If sales are slacking and you want to connect with more customers, here are two handfuls of marketing strategies for cleaning services who want to lead the pack.

When a business relies on the conference room being spotless for that 7am meeting, and the toilet paper rolls being filled to prevent an employee uprising, they think critically about who they hire.

Small commercial cleaning companies may feel overwhelmed in an impersonal big-business world when it comes to marketing and advertising. However, there is an opportunity here to differentiate your cleaning company. If you ask a business their worries about hiring a commercial cleaner, they will tell you it’s the threat of theft and unreliability.

Knowing those pain points can help you determine the best marketing strategies for cleaning services that cater to commercial companies. Leveraging that information, here are ten ways you can market your commercial cleaning business:

1. Share your story

Sharing some more personal details of your business helps to set you apart and make a connection with your potential customers. Are you a family-owned and run business? Did you start out minuscule and grow to become a robust team? Do you have some anecdotes of lessons learned and funny occurrences? These are all ways to connect that will enrich your story and make your marketing efforts stronger and more tangible! Remember, your clients may be business owners or small businesses too, so you have common ground.

2. Showcase your values

Consider something you do that exemplifies your business ideals. Is your company certified “green” for environmentally-safe cleaning practices? If so, concern for the environment may be something you have in common with your clients, and since not all commercial cleaning companies are certified, that’s a great discussion point for social media, your blog, and advertising! Talk to them about the products and methods you use; it’s part of your story. Think about what other aspects of your business practice showcase your values and have great appeal for marketing!

3. Leverage your business community

Often it seems like online marketing is all the buzz and it’s true that your reach online is critical. However, it’s important to not neglect the power of your local and regional business networks. There are likely local business networking groups that either tie in with town tourism, chamber of commerce organizations or just exist for the benefit of a thriving marketplace in your area. Devoting some time to attending and supporting events for meeting other local business owners and making new contacts can generate leads in a natural, friendly way and investment in your community is a fantastic value that benefits all.

4. Boost your local business leadership credibility

When you are working on building these networks, you can take it a step further by establishing yourself as a leader in some way. Do you have a space to offer to host meetings or events? Do you have a success story or some management expertise to share? Consider hosting an event where you get together and share best practices and tips! Highlighting what works for your business reminds new potential clients what a great service you offer. You can also use your company blog as a digital platform in this regard. Establish yourself as an expert, and you’ll find more companies want to hire the expert, not the novice.

5. Stay on top of your metrics

In addition to using real-time reporting metrics to step up your management game, do you have tracking software set up to analyze what is already working with your inbound marketing efforts? For example, how many newsletter or social media link clicks you are getting in the towns and neighborhoods in your region? Do you see any growth or emerging patterns in some areas? Gather as much information as possible for the most thorough analysis.

6. Use local SEO data to boost traffic and increase leads

According to Entrepreneur, local SEO is more important than ever and only growing as Google works to support smaller businesses in their locations. That means it’s a fantastic time to maximize your impact by incorporating more location-specific words and phrases in your marketing strategies. It also means that your online profiles on Angie’s List, Thumbtack, Google+, Facebook, Yelp and others are completely up-to-date and comprehensive with your services, keywords, areas, businesses you serve and contact information. Local SEO can work to drive more digital traffic and leads directly back to your website without you even needing to pick up the phone.

7. Use data to target your ads

Facebook advertising is very effective for many small businesses and can provide a real boost by putting target audiences to work. Zero in on specific locations where you see the potential and want to grow your business or see an emerging demographic! If you’ve identified your most profitable customers already, you know what types of customers to target in which areas, and how to best make these ads work for you. You can also work with Groupon and Yelp advertising for targeted ads.

8. Partner with other small business owners

Real estate agents in your area have a wide network of commercial leads; it could be a great benefit to both of you to offer a promotion or coupon for a first cleaning service. Local landlords and building managers also frequently use or recommend cleaning services for their tenants’ turnover.

9. Demonstrate your expertise

Many local newspapers and magazines enjoy highlighting local success stories and sometimes even have a guest or regular “ask the expert” columns in their business sections. If you are a strong writer or have one on your team, consider pitching this to some media in your area. You have a lot of experience to draw from and knowledge that would be beneficial to other business owners who don’t have a clue where to start in hiring a commercial cleaning service. They’d love to know what options are out there, what is affordable, and what is effective. Especially if you have an active blog, a lot of topics you are already using for marketing could easily apply to broaden your reach to local business media and boost your leads! Here are a few starter ideas for your new column:

  • How to Hire Commercial Cleaner You’ll Love
  • The Benefits of Using Green Products in your Office
  • How to Save Toilet Paper in the Office
  • How to Keep Your Office Clean and Save the Environment at the Same Time
  • What Goes On in Your Office At Night: 5 Myths Busted by Commercial Cleaners

10. Incentivize referrals

Everyone knows how crucial referrals are to any small business, especially other business owners, to make your customers feel valued. However, we all know how incredibly busy small business owners are! Be extra sure that you are paying attention to referrals and not letting acknowledgment slip through the cracks. One way to do this and promote even more referrals is to have an incentive system in place. If you offer a discount for tracked referrals, you will ensure you never miss an opportunity to show your current customers some extra gratitude and provide them with even more reason to recommend you to others in their networks.

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