Marketers in the home service industry have the difficult task of making their businesses stand out in industries where competitors are often largely selling the same services and using very similar products. When looking for new ways to generate leads and build brand awareness and brand loyalty, home service business leaders can look inward to something they are likely already doing: impacting the community.
Service professionals have an obligation to give back to the communities they serve, and many already do on a regular basis. Whether it’s providing new air conditioners to military veterans, supporting local food banks, or sponsoring the local Little League or a movie in the park, community involvement and philanthropic efforts are extremely prevalent in our industry. Of course, this is all done because of a person or company’s sense of good and commitment to giving back. Still, these good deeds can be leveraged to provide meaningful storytelling opportunities — not just for the service companies, but for the charitable organizations, too.
Get Everyone Involved to Make the Most Impact
Generating buy-in from employees ensures community impact efforts are made toward organizations that are truly important for people within the company. Find out what’s important to your team by sending out an anonymous survey that asks employees which organizations mean the most to them, or host an annual meeting where people can share ideas. Focusing on local charities is often a natural fit, as this truly lifts up the local residents and maximizes the impact right in your community.
No matter which organizations you support, give back purposefully and remain committed to the act of giving. Have an annual giving calendar to hold yourself and the company accountable for community activities. This keeps giving top-of-mind among a sea of other to-dos.
Telling the Community Involvement Story
Once community involvement is agreed upon and completed, it’s time to share the news with clients, prospects, and the public. Sharing the message of your community involvement doesn’t just help you; it also helps the organizations you support. Most charitable organizations don’t have significant marketing budgets. By producing and sharing marketing content about your company’s efforts to support an organization, you’re not just shining a light on the good work your company does — you’re spreading the word about the charity, too.
There are a few different ways to share news of the charitable work your organization is doing:
- Social Media: Social media is one of the easiest ways to create buzz around the good work your company and its employees are doing, and it’s also free (when not sponsoring or promoting posts). Encourage employees to share their experiences volunteering via a singular hashtag created to promote the initiative. Get your social media followers involved by offering to match donations to organizations, if you can (you can set a limit for matches, such as “we will match all contributions up to $10,000). Offering to match donations also entices the charity to share information about the endeavor.
Company Website: A company website is a home service company’s biggest marketing asset. Share news of your charitable giving and philanthropic work here, and it has the potential to get the eyes of all the people that come to your website. The charity work can be published in the form of a press release or a blog post about the endeavor.
Another idea is to incorporate photos from charitable or community events on the About page or the Careers page of the company website. Showing that your company participates in community events can be appealing for new hires and speaks to a company culture that cares about the surrounding community.
- Local Media: Not every donation and day of volunteering is enough to generate media coverage, but if the charitable campaign is large enough, it could. If your company has taken on a substantial charitable or philanthropic endeavor, share the news with the local media. Writing a press release that details the nuts and bolts of the campaign is a great place to start, but don’t expect reporters will see the press release on your website; send it directly to them.
Sharing information about the good a company is doing can be a catalyst to other companies putting more effort and resources into the community, as well. With this in mind, it makes sense for home service marketers to promote the philanthropic work their company is doing in order to build business, generate brand loyalty, and hopefully encourage others to give back.
Also important is celebrating. Celebrate community involvement with the team. The impact made through donations, sponsorships, and volunteering is only possible due to the work everyone puts in each and every day. Tell employees about the people being helped, and showcase exactly how it is impacting the community as a whole.
Give genuinely and without expectations. In our profession, we serve our community each and every day. Let’s extend that deeper into the community and lead with a servant’s heart.