I’ve been writing and developing marketing content for IPM professionals for over 4+ years. And in that time, I’ve realized there are a few things we’ve all been misunderstanding.
From how to sell on a social media platform to how to create better content with limited time and resources.
Here are just a few things I’ve learned.
Most IPM Teams Make Their Money on Commercial Contracts
For the first two years, we pumped out thousands of hours worth of content targeted towards residential homeowners on Facebook and Instagram—and barely saw a bump in sales.
It was baffling. Residential calls tended to stay the same year after year. No matter how many PPC ads we ran. No matter how many likes, comments and shares we received—the needle wouldn’t budge.
I couldn’t figure it out. I felt like I was failing. We weren’t doing bad performance-wise. But it was hard to see if we were making any real impact on customers purchasing decisions.
Until I sat down and took a good look at where all the BIG money actually comes from.
✨Commercial Contracts ✨
And, then it all *clicked*.
We’d been marketing to occasional buyers who only paid for service when they needed it. Instead of the whales that had the most impact on our clients bottom line.
All our content was great for recognition and brand awareness but wrong for a winning sales strategy. Because, we were copying what everyone else in the industry was doing.
And, failing at.
If you haven’t already sit down and have a good long talk with your marketing and sales team about how the business actually works and who is making those contract descions in your network.
This is going to be one of the best ways you can set your marketing team up for success.
Targeted Selling Works Better When You DIG DEEP DURING CUSTOMER ANALYSIS
The vast majority of accounts who follow Orkin Canada or hashtags like #pestcontrol are themselves pest control companies looking for inspiration for their own content.
This sounds obvious in hindsight, but it ultimately changed how we approached strategy moving forward.
Our new approach included;
✅ Refocusing almost all of our efforts on LinkedIn.
✅ Doubling down on geotagging and local search
✅ Doing away with #pestcontrol hashtags in favour of ones used by our target audience (#cre, #commercialrealestate, etc.)
✅ Internet stalking key decision makers like building operators and property managers to see what they liked, shared and reposted on their feeds.
✅ Focusing on easy-to-digest, easy-to-download educational resources designed to solve property owner-specific problems.
✅ And a LOT of research on CRE and building management.
Overnight, we became experts on the 10% of players in a company who make the budgeting decisions. And, we supported our insights with research from leading IPM industry resources.
Most Teams Don't Know Where to Find User Generated Content
One of pest control marketer’s biggest struggles when creating content is finding valuable resources.
The industry doesn’t have enough creatives to provide stock images, great advertising examples and advice for newcomers to learn from.
Unless you can afford to hire and train an in-house team, your resources are generally limited to PCT Magazine, Pest World, NPMA membership assets and whatever you can steal from bigger multi-nationals.
Which creates a homogenous pool of sameness where nobody stands out and everybody loses. At least that had been my experience until I found a goldmine.
- User FAQs
- Bug Identification Requests
- Horror Stories involving bad experiences with PCO’s
- And lots and LOTS of photos and videos
Most Pest Control Marketers Aren't Looking Outside Their Niche
This issue directly combines the first two issues I’ve listed. Not only do pest control marketers lack resources, targeting insights and examples to learn from.
They are also inundated by a select few multinationals that have monopolized what advertising looks like in the industry.
To find the great examples that spark new and exciting ideas, you need to learn to sidestep into other similar but related niches.
Pest control is not the only industry built on emergency purchases. Similar industries include;
- Automotive Repair
- Plumbing and Home Repairs
- Towing Services
- Lock Smith Services
- Emergency Home Appliance
And all of these industries can be incredibly helpful when crafting the talking points that speak best to residential and commercial property owners.
The Bottom line
Pest control marketing is a unique beast that requires unique solutions if you want to be successful on a platform as competitive as social media.
But it isn’t untamable.
People like Mark Joseph from Pest Control Plus have been able to thrive on LinkedIn thanks to understanding the most important thing.
All your customers care about the same stuff;
- Cost and affordability.
- Quality and reliability.
- Transparency and Fairness.
- Customer Service and Communication.
- Trust and Reputation.
- Lack of Choice.
- Prevention Strategies
- Sensitivity and Compassion.
The difference is all in how you communicate those values.
Likely, you’re already doing great things behind the scenes, like implementing state-of-the-art monitoring and reporting systems.
But if you’re not talking about it because it’s considered industry standard; you’re missing out on an easy opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors preemptively.