5 Proven Steps a Remodeler Should Use to Take Your Digital Marketing Game to the Next Level (Part 2 of a 2 Part Series)
To start out, I’ll just put it this way.
Digital marketing is a contact sport.
Just like your favorite football team (I’ll confess I’m a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan) you need a plan. You need to know where to start. You need to build up your own team (in this case your digital properties) because in a digital world you’re competing for attention.
Unlike your favorite football team (or players) you’re probably not going viral. You’ll need to create your own PR (or ‘magnetism’) to draw prospects and customers back to you. You can’t rely on a big organization like the NFL to keep you top of mind when your prospect is finally in the market for a free design consultation for a bath or kitchen remodeling job.
Digital marketing (just like remodeling) involves a lot of hard work. It involves figuring out the right steps to do at the right time.
In this article it’s my goal to give it to you straight. I’m going to present 5 practical steps to crank up your digital marketing results. Here’s what I’ll tell you. I’m not some high-priced consultant. I’m just a guy leading a local remodeling business (and a nationwide bathroom products wholesale company) who needs to get results from digital marketing, just like you. After all, that Yellow Page ad just isn’t working out like it used to – ha! ha!
So, let’s check out the 5 steps to notch up your digital marketing game.
Step #1 – Figure out who(m) you’re marketing to. Identify your T.I.P and how you uniquely solve their problems?
The first step to get digital marketing results is to focus on your T.I.P.’s. At this point you’re probably asking, “What the heck is a T.I.P.?” In short, your T.I.P. is your Targeted Ideal Prospect.
In order to get your web site, your blog or videos to encourage people to sign up or call for a free estimate) or download your informational content (more about this later) you need to speak ‘their language.’
Not sure ‘what their language is? Well, ‘their language’ is communicating (on your digital properties) the problems your best prospects have with their current kitchen or bathroom which motivate them to spend money on these jobs. In addition, you need to show how you’re uniquely qualified (with your products, your service, your expertise) to solve these challenges.
First figure out who(m) your Targeted Ideal Prospect. Ask questions like these:
- How old are they?
- Are most men or women? Who makes the initial call or contact?
- Where do they live (in the burbs, in the city or in rural areas)?
- What type of work do they do?
- How big a home do they have?
- Do they want/need small bathrooms or kitchens or big ones?
- Are they middle income or in the chic-chic, luxury set?
- What social media do they use?
Your web site, your blog posts and videos need to talk directly to these people. It’s not about the whiz-bang features of your products or services or processes. It’s all about how you solve problems for your prospects.
In reality, most remodeling web sites, and blog posts are generic. They tell you how great they are. They talk about their processes (how boring). They aren’t written to anyone in particular. This is a mistake.
Get this step right. Be specific in your messages. Talk to your team and identify who(m) you serve the best (and brings you the most profitable jobs). Focus on your T.I.P. and solving their problems.
Step #2 – Identify what digital assets you ‘own.’ Know what digital assets you rent. Focus on growing what you ‘own’ first.
If you rented an apartment you probably wouldn’t put a bunch of money into remodeling the bathroom. On the other hand, if you owned the home, and it was in a neighborhood you wanted to stay (but had a crappy – no pun intended – bathroom) you’d be much more likely to invest in the job.
This same logic can (and should) apply to your digital marketing program. You should focus most of your effort (and eventually spending) on your owned vs. rented assets.
Not sure what types of digital assets you could (or do) own vs. which ones you rent? Check out the list below:
Owned –1) your web site, 2) your blog, 3) your videos, and 4) your email list.
Rented – Google Pay Per Click, Facebook ads, Houzz, Angie’s List, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn (and this list goes on and on, basically any platform you don’t own).
The problem with spending a bunch of money on ‘rented’ assets is you don’t make the rules of the game. You don’t control the prices, or THEY (that would be the platform) decide to stop showing your posts for free. I bet you can relate to higher pay per click and Facebook ad costs if you’re spending money on these social media sites today.
The question is what can you do to cost-effectively grow your owned assets so you don’t get burdened with the runaway costs associated with ‘rented digital assets.’ Here’s three ideas:
- Idea #1) Start using video – Some of the most innovative companies in the remodeling business do time-lapsed or customer testimonial or design idea videos. They recognize YouTube is a HUGE search engine. In fact, it’s owned by the king of search – Google. YouTube is a fast-growing medium to find (and learn about) products and innovative companies. Do you have video on your web site or your blog? Are you behind-the-times in this area?
- Idea #2) Make sure you blog isn’t pathetic (or non-existent)– I’m not sure what’s worse, a pathetic blog or a non-existent one? However, if your blog is filled with posts about new people joining your company, your latest company outing and new products you’re pushing, and it’s written by some dude or dudess whose name is ‘Admin’– you may qualify for pathetic blog status. You need informational content. You need content which solves problems you know are motivating your T.I.P.’s to spend money on remodeling. Does your content talk to solutions or is it filled with a bunch of useless fluff? (note – there will be more about this in tip #3).
- Idea #3) You need to create a ‘list’ and email it more than twice – Santa may be able to make a list and check it twice, but when it comes to digital marketing you need to create a list and email it waaaay more than twice. You can’t expect to develop deeper relationships with your prospects and past customers unless you stay top of mind. A cost-effective way to stay top of mind is to send informational videos. Note – these emails will link back to the assets you own (your blog posts and product and service pages). DO NOT SEND THEM TO FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM. You want prospects to go to your owned properties, not to your ‘rented’ social media profiles.
Step #3 – Start using education to set up sales
No matter if you like it or not, your prospects are going to research A LOT before they’re willing to call you (or anyone else for that matter) for a Free Design Consultation.
Given this fact, your goal is to position yourself as the “A #1 Teacher” in your market.
Think of the problems your T.I.P.’s have and write articles or create videos about them. If it’s hard for you to figure out what to write or shoot videos about you could do the following:
- Compare different types of materials and manufacturers (the goods and bads of both).
- Write or talk about the biggest mistakes you’ve seen made in kitchen and bathroom remodeling (people are more interested in mistakes – and not repeating them personally).
- Offer money-saving ideas you use recommend (and your crews make happen in the field), so projects stand the test of time.
The ‘lessons’ you provide can be in the form of blog posts, videos, or podcasts. Think how your prospects like to consume information. You want to fill the information void and be the resource they look to.
If you don’t feel qualified to make this content yourself, then don’t. Hire someone to blog for you, or create videos showcasing your work. However, you need to remember this. Don’t try to create the perfect blog post, video or podcast in the beginning.
I recommend TO NOT LISTEN to the words of Jim Rome (a pretty well-known sports personality) who says, “Have a take and don’t suck.” In the beginning of positioning yourself as a teacher I recommend to, “Have a take and give yourself permission to suck.” You can only learn by doing. Don’t try to be perfect. No one else is anyway. Just be useful and continue to ‘hone your digital craft.’
Step #4 – Use your ‘lead’ magnetism
Most people who come to your site aren’t ready to buy. It’s the cold, hard truth.
They are ready to learn. But you don’t want them to just ‘learn a little’ during this research phase and forget about you later. You don’t want them to ‘use you’ (for your knowledge) and forget about you the morning after’ (sorry for the reference, it just worked here!).
You need to build into your digital marketing a way to continue to influence your prospect through the research and buying journey. The best way to do this is with a ‘lead magnet.’ Not sure what a lead magnet is? Here’s a definition:
Lead mag nets are content you invite someone to receive (it can be an informational download) in exchange for their email address.
You can then use this email address to send them more information and insights – until they’re ready to call you. You’re basically ‘buttering them up’ and creating a ‘digital relationship’ so they consider doing business with you later.
If your ‘owned assets’ (web site and blog) don’t have lead magnets they ARE NOT COMPLETE!
Step #5 – Forget about ‘going viral’ and ‘being famous.’ Put your head down, automate and do the work!
I can brag about having 110,000 unique visitors on my blogs each month and 25,000 email subscribers we send informational content to every week. Sure, my top blog post has been repined on Pinterest 22,000 times. But here’s the cold, hard fact I’ll tell you.
I’m as anonymous as I’ve ever been.
I don’t need to wear sunglasses in the grocery store. NO ONE has stopped to ask for my autograph (unless you count store clerks when I’m buying something). I have ZERO need to refer to myself in the 3rd person like a sports star or celebrity with an overinflated ego.
In reality, I’m not famous, and I don’t think anything me or my marketing team has written or pushed out digitally has ‘gone viral.’ However, while this ‘viral thing’ is unlikely to happen for most in the remodeling business, we can still get results to grow our businesses.
It is possible to get known as the #1 resource in your local market. You may be asking what it takes. Well in four words….
Hard work, done intelligently.
You need to take the content you’ve created and get it into the market in multiple ways over multiple times. To do this you need to automate. Create your blog posts and videos and send them out multiple times to social media platforms using automated services like Buffer, Hootsuite, MeetEdgar and Tailwind.
Don’t wait to be famous. Do the hard work, distribute your content waaaay more times than once. Then you have a chance to get noticed by your T.I.P.’s.
While you might look at these steps as things which would be ‘nice to do,’ I would argue they’re things you ‘need to do.’ The reality is there’s a big price to be paid by blowing off effective digital marketing. If you’re like most of the rest of the world, you’re searching the Internet to find places to eat, products to buy etc. The Internet is not a fad. It’s not going away or becoming less popular (the same can’t be said about your printed yellow pages or local newspaper).
However, the challenge is this. Digital marketing is a contact sport. There will be winners and losers on the digital marketing playing field. There are companies and platforms willing to take your money in ad spends, whether they generate results for you or not. You need to build (effectively) on your owned assets. You need to use ‘rented assets’ thoughtfully (so they don’t bleed you dry).
Can you afford to ignore developing a winning strategy to make digital marketing work for you?
I know I can’t.
So, I’ll continue to learn, and grow – before my competitors get all the leads and business!
Connecting with us
If you’d like to talk more about digital marketing, call 877-467-7488 and ask for Mike or my Marketing Manager, Michelle.
If you’d like to improve your bathroom remodeling or new home offerings with simple to install, sharp-looking tub and shower wall surround panels and become a shower wall panel dealer (hey- I’ve got to plug my business sometime – after all my kids’ education bills need to be paid!) call 877-467-7488 and ask for Mike (or that wacky dude who writes those articles).
I’m looking forward to getting to know you and helping in any way I can.
If you’d like to connect on LinkedIn, you’ll find me https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikefoti/
If you’re into Twitter follow me @Mike Foti or my companies’ @InnovateBuild and @InnovateHomeOrg.
Tags: blogging for remodeling, blogs for remodelers, digital marketing for remodelers, digital marketing for remodeling, digital promotion for remodeling leads, digital strategies for remodelers, email lists for remodelers, lead magnets, owned vs. rented digital assets, prospects for remodeling, targeted ideal prospect