By Jim Augustus Armstrong
The online habits of consumers are continuously evolving, and with the constant changes in digital technology the rate of evolution is increasing. This creates a challenge for busy floor dealers: how to effectively market your business online amid the constant change.
Let’s look at three tips for helping make this seemingly monumental task more manageable.
Tip #1: The principles of good marketing remain constant across all digital strategies.
I’ve covered these principles extensively in this column, my books, my webinars and trainings. They include:
- Answering the unspoken question on every prospect’s mind: Why should I buy from you rather than your competitor?
- Creating differentiation from competitors
- Using benefit-laden copy
- Social “proof” such as consumer reviews
- Relationship-driven marketing
- Building, nurturing and profiting your herd of past customers
- Positioning you and your sales team as trusted advisors
- Lead capture mechanisms
People are people. Regardless of whether they are engaging with you online or offline, your prospects are driven by the same emotional triggers: “How will I benefit?” Make sure your digital promotions are built around solid marketing principles.
Websites, social media, SEO, mobile, room visualizers, chatbots and so on are simply another set of tools for accomplishing the same goals you have with offline marketing and face-to-face selling.
This is great news. Once you’ve learned good direct-response marketing principles, you’ve learned the most important part about succeeding online. Knowing the technical side of how to build a website or do search engine optimization or run a Google ad is far less important than knowing this. There are many dealers with slick-looking websites who are wallowing in mediocrity or going broke because they don’t know these principles.
Tip #2: Don’t try to become a technical expert.
You don’t need to be an expert in the technical side of SEO, websites, Facebook, Google ads, etc., in order to succeed online. I couldn’t build a website or optimize it for search to save my life. But there are plenty of companies and individual consultants who specialize in these areas, and I hire them to do this for me. You should do the same.
Your job is to be familiar with solid, direct-response marketing principles and make sure the techies you hire build your digital strategies around these principles.
Tip #3: Don’t chase shiny objects.
There are so many digital strategies emerging every year that it’s easy to get distracted. You should pick a digital strategy, get it up and running in your business, then pick another one. Don’t do them halfway.
Digital marketing often has multiple moving parts or “ingredients.” If you baked a cake and left out half the ingredients your cake would be a failure. Same thing here; if you decide to add Facebook to your marketing mix, get it up and running 100% with all the ingredients before moving on to create a YouTube channel or launch a Google campaign.
So, which digital strategies should you begin with? If I had to choose one digital marketing strategy (beyond having a website), I would choose getting reviews, especially on Google. After that, which digital strategies you implement will depend upon your goals and your budget.
If you would like help, drop me a line. I’d love to chat.
Jim is the founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. Visit FlooringSuccessSystems.com for more information.