Unlike products, which typically have SKUs and easily distinguishable characteristics, services can be more ambiguous. The nuances between service offerings and providers often requires more explanation that a short text ad will allow. Furthermore, restrictions, in the form of geographic service areas and technical project requirements, complicate matters even further. For these reasons, many local service providers opt to forgo online advertising and rely primarily on word of mouth referrals and offline advertising to increase brand recognition.
However, national service providers understand the value in paid search (PPC) advertising and often invest heavily in building and maintaining online advertising campaigns tailored for different markets.
The result is that national providers typically dominate markets where local providers should be thriving.
For instance, one of our local clients provides specialized equipment rentals across the state of Michigan. Their prices are reasonable, their service is impeccable, and they know the local community far better than their national competitors. However, the big national companies they’re competing with were running sizeable online advertising campaigns and taking business away from them (despite charging a premium for doing nothing more than contracting with the local company for their equipment). We were able to catapult this local provider to the front of the industry using strategic local advertising at a cost far lower than they had anticipated.
How do you find the same success for your service-based business? A three-pronged approach to online advertising will give your business an advantage!