Build your cabinet or closet brand with effective digital marketing
March 14, 2018 | 12:50 pm CDT
Photo courtesy of Today Testing
PASADENA, Calif. - The 2018 Cabinets & Closets Conference is just around the corner taking place March 27-29 at the Pasadena Convention Center and you don't want to miss the panel on digital marketing featuring Denise Butchko, Butchko & Co.; Mike Foti, Innovate Home Org and David Biggs, Woodworking Network.
Learn how to leverage your brand with effective content and social media marketing strategies and website design. Denise, David and Mike offer tips below but for a more in-depth discussion, sign up now for the conference.
Social Media Tip:
I was talking with a closet company owner a couple of weeks ago about digital and social marketing and one of his comments (my favorite) was “Oh my gosh. I’ve seen this social media stuff evolve over the last several years and just kept letting it go. Now I see that that’s the biggest mistake I’ve made. So behind.”
My advice to you if you’re feeling “dazed and confused” about social media is to START SOMEWHERE AND START TODAY.
If you’re “only on Facebook to stay in touch with family and grandkids” - then start paying more attention to what’s going on in your feed.
What comes up that gets your attention?
What don’t you like?
What things get you to actually stop lurking and start commenting?
When you’ve got an idea of that, you’ll be better able to start sharing and engaging via your business Page on Facebook.
Just hiring someone to “do your social media” is not the utopia you’re hoping it will be. If you have no idea what’s going on with a platform - how will you manage that? And having someone with no expertise in your industry just curate content and post other people’s things is not going to get you anywhere.
You need to have an understanding. Not mastery, but an understanding. You need to participate and engage.
If not, you’ll end up like another business owner I talked with who is lamenting being locked out of his Facebook account by someone he hired to “do social media” for him or yet another who sold his business and neither he nor the new owner can access the Facebook page because no one remembers or can track down the password.
Don’t be that guy.
Create your own content. Give yourself permission to suck (at first). Lastly - whatever you do, don’t be boring.
In the old marketing days, things were simpler. In my first in-home remodeling business (selling glass block windows) all we had to do was spend money on ads (I used to get tons of leads from the TV guide which would sit on everyone’s coffee tables in the 1980’s). Wow I’m dating myself now.
One key “jet fuel” of an effective digital marketing program is content (whether that content is blog posts, videos, imagery etc.). Content requires continuous hard work to make your efforts successful (unlike pay per click where you simply “feed the beast” spending money on digital ads and growing “Mr. Googles” bank account). Content creation is a long-term strategy which really grows your digital footprint. I have seen this from experience. Today the blog in my base business – Innovate Building Solutions - gives me 2.5x the traffic of my web site today (I’ve been blogging on it for 7 years now) and 50,000 visitors per month. Here’s 3 practical ideas which will grow your digital presence through content.
• Idea 1 – Pick one “platform” and be consistent – You won’t have time to blog and create videos , which in my opinion, are the best content driving approaches going today. Choose either to blog or create videos and consistently crank out stuff. Don’t worry about being perfect when you start. Learn and grow as you go (it’s OK to suck at first).
• Idea 2 – Ask yourself- do I love to talk? Do I love to write? If you LOVE to talk, videos may be an excellent choice. Find an aspiring videographer from your local arts college and have them film and edit you at a cool job you’ve done (also talking to the customer- if possible). Talk about how to design a closet, or weird installation problems you know how to solve. If the thought of being in front of a camera makes you wet your pants, a blog could be your best choice. In these posts answer the questions customers ask you. Think about common problems customers have with their closets and garages and how you help to solve them.
• Idea 3 – As Jim Rome would say, “Have a take, don’t suck.” Avoid being boring like the plague – We all have the attention spans of a gnat! Think about the last boring presentation you sat through where you kept checking your cell phone. In your content (video or blog) you need to provide “edu-tainment” (educating while being entertaining). Don’t be afraid to share who you are – no matter how wacky that is (yes – I resemble this remark). Read the book by Kathy Klotz Guest called, Stop Boring Me, How to Create Kick-Ass Marketing Content, Products, and Ideas through Improv. Boring content = bad content which won’t inspire anyone to take action.
Web Development Tip:
Traffic and engagement analytics from websites and social channels are not just something to breeze by at the end of the week, month, or quarter. These numbers can help you determine the kinds of topics that you should concentrate your content on, as well as which channels are bringing in the most business and converting referral traffic / leads into return customers.
A few items to keep in mind when using analytics to shape your actions in the digital space going forward:
1. Websites should be designed from the ground up to relay information to you via an analytics program like Google Analytics. Creating separate landing pages with unique URLs that target specific kinds of customers in order to track the success of those campaigns is a much better (and more easily analyzed ) strategy than directing everyone to the same place. You want to market specifically to specific groups of people – sending people that came from a YouTube video promoting a product to the same place as people that came from a longform blog entry would not yield as positive a result as designing separate landing pages for each audience that appeals specifically to that audience.
2. You’re busy running your business and it’s not always possible to have someone managing an analytics account and making suggestions based on custom reporting and analysis of traffic. An important free tool that more people should use is to set up goals and funnels in Google Analytics (or any modern tracking software you’re using), and automate the creation of reports that are emailed to you each week. There are tutorials online to assist with this process as well: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/critical-goal-types/, https://www.blackbeardesign.com/how-to-set-up-email-reports-new-google-…. Are there people dropping off in your shopping cart or checkout process? Are people not getting to your newsletter sign-up page because there are too many steps involved? Do you have a lot of site traffic but people are not finding or clicking on your call-to-actions? Make sure you’re aware of it!
3. Social channels have their own built-in analytics in most cases as well. Facebook Insights (https://blog.kissmetrics.com/guide-to-facebook-insights/), Twitter Analytics (https://business.twitter.com/en/analytics.html), Instagram Insights (https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1533933820244654), and Pinterest Analytics (https://help.pinterest.com/en/articles/pinterest-analytics) just to name a few. In some cases you need to convert to a business account and you’ll be able to see more and better information about who visits your pages and what they like and don’t like.
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