Basic Marketing for Home Remodelers and Contractors
Are you overwhelmed with where you should be investing your time and marketing dollars? Most small business owners in the home remodeling industry are. You are busy with customers and running a company; who even has time for marketing?!
On top of that, you could spend hours researching marketing solutions online, simply ending in a more confused state than when you started. Believe me; I’ve been there.
My goal is to give you a simple, yet effective industry specific list of basic marketing tactics in this blog post – six to be exact. Choose the ones that make sense for your company and target market, and ignore the rest. The companies with the best marketing don’t do EVERYTHING; they do specific tactics well, and consistently.
Our advice. Keep it simple. Focus on the basics. Once you do those well, expand your marketing into other areas if you choose.
You may be the marketing genius in your company, if so, bravo! You have the luxury to decide if you want to implement your ideas on a daily basis or hire someone to carry out your vision.
If you don’t have time or marketing just isn’t your thing, bravo again for knowing your limits. Marketing is something you want to do well. Your image is on the line. Find either an experienced individual or marketing company to guide you.
Remember to keep your target market in mind when creating your marketing plan. Knowing who you are reaching will help drive your decisions.
You should do everything possible to drive traffic to your website. It's your online store front. Make the design clean and modern looking. Somewhere that makes visitors want to hangout; a place that welcomes them and makes them want to learn more.
Your website is the most important online marketing element you have – don’t neglect it. It should be reviewed monthly for little changes and updates, and yearly for larger refreshes. On average we do large refreshes for our clients every two years.
As social media platforms rise and fall in popularity, there is one constant that remains: your website. The majority of the content you post on social media should also be on your website, in the photo gallery, blogs, pages, or a news area.
Remember - when a social media platform starts to fade, so does all the content you worked so hard to curate there!
Speaking of blogs, we are big believers in them! Yes, they are a lot of work, and time-consuming. But as we stated before, they’re an investment in your own company.
A blog will stay on your site forever. Future clients will read through your archive of blogs to get to know you and scope out your business.
Google and other search engines index your keywords, which means future clients will have an easier time finding you online. Google LOVES written content. Repeat after me: Google LOVES written content!
Additionally, one of the most important reasons to have a blog in the home building and remodeling industry? Credibility. It shows you are not only in business, but know what the heck you are doing.
Visitors will read your blog and come to know you as a thought-leader in the home building and remodeling industry. They will start to trust you before ever even meeting you. Win, win! Who wouldn’t want that?!
Lastly, your blog is a great place for potential clients to get an in-depth look at projects you’ve completed. The hope is they can relate to a story about a home you’ve built or a kitchen remodel you’ve recently finished; this provides a deeper connection with your brand.
3| SOCIAL MEDIA
Let’s talk social media. It’s the go-to marketing hot topic these days.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with people, and it’s relatively inexpensive unless you factor in your time of course.
Social media is a marketing “must do” for almost every business out there. The catch? Choose wisely about which platforms you spend your time growing.
You don’t need to be active on every single social media stream. Choose the two or three that make the most sense for your business. Where does your target market spend their time? Invest there.
Also, let’s talk about image quality. Your images don’t need to be perfect, but please make sure they are high quality and represent your brand well. Phone camera photos are just fine as long as they look good.
4| E-NEWS & DIRECT MAIL
Given a good number of your leads probably come from referrals, you need a way of keeping in contact with past clients. Who doesn’t want more referrals? Reaching out to every person yearly – either with a phone call or email – is the best way to do this.
If that’s not possible, the second best thing you can do is send a consistent e-newsletter or direct mailer. I have a lot of clients that do both. It ensures they are reaching everyone on their list in some way or another with consistency.
The one thing you don’t want is for your clients to forget about you.
The online e-news tool we use most is MailChimp, but it’s just one of the many options available. You can upload your e-mails and create a branded template. Use this branded template each time you send out an e-newsletter. You can include blog posts, photos, and company news.
Keep the copy light. You do not want to drown your reader in words. Your goal is an engaged reader who looks forward your e-newsletters.
If direct mail makes more sense for your target market, or you choose to do both. Plan to send out at least 2-3 direct mail pieces a year. The best direct mail pieces are ones that have a consistent style and theme.
Involvement in your community either through sponsorships or volunteering gives back to the place you and your potential clients call home. You support them; they support you. It’s that simple.
Remember to take photos to share your involvement with social media and your blog. And don’t forget to thank the organizations you partnered with for giving YOU the opportunity to support them. Tag them in posts and engage with them.
Any awareness you can bring to an organization, no matter if it’s a school, sport, or charity is usually greatly appreciated.
Last, it’s best to find partnerships that line up with your company’s missions and values. It just makes the involvement that much more fun and personally fulfilling.
Good professional photography in the home building and remodeling industries is vital. It’s the first thing I kindly ask new clients to help me with when we start working together.
And long gone are the days where you need to invest $2,000 in a full day shoot and receive a whole five photos. With so much competition in the market place, the cost to shoot a whole project is very reasonable. A win for everyone!
You should plan to get as much mileage out of your photos as possible, using them in as many places as you can. Use them on your website, blog, print materials, and social media. Your photos are what will capture the reader’s attention and get them to stick around and read your written words.
Photos, photos, photos – it’s one thing you cannot invest enough in!
THE LAST WORD
We hope our list helps you feel confident you are focusing your time and money on the right marketing tactics. The key is a good brand with consistent marketing.
If you are a home building contractor or remodeling contractor, who doesn’t have the time to plan and execute your marketing – feel free to reach out to us. We can chat and see if we are a good fit to work together.
BONUS | VIDEO
Video has become an increasingly popular marketing medium. Thankfully, there are many ways to incorporate it without having to hire a production crew.
Why is video important? The personal factor. It gives the potential client a chance to “meet” you. If they feel a connection to you, they are more likely to contact you for additional information.
Here are a few options based on your budget and available time.
Highest cost: hire a production company
Mid cost: hire an independent contractor or videographer
Low cost: create and edit a video on your own
No cost: create a “live” video on Facebook
Whatever route you choose – just make sure your video is clear, has good sound quality, and represents your brand well.