Eight Sure-Fire Tips for Maximizing the Impact and Effectiveness of Your Laundry’s Marketing Budget
Marketing means money out of pocket, but it’s essential to the revenue growth of your laundry business. So, when making a marketing investment, be sure to get the greatest possible marketing exposure and return on investment. Check out the following tips for getting more bang for your marketing buck.
1. Partner with a marketing firm that specializes in vended laundries.
If you elicit the help of a marketing/advertising company, be sure they know the vended laundry industry. At the end of the day, more of your marketing dollars will be effectively utilized with a firm that understands the industry and your market. You’ll save time and money not having to educate them on the industry and tap into a more effective use of your money. Marketing companies that specialize in the industry will more efficiently provide market-specific equipment photos, graphics, images, artwork and content. In addition, they have writers and designers who truly understand your business, and as a result, can provide marketing options that get results.
2. Schedule one video/photo shoot for all of your marketing needs.
Set up a half-day of full-day shoot with a professional videographer/photographer. Be prepared to capture any images/videos needed for use on all marketing platforms, including your website, direct mail, advertisements, social media, public relations, etc. By capturing these images and videos in one sitting, you’ll save considerably in terms of time and money down the road. Here’s a list of shots to consider:
• Owner/management/employee headshots
• Exterior store images and video
• Interior store images and video
• Customers interacting with equipment and staff
• Close-ups of high-tech, efficient laundry equipment
• Wash-dry-fold service in-action video and photos
• Signage, delivery vehicles, vending machines, parking and amenity photos
3. Invest in professional content writing.
Once you invest in any professional content writing, reuse that content across other marketing platforms. For instance, if you hire a professional writer to put together the content for your website, you likely will be able to repurpose portions of that content in social media, direct mail, brochures, etc. By hiring a professional, you will save time and feel good knowing that your messages are grammatically correct, speak directly to your target market and, in the case of website content, are written to maximize search engine optimization.
4. Utilize public relations.
Anytime you’ve got real news to share, write a press release and distribute it to media outlets within your geographic area. Once again, hire a professional writer, if needed. It might cost between $100 and $300 per release for writing fees, but newspapers and magazines publish releases at no charge. Published press releases bring credibility and virtually free advertising to your vended laundry business. Consider a press release to announce:
• A laundry grand opening
• New hires (but only for higher level staff members, such as store managers)
• Significant philanthropic donations and events
• Major renovations and equipment upgrades
5. Create promotions.
Create a promotions/specials page on your website and update it often. Also, create “coupons” and post them on your promotions page – and be sure to include a small code at the bottom of the coupon so that, when it is redeemed, you’ll be able to track where that lead came from. Use that same coupon, with a different code, in social media posts or direct-mail campaigns. When customers come into the store, they can either show you the coupon from their phones or provide you with the printed copy. Remember, to do this well, you need a responsive website that’s accessible via any platform – phone, computer, or tablet. This also will allow you to track where your leads are coming from so that you know where to allocate future marketing dollars.
6. Leverage digital marketing.
Consider creating a database of customers from which you execute frequent digital marketing. Hubspot is an online software application that allows licensees to develop databases, send emails, build and edit websites, manage social media, drive traffic to key website landing pages, and more. In many cases, vended laundries with electronic card systems can merge customer data into their Hubspot database. There are varying monthly licensing fees, depending on the user level selected, but even the most inexpensive offering provides valuable capabilities. It makes it easy to track the effectiveness of your digital marketing campaigns, thanks to the provided analytics and reporting.
7. Establish a social media presence.
It’s free and effective. Whether you utilize Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Twitter – or all of them – social media is a great way to connect with your customers. Post messages, photos, videos, news, and specials on a daily basis to achieve the best results. If you don’t have time, ask an attendant or hire an intern to do it for you.
8. Cross-market on multiple platforms.
In other words, if you create a marketing piece – a website, a direct mailer, a press release, a promotion, or a video – use it everywhere possible. If you distribute a press release to the media, be sure it’s also posted to your website’s news page and shared on social media. If you have a photo shoot and acquire hundreds of photos and videos, use them on your website, ads, direct mail, brochures, and signage. Repurpose website content. Perhaps you can use a portion of content detailing your energy-efficient equipment for a mailer or social media blurb? Always consider how any marketing piece can be reused. If you do so, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the most bang for your marketing buck.