Blog? But we’re a plumbing company!

blog but we're a plumbing company mediavine marketingBy now most of us have heard that blogging is one of the best things we can do to drive traffic to our small business websites and increase the awareness of our brands. In fact, here’s a great post from Phil Mershon (Social Media Examiner) that gives statistics on the impact that frequent blogging can make on website traffic as well as customer leads.

However, we speak and work with many small businesses in industries that, on the surface, don’t seem to be very “bloggable”. Plumbing companies, for instance. After giving tips about leaky faucets or the best temperature setting for a hot water heater, what is there to write about? That’s a great question, but it’s also taking a narrow approach.

When a small business begins to blog, the primary goals for having the blog are usually increased awareness, website traffic and, hopefully, leads. The content that a small business posts on a blog needs to be something that people are likely to read. If nothing else, it needs to be something that people will “skim” and associate with your company name and brand. Many small business owners believe that any blog posts from the company have to be very industry-specific. However, this is not the case. If you’re a plumbing company, you can post content about a wide range of helpful topics, with the operative word being “helpful”. As an example of what can be done with a seemingly “unbloggable” industry, here are some interesting ideas I found while perusing plumbing company blogs:

Oldest water heater contest: Radiant Plumbing in Austin, Texas gave away two free water heaters to homeowners with the oldest water heaters in town. They found one that was 47 years old! The company got two posts out of the contest- one announcing the contest and one reporting on the winners- complete with pictures. 

What would you do if you didn’t have a toilet? Benjamin Franklin Plumbers of Arizona posted an article about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s challenge to reinvent the toilet to bring better sanitation to the 3 billion people in the world who don’t have access to a toilet.

Choose the potty of your dreams: Yes, you read that right. Moon Valley Plumbing of Phoenix, AZ invited everyone to ask about their June special on Toto brand toilets and find the toilet of their dreams. Moon Valley Plumbing also posted articles about the local home show, the truth about hard water, and the importance of supporting local companies.

How much it would cost to remodel a bathroom? Click’s Plumbing in Spring, Texas wrote an article about many of the questions a homeowner needs to take into consideration when planning a bathroom remodel. Plumbing is only one part of a bathroom remodel, but Click’s Plumbing provided some helpful information about the entire process.

New energy efficient household products: Raymond Plumbing of Lorain, Ohio, posted an article about some new household products that are designed with green technology and can provide savings to homeowners.

Blogs should be written with the target market in mind. Good questions to ask when blogging for a business are:

-What questions do we get asked the most on a regular basis, and can we answer them in a series of posts?
-What type of information will be helpful to my customers and potential customers?
-What content will help them feel as if we are looking out for their best interests?
-Is there anything humorous or attention-getting that we can post in order to increase our awareness and bring a little personality into our industry and company?
-Could we create and include some simple videos into our blogs?
-Where else will we be sharing the blog posts to gain maximum exposure?

Even if you are not a writer, you don’t have time to write and/or you don’t have a writer on staff, there are many people out there who would be happy to create great content for you.

  • http://twitter.com/RegDCP Reg Charie

    This makes a bit of sense but I would be surprised if it would bring much business.
    The majority of readers of a plumbing blog would be outside the ‘sphere of influence’ of the plumbing company. The sphere of influence being the area serviced by the company.

    Anyone outside this area would not be a likely convert.

    What business like plumbing companies have to do is to get listed for their terms in a local search.
    “Residential plumbing Scranton Ohio” – “Scranton Plumbers”

    best,
    Reg
    nbs-seo.com

    • http://www.mediavinemarketing.com Michele Rempel

      Hi, Reg.  Thanks.  I’m not advocating that a company do this in lieu of optimizing for local search. Getting listed for local search terms is a big deal.  However, if a local company has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, etc., then producing some of their own helpful content can raise their awareness as well as bring some additional traffic to their website.  It’s part of the overall mix. 

      • http://www.bestplumbing.com/service Best Plumbing Seattle

        Blogging…or anything that keeps relevant info moving forward in the social media realm…is a great way to stay in front of customers.  Great post!

        And if you’re in the Northwest, and need a  Seattle Plumber, please check us out!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/pcmethods Peter Hart Heinicke

    There is a plumbing company out of New Jersey that’s on Hubspot and they do a lot of blogging. Its a family business, and one of the family members is basically spending full time on in bound marketing and blogging. They see results in their business too.

    • http://www.mediavinemarketing.com Michele Rempel

      That’s awesome! When you’re a plumbing company (or a similar type of business) doing the “social” thing, you’re definitely going to stand out.  Thanks for the comment. 

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    Thanks for this, it can be difficult to know what to write about when you are not in an internet savvy industry. Would you also advocate a facebook page for a plumbing company?

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    Great agenda! But thanks for the post though. I’ll be looking forward for your next post.

  • Anonymous

    Our business is only as boring as we make it! We spend our days dealing with plumbing issues and situations that are like second nature to us. But imagine you weren’t a professional plumber, what kind of information would you find interesting?

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    All great ideas guys – another good thing about blogging (if it’s linked to your website) is just having fresh content on your website each day – search engines love it and rank your website up higher.

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  • Anonymous

     A lot of great points here. Blogging is essential to drive consistent, sustainable traffic to your company’s website. People don’t want to hear about the mundane details of what your company is about, they want to know how your company can help them. This is the most important concept to remember when blogging. It’s not about you, it’s about them! Craft stories using that mindset, and you’ll begin to see results.

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  • Terry78

    great tips thanks for sharing they will come in very handy

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  • John

    I completely agree, it’s all about creating value and potentially interest for the prospective buyer.

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      Yup, you need to blog to keep your customers active

  • http://fortmyersflplumbers.com Fort Myers Plumbers

    Great ideas. I also blog about a lot of green fixtures and appliances for homeowners that are in need of a replacement. Try to help educate with your blog posts.

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  • Jeffmorgan

    If you arent blogging you are out. It’s that simple. We just began 6 moths or so ago. The difference in our company has been nothing short of amazing. And yes we are just a simple midwestern plumbing company.

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    Thank you for the article.  We are a residential plumbing company in Myrtle Beach, SC and have a plumbing blog.  Your article gave me a few ideas for upcoming blogs.  www.theplumberwhocares.com/blog

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    Marlin Plumbing of Phoenix Arizona area also runs specials on their social networking accounts and it has really helped our business.

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    • http://www.mediavinemarketing.com Michele Rempel

      Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear that you’re getting good results.

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  • Dean Etheridge

    I think a high ROI approach to blogging for a plumbing company would be coming up with an infographic. Even Energy.gov produces infographics for information on water heaters, softeners, etc… because it’s an area that people don’t really understand – visuals help that.

    We created an infographic for http://plumbtechlv.com and had some success with it.

    Creating “great content” alone isn’t enough – make it relevant to your customers.

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