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Marketing for flooring contractors this year

2024 won’t be so much about doing new things, as building on proven activity in relation
to customer acquisition and retention, and how you communicate your marketing messages, says Barry Ashmore.

RECENTLY, I wrote about the importance of writing your own website content and how making it unique will mean it’s created and written with your customers’ needs in mind and having weighed this against the convenience of using artificial intelligence (AI), I suggested your own thoughts might interest your readers more than the AI version.

So, my view of 2024 is that it isn’t so much about doing new things, such as trying AI, as building on proven activity in relation to customer acquisition and retention, and how you communicate your marketing messages.

Benefit from knowing your customer
If you keep customer lists, do they simply tell you who and where they are? Over the years, we’ve spoken to many specialist contractors in numerous sectors about their lists, and they either don’t have them, or their lists are long out-of-date. It’s also likely they’re not kept centrally, but within sales records or elsewhere.

Ideally, your own customer lists should tell you:

  • When someone last bought from you
  • If there is a pattern to their buying or specification behaviour
  • What you think that they are likely to do next
  • If they are searching online for something you could sell them.

Having your customer data in good order, in a single spreadsheet, for example, means you can use this information to personalise email marketing or postal direct marketing to them.

Good data also allows you to separate customers from prospects and customise your marketing messages to each sector. You can also differentiate services and give existing customers solid reasons to choose your business for services they may be sourcing elsewhere.

Today’s automated email systems make it much easier for you to segment your lists and to target individual specifiers with information they require to help them to find the most economical way to find a flooring solution. You may well find personalised messaging to customers brings superior results than sending the same message to all.

Data is getting smarter. Bear in mind that over the next few years, managing quality data will become ever more important with the development of smart products and devices. The march of apps and developments surrounding smartphones, watches, wearable devices and increasingly, smart TVs, is well underway.

For example, have you spotted TV commercials for ‘AdSmart’ from Sky? This ingenious system enables businesses of any size to use TV advertising to sell to local customers, reaching them individually through targeted data, all at a fraction of the cost of traditional region-based TV advertising.

Retaining customers and building loyalty

As we go into the second month of 2024, this continues to be important. Probably, more so than ever today, as people become more selective of what content they accept.
To remind you, a very big part of creating a great customer experience is ensuring your marketing and customer support is focused on retaining your existing customers, rather than just finding new ones:

  • Repeat customers are more valuable than new customers
  • Loyal customers can also help you to build the awareness and reputation of your business
  • Engaged customers can become very helpful brand influencers and ambassadors
  • It’s cheaper and easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

Is social media on the slide?
How do you use social media? If you use it heavily and rely on it as a primary source of leads and traffic to your website, you may need to think again. New research has shown the ability of social media to drive traffic to websites is diminishing, suggesting it now accounts for just 2% of website visits in 2023.

Organic search still accounts for the large majority of traffic, which underlines my earlier point that quality, specific and unique content is king.

With this in mind, it’s interesting to report that while the effectiveness of social media as a whole seems to be reducing, LinkedIn appears to bucking the trend for business-to-business marketers. Used properly and consistently, LinkedIn ought to be a goldmine for leads and customer engagement in 2024:

  • Don’t expect results from posting sporadically, activity must be consistent
  • Build engagement by sharing industry insights and updates about your flooring business
  • Remember the value of video to present your services
  • Respond to comments or use direct messages when appropriate
  • Encourage members of your team to engage with your company posts and share to their followers

Visual content marketing
Video has a huge value in modern marketing. Website searches no longer solely rely on readable content, as no doubt you will have found, a search for a particular product or application may well have linked you to one or more YouTube films. Brilliant for explanations of how something works, marketers are finding that people like visual content. Image-based platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest underline this.

This is because something presented visually is easier to recall than written information. Which is why adding visual content like images, infographics and video to your text-based pages not only makes your website more attractive but will ensure that your content is absorbed too. Not only this, but these additions are greatly beneficial to searches.

This is because behind the image or movie you, or your website developer, can add search-specific text and unique tags to help it to get found.

Why not use video for the presentation of information about your services, giving people a peep behind the scenes, or even to host live sessions for product launches or question and answer sessions?

People respond better to visual presentations because:

  • Colour increases a person’s desire to read content
  • Someone is more likely to buy a product when they’ve seen a film about it
  • Visuals can affect attitude and attract attention
  • Social media posts with images generate interest and engagement
  • It’s said the human brain can process visuals many times faster than text.

Remember that new ideas such as AI are all well and good, but they’re no substitute for getting the basics right. So, if you need help with that, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. 
01773 712116
Barry Ashmore is managing director and co-founder of StreetwiseSubbie.com

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