Michigan contractor uses Google+, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to help pull in potential customers and connect with peers
An excavation company that’s heavily into social media and Internet marketing might seem as unusual as equipment operators who wear three-piece suits. But at Dig-It Excavating, it’s as ingrained in the company as its emphasis on professionalism and diversified services.
“I want to be different and I want people to know that we’re different,” says owner Dervin Witmer, who established the company in 2005 in Cassopolis, Michigan. “The Internet is a valuable tool that really highlights our selling points. And it’s cheaper than hiring a salesperson to go around and find new clients.”
Witmer says his company’s Internet-savvy approach to marketing stems from his brother-in-law, Ben Bredeweg, a marketing consultant who developed the company’s website. He also credits his son, Lucian, who recently bought a drone and uses it to create videos about certain jobs that subsequently get posted on the website and YouTube.
“A lot of times, customers say they called us because they saw a video on our website or YouTube, so a high percentage of people who call us already know what we do and our business philosophy,” Witmer explains. “It’s a powerful tool for us. Potential customers like to see us working on a project. The value is they can see what equipment we use and the procedures we follow.
“Altogether, it seems to convince these people that we’re the company they want to hire,” he adds. “It’s a trust-building tool for us as well as a transparency tool — we don’t mind if people see how we work.” In addition, posting videos on a website enhances the site’s visibility on search engines such as Google.
The website attracts about 900 visitors a month, and about 90 percent of them are first-time viewers. Witmer estimates that the website, which costs the company about $1,500 a year to maintain, generates about 60 percent of his business leads. As such, it has allowed him to reduce the company’s presence in phone book ads, which are getting more and more expensive.
In terms of social media, the company uses Facebook to explain Dig-It’s capabilities and answer questions. Google+ helps with relevant content of Google web search results. The company also posts videos on YouTube, which helps increase Internet visibility. “YouTube has also been a highly effective tool in explaining problems (customers face) and the solutions and services we offer,” Witmer says.
In addition, a presence on Instagram provides a national-branding platform. “We may not see much return on our post there in terms of more jobs, but it’s another way to showcase our professionalism and gives us national and worldwide exposure,” he points out. “We also use Twitter to network with colleagues around the country and to connect with local realtors and equipment manufacturers … it’s all part of our brand-marketing plan.”