Build Your Home Improvement Brand Online – 5 Ways to Accomplish Goals
In this day and age it’s not enough to simply pop up a business, put your phone number in the Yellow Pages, and sit back and wait for business to roll in. With so many different choices for your consumer to go with, it’s really important that you distinguish yourself amongst your competitors. Lucky for us, there’s so many different ways to do that these days! From radio and television ads, to sponsoring local programs, to your website and internet marketing, to building a brand around your company. We have to say, without a doubt, that building your brand is one of the best ways to distinguish yourself, generate more customers, and overall be seen by the people looking for the type of services you offer. Here are five ways you can build your brand online to stand out against your competitors and resonate with your customers on a deeper level.
Social Media Channels – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
When it comes to social media for your home service company we feel that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the most important channels. There is one piece of advice that we think applies to all channels across the board, and that is that you have to stay consistent. Now, by consistent we don’t mean you should be posting every day. There simply aren’t that many exciting things that a home service company encounters in their day that everybody else wants to hear about. We feel it’s important to post at least once a week, or once every other week on your social media channels.
Another piece of advice that applies to all social media platforms is that you should be telling a story. I.e. telling the story of the newly married couple who you were able to bring their dream home to life for. Or telling the story of a middle class family who couldn’t afford the luxury kitchen remodel, but you were able to make something fabulous happen within their budget. You want to place your followers in the shoes of the people you’re already working for and make them see how their life could benefit by hiring you. Beyond that, you want to encourage engagement on your social posts. The most simple algorithm of social media is to know that the more people that are liking, commenting and engaging on your posts, the more that platform will show it to people. They only want to show relevant and interesting content to their readers. So, make your post tell a story and stand out in order to increase engagement with your followers. Lastly, adding some aesthetically pleasing visual content to your posts is always beneficial. We’ll speak more to that below. If you do this on a consistent basis you will watch your followings and your brand grow, which leads to positioning your company as a leader in their industry. However, when it comes to social media you want to have a diverse portfolio, such as you would with anything else. You have to differentiate your assets. So, let’s break down what each of these channels are used for and how to decipher what type of content to post on each.
Facebook: Facebook has the largest audience that there is out there, therefore your reach is the highest. You can connect with people across all different demographics, where as other social media channels are more frequent among a younger crowd. Facebook is also beneficial to announce and distribute information. Press releases and company news do great on Facebook. We would also recommend to join as many local groups as possible that pertain to your industry. These are great places to network and offer advice to grow your reach and brand.
Instagram: Instagram has the largest amount of engagement than any other channel out there. We believe instagram is good for contests, live and daily stories (if that’s your thing), and, of course, very aesthetically pleasing pictures. Maybe some before and after pictures with properly hash tagged keywords!
Twitter: Twitter is a channel to connect a little more personally on. Businesses tend to develop a stronger and closer relationship with their customers through Twitter because it is more of the unfiltered, direct and straight to the point social media channel. Twitter is good for establishing rapport, announcing urgent news, and connecting directly with your customers.
Blog posts are something that we feel every home service company should be doing but not every home service company can afford the time or investment towards it. Having a consistent blog channel takes time, research, and not to mention the skill of being a good writer. However, if you do invest the time, the payoff for having a blog that provides valuable information to the people who are seeking it will deliver you gold in brand identity and client acquisition. Think about it: do you want to get a kitchen remodeled by a company who has a simple website, or a company that has an entire blog feed related to remodeling and kitchen remodeling that proves they really know their stuff and have experienced a vast array of projects. Statistics show that most will choose the latter!
Not only does your blog allow you to build your identity by focusing your posts on what you want to focus your business on, such as a specific type of remodeling or home improvement, but it also allows you to push the sales of a specific type of job. For instance, it’s summer and you want to get a lot of deck builds in this season. Pop up a blog post about all the different kinds of decks people could choose from and the pros and cons of each. Not only does that display your expertise, but also allows your website to be indexed for more deck building keywords and focuses your brand towards outdoor remodeling for the time being.
Think of your blog this way: a keyword generating machine that empowers your website to help you rank on page 1 of Google and helps you pinpoint your company to the type of jobs you want to be doing and the target demographic you’re seeking.
When it comes to video marketing, we really feel this is the one thing that sets a run of the mill company and an industry leader apart. It is proven that people are eight times more likely to watch a video about your company than digest a page of content. Eight. Times. More. Likely. Most of the time when we build websites, we’re filling the website with as much information as possible in order to index as many keywords as possible and get you ranked on page 1 of Google for those keywords. Therefore, pages tend to end up with a lot of information that most people don’t even look at. That’s why it’s extremely beneficial for you to have videos on your website for people to watch. Not only does it actually give you a chance to sell yourself, but it allows the person to connect a real face, person and identity to who they will be working with. In short, it helps you develop a more personal relationship with your client before you even meet them!
Beyond that, did you know that Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world? It’s right behind Google, and, coincidentally, is also owned by Google. Having a Youtube channel and building up your presence and following will simultaneously boost your rankings on Google.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to put your social channels at the top of your website, in the right hand corner for easy visibility!
Email Newsletters, in a way, are similar to your blogs. Or rather, it’s all of your social presence summed up in one monthly announcement. You can throw your monthly blog on there, any news or updates within the company, a note to follow your company on Instagram and check out the latest remodel you did, etc. They say the best customers you’ll ever have are the ones you’ve already had. We see more companies failing on monthly newsletters than anything else. If you are in a home service industry, it’s absolutely ridiculous to not be remarketing to your past customers. It’s ridiculous because most of the time in this industry people will often end up needing your services again, or have a friend who they know would benefit from hiring you. This is why you want to stay top of mind to your clients. Sending them one email a month to stay in touch and keep your company at the top of your mind will do you wonders for client acquisition from repeat and referral customers. We strongly suggest having a data collection system in place to capture client or potential client emails. This is also a good place to push any promotions you’re doing or offer discounts to people who you haven’t heard from in a while.
We cannot stress enough how important customer testimonials are and how much they can make or break a company. Imagine this: you go to Google to look for a reputable basement remodeling company and the first three companies that come up are all in your area. The first one has 0 reviews and no star rating, the second one has 3 reviews with a 4 star rating, and the 3rd one has a 5 star rating with 47 reviews. Who will you choose? Again, statistics will show that almost every person will choose the 3rd company. A person’s firsthand experience and opinion holds more weight than anything you can write about your company or all the pictures in the world. It’s simple, people trust other people.
Unfortunately, it’s also true that one bad experience can outweigh 20 good ones, and trying to get someone to write a review or testimonial about a successful project is 10 times harder than an angry client looking to vent online. Therefore, you have to be somewhat diligent about collecting reviews for your company, building case studies and customer testimonials, and addressing any negative reviews as quickly as possible. We also recommend ramping up efforts to get good reviews after/if you had a bad one come in so as to “push” the negative one out of the way. Lastly, your customer reviews also contribute to your keywords and your search engine rankings. You get to kill two birds with one stone!
Bonus tip: Build a customer testimonial page on your website and have reviews displayed on your homepage. There can never be enough good things to say about you!
Building Your Brand – A ‘Must” for All Home Improvement Companies & Contractors
Building your brand and your company’s online presence is a full time job! That’s why we recommend putting your online reputation and presence in the hands of skilled professionals. If you have any questions about the different ways to build your brand and online presence, or want to talk to someone about where your current online marketing plan may be lacking, then give us a call for a chat today!