There are a variety of kinds of ads that work well in generating leads from homeowners. Each has strengths and weaknesses and is appropriate for different situations and meeting business goals. The four most common types of advertising for home service companies are: Spokesperson, Storytelling, Testimonial and Explainer. Let’s take a brief look at each and how to best use them.
Spokesperson ads are common in the home improvement and repair space. And it’s not surprising. Using a spokesperson can help deliver a lot of information quickly. Better yet, a spokesperson who appears trustworthy and likeable can transfer these personality advantages to the company they’re representing. Finally, a spokesperson can assume the role of a sales representative by directing your audience how to respond and directly asking them to take action. Choosing the right spokesperson and using them to power up TV, radio and online advertising is an excellent approach for many home service companies.
Storytelling ads are some of the most popular tools for brand building. Using “slice-of-life” situations and emotional appeals, companies can create stories that resonate with their target audiences. Sentiments like nostalgia, fear, longing and amusement can be used to connect our brand to the hearts and minds of homeowners. While this approach can be powerful, it also brings some of the biggest potential pitfalls. Poor acting or artificiality can actually weaken a brand. Moreover, even when storytelling lands an emotional punch, audiences may remember the story more than the brand behind it. Employing this kind of advertising takes care and skill to ensure positive impact.
Testimonial ads are similar to Spokesperson ads in that someone is telling your audience about your company. They have an advantage over a Spokesperson approach in that, done correctly, testimonials are perceived as unbiased and inherently “honest.” The most powerful testimonials employ real-life customers expressing their honest opinions in their own words. It’s important not to attempt to force artificial “talking points” into the mouths of your customers. Forced and awkward testimonials can backfire. That said, using real customers in advertising can also add some complications. Your subjects will likely take longer to deliver information than a trained spokesperson. They may also need more production time to grow comfortable with being on camera and to deliver a usable “take.”
Another style of advertising that’s particularly useful in the home services industry is the Explainer. This style of advertising might use diagrams, animation, computer graphics, statistics or other measurement devices to educate homeowners how your product works, solves problems and presents great value. Explainer advertising can be very powerful and even entertaining when done correctly. Entire television shows have been built around “explainer” formats and been successful on networks like The Food Channel, TLC and HGTV. There are few rules with how you present your Explainer, giving you a lot of flexibility in highlighting different aspects of your products and services. A key guideline is simply to maintain focus on one topic and don’t try to force too much into your advertising. Too much complexity can confuse your audience and generate negative feelings, the exact opposite of what you should aim for with explainer ads.
Depending on your ad formats, you can mix and match elements from each of these types of advertising. A Spokesperson might demonstrate a product in the style of an Explainer ad. Or, a customer might deliver a moving Testimonial with cutaways to a Storytelling re-enactment of their experience. The important thing to remember is that, whichever style of advertising you employ, to produce it with a quality that reflects well on you and represents the kind of company you want to be.