Ask yourself, what kinds of marketing am I currently using? Are you hanging up flyers in your town? Do you have a website where customers can find you online? If you’re already doing both print and digital, consider yourself ahead of the game (and read on to find out how you can improve). But if you haven’t yet started with marketing, this is definitely an area of your business you need to focus on.

So, what kind of advertising should you be doing? First, let’s dive into why marketing is important in the remodeling and home improvement industry and take a look at the differences and benefits of each marketing strategy for refinishers.

Why Market Your Remodeling or Home Improvement Business?

Marketing for remodeling and home improvement companies is all about creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for your customers, partners, and the industry as a whole.

Home improvement marketing is designed to influence your target audience to work with you—which will ultimately maximize awareness, value, and revenue.

Home Remodeler Marketing: Strategies for Kitchen & Bath Refinishing Companies

Marketing in the kitchen and bath refinishing industry can seem overwhelming—there’s no doubt about that. However, professional refinishers need to evaluate all possible marketing strategies to determine where to focus their efforts.

  • Traditional Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • SEO & Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Paid Advertising

Traditional Marketing for Refinishers

Traditional marketing refers to any type of marketing that isn’t online and targets the audience through physical printed forms like magazines, newspaper ads, tv ads, radio ads, billboards, pamphlets, direct mail, and banners.

Traditional marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing and although we’re in the digital age, most businesses still utilize some form of traditional marketing today. You encounter some sort of traditional marketing in your everyday life, whether it’s getting the mail or your daily newspaper, reading a sign on the top of a taxi, a billboard along the highway, or watching a commercial in the middle of the football game.

So, what are the pros and cons of traditional marketing?

Pros of Traditional Marketing

Hyper-local reach: Traditional marketing plays an important part in reaching local.

Maintains a long “shelf life”: Printed advertising can be kept for a long period of time and passed from one person to another. For example, if you mail post cards or magnets, those may be on refrigerators for some time, keeping you and your business in their minds the next time they need a refinisher.

Cons of Traditional Marketing

Reach may be too broad: While traditional marketing does reach a broad range of potential customers, it’s also wasting a lot of time and money by reaching people who aren’t considered your target audience.

Limited use: All your printed material can be used once only. For example, if you distribute 500 flyers, how many of those 500 people are actually looking for a refinisher at that particular time? If you need to make an update or your phone number changed, for example, you would have to print all new materials rather than making a quick update.

High cost: Paying for local radio and tv ads can be very expensive. They can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars for seconds and minutes of advertising—again, reaching a broad range of customers without being able to target those needing your refinishing services.

All in all, it’s a good idea to choose your traditional marketing wisely. It’s important for you to know and understand the best marketing choice for your business at that time and for the type of customers you are trying to target.

Digital Marketing for Refinishers

Digital marketing is referring to any marketing that uses electronic devices to convey messages. This typically refers to marketing that appears on a computer, tablet, phone, or other device and can take many forms.

We are living in a digital world where everything is just one click away. In this age, digital marketing has significantly altered the way businesses reach and communicate with their customers, but the processes are still very similar to successful traditional marketing efforts.

So, what are the pros and cons of digital marketing?

Pros of Digital Marketing

Ability to transform traditional marketing into digital: You more than likely already have a few traditional marketing campaigns going. The best part about that is you already have done most of the work, now just turn it into a digital piece. Digital marketing is one of the best techniques which can boost your business.

Saves you money and time: It’s much faster to post a digital ad than to run a printed ad in your local newspaper, for example. On most social media platforms, you can start a digital marketing campaign as little as $5 and in less than 5 minutes.

Ability to target your customers: You can select the target market you want to reach by gender, age, location, and even by a person’s hobby or interests. You can also track each person that clicks the ad.

Ability to make ongoing updates: You can change digital assets and edit ads endlessly so you can retarget and remarket at any time based on performance. Your phone number changed? That will only take you a couple of clicks to update.

Cons of Digital Marketing

The learning curve: The idea of digital marketing can be a little overwhelming if you don’t have a good idea of what it involves, especially if you haven’t even started to establish an online presence yet.

Requires a lot of updates and monitoring: If you want your digital marketing to be highly effective, you can’t just create a website or one ad then call it done. You should monitor success, make any updates as needed, then continue to tailor your digital marketing to what’s working vs. not working.

SEO & Content Marketing for Refinishers

How do today’s consumers find the products and services they are looking for? They rely on internet search engines. You are on the road to marketing success when your services, products, and business locations show up first on search engines like Google. This process is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

If you’re like many small business owners, figuring out how search engine optimization can work with your existing website can seem like a confusing job. Even the phrase “search engine optimization” can leave you scratching your head.

And while SEO has a lot of moving parts, by just understanding and implementing some basic optimization strategies for your website, you can yield big gains in the refinishing and remodeling industry.

Remember: Content is King!

The best place to start SEO is by focusing on creating unique content that’s relevant to your audience. The good thing about this is that you do not need to start from scratch. Most likely, you already have quality content—whether in the form of blogs, photos and videos, pamphlets/brochures, or social media posts—that just needs a little SEO boost.

Unfortunately, there is not one tactic that will ensure your website is in the top spot. But we do know that search engines tend to favor content that includes fresh and detailed information, specific keyword targeting, and is easy for readers to understand.

Applying SEO Best Practices to Content

When updating your content, keep these best practices in mind:

Content Length: Write long, original content that can be copied and quoted. Longer content that goes deeper into a topic has a better chance of including what a specific user is looking for. Blog posts should be between 1,000-2,000 words and include multiple different points about your topic.

Keyword Targeting: Targeted keywords are specific phrases your potential customers might use in a search engine when looking for information and companies like yours. Optimize keywords around important content elements. Use or add keywords in your content where they fit organically (don’t be too redundant).

Readability: Successful website content is easy for users to read and understand. When your site content is clear for your targeted audience, search engines will rank your site higher. Content with good readability includes clear and concise information, shorter paragraphs and sentences, headings, and subheadings.

The Importance of SEO

SEO can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. You are most likely already investing in techniques that are contributing to SEO and have quality content that just needs a little SEO boost.

SEO is critical because it leads to an increase in your site’s visibility, which means more traffic and more chances to attract and convert customers. Going beyond conversion rates, SEO can help increase awareness for your business, facilitate stronger customer relationships, and establish your business as the refinishing expert.

Email Marketing for Refinishers

Email remains a top platform for small businesses, with many small businesses confirming that they rely on email marketing as their primary customer acquisition channel. However, successful email marketing takes thought and care.

We recommend sending one high-quality, professional newsletter every month that includes information that appeals directly to your market and core principles. Remember that "home" should be the focus. Consider using MailChimp as its easy, cost-effective, and delivers great-looking emails.

Where Do You Start?

Think about the biggest headaches that your customer has conveyed to you about their kitchen or bathroom. What misconceptions do they have? What causes them stress about that room? What do they think it costs to fix the problem? Incorporate some of these pain points that into your lead-in, such as: “Many of the homeowners I’ve worked with in your area think countertop refinishing may cost thousands of dollars more than it actually does. However, I’ve found that when I tell them the actual price and timeframe, they’re shocked to learn how little it requires.”

You’ve just spoken to two potential pains—money and time. They’re not only concerned about cost but also about the disruption to their daily life that they’d have to experience.

Plus, if you focus on one small area of the kitchen or bathroom with the topic of refinishing, they’re likely to see this as an easier, more manageable conversation. You’re not going to go into a meeting or call selling thousands of options. You’re focused on one option. And even though everyone likes to make a sale, it’s important that you not come off as overly aggressive in attempting to make one. Instead, position yourself and the conversation as one where you are aiming to give the homeowner great clarity on the subject. This helps bring down some walls that the prospect might have and be more forthcoming with their concerns and desires.

Contrast this with the person who talks about a “laundry list” of services. What’s the prospect’s first thought? “This aggressive time waster is going to try to get me to buy everything he’s selling and run up a fortune.”

But What If They Want to Hear More?

Believe it or not, you have to be careful here too. Don’t assume that wanting to hear more is the same as wanting to hear everything and then some. Resisting the urge to tell someone about all you offer, all your tools, all your success stories and more is extremely difficult. Especially when it’s a person who actually conveys that they’d like to hear more!

Still, even in the event that you think you may have an interested customer, remember to respect their time. You want to find out the most important challenges and concerns they have so you can point them to the very best solutions. When you’re giving them endless options, you’re not guiding. You’re potentially confusing them.

So be the expert who listens instead of lists. Start your conversations, including the email ones, with a provocative question or two that has the goal of getting a response. Then you respond back with a little more information and so on.

Keep Your Goal of the First Impression manageable

It’s great if you achieve a sale through this back-and-forth email communication, but a more realistic goal is to schedule a phone call or a meeting in person with a specific date in the coming week or two. Rare is the kind of person who is so ready to buy right now.

When you keep that type of “first step” goal as your next step, you’ll be amazed how you don’t have to press so hard to make a sale. You’ll be more at ease. And chances are, so will your prospect.

Social Media Marketing for Refinishers

Nearly three-quarters of American adults use social media, which makes it a crucial marketing tactic for any business. Social media is easily one of the best ways to connect with your customers for free or a very low cost, while also reaching those who haven’t heard of your business yet. Getting started with setting up or updating your social media pages doesn’t have to be expensive or scary. With these simple tips, refinishers of any size can reach new markets, build brand awareness—and in turn—drive more sales.

1. Choose Your Social Media Platforms

Let’s start at the basics. First, you need to determine your desired platforms. Think LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. The list of platforms in today’s age is endless, making you feel stuck in deciding which one will be the most significant return on investment. Instead, think about which platforms you enjoy and where you’ve seen helpful information about your industry.

A Facebook business page is one of the best ways for any business to connect with their customers and build a following. LinkedIn is the go-to platform for businesses, where users can establish credibility with products and services and a have place to share company announcements and job listings. Houzz is a platform specifically for the construction management industry; contractors, interior designers, and architects can showcase projects directly to homeowners. Instagram is a photo-based platform, perfect for showcasing aspirational kitchens and bathrooms and/or before/after photos of your best work. Spend the time doing a little research to see what might be the best fit for your business.

2. Find Inspiration

Second, find inspiration in what other small businesses in your industry are doing. Emulate the posts, photos, and videos that have high engagement (you can shoot photos or videos on your phone) and keep track of trending hashtags to participate in those conversations and ensure that your media is seen. Your regularly updated social media presence serves as your portfolio, a networking tool, a customer interface, and a lead generator. A lot of times, social media is your first impression, so use it as a way to have fun, showcase your work, and build relationships with your customers.

3. Define Posting Schedules

Third, make a realistic commitment to posting schedules defining how much you can post and stick to that plan. Followers will learn to expect your regular posts, so use them as a way to build trust with your customers. Keep the info short and sweet, and avoid direct selling appeals. Social media allows you to establish yourself as a knowledgeable, professional business owner—not necessarily just a salesperson.

There are several social media management tools available to help you consolidate, manage, and roll out your posts to consistently share fun facts and helpful tips about your brand and your industry. Tools like Hootsuite even allow you to schedule posts in advance, allowing you to plan ahead and relieving you from manually posting every day or week. Posting regularly helps keep you in people’s minds next time they need a refinisher.

Paid Advertising for Refinishers

Social media platforms are great platforms to increase your brand awareness and generate quality leads via ads. And Google Ads can help drive traffic to your website and help you convert them into leads quicker. If it’s within budget, refinishers should explore paid advertising options to supplement organic efforts and see what works best.

  • Advertise on social platforms to increase brand awareness
  • Use bottom-of-funnel keywords for Google Ads
  • Promote high-quality videos on YouTube

Other Ideas for Marketing Home Improvement Businesses

We focus a lot on online marketing, but it's important not to forget print advertising. Direct mailers to people in your area and flyers at local hardware stores are still effective methods of bringing in new customers. You might even take stock of "for sale" homes every month and send targeted welcome information after homes have sold. In all of these print advertisements, remember to keep the idea of improving one's home at the forefront. Include meaningful before and after shots and value statistic.

How to Create a Successful Kitchen & Bath Refinishing Marketing Strategy

As a business owner—either as a solo refinisher or one that operates a small team—it’s important to have a marketing strategy in place to help customers find you. But what even is a marketing strategy, and why is it important? Developing a marketing strategy is nothing more than setting business goals and making a marketing to-do list that will get you to reach those goals. Think of it as your plan to reach a much larger range of customers.

Your marketing strategy is how you are going to attract customers and show them what you have to offer. When thinking of your marketing strategy, think of everything you are going to do from beginning to end. It’s essentially your business “game plan.” Developing this plan ensures that you are making the most out of every resource, every dollar, and every minute you are putting into your marketing efforts. Being proactive and developing your plan ahead of time will save you time and money.

Marketing Plan & Strategy Resources for Refinishers

A proper marketing strategy can take weeks or even months to be successfully created. And we know what you are probably thinking, “Isn’t there a faster, simpler way I can at least get started today?” That’s what we’re here for! So, here are two plans designed to get you to start thinking, planning, and making money. While these aren’t the complete marketing strategy plans that every business eventually needs, they will allow you to start thinking about your strategies and long-term plans that you can eventually turn into your larger marketing strategy plan.

The first plan above is a one-page plan that outlines the essential marketing components or categories like your mission/objectives, target market, offerings, pricing, distribution, and communication. These are essential components that go into your marketing strategy and allow you to think big picture and get everything into one place.

The second one-page plan above is less academic and more focused on emotional triggers that will get your ideal customer to choose you. It calls on a more personal level by using the true meaning that reflects the very reason of why you are in business and how your services can help those in need.

Print and fill out these plans to get your wheels turning. You can then begin to think about how much money you want to allocate towards your marketing, how you want to market, and how you will reach your target audience.

Are You Ready to Take Your Marketing to the Next Level?

At NAPCO, our goal is to help kitchen and bath refinishers find new customers, get more leads, and grow their business.

Our industry-leading team provides kitchen and bath refinishers with ongoing marketing and business support—from an online portal where you can access marketing materials to on-call refinishers who can assist you with any problems you experience on the job. And, if you want to refresh your refinishing skills, you can attend one of our training programs for new or experienced refinishers, led by highly experienced trainers and including extensive hands-on experience.

We also offer a customer loyalty program that helps refinishers like you stay on budget and save even more on top-tier refinishing materials.

Are you ready to grow your kitchen and bath refinishing business? Contact us today to get started!