In a world where environmental concerns are at an all-time high, hazardous waste management is a growing industry. But breaking into this niche market is no easy feet.
Meet John, a determined entrepreneur who wants to grow his small hazardous waste business into a major player in the industry. With limited resources and a lot of competition, John has found himself in a difficult situation that many small businesses face: He is uncertain how to grow a hazardous waste business while at the same time navigating complex regulations, running his facility and finding innovative solutions to dispose of hazardous materials.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways John can grow his hazardous waste business and turn it into a profitable and impactful enterprise.
Get To Know Your Customer Base
As the owner of a hazardous waste business, John knows that attracting the right customers is crucial to the success of his brand. It’s important to understand who is using his services, especially in today’s digital age where the buyer’s journey can be complex and challenging to navigate.
To truly understand John’s ideal customer, he needs to develop a buyer persona, a well-researched representation of the type of customer he wants to attract. Basic demographic information isn’t enough. He needs to dig deeper and analyze data, as well as talk to his customers to uncover their motivations and pain points.
Understanding potential clients’ pain points and challenges is particularly important for a hazardous waste business that wants to grow. And today, companies that generate hazardous waste face a number of challenges, from compliance with strict regulations to ensuring the safe transportation and handling of hazardous materials in order to protect human health and the environment.
John needs to be aware of these challenges and tailor his services and marketing efforts to address them, while also building trust with his customers and providing them with efficient and reliable solutions for their hazardous waste management needs.
By identifying his ideal customer, he can create a robust inbound marketing strategy to attract leads for his sales team. But how do you determine you buyer persona? In addition to understanding the challenges that hazardous waste generators face, you’ll want answers to questions like:
- Who do they trust for accurate industry information?
- What are their goals?
- Where are they at this point in their company’s tragectory?
- What does their buying journey look like? Is it primarily local, online, etc?
- What are some of the most important factors his customers consider when choosing a hazardous waste management service?
- What are the most common concerns or objectives hazardous waste generates raise?
- What are some of the unique needs or requirements potential clients may have in industries like healthcare, manufacturing and construction?
The answers to these questions will help John build a detailed picture of his ideal customer using real customer data and feedback. It’s important to keep in mind that this buyer persona, or ideal customer, is only a fictitious representation. It's not an actual person. Your goal is to put together a profile that is as close as possible to that ideal person. It will continually evolve as you tweak it when more releveant data is presented.
Ensure Your Website Is Customer-Centric
Having a website for your waste management business is a must since most states maintain a public list of companies that are authorized to manage hazardous waste. These lists typically include contact information, including your website.
While John’s hazardous waste business has a website, he’s not taking full advantage of this important tool that can help him grow his business. Why, because like many industry websites, they tend to lean more towards ME-Centric versions rather than customer-centric versions. In otherwords, people tend to want to display how great they and what they can offer the world, instead of how they can solve their customers problems.
A website with high-quality targeted content is crucial for hazardous waste companies to establish themselves as credible, organized and capable of solving their customers’ problems. With most customers doing their research online before making contact, a company’s website is often the first impression a potential customer gets.
A website should be well-designed, easy to navigate and lightning fast. With mobile usage on the rise even among fellow business owners, it’s also imperative that a website is mobile-friendly, or you risk losing half of their potential customers. In fact, a recent HubSpot Marketing Strategy and Trends Report found that the top trends marketers are currently leveraging include mobile-friendly web design, short-form video and creating content that reflects their brand’s values.
That brings us to why the content John includes on his company’s website is incredibly important. Creating engaging content can help increase search visibility and attract customers by adding value to their lives through helpful and problem-solving content.
In fact, content is one of the most powerful ways to draw potential customers to your website. By creating high-quality and engaging content like blogs, eBooks and checklists that are relevant to your target audience, you can increase the visibility of your website, establish yourself as an authority in your industry and attract more traffic to your site.
Here are a few ways that content can draw potential customers to John’s hazardous waste company’s website:
- Search engine optimization (SEO): By creating content that is optimized for search engines, John can improve his website’s visibility in search results and attract more organic traffic. This means using relevant keywords in his content, optimizing his title tags and meta descriptions, and using internal linking to guide visitors to other pages on his site.
- Social media: Sharing that content on social media platforms can help increase its reach and attract potential customers. By creating shareable content that resonates with an audience, John can encourage his followers to like, comment and share his content with their own networks.
- Email marketing: By creating valuable and relevant content and sharing it with his email subscribers, John can keep them engaged and draw them back to his website. Email marketing ideas can include pieces like newsletters, blog updates and special promotions or offers.
- Thought leadership: By creating high-quality content that establishes him as an authority in his industry, he can attract potential customers who are looking for expertise and guidance. This can include things like whitepapers, case studies and industry reports.
If you have a hazardous waste business like John’s, creating high-quality and engaging content can help you attract potential customers to your website by improving your visibility in search results and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Choose Your Social Media Carefully
As we mentioned above, social media is an important tool that can help companies like John’s engage with potential customers and share high-quality content.
Let’s take a look at John’s scenario specifically. Although John and his family members all have Facebook profiles, and many of his friends have Twitter, Instagram or even Pinterest accounts, John needs to consider what platforms his customers (businesses that generate hazardous waste) use. After all, the last thing John should do is share his valuable content on platforms where that content won’t gain traction.
While many businesses have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, two types of social media platforms where John’s business could thrive include LinkedIn and YouTube.
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that can be useful hazardous waste companies to connect with other businesses and professionals in their industry and in the industries that serve. YouTube is a great platform for sharing educational or promotional videos that showcase their services, explain complex procedures or even provide safety training to their clients.
While any social media channel can promote services and help hazardous waste companies establish themselves as industry leaders, it’s important to prioritize the specific platforms you use, based on how they interact or drive business to your website. In order to determine which social channels work best for lead generation or driving traffic, you must track and analyze the social data to make an informed decision about how to utilize them more effectively.
Work With An Inbound Marketing Agency
If you’re like John, you likely have enough responsibilities in running the day-to-day operations of your hazardous waste business. Yet the hazardous waste management market is poised to grow by more than $252 million during the 2023-2027 period, according to a new market report.
For hazardous waste businesses that want to grow, it’s important to recognize that failing to take action in this growing market can result in missed opportunities and possibly falling behind competitors. By proactively investing in your business - and marketing is an investment - hazardous waste businesses can position themselves for success in the years ahead.
That’s where an inbound marketing agency can help. Despite the availability of technology and tools that can help you grow your business, hazardous waste companies often don’t harness their websites or modern lead generation strategies. They have salespeople do cold calling, rely on referrals or invest in paid ads. For many of these companies, especially in today’s digital world, it isn’t enough.
Inbound marketing services harness the power of available online search options to drive targeted visitors to your website by creating valuable content that is tailored to them. A successful inbound methodology creates connections and solves the problems that many hazardous waste generators face today. This allows customers to come to you.
Nearly 85% of buyers do online research before ever contacting a company, according to Hubspot, and businesses that need hazardous waste management services are no exception.
In order to grow your hazardous waste business, you need a lead generation system that:
- Attracts the right prospects
- Converts visitors to your website into leads
- Automates lead conversions and lead nurturing to convert leads into Sales Qualified Leads
- Gives you the ability to track and understand what analytics mean
- Integrates sales and marketing to ensure everyone is on the same page
If you currently do not have valuable content on your website, landing pages that allow you capture information about the prospect in exchange for a content offer, a funnel system that qualifies your leads and builds trust with potential clients, or a follow-up process for the leads that you generate, your business can benefit from inbound marketing services.
In John’s case, one of his biggest questions was: How much does it cost to hire a marketing team? It’s a common question many business owners have since budget is at the forefront of any owner’s mind.
He found that an in-house marketing team could cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. On the other hand, a much more affordable option was to hire a marketing agency. An experienced inbound marketing agency will develop a strategy that includes:
- Website development and redesign
- Graphic design work
- SEO/keyword research
- Market research
- Mobile marketing integration
- Content development
- Targeted email creation
- Social media marketing
- Paid advertising
- Metrics and data analysis
- Public relations work
For busy hazardous waste business owners and managers, a marketing agency will also help free up time so that they can focus on the business at hand … ensuring their own clients’ hazardous waste is safely managed and disposed of according to state and federal regulations.
If John’s scenario sounded familiar to you, you’re not alone. In today’s hazardous waste management industry, growing a business can be challenging. However, by taking the time to understand your customer base, creating engaging content on your website and considering partnering with an experienced marketing agency, you can be at the front of the competition to take advantage of the growing demand for hazardous waste management services.
Bill is the CEO and Founder of InTouch Marketing. Bill drives the vision and direction of InTouch except when England's playing in a soccer tournament, because everything stops!