Setting Up Marketing Basics for Asphalt Contractors

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Marketing planning strategy

This is part 2 of our “How To Get Leads For an Asphalt Paving Business” series of posts. In this section, we’ll cover the basic marketing tools and tips for setting them up.

  • 4 Channels For Acquiring New Leads
  • Setting Up Marketing Basics for Asphalt Contractors
  • Implementing Your Marketing Tools: Securing Your Initial Contracts – Coming soon
  • Tactics for Effectively Promoting Your Asphalt Business -Coming soon

The Basic Marketing Tools

Now that you know who you’re targeting, it is time to equip yourself with tools that form the foundation of a robust marketing strategy suitable for any asphalt contractor. Remember, while there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, the most impactful marketing strategy is the one you actually implement. Too many business owners get caught in the daily grind and never escape into the marketing world.

Below are the marketing tools to setup plus, some succinct insights:

  • Establishing Your Brand
  • Business Naming Tips
  • Logo Creation
  • Consistency in Contact Information
  • Selecting a Domain Name
  • Setting Up a Professional Email
  • Choosing a Phone Service
  • Quick Bid Submission
  • Essential Physical Marketing Materials
  • Website Importance
  • Google Business Profile
  • Facebook Profile

Brand Establishment

Your brand is more than your logo.

In fact, it isn’t your logo at all!

Your brand is a set of actions or behaviors that you engage in that form the perception of your business and products. In essence, it is the positive or negative beliefs that customers hold about your business. For example, Nike shoes might not make you run faster, but if every sales associate fills you with the belief that they do, and every commercial makes you know they will, and every time you lace them up, they feel light and hug your foot, you will believe that those Nikes will make you run faster – that’s their brand.

Your brand, if done right, creates a virtuous upward cycle to growth that is very recognizable. As you do more work, as you push more marketing, and as you talk to more customers, more and more people will actively want to work with you!

Practically, what establishes your brand is you showing up on time, giving off positive energy, getting projects completed, having clean trucks, doing, good work, and treating customers with respect. Obviously, it can be the opposite, too, so tread carefully!

Business Naming Tips

If you’ve already chosen a business name, stick with it. If not, consider the following:

  • For local contractors, clarity is key. Names like “Nisswa Paving Co.” (Nisswa is a Minnesota town ) or “Gull River Paving” (A river near me as I write this article) offer straightforward insight into your services and provide a familiar location name. Alternatively, pair generic names with descriptive taglines like “Blackrock Paving – Driveway Paving in Minnesota.”
  • Keep in mind that giant brands like Nike took years and millions of dollars to establish. In fact, Nike Started as Blue Ribbon Sports and didn’t switch to Nike until after it made its first million. Apple Inc. started as a picture of Isaac Newton Sitting under a tree with the words ‘Apple Computer Co’ and wasn’t known as Apple Inc until about 30 years after it was founded!
  • Do your due diligence after you pick a name, check the name against the secretary of state and check to see if there are any active trademarks for it.
  • To evaluate your name ask these questions:
    • Is it succinct?
    • Is it easy to spell?
    • Are you using homophones (e.g., “there” vs. “their”)?
    • Does it reflect your services?
    • Is the domain (URL) available?

Logo Tips

Your logo is important as it helps anchor your brand in customers’ minds. Another thing that is practically important from a design perspective is to keep track of the fonts and colors that are used in your logo, these help to make up your brand’s identity.

Also, when you make your final logo approval keep in mind that it should come in different formats, these are the basic formats you need:

  • Primary Logo: Should be readable at a large size and small size.
  • Black and White Logo: Your logo should look good in black and white
  • Icon Version: you should be able to shrink the logo way down and have it still look good. This might be an icon only and should look good as an app cover.
  • Logo with Tagline/Logo Vartion: this is ideal for different use cases, this might be your logo on a t-shirt or within a cool badge

If you choose to use professional design services, request that they provide you with a complete brand identity.

Ensure Consistent Contact Information

Ensure your contact information remains consistent. If someone discovers a year-old flyer, they should still be able to reach you! This includes maintaining a steady domain name. While technically changeable, it’s best left the same.

Find a Domain Name

In most cases, you should have one primary domain name throughout the life of your business. It will be placed on all of your marketing materials and used in many places throughout the internet. On top of that, Google and other search engines are constantly evaluating the credibility of your domain name for the service you provide (that’s how search engine rankings work). If you earn a number one rank with one domain name, but then it suddenly changes, this could be catastrophic for leads if not done properly.

For that reason, we recommend that you take total ownership over buying and renewing your domain with a Domain Name Registrar. We highly recommend using a reputable provider like GoDaddy or Namecheap and purchasing your domain name for a long period of time. Trusting a small company, a cheap service, or even a designer with your domain name can be a huge and unnecessary risk.

Professional Email

If you have a domain name, get an email too! Google Workspace Account is a great option. One account will be less than $100/year, and it will make your business look more professional. Plus, Google Workspace Includes handy bonus tools like 30GB of Cloud Storage.

Phone Service

Consider a separate business phone. Affordable plans, like Mint Mobile, paired with a budget-friendly or previously-used phone, can serve this purpose. Try to have one base company number that you consistently use across all of your marketing materials.

Have Bid Docs Prepared

Rapid response and timely bid submissions will bolster your brand. Have a bid template saved and ready to send. Make sure it’s professional and includes your logo and your contact information. There are quite a few reasons that people don’t get bids out quickly, but you need to prioritize bidding and rapid customer response. Being fast and clear with your communication will win your brand points in the eyes of your customers.

Physical Marketing Materials

Of course, you should have some physical marketing materials to support your lead generation strategy. To get going, grab some affordable business cards, and either a flyer or a door hanger, plus small yard signs to place next to your completed projects. These marketing materials should include your business name, logo, phone number, website, and the services you provide.

Websites Importance

Customers want to get in touch with you, and they want to get to know you. There is no better place to let them do this than on you. Your website can show off the most polished aspects of your brand to thousands of people. Here are six reasons you need a website for your asphalt business:

  1. It boosts your business’s credibility: If you’re not a fly-by-night contractor who wants to have a legitimate presence in your community, people are going to want to learn more about you. Your website is the place to do that. With great design and content, you can reassure your customer that you’re a serious business.
  2. It can help you filter leads and decrease junk phone calls. You don’t want everyone calling you; you want the right people calling you. If your website is up-to-date with great FAQs, details on your process, and details on your service, customers can self-filter.
  3. It provides a consistent place for customers to find you. If you have an article posted on the local paper’s website and it links back to your website, that referral is in your control and is valuable to you long after the article is posted.
  4. You have total ownership and control over it. What happens if Facebook restricts your feed or your Facebook page gets hacked? This could be shut-off leads overnight and be nearly impossible to recover from. As long as you own your domain, you can have complete control over what shows on your website. There is always a chance of a hack, but in most cases, recovering from a website hack can be done quickly!
  5. Your website’s performance should improve with time, eventually creating a low-cost source of very high-quality leads. This is all about SEO, and we’ll get into that later.
  6. It will attract employees. Having a strong portfolio and pages that cater to potential employees, you can give people a glimpse into what it is like to work for you.

Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile is another must for every single asphalt contractor! A Google Business Profile will help you rise in Google search results. Keep in mind, in order to get your Google Business Profile, you will have to provide the legitimate address of your business – which they verify. We recommend using an address rather than a service area in order to get a pin on a map.

When you do set up your Google Business Profile, be sure that it is completed with your most up-to-date business information. You need to include hours of operation, your phone number, your website, your logo, your services, and your business description.

To get your profile to rank higher, you need to be active on your profile! This means actively requesting reviews from all of your clients, posting pictures of your jobs, and posting promotions or news. You should consider this as important as Facebook and should keep this highly curated content.

Facebook Profile

Your Facebook profile can be a valuable tool for connecting with customers, especially during the initial stages. Although Google might drive more traffic long-term, Facebook targets a broader demographic, including older customers with purchasing power.

With these marketing foundations in place, you’re primed to generate leads. As the adage goes, this is where the rubber meets the road. Your focus may vary, but leveraging these strategies ensures a steady inflow of potential clients.

Now you have the basics for a strong marketing strategy in place; it is time to start generating leads. You may choose to focus on some of these areas more than others, but if you do the things we mention in the short-term and long-term lead generation strategy, you’re going to get leads!

Next Article, Coming Soon!

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