The 2010s saw a fundamental shift in how Americans use the internet, and as a result, a tremendous change in the ways companies utilize digital marketing to reach customers.
A decade ago, 76 percent of U.S. adults reported they used the internet. Fast forward to 2019, and that number has skyrocketed to 90 percent — 81 percent of whom say they go online daily. But the internet isn’t just a space to post cat photos or read the daily headlines, it’s where people go to find and review the services they need. In fact, 82 percent of consumers reported they read online reviews for local businesses, with 52 percent of those aged 18–54 saying they always read online reviews before selecting a service or product provider.
People are paying attention to what’s online, and that means contractors need to develop their online marketing strategy to connect with these customers and be a part of the growing conversation.
How Far Digital Marketing Has Come
In addition to the increase of internet users, platforms that digital marketers consider vital to campaigns in 2019, were still fledgling companies a decade ago. Facebook, which was beginning its rise to the top of social media, had 431 million monthly users in 2010. Now, the company boasts nearly 2.5 billion monthly users. Instagram, which surpassed 1 billion users in 2018, didn’t exist until Q3 2010.
Search engines were still implementing ranking algorithms in the early 2010s and learning how users interacted online. Now, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most vital components of a successful digital marketing strategy, with some companies employing entire teams to focus solely on SEO tactics.
There is also more thorough insight into how impactful social media campaigns, SEO, or other initiatives have on marketing strategies as a whole. While in 2010, marketers were sending blast emails, adjusting web content on a whim and still embracing traditional marketing methods to advance their business, those tactics have proven to no longer be the most effective ways to generate new business or retain existing customers.
Marketers now understand the customer journey from discovery to conversion. This includes being able to see how consumers are landing on their website, how they are interacting on that website, how long they spend there, what actions they take and if conversions were completed — all in real-time. Marketers, including some contractors, are now utilizing these rich analytics to fine-tune their best online marketing and advertising strategies to keep costs low, accelerate conversion times and boost ROI.
Gone are the days of waiting for a customer to complete a conversion, then working backwards to understand how they got there.
State of the Market – Contractor Online Marketing Trends
Despite this incredible shift in the way digital marketing operates, research shows contractors don’t fully utilize digital information or capabilities to grow their business. In fact, only one percent of contractors say they use social media — an important component of any successful digital marketing strategy. Meanwhile, 54 percent of social browsers use social media to research products or services, and 98 percent of homeowners say they choose a business on the first page of search results when using the web.
This shows it’s not only important to be online, but to be optimizing your presence to boost your search engine rank. And those numbers won’t be slowing down with a new generation coming into homeownership.
Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, will account for at least 10 million new home purchases in the next decade. And due to weaker financial situations compared to their parents, they are more likely to purchase older homes in need of repairs and updates over time.
And with 90 percent of consumers using the internet to find local businesses — 33 percent searching every day — a successful digital marketing strategy is only increasing in importance for contractors.
Developing Your Up-to-Date Digital Marketing Strategy
At Modernize, we receive over 150,000 website visits every month, not including the engagement we experience across social platforms. We’ve seen firsthand that homeowners are interested in solar, roofing, HVAC, windows, and siding projects, and understand they are utilizing the web to gather information, review contractors and make their hiring decisions.
We also realize that for all its importance, effectively implementing and managing an impactful digital marketing strategy in-house is a difficult ask for small businesses with already limited time. However, limited time constraints are no excuse to let your digital presence falter.
Stay ahead of the contractor marketing curve by partnering with Modernize to help you understand the digital marketplace where future customers are located, and how to lead them to your business. We understand homeowners like no one else and can help grow your business through your digital presence. That’s why over 1.8 million homeowners used Modernize to find their home contractors in 2019.
If the last decade is any evidence, digital marketing capabilities will continue to evolve and the ways in which companies reach consumers will change with it. Whether your business is just venturing into the world of digital, looking to relaunch its online presence or sharpening its existing reach to attract more quality leads, Modernize can help you meet your goals and be ready for the online changes that are certain to come this decade.