The moving industry is an extremely competitive landscape. Moving companies largely offer similar services, so how can you differentiate yourself from the competition? How do you convert interested customers into ones who are confident enough in you to schedule their move? The answer is marketing. Most movers don’t have the staff or resources to market their business, but Today’s Local Media (TLM) is a small digital marketing agency that does. We have advised moving companies nationwide and helped their business grow. A client even called us “a small business owner’s secret weapon in getting an edge on competitors.”
Through our vast experience, we have found processes and strategies that deliver results. Here are five proven ways to market your moving company.
Build a consistent brand and professional website
A brand is what the customer visualizes when she hears your company name. A brand is bigger than a website. But a website is the most outward facing representation of your brand, and having a professional looking one will engage your customers and build brand-trust, increasing the chance they will choose you for their moving needs.
Research says 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. How something looks completely affects how someone feels about it. And we’re not all graphic designers, so websites are one thing to outsource. TLM is one company that develops appealing, customized websites that are SEO friendly. They are fully optimized, mobile responsive (automatically change to fit the device you’re reading it on), and they load fast. Time is money, and over a third of customers will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load, or take too long to load.
Creating a good user experience includes putting your contact information on every page, and have attractive estimate forms to make connecting with you painless. Your website should work for you, not against you, and should make it as easy as possible for customers to quickly choose you, and to quickly contact you.
Get listed on online directories
Claim a presence on online directories. Some of the more important ones for movers are Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s list, Movingcompanyreviews.com, BBB, Homeadvisor, Thumbtack, and Yp.com. While Google is the number one search engine (Bing is second), think of every directory as another chance to get found online. Most of these are even free, like Google My Business, which complements your website with a public presence on Google search and Google Maps. You can add images of your trucks and crews as well, which will come up on the right side of Google results with your hours and contact information.
Should you pay for advertising on these directories? I don’t recommend it until you get at least five reviews. Which leads us to the next tip.
As long as you are providing excellent customer service, ask customers for reviews immediately after the move. Potential customers read reviews, and 88% trust them as much as personal recommendations. On the flip side of the coin, if you ignore online reviews in your marketing plan, you are isolating yourself from 88% of potential customers. And consider negative reviews as learning opportunities—without feedback you won’t know how you can improve.
If you need help, there are services that can help collect reviews, such as Podium.com (my personal favorite). They let you send texts and emails with links to the review sites directly to the customer. As your collection of reviews grow, you are building your online reputation. I also recommend responding to all online reviews publicly. This shows the visitors that you care about your reputation.
Post to Facebook
Once you get a good amount of “likes” it is important to stay at the top of their feed by interacting with your customers. Post a couple times a week with funny photos, pics from your jobs, links to videos about packing-hacks, and challenges you solved (like lifting that grand piano up four flights of stairs).
Respond quickly and humbly if someone posts a complaint on your Facebook page. NEVER delete comments, you will just make a frustrated customer that much more angry, and they may even start a comment-war about how you just deleted them. Instead, apologize, pledge to improve, and move the conversation to a positive place.
Customers want to see how you handled a complaint just as much as they want to see positive reviews. With an active Facebook profile, people are more likely to remember your company name when it’s time to pack the boxes.
Network with real estate professionals and others that may refer you to their customers
Real estate agents are the perfect referral. After months-long home searches, moving is the final step to coordinate, and agents have built rapport with clients both moving out and in. Most agents depend on the network around them, but maintaining their trust is paramount. If your hired-help drops the antique china, it reflects badly on the agent’s reputation as well.
Bring lunch to larger real estate groups and talk for a few minutes about your company. Some brokers may have a relocation division which works with a pool of moving companies directly.
It’s also important to create a Linkedin profile, be active on it, and connect with others in the industry. On LinkedIn, you can connect with those realtors, property managers and even customers. A couple of good LinkedIn groups that I recommend joining and being active on include “Marketing Your Moving Company”, “Movers Referral Network”, and “Moving and Storage Salespeople.” Jump right in to those groups. Ask questions, share helpful tips, and answer questions and more. You’ll be surprised at how often these interactions can turn into long-term business relationships.
Luckily the information age has made it easier to network and market your moving company. These five tips can help you grow and expand your business, and give you a competitive advantage in the industry.