You want to know how to get more roofing leads. You want more calls. You want more contracts.
But do you know the best ways to get them for your roofing company?
In this article I’m not just going to talk about the ways to get leads, I’m also going to give you specific tips you can use to get the most out of your marketing so you can earn more revenue and grow your roofing business.
What is a Roofing Lead?
A roofing lead is a person (B2C) or company (B2B) that has an interest in your services. Leads can be marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or sales qualified leads (SQLs).
Knowing the difference between each is important as it helps you figure out what messaging and positioning you should be taking in the conversation to have the highest chance of converting your prospects from potential customers into paying customers.
The Different Types of Roofing Leads
There are two types of leads, marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads. Don’t confuse this with B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) leads. B2B and B2C leads are not types of leads, they’re target audience types.
Marketing Qualified Leads
A marketing qualified lead is someone who’s interested in your service and is on the path to a sale but isn’t quite ready to talk to a salesperson directly. You don’t want to be pushy with these kinds of leads - give them a little space and figure out what they’re interested in a bit more before you reach out.
This is most useful when put into the context of email marketing, digital advertising, and content marketing.
Suppose someone had visited your site and read a blog post to learn about different types of roofs. You wouldn’t retarget these people with advertisements about buying your roofing services.
Instead, I would target them with video-based ads on social media that highlight our work, showcase client testimonials, or talk about how to evaluate and find the best roofing contractor for the job.
Sales Qualified Leads
A sales qualified lead is someone who’s ready to be engaged with directly. These include people who submit a contact form on your site, social media, or call you. There’s not much to explain here from a marketing standpoint - you’re ready to sell!
Ways to Generate Roofing Leads
Review the following ways to get more leads and think about which one is best for your business right now.
Some ways are better than others but each has its own merit and place in a marketing campaign.
Tip: My advice is to pick 2-3 marketing strategies (2 digital marketing/1 offline marketing) and commit your marketing budget to them for at least one year before getting distracted and trying something else.
They each work when done right so if you aren’t finding success it’s likely because of the people in charge of it.
Let’s dive in!
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Exclusive roofing leads
- You can capture leads before the competition ever has a chance to
- You can begin growing so much you are able to buy out your competition
- Requires the assistance of experts
- Takes a significant upfront investment
- Longer time to ROI
- Requires patience
- If you hire a shitty agency they can hurt you more than help you
SEO is how you get found on Google. It is one of the most powerful and profitable ways to market your roofing business online and create a sustainable lead generation pipeline.
The goal of SEO is to rank and show up for the types of things people search for so that you can convert them into an exclusive roofing lead.
SEO works just as well for generating commercial roofing leads as it does residential roofing leads.
There are hundreds of factors that Google’s algorithm weighs to determine how a page should rank in their search engine. At the core though, there are three primary ranking factors that we know are most important:
- High-quality content that gives the searcher what they’re looking for.
- High-quality contextual backlinks from other websites to yours to recognize you as an authority in your industry.
- RankBrain, a machine learning algorithm that Google uses to understand how to give people the best search results for their given search terms.
In addition to the regular search results, Google also displays local businesses in a special way called the map pack that pulls in results from Google Maps. You’ll need to set up and optimize your Google My Business listing if you want any chance of ranking in the map pack.
That’s just the beginning though. If you’re in a very competitive market, you’ll need to invest in content, links, and distribution to outrank the competition.
While SEO may be very powerful and profitable, it’s also not the easiest to implement without a deep understanding of how Google works, expertise in content marketing, technical skills, and an effective distribution strategy to build your credibility and authority in the eyes of Google.
There are over 3.5 billion searches happening on Google every day. It also takes time, effort, and patience to get the ball rolling. Investing in SEO is a lot like investing in a retirement plan.
It takes a lot of consistent effort over time to get results, the best day to start was yesterday, but the return compounds over time.
Any roofing company that isn’t actively doing SEO is losing out on a lot of valuable inbound leads and setting themselves up for a struggle in the future.
Those that do invest in it find themselves with a steady stream of quality leads that come in organically every single week.
SEO Quick Tips
- Ensure your website is responsive, loads fast, and has an SSL certificate installed.
- Internally link between pages that are relevant to one another.
- Optimize your Google My Business listing
Bonus: Want to see how your current marketing agency is holding up? Check out our free guide to learn how to measure your own SEO campaign results or reach out to us to have a chat.
Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with SEO and is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in the roofing industry.
Being an authority not only helps you rank higher on Google but it also makes your company’s name the first one that comes to mind when people think about roofing.
Content marketing also gives you an unending supply of content you can distribute and promote on social media, via email, on YouTube, podcasts, trade shows, and speaking engagements.
Content Marketing Quick Tip
Use websites like AlsoAsked to find additional questions people are asking when searching for terms related to your industry. Just type a keyword in, set the region and language to the appropriate selections for your market, review the questions, and create useful and in-depth content around those questions to provide people with value.
Paid Digital Advertising
Advertising is useful and serves and complements SEO and content marketing very well. There are a variety of online channels you can advertise through to get more leads but each one of them is slightly different in very important ways.
I’ll cover the major channels below and offer some key takeaways for each.
I imagine most folks are familiar with Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) and the pay per click (PPC) advertising model. Google Ads come in a variety of flavors but text-based ads are the most common.
You’ll see them above and below the organic search results for many queries that have commercial intent.
With Google Ads, you pay each time a user clicks on your ad (whether they end up converting into a lead or not).
The ads can either send the user to a landing page (a specific type of page that is solely focused on converting the visitor) or you can use ads that immediately direct the user to call you (we’ve found these don’t convert as well in the roofing market).
In addition to text-based ads, you can also advertise with Google using display ads, shopping ads (not as relevant to roofers), and YouTube ads (an underutilized and powerful method).
Google Ads Tip:
Make geographic-specific decisions for your ads. If you know an area tends to be more lucrative than others, you can increase or allocate more of your budget to that area than others (or you can even make it so that your ads only show there).
Bonus Tip: You can manipulate this as needed in response to weather-related events as well.
Many business owners may not think Facebook ads will work for them.
There’s a reason why some of the largest companies in the world spend billions of dollars on Facebook ads to advertise themselves: it works.
The key with Facebook Advertising is to know how to do it the right way.
First off, boosting a post on Facebook is not what we’re talking about here.
We’re talking about leveraging one of the most advanced machine learning algorithms to analyze consumer behavior in the world.
That means setting up an actually Facebook Business Manager account (which isn't the same as having a Facebook Business Page).
You can use Facebook to advertise to people in a specific geographic area, who have specific traits, job titles, people who have visited your site (or Facebook page) who didn’t convert, and much more.
It’s also one of the most affordable channels to advertise on when it comes to paid promotion.
We highly recommend using videos on Facebook if you want to increase engagement and lower your cost-per-custom acquisition.
If you're having trouble creating video or don't think you can do it — don't worry. There are tools that make it easy to create quick videos for Facebook Ads, even for people with no experience.
Facebook Advertising Tip:
Ensure you have a Facebook pixel installed on your roofing website so you can track your visitors across the web and remarket to them. If you’ve ever noticed how you can visit a website and then start to see their ads everywhere online, that’s more than likely because they are retargeting you using data collected from the Facebook pixel installed on their site.
We’ve seen a lot of other folks try to lump Facebook and Instagram advertising together.
Doing so is a bad idea.
They’re different platforms for different purposes.
To be clear: If you advertise on Instagram the way you advertise on Facebook you are wasting your money.
If you’re going to advertise on Instagram you will be able to set up these ads through Facebook’s Business Manager platform but you’ll want to make sure that you’re using higher-quality attention-catching images.
Don’t get me wrong, the images you use on Facebook need to be attention-catching as well, but you’ll need to take it up a notch to be the most effective you can be on Instagram.
Instagram Advertising Tip:
Use professional photography to showcase your work. Try before and after photos, motion-lapse video, and high-quality images of your crew at work.
Advertising on LinkedIn can be expensive. So much so that I don’t typically recommend most folks to use it for advertising. Instead, you can leverage LinkedIn to generate free leads via organic reach.
LinkedIn is still a new enough social platform that you can still reach a ton of people if you just post often enough. That being said, it helps if you post high-quality, useful content to reach potential B2B clients if you service commercial roofing clients.
LinkedIn Advertising Tip:
Don’t advertise on LinkedIn. Use posts instead. LinkedIn has a dramatic preference for video-based content and slide-based content right now so if you can put together a 30-60 second video answering a specific question about roofing or a helpful 5-6 helpful set of slides, you’ll get a ton of organic reach and engagement and that translates into more exposure for you and your roofing business.
Email marketing still has one of the highest ROIs of all marketing channels. There are several tools out there that can make email marketing easy including MailChimp, ActiveCampaign (my personal preference), and Keap.
The key thing to remember with email marketing is to send people content they’ll actually want to read. That can include things like discount offers, recent involvement in the community, advice on what to do after a storm, during the winter, etc.
It does not include recent events or awards you’ve been a part of. Email is not a means to brag about yourself (save that shit for social media).
People get enough junk in their inbox as it is. When was the last time you got one of those emails and just couldn’t wait to read it...
Email Marketing Tip:
Use a lead magnet to collect emails on your site. This is the most important thing you can do when it comes to email marketing. The best email in the world is worthless without an audience to send it to.
Some quick ideas to get people to actually give you their email could include a giveaway, a downloadable PDF guide to choosing the right type of roof, a downloadable PDF checklist to evaluate their roofing contractor, etc.
Online Aggregators & Directories
Online aggregators are directly-style websites that list out several businesses in an area and allow people to browse them (and reviews for them) easily without having to bounce back and forth across several websites.
HomeAdvisor & Angie’s List (They Merged)
HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List merged but still exist as two separate websites (which gives them the ability to rank twice on Google...they’ll deny being anti-competitive though).
Most folks we know that have used them have seen mixed results at best and don’t recommend paying for leads. That being said, you can set up a free listing on their platform that people can find information about you, leave reviews on, and use to create a backlink back to your site (a win for SEO).
Other online aggregators/directories you can check out include:
- Local chambers of commerce
Make sure your name, address, phone number, and website are consistent across each. You have some flexibility with your phone number if you’re trying to track ROI from each channel but we’d recommend using CallRail if you want to do so.
Homeadvisor & Angie’s List Tip:
I wouldn’t recommend spending money advertising on the platform. Set up your free listing on them and fill it out completely, including a link back to your website.
Forming strategic partnerships with home improvement companies like Lowe’s, Home Depot, ACE, or any popular supplier in your area is a great way to leverage the brand name recognition of a larger brand if you’re a small or relatively new business that’s still trying to gain traction in an area.
Places like Lowes and Home Depot offer some nice advantages to partnering with them including discounts on supplies, credit financing, and will sometimes deliver and install product at the job site to save you time and energy by not having to worry about pickup and delivery. You can learn more about Lowe’s Independent Service PROvider program here (FYI, no affiliation).
Trade shows are a great way to build strategic partnerships with other businesses, build your brand recognition, and even land a few contracts.
If you want to get the most out of doing trade shows keep the following in mind:
- Make a good first impression (this is what makes you memorable)
- Bring extra employees dressed as attendees and have them gather around your booth - people will gravitate toward your booth more.
- Give something wearable away. The more noticeable, the better. If it’s something people would actually value that’ll help even more. In the past, we’ve seen the best results by catering the item to the venue. For example, for outside events, we’ve given away gloves when it’s cold and battery-powered fans when it’s super hot.
- Trade contacts and sales info with other booths that have the same target audience as you (that aren’t direct competitors). This is a stupid-simple way to instantly double your lead opportunities. An example would be syncing up with chimney or solar companies (or literally any other vendor who isn’t a roofer).
Chamber of Commerce Events
Chambers of commerce can offer you opportunities to meet and greet with other business professionals who can be great sources for word-of-mouth referrals later on.
Just approach people, introduce yourself, and ask them what they do. Let them do the talking.
Give them plenty of time to talk about themselves and ask questions that they can elaborate on. You’ll find that the more you let people talk about themselves the more they’ll like you (even if you don’t say much about yourself at all). The more someone likes you, the more likely they are to remember you and refer you business in the future.
Canvassing (door-to-door knocking) is a bit old school but it can still be effective. Seeing someone face-to-face gives you a way to immediately get in front of your target audience and build trust (just make sure you look presentable).
Leverage digital tools to help you get the information you need quickly and efficiently. You may think an iPad will be easier to put info into than a phone but that’s not really the case. Phones are easier to hold and type on standing up so stick with that.
The younger generations that have started businesses don’t do this nearly as much (the same generation that won’t answer your phone call but will gladly text you). Use this to your advantage and leverage this method as it’ll be less competitive.
Hire college students to canvas an area for you, especially after a storm. If you can, hire both a male and a female and train them to ask the right questions, give the right answers, and collect necessary contact information to follow up on.
Homeowners are more likely to open their door and be more at ease when two people of the opposite sex approach their home than a single person.
We won’t dive too deep into this simply because we don’t like channels that are harder to track ROI and often end up being more expensive than digital channels but if you want to really be omnichannel in your approach and reach as many people as possible you can use direct mail.
One pro of direct mail marketing is that it’s less crowded than email these days and if you have an effective message and memorable packaging, people are more likely to remember you.
The primary con can be the average cost per lead ($54+) and the inability to track visitors through the marketing funnel.
Use QR codes so you can direct people from physical mail to your website. If you couple this with an advertising retargeting pixel we mentioned earlier you can remarket to people through digital channels as well.
No matter what route you go, you should be employing a mixture of these methods to keep your business generating leads or you won't grow. You cannot rely on word-of-mouth alone.
We recommend digital marketing as the core of your lead generation machine, supplemented by traditional methods.
If you run or are responsible for generating leads for a roofing company and would like to learn how you can leverage digital marketing to dominate the competition and grow your business, reach out to us at Ardent Growth and we'll show you what we're capable of.