Using Digital Marketing to Reach Contractors



There are important nuances to understand when planning and communicating with contractors. It is crucial to understand the Pro mindset, develop a custom messaging strategy, and build channel-specific campaigns.


1) Know Your Audience

As with most forms of marketing, it pays to start with a solid knowledge of just who your audience is. In B2B digital marketing, that means knowing what motivates contractors, what they care about, where they turn for content, and how to effectively speak to them. It’s important to learn the landscape of available 3rd-party data, including how it is sourced and what channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Meta, programmatic) it can be applied to. Where many marketers and brands go wrong, however, is in underestimating the power of 1st-party (customer) data as a seed for planning. A brand’s own data can be a treasure trove of insight and audience segmentation, even in acquisition campaigns.


2) Develop a Messaging Strategy

Just as no two audiences are the same; neither should two messaging strategies be. The way a brand speaks to Pros contractors should be unique to them. Beyond just brand look-and-feel is the importance of speaking to your contractor audience based on who and where they are. A marketing message received on Facebook, in the evening, should have a different tone and theme than one placed within LinkedIn during a weekday morning. The B2B building products audience is filled with nuanced and different human beings, ones that change and evolve throughout the course of a week. Lastly is the sequence of creative messaging. Contractors are consumers, and need a narrative in order to first learn about a brand, be shown reasons for considering over others, and ultimately reached with creative that speaks to them and offers reasons to buy.


3) Build a Channel Strategy

Just as a contractor will be at varying levels of receptivity throughout their day, their attention and willingness to engage with marketing will also vary based on where they are. This is why it becomes crucial to develop separate but cohesive strategies across channels, whether your plan includes search, Meta, LinkedIn, publisher direct, or email. Each channel will require separate optimization signals – clicks for some, quality traffic to site for others. A sophisticated marketer will learn that frequency of message to the contractor audience will also be different between channels. To this end, care should be given to measure each channel on a cost-per basis. Big, splashy creative formats might be more persuasive and require lower frequency than banners, but cost much more on a cost-per-acquisition basis.

 

Example Digital Tactics for Contractor Acquisition


Geofencing

Geofencing involves setting up virtual boundaries around a point or area that tracks whenever someone with a mobile device enters them. When this happens that user’s device ID is placed into a segment that is ready to be served digital media.

Example: Geofence brick-and-mortar building products distributor locations to remind Pros of in-store opportunities.


Contextual Targeting

Placement of a display ad on websites that are directly relevant to the products being sold in the ad.

Example: Advertising for air purifiers on buyerguide.com in the IAQ section of the website.


Competitive Conquesting

Target competitors' customers through data segments that indicate strong interest in your competitors' brands and products.

Example: Showing ads and promotions to an audience with known affinity or brand preference for a competitive brand.


 

When properly applied, digital marketing can be an incredibly effective and efficient means of targeted, reaching, and engaging with professional contractors. More importantly, it can be the difference between real business growth and stagnation.

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