Bird control is a logical add-on service for many pest control companies’ menu of services, but the marketing techniques may be slightly different from that for general pests — especially for a company that has just added it. Let’s explore some techniques for the newbie bird control professional, as well as the seasoned professional whose marketing may need a lift.
1. Inform your current customers (and employees) that you provide bird control services.
Mention bird control services on all your printed and online materials, including invoices, newsletters, website, social media, fliers and business cards. Companies often fail to let their current customers know of new services, so extra effort to announce this will pay off in the long run. Remember to also ask for referrals from current customers. Don’t forget to share your marketing materials and messages with all employees, so everyone understands your approach.
2. Ask your technicians to identify bird problems on current commercial accounts — and other businesses in the area.
Teach them to look up, to spot flocks of roosting birds, and to look down, to spot the messes the birds leave behind. Offer an incentive to technicians who bring in leads as a result of their observations on the job.
3. Use an educational approach in all your marketing, and focus on the customer.
Instead of focusing on “selling,” try educating in a way that will support your reputation as being knowledgeable and professional bird control experts. Your blog and all your marketing materials should aim to be a mix of 70 percent educational information and 30 percent sales message, regardless of pest.
As Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, says, “Our customers don’t care about our products or services; they care about themselves. Our content must be based on fulfilling our customers’ needs and interests, so that they come to build a trusted and emotional connection with our brands.”
4. Update your website to highlight your bird service.
Add information about birds, control and the services you provide, with links to valuable resources. Updating the content on your site regularly not only helps build trust between you and your customers, it also helps your site achieve a higher Google rating. Include keywords, because having pages on your website that speak about bird control is only useful if the keywords are mentioned. Also keep in mind that more than 60 percent of web traffic now comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. This means that if your website is not mobile-friendly and easy to view on a smaller screen, you could be missing out on more than half of your potential customers.
5. Take advantage of online opportunities.
Once you have a bird control article written, break it up into small bites to use in social media posts, thus using your articles for many purposes. Repurpose the same article on LinkedIn and your blog. Consider having a “bird month,” where you publish information about birds on all your social media sites during the month(s) that birds are especially problematic. Participate in online forums, and mention information regarding pest birds. In addition, pay attention to any online reviews and responses you receive. Respond to all of them with a simple “Thank you for your kind comments.” Or, in the case of an unhappy customer, respond appropriately to them as well.
6. Don’t abandon your traditional marketing avenues.
This includes paid advertisements, direct mail, vehicle signs, etc. Regardless of whether you’re just adding bird control services or you’ve been doing this for some time, it’s a good idea to review all your current marketing activities and update them to include bird control. Don’t assume everyone knows and remembers all you do.
7. Run a bird control campaign to reinforce your online efforts.
Use invoice stuffers, fliers, brochures and other printed materials. Avoid putting the information “out there” merely one time and assuming everyone will remember it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
June Van Klaveren is president of Compelling Communications, which focuses on helping pest control companies market their services with dynamic marketing materials. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.