The world of marketing is always evolving. Business leaders and marketers are always searching for innovative ways to sell their products and services to more customers. Unfortunately, a service business doesn’t get customers’ attention due to immense promotion by product-based organizations.
As a consequence, promoting a service business on the web is no easy feat. The biggest challenge a service business presents is the lack of physical evidence, and marketers ask themselves, “how do you promote something intangible?”
To promote a service business and make the process easier, we’ve compiled 5 tips that’ll boost your service-selling business to the top. But before we get into that, we’ll talk about the need to promote service businesses differently than standard product-based businesses.
The Need to Promote Service Businesses Differently
The most critical mistake service businesses usually make utilizing marketing strategies meant to promote products. Products are tangible, which means that you can see them, learn their features, and maybe get hands-on experience before purchase. When trying to convince customers to buy your service, the only thing that will get you that sale is trust-based relationships.
Consumers need assurance that they can rely on your service because, unlike products, you cannot return a service. As a result, customers are afraid that their initial investment of money and time will go stale. As for your service business, you will end up losing a paid customer and any chance of building a long-term relationship.
If you’re well-versed in Marketing, you’ll understand how the 4 Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion) work. However, this marketing mix is for product-based businesses. Service businesses require three additional Ps, which are People, Process, and Physical Evidence.
People are an essential part of a service business. You need to recruit and train the right people to create a competitive advantage. This is because people are the few elements customers can see and interact with when dealing with a service.
‘Process’ in the marketing mix looks at the systems a service provider uses for delivering its services. For example, imagine you walk into a McDonald’s and order a Big Mac. The time it takes to deliver it in 5 minutes. What was the process behind this efficient service? As a service business owner, you need to define the process clearly and ensure it remains consistent.
Physical evidence is what the customers depend on for assessing the service’s worth since the service gets consumed as soon as it is produced. This includes the location where the service is provided, its ambiance and layout, and any objects given as evidence of the service being given. Examples of physical evidence include a brick-and-mortar store or café, a website from where you can order food, the particular layout of your local cinema, ticket stubs, and receipts.
Keeping these principles in mind, the following are 5 ways to promote a service business on the web:
1. Clear Marketing Message
When starting a service business, you need to send a clear message to your target audience by sticking to one idea and perspective. You should choose a simple yet clear message through your marketing campaign to create a vivid and consistent experience for all potential customers. In all your online marketing adverts, try highlighting how your service solves problems and offer convenience.
2. Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition is what makes your service business stand out from others. This could be your service’s price, location, quality, or any other differentiating factor. For example, FedEx’s USP is, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” This means that the service promises fast and reliable freight service, and guarantees that packages arrive by a certain time.
As an online service-based business, you should compare yourself with your competitors’ marketing strategies to determine the differences that make you stand out the most. Later on, you should focus your vision and mission around what sets you apart from the competition.
3. Increasing Value for Customers
When promoting a service business, your focus should be on selling value, not the price. Consumers use price to compare products. Service businesses rely on value, but this doesn’t mean you decrease your service’s price. Your goal should be to increase the value your customers are getting at that price.
For example, a hotel could offer free WiFi and breakfast instead of discounted prices during the off-season on their website and social media. From the customer’s perspective, they are getting more value for the same price trumps getting a discount on the room and paying separately for breakfast.
Besides, offering discounts during the off-season is a strategy discerning customers are wary of; they usually know that you’re just trying to generate business.
4. Continuous Digital Marketing Strategy Revision
Your marketing strategy’s analyzing and updating different aspects is the key to continuous success. Sometimes, strategy revision isn’t even an option, as has been the case for most businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, most restaurants had to change their search engine optimization strategy by adapting new keywords and keyword modifiers since dine-ins were closed. With takeaway and delivery open only, keyphrases changed from “best restaurants in my area” to “best restaurants delivering in my area.”
5. Improve Existing Client Relationships
As a service business, your job isn’t done following the provision of your services. Unlike selling products, you’re in for the long run, which is more crucial than making a sale. You’d be surprised how far word-of-mouth could take your business if you take care of your existing customer. Many of your new customers come from existing customer referrals.
A word of advice: never let go of these customers. You want to include them in all your online promotions using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even email or text marketing.
Want to Learn More?
Service business marketing requires more finesse than product marketing, and we hope that these tips were helpful.
If you want to take the time and learn more about promoting a service business on the web, we recommend that you try the services of Business Marketing Solutions Group.