Our newest marketing experiments with social media, blogging & web ads

March 9 2013

For our award-winning remodeling client, we’ve used a number of online marketing techniques to drive people to their website. Our newest experiment with Houzz.com is showing surprising results quickly, with “quality visits” to his website—i.e. people spend quality time there.  Facebook ads have been a huge disappointment in recent months, generating poor quality website visits, even though the quantity is impressive.

The online marketplace is always evolving. Smart marketing means creative experimentation as well as vigilance about online ROI data.

The real results are in the data.

It’s critical to closely monitor your Google Analytics and other data to evaluate what’s really working to generate real online interest in your company, e.g. visits of at least 2 minutes to your site.

If you don’t have Analytics, get it, please; it tells you a lot about online marketing ROI.

Embrace your best online referrers…

Right now Houzz.com is leading the pack in referring people—ones who are interested in his upscale remodeling service—to his website.  Houzz.com is a hyper visual/image-rich form of social media, like Pinterest, but focused on the home. Its ‘Ideabooks’ enable users to capture his great project photos and stories into their personalized Ideabooks for their vision for their own home.  Each image is always attributed to our client. Visits from Houzz are averaging 6 minutes.

Second to Houzz right now is Housetrends magazine.  We’ve purchased a multi-faceted package that includes print ads, plus an online marketing suite with 3 banner ads and very nice mini-website there. Visits from here are averaging 5-1/2 minutes.

Harness the power of blogging!

We’re also big believers in blogging as a business marketing strategy for a variety of reasons.

Three key ones are: 1) search engines like changing website content and 2) it gives a business a way to establish itself as experts in a particular marketplace and 3) it can reinforce and strengthen the business’ brand.

A synergistic online marketing strategy we’ve used is to first create a blog post on a topic both important to the company’s brand and to the target audience.  Search engines will find it, sometimes in less than an hour.

Drive eyeballs to it with ads.

To enhance the traffic to the post (hopefully located on your website), try creating online ads that link to the blog—ones that you can easily change when the blog topic changes next time.  Make sure the location of the ad is where your target customer is.

BTW, we have an interesting very visual, example- and data-driven presentation on Social Media for Business.  If you’ve got a half hour, you may find it valuable. Also, we just discovered a great blogger in Atlanta that offers lots of great tips for blogging.

Below are some examples of how the ad-linking-to-a-blog has worked for our remodeling client on the Mt. Lebanon magazine website. Click on each ad to see the particular blog (or website page) that it takes you to.

According to Google Analytics, in the last 5 months, this inexpensive series of 24/7 ads has brought to the client’s website 87 highly targeted, upscale visitors—any one of which could be a great client.

Add to that the repetitive visibility of his award-winning brand, month after month, in this demographically AND geographically desirable community.