Home Improvement Marketing - Tips & Best Practices
Achieving success in the home improvement industry means keeping an even stream of new business leads, as it is these leads that serve as the foundation for future sales. For this reason and more, it's important to put together a home improvement marketing plan.
Generating home improvement leads can present challenges, particularly in today’s saturated market, but some tried and true techniques can help to cultivate your new lead count.
In this article, we hone in on some of these winning marketing tactics used for home improvement and lead capture in general.
How to Start a Home Improvement Business
Starting your own business from scratch can be a daunting task, especially if you are not sure what kind of business to choose. But starting a home repair business is a great option for people who are just getting started because there is a relatively low start-up cost and you can do it as a one-person operation.
A home improvement service doesn't require much in terms of equipment, so that's less of an upfront investment. You don't need new tools right away; instead, use whatever you already have around the house. As soon as you start making more money, though, consider investing in more high-quality tools and supplies.
You can also do this as a side gig while you work another job. It isn't hard to schedule appointments around your full-time work schedule and this will give you some extra income on the side.
The first step is to decide what kind of home improvement business you want to run. It could be general handyman repairs, like fixing leaky faucets or broken locks, or it could be something more specific, like installing solar panels or repairing drywall damage from water intrusion after a flood. Decide on the scope of work you want to do and make sure that it's something that you're going to enjoy doing over and over again.
After choosing your service, you'll need to find customers. It's a good idea to target specific neighborhoods with high concentrations of homeowners and promote your business locally. You can also target owners of rental properties who need repairs done on their properties but don't have the time or expertise themselves to do them.
Once you've started working on your home improvement lead generation process, you'll need to let them know that your services are available. Do this by putting up flyers at nearby businesses, networking with other contractors in your area, and handing out flyers directly to homeowners or tenants in the neighborhood where you want to focus your efforts.
Here are a few steps that will help you scale your home improvement marketing efforts.
Capitalize on your CRM
Before starting any home improvement lead generation campaign, you need to choose a customer relations management (CRM) system.
This is particularly important for those in the home improvement niche because the typical renovation or construction project involves multiple moving parts or phases.
As a result, an effective CRM system can make the difference between keeping those projects on track to efficiently close the sales cycle versus letting crucial phases fall off the schedule and delay completion (or even lose clients).
When we’ve worked with home improvement companies in the past we’ve found success with HubSpot, which offers a streamlined user interface and intuitive design that allows professionals to monitor every step in the sales pipeline.
Users can easily keep track of every phase, from initial consultation to final project invoicing, allowing home improvement professionals an ideal toolbox to build their client base.
HubSpot is not alone in offering such a fantastic array of features; just make sure to do your research in advance so that you can be confident that you are making the most of your incoming leads.
You should make sure that when choosing a CRM, you take these into consideration:
1. A great CRM system that can handle all of the data you'll need to manage your team and your home improvement leads.
2. The ability to scale as your company grows; you'll be able to easily add, change, or remove users from your CRM system as needed without having to worry about the potential for downtime when you do so.
3. A user-friendly interface that allows for easy access and use for all people who have access to it -- no matter what their technical skill level is (nearly all CRM systems are web-based, which means that there's nothing for them to install; they just go online and begin using it).
4. The ability to harness valuable data from every aspect of your business in order to make smarter, more informed decisions and enhance overall success.
Maximize On Home Improvement Marketing Outlets
Beyond a winning CRM system, you’ll also want to ensure that you pair it with a good marketing platform so that you can readily build and launch your home improvement marketing campaigns.
Feel free to pull out all the stops here and take advantage of the incredible variety of online marketing options available today. Some of the most popular for those within the home improvement industry include:
- Google, which was responsible for 94% of total online organic traffic in 2019;*
- Facebook, which statistically draws in users for one out of every six minutes they are online*;
- Yelp, which has boasted more than 170 million unique visitors each month**; and
- Home improvement marketplaces (e.g., Houzz, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Thumbtack), which can give your home improvement company an enhanced position for lead generation in the online market if you select the structure and components of your marketing campaigns correctly.
In a perfect world, we would all have the funds to pursue all of these options; if the budget is tight, though, you should choose only one or two platforms that you are comfortable with and that you can commit to master. You can then use these initial platforms as a springboard in the future as you gain traction and can eventually scale to other platforms.
Assessing and Syncing Advertising Structure
Also important is to assess what engaging with these various platforms will actually provide for you and then have them in sync so that you are effectively targeting the same audience.
Some of these platforms, for instance, Angie’s List, Houzz, and Home Advisor will devour the cash you dish out to get you a bundle of (sometimes questionable) home improvement leads in return. In other words, while you can get leads for a simple cost variable, you’re not guaranteed a sale. That’s where you’ll need to find ways to encourage the progression/conversion of each home improvement lead documented in your CRM system such that each will hopefully culminate in a sale (or, a thorough understanding that a lead is a dud after having done everything to try and convert the lead to a home improvement project).
Others, though, such as Facebook or Google, require you to conceptualize, build, and track your ad and its performance over time. This path is time-consuming and will require the sometimes tedious task of A/B testing as well as a substantial financial investment. What it also means, though, is that you can really flex your creativity. If you have the endurance to survive this marketing marathon, the reward at the end is that you typically have an exceptional ad that is well-tailored to your optimum new clients.
Facebook Home Improvement Ad Example
Let’s look briefly at some of the Facebook ads we’ve run for our home improvement company clients in recent years:
The ads had several campaign initiatives. The first was to generate traffic to the website while also getting exposure for the page. Another ad campaign focused on pushing a video that we’d eventually retarget (the viewers that watched more than 15 seconds of the video) in another campaign. We were able to sync these campaigns by taking advantage of the fact that Facebook allows you to build audiences and work with lists.
In our recent work with home improvement companies, we focused on a specific list that was comprised of a certain age group in a defined demographic, which allowed our exposure to remain consistent and focused. We essentially kept chasing the same live batch of 300k users. The fact that this list was live and kicking was essential and really made it a “golden goose,” because it meant that the list was slowly turning over to be consistently filled with viable, potential clientele conversions. While one person might age out of our criteria range or move out of our demographic region, another one filters in to take that vacated place. This can mean a dramatic surge in lead generation for your home improvement company, and it is a tactic that can keep your marketing strategy breathing on the Facebook end.
Google Home Improvement Ad Example
With Google, you can achieve similar results. Again, if we begin with the goal to feed our CRM system with data on which we can capitalize, let’s look at some of the ads that worked for us on Google:
In Google and other marketing platforms like Facebook, you should aim to adopt as many of the tools that complement the echo system you are slowly building into your campaign.
In our home improvement case, without Facebook’s pixel or many Slack integrations, all of this wouldn’t have worked.
In addition, take advantage of resources like Google Analytics to constantly assess how you can adjust your home improvement marketing campaigns for greater success.
An Evolving Ecosystem
One of the most exhilarating aspects of building an effective lead generation process for your home improvement marketing plan is that it truly is an ecosystem that evolves based both on the shifting nature of the market and on the effectiveness of various strategies put in place. Our ecosystem can be broken down into the following components:
- Getting Attention: We find novel ways to be eye-catching by showing general videos or publishing blog posts and articles in the niche that pull potential clients to your offerings.
- Interest: We focus even more directly on the niche by, for example, developing videos that recount actual construction projects.
- Desire: Here is where home improvement becomes irresistible, as we showcase the tantalizing allure of before-and-after galleries or videos. We start cultivating the prospect’s desires and sell them the dream they envision for their company.
- Action: Having pulled a prospect to the point of becoming a lead, here we add the call to action by capturing their email, phone, etc.
- Zap Integrations: Captured leads are injected into a CRM and subsequently integrated into the relevant email and Slack channels.
- Slack: Here various teams are on alert for these newly-injected leads so that no potential prospective client falls through the cracks.
Sample Marketing Zap
Zaps have become increasingly essential in establishing an even workflow between the various mechanisms and applications at play in your CRM system and your overall marketing strategy. Here’s one of the many zaps we have in place so that everyone is on alert when these new leads enter the CRM system:
Let’s face it: time and money are crucial in marketing. Accordingly, having an echo system that’s healthy allowed for the team to be in-sync.
At the same time, this system allowed the team to capitalize on every home improvement opportunity generated by targeting and retargeting leads.
The home improvement companies with which we’ve worked can call leads nearly instantly after their information is captured. This immediate turn-around allows for the perfect timing to discuss with potential clients their dream home improvement project. Having this structure in place can keep clients thriving and can increase overall conversion.
For the companies with which we worked, this was undoubtedly the case: they went from only capturing leads intermittently at local trade shows to having leads flood in even while they’re sleeping or on vacation. Building the future of your business while not even at work? That seems like a dream itself, but it can be possible with these tactics in play.
Optimize Your Lead Generations; Grow Your Business
This article only scratches the surface of how to effectively establish a winning system for lead generation for your home improvement business; in future weeks, we hope to share even more insights into the process that we’ve gained over years of professional experience.
What we hope we’ve shared here are some of the most essential elements that those in the home improvement industry can put in place to boost their prospects and build their client leads.
From a carefully-selected CRM system to a zap-optimized network to sync your lead list with your marketing and outreach campaigns, these tactics can go far to further your success in the packed home improvement business landscape.
Want to have a more in-depth discussion about how your lead generation and home improvement marketing plan can be optimized? Contact us now to speak about how we could help you.
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