Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Young carpenter working on a laptop in his workshop.

Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

 

Think of marketing as a first impression. Just as the clothes you wear implicitly express parts of your identity — sleek suits typically are associated with professionalism, canvas work jackets with construction, etc. — marketing conveys information about the personality of you and your business to the public. If you want potential and existing clients to consider your business a skilled, professional entity, use marketing to show this to clients.

 

What? — What do I Share?

The options for what to share are endless, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Blogs — Though they make take some time, blogs show customers your passion and expertise and help your website perform better in search engines. Write about industry trends, project processes, design crazes, local happenings, anything you think customers will want to read.
  • Newsletter — A quarterly or even annual letter reminds customers of their positive experience with your business and keeps the lines for communication open. Note that many companies will use blog content in newsletters and vice versa.
  • Testimonials — A simple and easy way to leverage existing customer relations to forge new ones. Testimonials can be used on your website, shared in a newsletter, or posted on social media.
  • Before and After Photos, Process Photos, and Videos, Design Inspiration — Quick, compelling way to showcase your work and give clients some house inspiration. Share on your website, social media profiles, or newsletter.
  • Polls and Quizzes — Herringbone or wide plank floors? Modern or eclectic kitchens? Polls and quizzes are a great way to actively interact with clients and show your industry knowledge. Focusing on architecture and design trends might even get people thinking about potential home improvement projects.

 

How? — How do I share It?

You need not take up every marketing medium. Following is a breakdown of the importance and value of the most common channels:

  1. Website — crucial and required by the state of Arizona in some cases, valuable across demographics.
  2. Social Media
    1. Google Business — required, allows anyone who Googles you or your business to access basic business information such as phone number, address, and reviews.
    2. Contractor Aggregator Sites (i.e. Houzz, Angi, HomeAdvisor) — strongly recommended, these sites receive millions of users each month making your company visible to a large audience, potentially costly.
    3. Instagram — elective, best for attracting younger clients.
    4. Facebook — recommended, best for middle-aged and up clients.
    5. Pinterest — elective, lots of effort required, best for reaching home design enthusiasts.
  3. Email — strongly recommended, highest ROI of any marketing medium and valuable across demographics.
  4. Direct Mail — elective, most useful if you want to target a specific area and/or an older audience.
  5. Broadcasting — elective, most useful for reaching older audiences, can be costly.
  6. Physical Signage — billboards may not be necessary, but including a logo on your vehicles, uniforms, letterheads, etc. is an important part of conveying professionalism on the job.

 

In today’s internet age marketing, particularly digital marketing, is more important than ever. Research suggests that 90% of people turn to the internet for their home improvement needs, with 53% of all buyers starting their search online via search engines. In the absence of digital marketing, your business will be invisible to many potential clients, causing you to lose out to marketing-savvy competitors. Having an online presence is no longer an option, it is a requirement — and marketing does not need to be hard.

 

The Two Tenets of Good Marketing

  1. Deliver Consistently: For humans and algorithms alike, consistency is important. It helps to make your content more visible on the internet by appealing to search engines and social media algorithms, which in turn increases digital visibility and brand awareness.
  2. Know Your Audience (and Yourself): What do you specialize in? How are you different than competitors? How do you want customers to describe you? Who are your typical customers? Who is your ideal customer? Think carefully about these questions and focus on using mediums and creating content that will resonate most with your audience of interest. It is about quality, so be thoughtful and intentional in your marketing efforts.