I’ve often found that home improvement companies tend to rely heavily on word of mouth and referrals to bring in new business.
They’re passionate about their work, and feel like every new client they can impress will be a champion for their business. Sound familiar?
The truth is that although word of mouth is great for building your reputation, it doesn’t guarantee a steady stream of clients to your business.
Today the internet is truly at your fingertips. With the right strategies and guidance, this means renovators, interior designers and architects can revamp their business to succeed online.
Let’s take a look at how your home improvement company can maximise its digital marketing.
Social media is truly a blessing for companies within the home improvement and remodelling space.
Working in such a visually appealing industry allows creative businesses to attract their dream customers, while positioning themselves as an experienced leader.
Let me first explain quickly where social media sits in your marketing toolkit.
The goal shouldn’t be to use it as an advertising channel, to bombard followers with your deals and offers. That’s just a quick route to being unfollowed.
Instead, we want to use social media to build an engaged following of potential clients.
We do this through high-quality content, that entertains and teaches our dream customers, and builds a stronger relationship over time.
The most important step is creating great content that helps to shape your brand.
When I talk about high-quality content, I mean it in two senses.
Firstly, it means having stunning, eye-popping images and video to use across your social media pages.
Whether you hire a professional photographer or learn to take great photos yourself, you want people to see every detail of your work.
Secondly, high-quality means constructing great ideas and concepts for your posts. Go beyond just posting a pretty photo with a caption that reads “Home goals 🏠✨.” Think bigger!
Here are some quick content ideas you can start using today.
Showcase your renovations, using high resolution photos, and go into detail about why you picked certain concepts, details or pieces for a client. This shows your industry knowledge.
Share the client’s story, talking about what they wanted and how you delivered on their ideas. This shows others the great work can expect from you.
Post easy tips and wins for normal every-day people to refresh their homes. This shows you’re giving and know your stuff.
Make your content lighthearted and fun. Create posts that tie in with upcoming holidays, that make people laugh or are just unique. This makes you more likeable.
Share reviews and testimonials from previous clients, and help people see that others already trust you. This builds social proof with potential customers.
Get personal, and share more about why you love doing what you do, what motivates you, obstacles you face or have overcome. This helps people connect with you on a deeper level.
@bryceandstefanie have done a great job showcasing a before & after shot, while including some quick tips for other people on how to redesign a backyard like theirs.
Now that you have some great ideas for content, where should you be posting it?
Picking the right social media channels comes down to two things:
Understanding where your target audience is; and
Which channels make sense for your business.
For example, let’s take an average interior design company, who focuses on helping couples between 30 – 50 years old in their area.
Therefore tapping into popular platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, makes sense because a large majority of their clients use them.
Additionally they may look at adding in extra channels, such as Pinterest or LinkedIn, that could help build their online presence in other ways.
Here’s a quick explanation of the most common channels we help our clients use:
Instagram is a highly visual channel, and fits well with the home improvement industry. It’s great for showcasing previous work you’ve done or posting inspiration you find. Additionally, it also has a range of methods to post and tell the story of your business, while being able to reach your ideal customers.
Facebook is much like a homebase for your business online. It allows you to create a consistent feed of content that people can always come back to. Additionally, it’s typical user base would fit businesses trying to reach an older demographic, who might have a family or have the money to improve their homes.
YouTube is a fantastic platform for visual storytelling through video. Video is highly engaging and may be worth the investment for your business. You could create highlight videos from homes you’ve worked on, you can create informative videos that give people advice and tips, or even posting up client testimonials.
LinkedIn is fantastic for building the personal brand side of your business. You can really tap in and become an authority within your space, by connecting with other professionals and posting content that shows your extensive knowledge and experience. Talk about your work, share advice for people, and get personal about your journey.
Pinterest is an exciting channel, because it’s such a visual and creative platform. This is where you can really go deep with your high-quality imagery, creating boards around the best jobs you’ve done. Plus, you could build up inspiration boards that bring more awareness to your company and inspire others.
So you’re now working on creating the best content, while posting it across channels that make sense for your business.
My final piece of advice, specifically for your type of business, is to really focus on engaging with your followers.
As I’ve mentioned above, our goal is to build up an engaged community of potential clients.
Our first job is to prioritise engagement. Too many home improvement companies are complacent and don’t bother going back and replying to reviews, comments or messages.
Make this a priority each day!
Check up on your social media pages and see who’s engaged with you that day.
Respond to every message you get, reply to each comment on your posts, and thank people for their reviews.
Additionally, you can spark engagement proactively through the content you create.
Say you create a post about different interior design styles. You could finish the post by asking people which of these styles is their favourite.
Or let’s say you post about a renovation you’ve recently completed for a client. You could ask your followers to tag someone they know, who would love that style of home.
Each of these are just one of many ways of encouraging people to engage with you, whether it’s a comment, a tag, a share, or a reaction to your post.
Online advertising is an effective strategy for home improvement companies who want to bring in more leads.
When done correctly, you can craft an appealing offer for your target audience and get it right in front of them.
With more companies using social media each day, it’s becoming harder to be seen on these platforms without paying money.
Pairing online advertising with social media is a great combo, for home improvement companies, because of the targeting possibilities you have available.
More specifically, you can target your dream customers with different offers and ads, based on how interested they are in you.
Let me explain further. Through advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you can influence potential customers to take action and become leads.
With the right offer, you can exchange something of value with your target audience, in return for their contact information. From there you can continue to follow up with them, until they are ready to do business with you.
Let’s start by talking about what makes a great offer. This is crucial, because with the right offer you can compel your target audience to take action straight away.
You need an offer that peaks their interest and aligns with your normal service or product range. This helps you attract the right customers.
From there you can then set up ads that promote your offer and target the right audiences based on where you live.
Here are some examples of offers Manexo Media has run for clients previously:
Free Estimate or Quote: The free quote or estimate is a great offer to run, for audiences who are already familiar with your business. It’s already aligned with something you sell, which means a good percentage of people who claim it will likely move forward and purchase. The downside is this type of offer is more labour intensive, meaning that consistently doing free estimates or quotes can be time consuming.
Free Style Guide: For interior designers or remodelling firms, a style guide is a great tool, you can use to attract interested people. The first benefit is that it only requires you to create it once. You can also make the assumption that a good percentage of people who download a style guide are thinking about redesigning their home in future.
Free Consultation: Depending on your line of work, a free initial consultation may be an option. This is great for creating a personal connection with potential clients. Additionally, you can assume that most people looking for a consultation likely want to redesign their home. Finally, consultations can effectively show your expertise and help to position yourself as an industry leader.
One thing to remember is that not all offers will work, with an audience who has no previous experience with you.
You might get some from cold audiences, but there are ways to boost your conversions.
One approach is to run awareness campaigns, which lets people know who you are first. You can then retarget them with your offers, and have a better chance of converting them.
Below are some great examples of different promotions and offers being run by some home improvement companies around Australia.
Retargeting is a helpful way to engage audiences, who have already interacted with you online.
For example, let’s say you don’t just want to target random people on Facebook. Instead you could retarget specific people who have already visited your website.
Other types of retargeting include running ads to people who’ve already liked your page, engaged with your posts, watched a video and more.
This is beneficial to your business, because these groups already know who you are. They understand what you do and likely have shown some interest in your business.
All this means that they’re more likely to convert on your offers, because there’s a previous connection.
Great retargeting typically involves running ads to people at the right stage of their customer journey.
This involves thinking about what ads you can run to different groups, to move them closer towards becoming a client or customer.
One approach you could take is to run ads with client testimonials. Imagine someone who was looking for a contractor, visited your website, then gets retargeted with reviews about how great your company is.
Another approach could be showcasing your best jobs to people who engage with you. This would help keep you at the top of their minds and help them remember you in the future.
The final piece of advice I want to give you, as a home improvement company using online advertising, is to make sure you split test.
Split testing is where you run different variations of your campaign, to test which ones perform the best.
Many clients whom I worked with in the past made this mistake. They would only run one ad at a time, which limited whether they knew if it was the best ad possible.
So what can you split test? Here are some recommendations for your business:
Images & Videos: Split testing different images and videos in your ad is a great starting point. Typically, some images will catch people’s attention better than others. Next time, try to run a campaign and test the same ad with two different images. If one gets better results, keep running it, and turn off the underperforming ad.
Audience Groups: Different audience groups and targeting options are another great way to test ads. Different audience groups will typically respond differently to your ads, and you want to find the audience that is most likely to convert. Much like running a campaign with two separate images, you want to test which audience brings you better results or conversions.
Offers & Promotions: Testing different offers can be another way to observe which type of ad generates more leads. You could test out two separate campaigns, each promoting a different offer that people can claim. One offer might be a free consultation, and the other a free quote. Over time you could see which offer results in more sales, for your business, and only continue with that promotion.
One of the most important things to remember is that you’re trying to understand what is (or isn’t) making your ad work.
This means focusing on incremental changes to your campaigns. Try to only make slight changes, to really pinpoint which part of the ad got you better or worse results.
For example, running an identical campaign with only two different images is incremental. This would help you determine exactly which image is more effective for future ads.
As you start to build up your email database, through previous clients and new leads, you’ll need to focus on keeping in touch.
Email is a great way for you to directly speak to your audience and frequently provide them with value. Over time this helps you to build trust and authority with potential customers.
You may already send frequent emails to your database. However you need to ask yourself, “how valuable are my emails to them?”
Great email marketing comes down to what reasons you can give your subscribers, for them to even bother opening your emails.
We all live busy lives, and most business newsletters are filled with sales messages and promotions. This isn’t really a compelling reason for most people to open an email every week.
Instead, if we switch our mindset from selling to serving, we can build stronger relationships over time.
We can do this by sending our subscribers content that actually helps them. If we can teach them, provide guides for them, tips to improve, or industry news – they’ll listen.
If you’re an interior designer why not provide quick tips to help your subscribers freshen up their homes. Or why not teach them how to budget for a home remodel and still get the most value, when working with someone like yourself.
If you’re an architect why not teach your subscribers about what things to consider when building a new home. You could even send them design inspiration and teach them about why a particular home works well.
If you’re a renovator why not give them tips on how to make a renovation run smoother. Another idea could be teaching them about the benefits and costs of different types of renovations.
Don’t forget to add some personality to your emails either. Yes, you want them to be informative. However you don’t want to bore people with facts and figures.
Try to be helpful and relatable through your emails. This will have more people willing to open your emails, instead of reacting like this…
Personalisation is one of the best ways to build better relationships with your audience.
It’s straightforward. By sending content and offers that are more aligned to that audience, they’re more likely to engage with it.
One of the handiest things you can do for your business, with email marketing, is to start segmenting. Start grouping your subscribers based on different factors that help you better serve them.
You can group your subscribers based on:
Whether they’re previous clients of your company;
If they’re homeowners or renting;
What types of styles, designs or services they’re interested in;
The areas, suburbs, or cities they live; and
If they’ve shown interest in purchasing recently.
This allows you to send better targeted promotions and content to the right people.
For example, if you have a group of homeowners you could create specific promotions only available to them.
Plus, knowing that they’re homeowners helps you speak more directly to the problems and benefits that relate to them.
There are a number of ways to segment your database and put this into action.
You can start segmenting people by adding a question box to your sign-up form, to ask which area they’re from.
Additionally, you can segment based on the types of emails they open or the content they engage with.
Finally, you can create unique sign-up forms for each area of your website. If someone signs-up via the form on your services page, you know they’re likely interested in your services.
Email automation can be an effective strategy, for building a connection with your audience right off the bat.
This is because you can design highly specific email sequences, which talk to the needs and desires of your particular audience.
First, someone subscribes to your list. From there you can send them a welcome email, and follow up emails with your best content.
This helps build a relationship with them straight away. You can design each email to perfectly speak to the questions or problems they might have.
It’s like guiding them through an introduction to your business, that you’ve perfectly designed to connect and resonate with them.
Email marketing software, such as Aweber, MailChimp and even HubSpot, are great tools for you to get started with email automation.
When we think about businesses in the home improvement space, most customers don’t make their purchasing decision instantly.
There’s typically a longer buying cycle, as this is a large purchase for most people. They want to complete the proper research, find the best company, and feel confident with their decision.
Search engines, such as Google and Bing, are the likely starting point for customers who seek more information on the industry.
If they’ve never thought about renovating before, they might search for: What’s involved in a home renovation?
If they’re more certain about what they want, they might search for: Top Remodelling Companies in [Insert City]
Your job is to ensure that your company doesn’t just appear in these searches, but ranks towards the top of them.
Higher ranked websites in search results generate more traffic to their websites. For a business like yours, more traffic typically means more awareness and sales.
Currently there are a large number of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) factors that determine rankings. Below I’m going to keep it simple and focus on a handful for you to start with.
A lot of businesses undervalue the importance of reviews online. Usually, I find it results from either feeling rude for asking their customers for reviews, or unsure about how to ask them.
Reviews, such as those found on your Google My Business listing, are a valuable factor for ranking higher in search results.
Search engines want to show people the best results for what they’re looking for. There are many factors they use to determine rankings, but the quality and quantity of reviews is a significant one.
Additionally, more positive reviews about your business is great for social proof in general.
As people we tend to rely on reviews to quickly gauge how good something is and if it’s worth our time.
I’ve already written an article for you about how to properly build your positive reviews. However, here’s a quick tip.
It all comes down to being open and honest with your clients, and doing great work.
Be courageous and ask clients, that you know you’ve done great work for. Be honest about why you want the reviews, to help you build your business and get more work.
Personally, I don’t think it’s rude to ask a client for a review, if you know you’ve gone above and beyond. From what I’ve found, most are willing to write one straight away.
Now I want to focus on ways you can optimise your website for better search results.
To quickly explain, search engines scan the internet for content to rank in their search results. They visit websites like yours and scan what’s on each page, to help determine what results and keywords to rank you for.
You can work on improving this by optimising your pages for particular keywords that make sense to your business.
For example, you might be an interior designer in Brisbane. A logical keyword you’d likely want to rank for is Brisbane Interior Designer, as this would bring you targeted traffic.
So where do you put this keyword and variations of it?
Depending on what website builder or platform you use, you should be able to update your sites content for keywords.
The method of changing it will vary, but these are the main areas you want to focus on:
Page Content: Logically, the content on your page will determine what you rank for. Google doesn’t want to rank your site about renovations for people searching for a local restaurant. Including specific keywords and variations, throughout the page content, is important to help you rank for the right results.
Page Title: The page title is another element that identifies what that page is about. You can change this for each specific page, and add unique keywords to help you rank for different search results. Just make sure it makes sense for that page.
URL: The URL is the link or address people use to reach that specific page. If it’s possible, try to include the keyword or a variation of your keyword in the URL.
Meta Description: The meta description is a short snippet you can write about that page that appears in search results. This is useful for helping provide more context to people, about what they will see on that page, so make sure your keyword is included.
Earlier on I talked about the value of high-quality content for your business. A blog is a useful location for you to create and host this valuable content.
Not only is a blog great for helping you create value for your customers, but it can also help improve your search ranking.
Blogging helps improve your ranking, because great content helps solve your customers problems.
As previously mentioned, Google and other search engines want to show people the best results for their queries. By posting more content through your blog, you’re positioning yourself as a figure of authority in your space for search engines and customers.
Firstly, a blog requires an investment of your time. There is no doubt that creating great content requires plenty of thought and effort.
However, it’s a worthy investment that pays off for your business in the long run.
If you’re stuck for ideas on what to write about, here’s some inspiration:
The final piece of digital marketing advice I want to give home improvement companies, such as yours, is to focus on having an outstanding website.
Your website is truly the homebase for your company online, and acts as the shopfront that many people will see.
Just as you wouldn’t want people to visit your store and see a rundown building, you shouldn’t skip your website.
Taking the time to improve the user experience, and rearranging your website to offer the right information is crucial.
A friendly user interface helps your company appear more professional, and helps users make better decisions.
Imagine potential clients clicking through your website, and struggling to find your prices because there’s just too much to navigate. So instead they get frustrated and leave.
That’s not the type of impression you want for your business.
Here are some quick suggestions on where to start. Working through these for your website will help improve the user experience, for your customers or anyone that comes across it:
Although your website is great for showcasing key information, you want users to be able to contact you, with ease.
This means thinking about what elements you can add to drive conversions, such as contact forms and CTA buttons.
Firstly, ensure you have an easy-to-fill contact form throughout your site. I would recommend a dedicated contact page, along with the possibility of adding the form to the bottom of other important pages.
This makes it simple for users on your site to reach out and show their interest in working with you.
If you take customer enquiries via the phone, displaying your number at the top of your site can help drive traffic. Make sure it’s clear and large enough to read for users.
You can even install a “Call Us” button that only appears for mobile users. This is useful, as it’s a one tap solution to drive phone enquiries.
Finally, think about having a clear CTA button in your navigation menu. This menu is one of the first places users will look to navigate your site.
Some examples include a “Get Quote” or “Start Here” button, which redirects users to a dedicated landing page.
Here you can create an informative page, that effectively highlights your benefits and drives a conversion.
When people are using your website, you want to build up your perceived status as an industry leader.
A great way to do this is to add social proof and authority badges to your website.
Depending on your industry, there are likely particular certifications or groups that may bring status to your business.
These are authority badges, and can be used to quickly show that you are qualified and take your line of work seriously.
Don’t be afraid to display these on your website, if you’ve earned them.
Another great way of showcasing your authority is highlighting clients you’ve worked with.
Particularly if they’re well known clients, this helps build up the status of your company, for landing such professional jobs.
Social proof is another great element, you should be adding to your website.
This includes any testimonials, recommendations or reviews.
This type of social proof helps others see that you’ve delivered great work in the past, and likely will in the future.
Together, adding a variation of these elements to your website, will help build your credibility in the eyes of your dream customers.
Thank you so much for finishing the guide! I hope you feel that you have a better understanding of marketing your business online.
Generating leads for home improvement companies can be a challenge without the right strategy. However, it’s an area Manexo Media is experienced and passionate in.
If you’d like more help generating high-quality leads or improving your digital marketing for your business, Manexo Media can help. We’ll create a tailored strategy that helps you bring in more sales and strengthens your online presence.