We recently recorded a fun marketing edition of Ask Me Anything (AMA), with our Founder & CEO Michael Brown & our Growth Manager, Jessica Ruby. You can watch them in action on Swept’s YouTube channel here (don’t forget to subscribe!). For those of you who would rather read in peace – this blog is for you!

    Days before recording this video, we put up a post on our social media channels asking our readers to send in their questions. From the many questions we got, here’s what was answered…

    For someone that is new to Facebook Ads, what’s the starting point?

    People get very intimidated when they hear this concept of ‘paid social media’ and they think “Oh, no-one’s on Facebook. Why would I do Facebook ads?”. I think it has a lot of preconceived notions around it.

    Facebook ads, especially if you’re a small business, are so easy to get started with and are really straightforward. You do not need a huge budget, especially if you’re just trying to reach out locally as the cost goes up by how many people you’re trying to reach. For example, if you’re a cleaning company based out of Boston and you just want to reach the Boston area, it actually wouldn’t cost you that much money to get started.

    The back end of it in Facebook might feel complicated when you sign in, but it’s actually very easy to figure out. All the instructions are broken down into steps. It’s a really great starting point for running your first ad – and it works!

    How much should a small cleaning business spend on marketing?

    Marketing is a good investment and it could be very scary the first time you’re trying to set up a marketing budget. I can’t give you an exact amount but what I can say is think of it as an investment into your business. Every time you put a dollar into marketing, someone’s going to see your cleaning business.

    You’ll probably want to look at the percentage of your sales and how much of that you want to reinvest. In the beginning phases, you could do 1% or 5%. The way I would look at it is by understanding what is coming in and from where. I’d ask myself, what’s my goal in terms of growth? Then I would estimate my budget based on that answer. That being said, do not be afraid to spend a little bit of money on marketing because something like paid advertising you will see the return on!

    What’s a click-bait?

    Great question! Let me start by saying there is a fine line between clickbait and actually getting someone to click through.

    Clickbait is anything that is overly crazy, exaggerated or you’re promising something that isn’t there.

    What are some website must-haves?

    This is a really good question because people often feel the need to fill their website with tons of ‘stuff’ – but websites can be really simple. When someone’s going to your website they’re often going there because they might want to work with you and they’re trying to see if you are a good fit. Keep it simple and clear – say who you are, what you do, and a really clear way of contacting you.

    1. Who are you and what do you do?
      Are you a commercial cleaning business, residential or are you a niche?  Whatever you do, it should be really clear and your website should align.

    2. Contact information of your cleaning business
      Example: A lead form/contact form which people can click on and leave a message for you
    3. Address/ location of your cleaning business

    How do I know what type of marketing works for my cleaning business?

    It’s a great question and I wish I could give you a simple answer and say “these three things are going to work for your cleaning company” but unfortunately it doesn’t exactly work that way.

    You need to try different tactics and see what works for your customers. It will depend on the niche that you’re in. If you clean offices and you are trying to reach out to office managers, think about where they’re living online all day. Are they on LinkedIn? You might want to do LinkedIn ads.

    But if there’s no centralized place and you’re trying to reach people in a broader sense, maybe Facebook is the place you want to be. Facebook has a much broader reach and so does Google. There are some core tools you can always use like Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which you can do through Google. It sounds complicated but I promise you it’s pretty straightforward and Google has a lot of free learning resources that will teach you how to run some of these tools and do it properly.

    Thoughts on traditional marketing?

    Sometimes it can cost more money and it can be harder to calculate the direct return on investment (ROI). However, with digital marketing, you can see the numbers of who came from where and easily calculate your ROI.

    With traditional marketing, it’s often a little bit more of a test. Say if you decide to print 100 bags that have your cleaning company’s logo on them, you are not going to be able to tell how many customers came to you from looking at your logo on a bag but it also doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

    I think there’s a time and place and you have to figure out what’s going to be right for your business. Certainly, if you have a cleaning business in a local city and you want people to know about your business, traditional marketing goes a long way. You can have branded swag or a bunch of printed hats that people are wearing around town. If you know that they’re going to be talking to other potential customers, it’s a great way to get your brand out there.

    You really have to decide what’s right for you and make sure anytime you’re doing something like this ask yourself this important question – what do you want out of it? Is it just branding you are looking for? Brand credibility? Are you looking for some sort of return?

    Does one have to be active on all social media platforms?

    No, you don’t have to be on every platform. Choose one or two that you’re comfortable with, that you know you can post to consistently, and stick to those.

    If you just like to post articles, talk about the news, or get involved in a conversation use Twitter. If you have a Facebook page that people engage with, then use your Facebook page to share news, join discussions, etc.  Instagram is good for building a community but it is very visual and all about images & videos. So if you’re going to have great imagery use Instagram.

    I don’t believe you need to be on every single platform and if anything, that could feel overwhelming very quickly.

    We only have so many hours in the day and we can only make so much impact. Think about where you will get the most value.

    Final Thoughts

    We hope you found this AMA session on Marketing insightful. If you have any marketing-related questions that you’d like answered in our next AMA session, please feel free to drop them in the comments section here

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