Effective marketing is crucial for lawn, landscape, and outdoor living businesses looking to thrive in today’s competitive market. If you’re striving for better quality leads, a stronger local brand, and a deeper understanding of the intricacies of digital marketing, you’re not alone. Every business owner in the industry faces similar challenges, and those who adapt, learn, and apply the principles of effective digital marketing will undoubtedly rise to the top.
Continue reading to learn more about HALSTEAD’s proven methodology used with 100s of industry clients just like you. To dive deeper with an intensive learning opportunity, spend an hour with HALSTEAD, and watch this on-demand webinar: How to Develop an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy: An Uncomplicated Method for Lawn, Landscape, and Outdoor Living Businesses.
There are six essential components of successful digital marketing, and when implemented well, you’ll make the most of your efforts.
Pillar #1: Strategy
Creating a winning marketing strategy is the foundation for success in the digital landscape. It involves answering a few important questions about your target audience.
The Who, What, When, Where, and How of Marketing
Identifying who your target audience is, what you’ll say, at what stage of the journey you want to reach them, where they live and work, and how you’ll get their attention is crucial in the lawn, landscape, and outdoor living industry.
The scope of your projects should align with your ideal customers, which may be unique to your area. Using location-specific methods to reach clients in your vicinity allows you to tailor your campaigns to focus on potential customers within a certain radius of your business service area. Think beyond just high-end homeowners (in the case of large outdoor living projects, for example). Consider the following:
Homeowners: Targeting homeowners is a broad approach. Identify whether you want to work with first-time homeowners, those looking to upgrade, second-home owners, or seasoned property owners. Taking a deep analysis of your previous and recent best customers can help with narrowing this in. After you dial in on the details here, you can help increase your chances of getting leads for the right projects or services based on the audiences created in paid media or keywords selected for SEO.
Property Managers: Commercial clients, like hotels, restaurants, or corporate campuses, require a different approach. If you wish to engage property managers, your focus may shift towards promoting benefits such as ease of working with, simple billing, sustainability, or safety. Your messaging should reflect your ability to meet their specific needs. Perhaps you’re in a college town, and campuses are a major target for you. Aligning to meet the needs that are specific to campuses, in this example, could be helpful. The best place to reach property managers and commercial prospects is on the business-centered LinkedIn platform.
Project Scope: The scale of your projects or services should match your target customers’ expectations. High-end homeowners may seek full outdoor design and build transformations that include an outdoor kitchen, fire features, and an inground pool. In contrast, others, perhaps those with second homes, might be more interested in cost-effective improvements such as outdoor fireplaces or lawn care services.
No matter who your target audience is, highlight your expertise within the industry. If you specialize in sustainable landscape design and build or lawn maintenance, make it known in your messaging. Focusing on the benefits of your services will be more effective than focusing on the service itself. For example, convey how proud the homeowner will feel of their lush, green lawn rather than simply stating you offer fertilizing services.
Pillar #2: Branding
Your brand is the face of your company, and in the digital era, a strong local brand is your key to success in your market. Branding isn’t just for big companies. Since people feel emotion as they visually take in everything before they begin reading, consider what you want people to feel and see before they learn more about your company. How do you maintain that throughout the customer journey, from their first time seeing your Facebook Ad to the ultimate referral milestone?
Keep in mind this is a layering effect. The answers you have defined in your strategy, especially the type of project (or work) you’re going after, as well as who you are targeting—should align with what your brand is.
Consistency: Ensure your brand is consistent across all touchpoints, from your website to social media profiles. This means having a set of brand colors, design, and tone in your writing.
Offline meets online: Blend your offline and online presence seamlessly to maximize your brand’s reach. The collateral your prospects see printed locally should match what’s shown online. From fonts used on your trucks to those used on print collateral—all should align with your digital presence, especially with what is on your website.
Messaging: Craft compelling messages that convey your brand’s unique selling points and that resonate with your ideal service/project size to the ideal target audience. From a StoryBrand perspective, you will want to position your prospect as the hero of the story to help create a meaningful connection.
Visuals: Use high-quality video and photos to showcase your work and professionalism. In the lawn, landscape, and outdoor living industry, your photos and videos are a goldmine of content that can used across various platforms. You have to show the work that you want more of.
Pillar #3: Professional Videos and Photos
These media assets not only showcase your work but also provide a dynamic and engaging way to connect with your audience. Showcasing your projects, such as the stunning poolscape you recently completed, through high-quality videos and images can convey your professionalism and craftsmanship, leaving a lasting impression on potential clients.
Here’s how to harness the power of professional visuals:
Tell a story: Use visuals to narrate your journey–from the initial consultation to the final result or a completed project This will help potential clients envision the process, instilling confidence in your capabilities.
Engage your audience: Use videos and images to connect emotionally with your audience. Showcase happy customers enjoying their newly transformed outdoor spaces. For example, show them sharing an alfresco meal straight from their outdoor kitchen or splashing with their kids in the inground pool. Highlight the beauty and functionality of your work, although it is hard to create an emotional connection without showing people. If you have the perfect customer you think would be open to working with you on this video or photo project, do it!
Consistency: Ensure that the visual style of your videos and images aligns with your branding and message. Consistency in visual presentation is essential for reinforcing your brand as a lawn, landscape, or outdoor living business.
Pillar #4: Website Design
Your website serves as the central hub for your digital marketing efforts. A good cadence of updating your website is similar to the frequency in which you refresh or uplevel your projects and change target or area. For most companies in this industry, this is approximately every four years.
As an outdoor living design/build company, you likely have different answers to the strategy pillar questions today than you did four years ago. When those answers change, so should your website.
Regardless of where you are in your journey with your landscape design, build, or maintenance company, your website should:
Build trust: Your website should instill confidence in potential customers identified in the strategy pillar by showcasing your industry expertise, testimonials, and credentials. Using the brand information shared in the second pillar consistently on your website will help feel more confident and aligned with your message.
Showcase your work: Use images and videos to visually display your portfolio. Include a description of the project, the brand and color of pavers used, specific materials chosen, challenges you faced, and more. This will help you attract more of the type or size of projects you’re after—if you can show your prospects that you have this work in your portfolio.
Educate and prequalify: Provide informative content that answers common questions and concerns. Your blog is an excellent place to house this information. FAQs, About pages, and our recent favorite, a defined process, are other great ways. Consider providing ideas and inspiration or tips and tricks, depending on your brand. Remember, you’re building an online relationship well before someone contacts you. You have their attention before you are aware you have it. Seize those opportunities!
Pillar #5: Paid Ads
Paid advertising is an effective way to reach your target audience online. Use search and social media ads to get your message in front of potential customers. Here’s how you can leverage paid ads effectively in the lawn, landscape, and outdoor living industry:
Search Ads: Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, especially through platforms like Google Ads, is an excellent way to connect with users actively searching for your services. By bidding on relevant keywords, your ad can appear when potential clients search for landscaping or outdoor living solutions. Craft persuasive ad copy that addresses the specific needs of your audience, whether they are seeking extensive outdoor transformations or routine lawn care. A technical way to refer to these types of leads, using Google Ads, is bottom-of-the-funnel.
Social Media Ads: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer powerful targeting options. You can tailor your ads based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. For instance, if you’re promoting a comprehensive outdoor living space with an inground pool and outdoor kitchen, target high-end homeowners who have expressed interest in luxury outdoor amenities. Alternatively, if you’re promoting cost-effective solutions like paver walkways or enhancements, target homeowners looking for affordable improvements. This is where strategy comes into play, of course. If you have defined your target customer to be of retired age or, perhaps, second-home owners, there are ways to target those groups. On LinkedIn, you can target people who are part of specific LinkedIn groups or have certain job titles, which can help reach prospects for commercial maintenance or snow. Then, use captivating visuals, engaging videos, and persuasive ad copy relevant to the audience to pique potential clients’ interest. Social media ads like these are great for getting leads into the top and middle of the funnel.
Retargeting: Implement retargeting campaigns to re-engage visitors who have previously explored your website, regardless of how they came across it. These ads serve as a gentle reminder and encourage visitors to return and take action. For example, if someone browses your site for in-ground pool options (from a direct link via referral or a Google ad) but doesn’t make a decision, you can retarget them with pool-focused ads on Facebook, reminding them of the possibilities and urging them to inquire about your services. These would be considered bottom of the funnel.
Pillar #6: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a long-term strategy that enhances your website’s visibility in search engine results, primarily on Google. Think of it as an investment that builds upon itself over time. It’s a vital pillar for attracting organic traffic and generating leads. In the lawn, landscape, and outdoor living industry, optimizing your online presence is crucial. Here’s how you can make the most of SEO:
Keyword Research: Identify the keywords that your target audience uses when searching for services in your industry. Use keyword research tools to find relevant keywords specific to your services and location. For instance, if you’re a landscape design and build company in Miami-Dade County in Florida, focus on keywords like “Miami-Dade County in Florida landscape design and build services,” “outdoor kitchen installation,” or “pool design.”
On-Page SEO: Optimize your website’s content, meta tags, and images to incorporate these keywords naturally. Ensure that your website is user-friendly, responsive, and loads quickly. Utilize local keywords to increase your visibility in local search results. After all, if you’re located in Oregon, you don’t want to attract customers in Utah. For instance, use keywords like “[town] Oregon landscape design” or “[town] Oregon outdoor living.”
Local SEO: Since the lawn, landscape, or outdoor living industry serves a specific geographic area, local SEO is paramount. Create and optimize a Google Business Profile listing, ensuring it contains accurate contact information, service descriptions, and high-quality images. Acquire local citations from reputable directories and websites. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile, as positive reviews contribute to higher local rankings.
Content Marketing: Leading lawn, landscape, and outdoor living businesses consistently publish high-quality, informative content on their website’s blog. For example, write articles about “Top Trends in Outdoor Living for 2023” or “How to Maintain a Healthy Lawn Throughout the Year.” Providing valuable content not only positions you as an industry authority but also attracts organic traffic to your website, increasing your chances of converting visitors into your best customers!
Other: There are so many other ways to increase your findability online. This includes quality backlinks, citations, internal linking, etc. There really isn’t a one-size-fits-all with these methods, they should be based on how competitive your area is, your previous SEO, the size of your service area, and other similar factors.
To learn more, view our on-demand webinar, How to Develop an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy: An Uncomplicated Method for Lawn, Landscape, and Outdoor Living Businesses.
HALSTEAD helps lawn, landscape, and outdoor living companies find stability, achieve growth, and establish a legacy through proven, year-round comprehensive marketing systems. Enjoyed this article? Access over 150 articles and dozens of guides here.