Holidays and colder months can mean some downtime for contractors and owners of home improvement businesses. But it’s the perfect time to work on your marketing plans to ensure that you’re busy throughout 2018.
It’s always a best practice to keep your Chicago home improvement marketing going year-round, but here are a few ideas specifically designed to help you with your 2018 marketing plan. By studying and putting them into practice now during the cold season, you’ll keep projects coming in and set your business up for success—each and every season to come.
4 Winter Marketing Tips for Home Improvement Businesses
1. Ask yourself, “Where and how can you be helpful to customers?”
Naturally, you’ll want customers to find you when they run into problems you can solve. Center paid search campaigns around common winter home issues that align with your solutions. Can you help people avoid or address specific winter weather home issues? There are plenty of home disasters related to the winter months. Make sure your keyword strategy reflects how you can help.
Offering educational content on your blog or website that’s focused around homeowners can also contribute to establishing trust and keeping your brand top of mind, even in the off-season. Provide helpful tips aligned with your solutions and areas of expertise, such as how to lower your energy bills this winter, avoid feeling cold and uncomfortable, or take care of leaks, drafts, and roof damage before you have an emergency on your hands.
Sharing ideas for winter home projects (again, related to your business) can be another good way to keep your blog, website, and name in front of homeowners.
2. Expand your customer network.
When things are busy, it’s easy to push certain tasks to the back burner. A slower season means you can dedicate meaningful time to growing your social media following, building your blog subscriber list, cleaning up your email database, and other important (but often secondary) marketing tasks.
It’s a good time to review your customer list and lead pipeline. Who hasn’t engaged (e.g., made a purchase, opened an email, downloaded a piece of content, or some measure of brand interaction) in the past six months? How about the past year or longer? Take time to think through the best way to follow up with previous customers, as well as pursue (and warm up) any cold leads.
Have you participated in any industry or community events lately? How about tradeshows, speaking engagements, or other networking opportunities? It’s easy to get too busy for these things, too. Schedule time now to host, attend, or otherwise support community or cause-based events and organizations throughout the year.
3. Don’t stop advertising!
You’ll want to continue your marketing efforts even in your off-season to ensure you are top of mind for any homeowners giving themselves the gift of home improvement, responding to whatever winter brings, or planning ahead to keep homes in prime condition beyond this cold season.
You never know where a customer might be in their buying journey. Staying top of mind helps your audience when they need your services, but also when friends, family, and neighbors ask for recommendations. Word of mouth is powerful and staying in front of your audience even in winter can help with referrals.
You’ve built your brand recognition by keeping your message consistent across all advertising avenues—so don’t lose ground by pulling back now. Brand awareness is multiplied by frequency and consistency. The more that customers hear your message regularly, the more that message stays with them.
4. Plan (and place) your upcoming advertising now.
It’s a win-win situation. By allocating your budget now for ALL of your 2018 marketing and advertising, you can save valuable time and money, and set yourself up for higher ROI down the road.
A Few More “To-Do's” For a Strong 2018:
- The end of the year is the perfect time to review your marketing efforts and gauge the performance and ROI of individual campaigns. What worked the best? You’ll want to try a repeat performance. What didn’t seem to engage with your target audience? You’ll want to rework your approach or modify your message before making another attempt.
- Never underestimate the power of knowledge when it comes to your audience. Do you know Chicago homeowners? Brush up with “5 Facts to Know for Your Chicago Home Improvement Business Marketing.”
- Remember, year-round marketing is a must, even as the days grow shorter and the nights get longer. Your target audience might not be considering home improvement projects right this minute, but planning now leads to future success.
Follow the tips above and you’ll start the new year stronger, as potential customers will have your company in mind during peak home improvement times.