Marketing has changed and it's time for the security guard industry to catch up. The most modern security companies understand prospects aren't finding them in the yellow pages anymore; in fact, nearly all prospects (regardless of industry) will start their search for your services online.
Having spent some time as a security officer prior to my start in marketing, I'm very familiar with the challenges that come with running a small security guard company. I reached out to the Silvertrac team to discuss modern security marketing and how to implement proven digital marketing tools into your own business.
Over the course of 3 short videos, I'll break down three different yet critical marketing areas that will help your security company grow their sales funnel. We will be taking a look at:
- How to find more clients online
- How to prevent making simple marketing mistakes
- How to make sure your website is actually making you money
Creating a strong sales pipeline can be quite challenging for private contract security companies. In this video, we will discuss 5 easy places for any small business, especially security guard companies, to go find more contract opportunities.
To start, take it back to basics.
- Connect at online & offline forums. Facebook groups & industry forums are a great place to find like-minded people. Training seminars, gun ranges, local networking group sessions, fraternal orders and company-sponsored events are all great places to generate leads offline, start the conversation with prospects, or market your services in-person.
- Your current customers are your best referral source, use them accordingly.
- Follow up with people who originally said “no”. You will never know why a prospect didn’t become a customer if you don’t follow up and ask them.
- Social media advertising, but not just for selling your services. Creating interesting & engaging content for your audience will only increase the likelihood of converting new contacts into clients.
- Your website aka your "24/7 personal marketing department". Keep it modern, up to date, and make it easy for people to contact you about your services.
Your days get busy, and there often aren’t enough team members in a small business to travel, especially in a private security company. But 4 of these can be done right from the office. The goal is to work smarter not harder for those new-found contracts.
Social media marketing can be a strange and confusing channel to understand. You may have seen companies with a full marketing staff or agency and think: “There is no way our company can grow our marketing strategy with social media. We can’t afford a marketing team."
The good news is that you don’t need a full marketing team to start using social media to your security company’s advantage. But there is one mistake you need to avoid.
I meet dozens of companies who fail at driving social media traffic to their main point of conversion: their own website.
Think of your social media profiles as just “rented real estate”. The big players (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.) can change the rules whenever they want to; they have and will continue to do so. But your website is 100% yours. The branding, the content, and the data is all yours to use for the betterment of your company.
But that doesn't mean every social post needs to be a link to your "Home" or "Contact Us" page. Spend some time online looking at other brands' social profiles and you will see a strong mix of content: company pictures & news, hiring information, news articles, etc. The more you can share about you & your organization, the larger an audience you will attract.
Once you have spent time building a large social following, start directing them to your website from all channels and capturing their information to build & grow email lists.
The best performing digital marketing channel has & will continue to be email. Growing your email lists allows you to reach your customers & prospects directly at the lowest cost (sometimes free!). Tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact make it easy to create professional looking emails to keep your customers and prospects engaged. So capturing prospect client's email addresses via your website or a social media messenger app is crucial. Here are some pretty inspiring stats about email marketing:
- Marketers on average report 38 times return on investment (ROI) from email channels.
- 68% of millennial's have made a purchase through email.
- 56% of all emails are read on iPhone or through the Gmail app.
- 73% of business owners open their email first thing in the morning before any other app.
So to reiterate: drive social media traffic to your website, build your email list and begin utilizing it. Don’t waste any more time under-utilizing your social media channels! The longer you wait, the more leads you are missing out on.
Speaking of digital marketing, did you know that you have a 24/7 marketer working for you right now? Not sure who this mystery employee is? Well, it’s not actually an employee at all. It’s your company’s website.
Whether your business is open or not, prospects will be viewing your website and doing research about you & your organization. But with the internet changing so rapidly, how do you know what best practices you should be using on your security website?
Page speed is everything. If your site doesn’t load pages in 2-3 seconds, users will leave and likely never return. Use this free Google SEO tool to check the overall performance of your site and contact your developer if things do not look up to par.
Make sure your website is secure with a secure socket layer (SSL). Put your website domain into Google Chrome or any other browser; if a little padlock doesn’t appear next to the URL like the image below, then your site is not secure.
Silvertrac's website looks good to go!
Google and other search engines are penalizing websites who do not abide by this security rule, so get it taken care of right away.
Refresh & Redesign
Try and make simple updates to your site every 6-9 months. Things change in your business all the time, why shouldn’t your site do the same? New images or color changes are quick and easy ways to give your site a facelift.
Does your website show up the same way across all devices: desktop, mobile, and tablets? The #1 complaint of any website visitor is not being able to see content on their phone.
Your audience only comes to your website for one reason: to solve their problem as quickly as possible. They want to see that you understand their problem and you have a way to fix it. If you can relate to your audience and show how you can help them solve it, they are bound to convert.
Ease of Use
Pull up your website on your phone and navigate through the pages; if you have a hard time moving from page to page, other visitors will too. Make it easier for prospects to do business with you by using clear & consistent calls to action.
Clear Calls to Action
70% of all websites have no call to action (CTA) on their website resulting in information overload. If you want someone to book a call, make the button stand out from the rest of your site and make it easier.
The modern buyer’s journey is becoming an increasingly longer process with security buyers seeking out more digital content than ever before prior to ever speaking to a sales rep. If your website isn’t optimized to meet their needs and provide the solution for the potential client’s problem, you have lost their bid before ever getting a chance to speak to them.
Use these tips to make sure you are getting the most out of your marketing efforts and watch your sales pipeline start growing.