top of the site) or in the form of Google Ads (those first two or three links that pop up at the top of a Google search).
Online ads are often called “pay-per-click” ads because you’re paying for every time someone – you guessed it – clicks on your ad. So instead of paying one flat fee for an ad, you’re paying anywhere from pennies-per-click to dollars-per-click, depending on what is negotiated. You can also put a cap on how much you spend on ads per day or week so you don’t go over budget if your ads perform well.
The benefits of online ads are that you can monitor how they’re performing on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and change some parameters if you’re not seeing great results (but always give your ads time to pick up steam). And you can adjust your budget according to how well your ads are performing (meaning, if they’re performing well, you can increase the spend and if they’re not, you can decrease the spend or cancel them).
Search engine optimization (SEO)
This is a fancy way of saying you make sure that when someone types in a keyword in Google, your business pops up in the top results on the first page.
But it’s not always as simple as it seems. SEO has a lot of moving parts (backend SEO, on-page SEO, off-site SEO, paid SEO, local/regional SEO, backlinks, etc.) and can become quite competitive depending on the keywords. This isn’t meant to scare you away from SEO, but rather show you the importance of it in your marketing. And if you do nothing else from this list of tips, consider focusing on SEO. According to BrightEdge’s research, 53.3% of website traffic across industries comes from organic search.
SEO should be incorporated into all your website’s pages – home page, landing pages, blogs, etc. This helps ensure the best results.
You can also have paid SEO. Much like PPC ads mentioned above, this is when you pay to have your web pages featured at the top of Google when someone types in your targeted keywords.
With both paid ads and SEO, the most important thing is to make sure you track and monitor your online results.
When you set up your ads and SEO, be sure to link everything to an analytics dashboard (like Google Analytics) so that you can see how these tactics are leading traffic to your site and how that traffic is converting into paying customers.
Your ads and website analytics should also determine how you allocate your budget. In the Ask the Experts video, Campbell suggests watching your leading indicators (phone calls, appointments, web visits, estimate requests, etc.). If these indicators start dropping off, turn up your spend. Other things to track include:
- Web forms submitted
- Inbound phone calls
- New appointments or inquiries
- Weekly estimates vs closed deals
Being able to track your results is important when it comes to marketing, and for moving companies especially since you’re operating on a low-margin as it is.
Buyer personas (sometimes called customer personas) can be an invaluable asset to inform your marketing. They help inform where your customers are in their journey, what’s important to them, what problems they have and how your business can solve for them… in other words, it’s a blueprint on how to market to your ideal customers.
And since most businesses have more than one type of customer, it’s important to understand each of them so you can cater your marketing and messaging to each of them specifically.
In order to create your buyer personas, you can use HubSpot’s handy template or their Make My Persona online tool to get you started. You’ll have to set some time to look through your database of past and current customers, and start segmenting them.
You can also interview some of them to get the answers to important questions – like why they needed movers, what was most important when looking for movers, how they found and why they chose your company, etc.
The more information you put into your personas, the better your outcomes will be. It will paint such a clear picture of who you need to target that your marketing plan will almost write itself. (Sounds cheesy, but it’s really true.) So take the time to do this properly.
When a potential customer is looking for information, finding an article on your website can be helpful.
That’s because having informative and educational content on your website in the form of a blog (not unlike the one you’re reading now… ahem) is what starts to build relationships with potential customers. A relationship they can trust to provide the best and most accurate information; one that answers their questions without beating around the bush.
Your blog shouldn’t be simply about your company and your products or services. No one is looking to read articles about that . What they’re looking for is information about their move:
- What they need to know, consider or do before, during and after their move – pre-move checklist, change of address list, helping a child with their first move, moving appliances or pianos, where to get packing supplies, etc.
- What a move might cost, what goes into the pricing of a move, extra charges to be aware of
- Neighborhood information (best shops, best schools, best restaurants, service providers, things to do, events, etc)
- Answering customer questions – ask your team for the questions they get asked the most and keep a running list. Then have a section where you can put these answers to help future prospects with their questions or concerns.
Check out this Moversville article 65+ Blog Post Ideas for Movers for more inspiration.
Almost every business is on social media these days. But the key is making sure you post regularly and truly build a community with your followers. Aside from regular updates, this means responding to comments, answering questions and DMs, and interacting with other accounts as well.
So what type of content should a moving company post on social media? Start with things you’re proud of:
- Your team at work – posting photos or videos of them packing homes or offices, loading trucks, etc. (make sure to have your customers’ permission to post these and ask if they’d like to be tagged… don’t assume!).
- Work you do in the community – volunteering as a team, sponsoring events, speaking at events, etc. Everyone loves to see companies giving back to their communities.
- Behind the scenes – team events, lunch break, putting new signage on the trucks, getting a delivery of packing blankets, prepping the trucks, training new staff, etc.
- Reviews – share the good things people are saying about your team and your company. Don’t be afraid to ask customers to write reviews either.
When a moving company has branded trucks and branded uniforms for their teams, it’s like advertising on wheels. Not only does it make a great impression when your team arrives to your customers’ home or office, but it also helps spread the word that your company is in demand and operates in this region.
We’ve all received direct mail before – those unaddressed postcards or flyers that arrive in the mail. And if done right, and sent to the right people, this can have a great effect. You can get them created from online print shops like Vistaprint or Moo, or you can find a local printer to create them for you.
You can also consider using a service like USA Home Listings, which gives moving companies daily lists of homes that are selling in any given area to make sending targeted direct mail much more cost effective.
For residential movers
Striking up relationships with local real estate agencies can help you get info on what areas are busy with moves. You can also work with property management companies in your area who rent out apartments to know who will need to hire movers in the near future.
For commercial movers
Commercial property management companies are ideal because they know well in advance what companies are renting out new spaces or leaving existing spaces, plus they usually manage several buildings. There are also commercial realtors you can work with to find out, as well as local telecom stores who have reps that sign up new customers.
Interested in how Supermove can help you improve lead conversion by 5-10%? Check out our video demo.