You’ve probably heard of the internet of things – the network of physical objects, vehicles, and businesses connected to the web.
Well, the extension of that ubiquity is online pest control. The business of pest control management, also known as Pest Monitoring, Deteciton, and Elimination (PMD&E), has exploded in the last few years, with pest control firms opening up shop virtually everywhere.
The convenience for consumers is obvious: one need only log on to their favourite social media platform and within minutes, they may have found the nearest pest control professional to their location.
For the PC, a simple search on Google, Bing, or Amazon for “pest control near me” will bring up a list of nearby pest control firms – saving consumers the effort of searching for individual businesses and contacting them via phone or email.
The benefits to the pest control industry as a whole are equally clear: increased brand awareness, simplified communication, and greater efficiency through online platforms like Email
The question is, how do you go about setting up an online pest control business?
Create a Website
The first and most essential step to setting up an online pest control business is to create a presence on the web. While there are many platforms to choose from, many businesses opt for WordPress with a private hosting option such as Bluehost. This is because WordPress is easily the most popular content management system on the web, with over 75 million downloads.
The benefits of a CMS (Content Management System) over static websites are countless, so it’s advisable to opt for WordPress even if you don’t fully understand what a content management system is. In addition to being extremely popular, WordPress is also extremely user-friendly and has a huge community of support available through the web. If you’re looking for a flexible, easy to use platform that offers all the functionality you need without the need to write a single line of code, then WordPress is the right choice for you.
Choose Your Niche
The second step towards establishing an online pest control business is to narrow your focus to a specific market segment. Your niche is essentially the group of people you intend to serve with your product or service. When choosing your niche, you must keep in mind that there are already hundreds of thousands of products and services available for the internet market. For this reason, it’s essential to establish yourself as an expert in your chosen market segment.
For example, if you’re a roach motel, it might be wise to explore how to become the go-to resource for information on how to prevent and deal with roaches. You could start by setting up a blog on WordPress explaining the reasons behind the infestation and the various ways in which you and your staff can eradicate the pests. You can also conduct seminars and lectures pertaining to roach control for local schools and businesses.
The important thing to remember is that your blog doesn’t need to be about roaches – it can be about anything related to your niche. Just make sure that you remain truthful and the most authoritative resource in your field.
Target Smart Consumers
As a third step in establishing an online pest control business, you must target smart consumers. There are three types of internet users:
- Active users – people who are actively seeking new content
- Passive users – people who are simply browsing the web for something interesting to read
- Sociable users – people who enjoy engaging with others through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter
If your blog is focused on attracting active users – people who are genuinely seeking new content – then you should probably opt for a broader, more general topic. Something that will interest a large audience. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to target passive or sociable users with your blog, then you should consider narrowing your focus to a specific topic related to your niche.
Build Your Email List
In addition to creating a website, you also need to build an email list. Having a list of email addresses of potential customers is extremely useful, not just for marketing but also for contacting customers for any reason (including customer service).
You could start by asking potential customers to subscribe to your blog. Then, when you’ve gone through a couple of entries, you could gently invite them to join your mailing list. Building an email list is a tedious process, so be patient.
Conduct Marketing Research
Once you’ve got your website up and running, you need to start conducting research into the various marketing strategies that might work for you.
This involves looking into different marketing models, finding out what’s working and what isn’t, and adapting your methods to suit the digital landscape.
The most common marketing mistakes that new businesses make are:
- Ignoring the need to establish a brand
- Not having a clear message about what the business does
- Focusing on short-term results at the expense of long-term growth
- Failing to conduct market research
- Focusing on keywords rather than content quality
- Pricing their products and services inappropriately
- Failing to establish authority in their field
- Not considering the digital landscape when creating content
- A number of other marketing faux pas
The fact that these mistakes are so commonplace is a clear indication of just how important it is to fully understand what elements contribute to a successful marketing strategy.
Once you’ve identified these factors, you can begin to build a plan to tackle each of them.
Determine the Role of Digital Marketing
What is the role of digital marketing in your business?
You may be wondering why you should care about digital marketing when setting up an online pest control business. After all, you’re not exactly an eCommerce (electronic commerce) company, are you?
Well, in a nutshell, the role of digital marketing is to bring attention to your business online. If someone is searching for your product or service online, then you can assume they’ve probably discovered your website through organic search.
Organic search is all the traffic you can get online that isn’t paid for. It usually appears in the form of text underneath or next to the search results, and is usually triggered by a keyword or two in the content.
When someone conducts a search for your product or service and lands on your website, that’s considered to be a successful organic marketing interaction. You can use this fact to encourage future customers to visit your site.
Now, although attracting traffic to your site is an essential piece of the puzzle, it isn’t the whole picture. After all, if no one knows about your site, then it’s essentially a waste of time. To truly succeed as an organic marketer, you must integrate search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click adverts, and social media platforms into your campaign.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Essentially, SEO is the process of enhancing the content on your site so that it can be more easily found online by potential customers. This means implementing various methods of increasing the ranking of your website on search engines like Google.
Pay-per-click (PPC) is an approach to online marketing that involves paying the search engine in exchange for a higher placement in the search engine results.
Social media marketing, or SMM for short, simply means using social media platforms to promote your business. The most popular social media platforms are:
If someone decides to follow you on one of these platforms, they’re considered to be a “fan” of your business. Creating a social media profile takes very little effort but can have a huge impact on your business. When someone decides to follow you, it’s considered a sign of personal interest. This means you’re starting to build a community of people interested in your product or service.
To attract potential customers, give the option of subscribing to your blog. Then, when you’ve gone through a couple of entries, you could gently invite them to join your mailing list. Building an email list is a tedious process, so be patient.