The roofing industry has become one of the most competitive markets in the built environment– setting your company apart is essential.
In just ten years, the total number of U.S. roofing contractors had increased from 6,000 in 2007 to over 15,000 reported in 2017 – this incredible growth rate continues today. According to IBISWorld, 37,340 Roofing Contractors businesses are in the US as of 2023, an increase of 1.2% from 2022.
With what was primarily a word-of-mouth industry, relying too much on customer referrals can pose risks to some roofing companies, particularly those looking to grow and expand.
As the saying goes, “If you ain’t growing, you’re dying.”
Developing a solid strategic marketing strategy is critical to winning in the roofing business. Beat your competition by not being the lowest bid but providing the best brand experience. Of course, word-of-mouth and a strong reputation can keep your business afloat. Still, having a well-thought-out, executable marketing approach can make all the difference between being a roofer surviving or a roofer that is thriving.
With the remodeling industry booming and roofers expanding their territories and service areas, it’s time to get serious about your roofing company's marketing. Here are some marketing ideas for roofers and four simple ways to win more roofing business:
Create a Referral Program
We can hear you now: You just said word-of-mouth wouldn’t work forever. And yes, that’s true. But a strategic, well-planned, carefully executed, and tracked referral program is very different from a random referral from Mr. Wilson at the local coffee shop.
Everyone knows word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get new customers, but only a few people can prove how effective it is for their business. Customer retention strategies not only keep current customers coming back but also encourages them to tell others about your business.
Incentivize current and former customers to spread the good word by offering them discounted services, gift cards, or other rewards they might value. For example, you can create simple referral cards after completing jobs and allow folks to make referrals via an online form.
Remember the following when developing your referral program:
- You need to clearly define the referral rules and procedures and follow them fairly for all participants
- You need to ensure that whatever rewards or referral discounts you offer are delivered promptly and make sense for your bottom line
- You need to promote the referral program on your website, via email, your blog, and paid advertising, budget allowing
Refresh Your Website
A good website is a dynamic roofing lead generator and converter. If you have a website and haven’t paid attention to it in a while, now is the time to do some maintenance.
Your roofs look spectacular and work flawlessly, but if your website looks like the internet equivalent of dirty, mossy cedar shingles, you are probably missing out on potential new customers.
You want to ensure that when a potential customer finds you online, your website, or digital storefront, is respectable and engenders trust that you are a legitimate, reputable company. If your website is just a static online brochure, you miss major marketing and sales opportunities daily. Here are a few things to look at to improve your website’s lead capture and conversion performance:
- Look at your Search Engine Optimization, keywords, URLs, and page descriptions. Suppose these are outdated, non-existent, or don’t focus on your services. In that case, you have some work to do because you're missing significant opportunities to generate organic search traffic that could lead to new business.
- Make sure you have lead conversion capture points on your site.
Does your site have forms for requesting a roofing estimate or contacting your company? If not, they need to be added to strategic areas of your website so that you don’t lose customers that would instead do a form fill than pick up a phone.
- Add pictures of your roofing projects. You'll need to develop a portfolio of projects and a page to showcase them on your website. Potential customers want to see your work before they take the step to reach out and schedule a meeting.
- Gather and showcase client testimonials.
You can say you're the greatest roofing company all day, but if no third party backs you up, it doesn’t mean much. So reach out to your customer base and see if they’d be willing to give you a testimonial, then post them on your website.
Many of the changes mentioned above require technical assistance. However, investing in a refreshed or completely new website is an investment that pays for itself in short order. Consider reaching out for a free website assessment to determine what changes will provide the best bang for your buck.
Create and Post Roofing Content That’s Helpful
Just like your roofs, your website needs maintenance too. Luckily, no ladder is required.
Potential customers will start researching online before engaging with any roofing company. Therefore, you need to position your organization as a local thought leader on roofing. One way to do this is to create and share content that helps potential customers with the research and decision-making process. Here’s how you can achieve this:
- Write a roofing blog.
Start blogging about tips, tricks, and advice regarding roofing in your local area. This doesn’t mean you have to blog six days a week; it does mean you have to produce what you can and get it out there consistently. Over time, these blogs will drive organic traffic to your website and build trust with the local community.
- Post on social media.
Having a Facebook page doesn’t matter much if you never update it. The same goes for Twitter, Instagram, Houzz, and other platforms. Having these pages but letting them die on the vine will hurt your business. Unfortunately, roofers having social media posts is now the rule rather than the exception, especially with younger homeowners.
- Create short-form roofing videos.
Use your phone to take videos of an ongoing project, launch a 30-second do-it-yourself roofing repair video, and create client testimonials. These videos will be helpful to your target audience and help generate interest and traffic to your website.
Create Marketing Partnerships
You don’t have to do this all by yourself. Find local general contractors, suppliers, and big box home goods stores to partner with you to market your services. Building a relationship with reputable, local contractors that do much business in your area can be a great way to get new business and create a strong referral network. Find a way to make this partnership mutually beneficial; it will do wonders for your sales.
Add a Little Something to Your Free Estimate Offer
Every roofing company in your area likely offers free estimates. Consider what you can tag as another free estimate that might separate you from the competition. For example, position it as a roofing audit rather than an estimate. Or you could partner with a local energy efficiency company for a whole house energy audit, of which roofing is one component. There are many possibilities here: You and your team must break out of the box and think differently.
Don’t Forget Traditional Marketing
If you're particularly proud of a particular project, and the homeowner or business approves, a sign showing people what you and your crew are capable of can perform wonders.
You’d be amazed how many local contractors win business by posting company signs at active job sites. You need to ask permission from the homeowner, of course, but a well-placed sign in a high-traffic area can give you great value and generate much interest.
Flyers and mailed postcards also can be impactful. However, we recommend doing this on a minimal, targeted scale with lower-cost marketing tactics to ensure you stay on budget.
Contact Illumine8 for advice or assistance developing your marketing program or refreshing your website. We have significant experience helping contractors win new business and have measurable growth.