How to succeed at marketing business services (with tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Organisations use marketing to attract, convert and retain customers in a competitive environment. In-house or agency marketing professionals are generally responsible for leading this work. There are many different channels and promotional tactics that work well in the services sector, and understanding them can help you to draw attention to a business. In this article, we look at some of the best approaches to consider for marketing business services, alongside some tips to help you in your marketing efforts.

What is marketing business services?

Commercial organisations prioritise marketing business services to target customer groups using online and offline methods. These methods build the brand within a target market to attract customers and persuade them to make a purchase, thereby creating customer loyalty for repeat purchases. Marketing teams use a broad range of tactics, channels and approaches to deliver their goals and objectives. These vary according to their organisation's business plan, their commercial environment and the organisation's market position. They may also undertake a PESTEL analysis, which looks at the organisation's political, economic, sociological, technological, environmental and legal contexts.

Related: Why is marketing important in business? 13 FAQs on marketing

How to market services for your organisation

Here are some ideas to successfully market your organisation within the services industry:

1. Optimise your website and create campaign landing pages

Before you begin any tactical marketing promotions, optimise your website, so you have clear landing pages for each goal. For example, if you're hosting an event, create a dedicated page or microsite with event information and a booking form. Optimising your website before launching promotions ensures customers have a smooth online experience and reduces the bounce rate.

Related: A guide to landing pages vs. websites (plus differences)

2. Create special offers and previews

An introductory offer is a great way to market a new service, especially to new customers. Consider offering a free trial for a limited period, money off the regular price or a service extension, such as a free week pass when you sign up for a month. Introductory offers are usually very popular and also highly shareable online, making them great for referral and viral marketing.

Take care of your existing customers by offering previews of new services. For example, you might host a business breakfast if you run a consultancy service. If you've upgraded your premises, invite existing customers for a drink and a tour to make them feel special. Offer a free website review to your existing clients if you run an agency. Perhaps promote a free tyre check for customers at your garage when the seasons change. Existing customers are sometimes missed in promotional marketing, but they represent tremendous potential for repeat business and referrals.

Related: What is promotional pricing? (With advantages and examples)

3. Launch a competition

Social media contests are popular, easy and fun. They help to build engagement with followers and bring in more customers to convert on your landing pages. Offer a free session for your service or something meaningful and ask social media followers to share the competition and tag five friends to be in with a chance of winning. If followers ask questions, answer them in the post. It's essential that you actively manage online competitions to maximise their value.

Related: How to collect email addresses easily for marketing campaigns

4. Use email marketing

Consumers tend to open emails from organisations and brands that they trust, and many go on to make purchases from email marketing. To create a strong promotional email, try these tips:

  • focus on the value and benefits of the service rather than the features

  • personalise the email to the recipient

  • use a high-quality template and strong imagery

  • link to a custom URL or optimised landing page

  • use a powerful subject line to increase its chances of getting noticed

  • create social proof, such as testimonials or statements like over 100 people have already signed up for this exclusive networking event

  • create a sense of urgency and make your offer time-bound, such as 'last few places released today only'

Related: Features vs. benefits: what's the difference? (With examples)

5. Write a promotional blog post

Content marketing builds brand awareness, grows traffic to your site, boosts conversions and educates your audience. When you create great content, you build trust and speed up customers through the sales journey. Invest in a well-written promotional blog post as part of a broader content marketing plan and share it across all of your digital channels.

Related: 20 marketing activities to enhance any marketing strategy

6. Host a customer event

Events bring in customers and get them talking to your staff and each other. These events aren't necessarily big or expensive. Open-house events, launches or information sessions often work well, especially if your organisation has its own location, such as a retail store, spa, salon or gym. These are good touchpoints for potential customers to learn more about your organisation and its services. Send out personalised invitations and offer free food and drink or an exclusive discount to encourage attendance.

7. Let customers promote you

Sharing reviews is a powerful strategy, as your customers promote your organisation for you. Ask your customers to offer a review or testimonial, perhaps as a follow-up to a free trial or upgrade period. Share your best reviews in your messaging. Respond to any poor reviews to show that you take good customer service seriously. By following up appropriate, you create positive customer perceptions.

Related: Referral programme examples and how to make yours effective

8. Run an online advertising campaign

Social media allows for very specific target marketing and there are various ad types available to suit each budget. When using this strategy, ensure you target the advertising parameters as tightly as possible to see a good ROI. Most organisations use online advertising to boost qualified inbound website traffic, with ongoing SEO work to build their rankings over time.

Related: How to use social media for business in 11 practical steps

9. Make the most of social media

If you use any of the tactics described above, share them across your social media feeds, as this is a ready-made way to reach your audience and grow your brand. Your followers may share their posts with their own followers and post comments and queries. When you answer questions in the comments section, you build an organic FAQ. Try linking each social media post to an optimised landing page with more details and your call to action, such as a sign-up form for a competition.

You may also consider adding a custom hashtag to your social media promotions if you already have a loyal audience or niche service. This may inspire your followers to share their own pictures and posts with your custom hashtag, creating valuable user-generated content that builds referrals.

Related: 12 inexpensive marketing ideas for small businesses

10. Consider print marketing

Print marketing is still a powerful tool, so remember to invest in flyers, posters and business cards as appropriate. Business cards are useful at networking events where sales agents may talk to delegates to promote your service. Pull-up stands are also useful for events. Posters work well for local marketing and flyers are useful for street marketing and direct mail campaigns, depending on your business.

Tips for marketing your business services

Here are some tips to get the most out of your marketing efforts:

  • Read the business plan and create a marketing strategy. By doing this, you establish clear goals and objectives that you base all of your decisions on.

  • Aim to integrate your marketing channels so that you may reinforce messages and share them. For example, when you publish a blog post on your website, you might share it on your social media pages and include a link in email marketing.

  • Track success to evidence your ROI. With online marketing tools, you're able to monitor campaigns as they're running to make sure they're achieving an adequate return.

  • Evaluate the campaign when it finishes. This provides a useful reference point for your next round of marketing campaign planning and shows which channels and tactics generated the best results for future planning.

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