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Let’s face it, we all try to have an edge over the competition, right? Who has the flashiest car? Who is best dressed? Who has the biggest house? It is no different in the world of advertising. Brands are fighting to get ahead of each other and in front of their target market on various platforms. This is especially common on paid social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. One market that has seen a lot of investment in advertising lately is the home improvement industry.

Due to the events of the past 18 months, fewer of us are spending our hard earned money on jet sets and more of us are doing renovations. In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, 76% of owners will not be traveling in 2021 – a statistic that is surely reflected on this side of the Atlantic. The trend around home improvement is the opposite. According to the Home Improvement Research Institute, the pandemic is influencing 57% of new home projects.

This represents a huge opportunity for home improvement companies to get their brand noticed by users in a growing market. When people are ready to improve their homes, we want them to know us already, so they know where to go. There are many ways that brands can advertise, but digital advertising is fully measurable and can reach people on a large scale.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could advertise to our key target market to help us build awareness of our brand just as these users are thinking about improving their homes? Well you are lucky my friend. We’re going to show you some tips on how to do this and some things you might want to consider.

1) Profile your audience

Unlike more traditional forms of media (TV, newspapers, radio), digital advertising, and more specifically paid social media, is not one size fits all. We don’t need to advertise and hope someone who might be interested to see or hear it.

One of the hallmarks of paid social media advertising is the huge audience database that we can tap into. Facebook and Instagram in particular have so much audience data that advertisers can use, we can make our targeting as broad or as specific as we want.

Of course, we want to make it as specific as possible, but we need to be mindful of the size of the audience (see tip 2). The most important thing to do is to think about who will take action before searching for relevant audience segments on the paid social platform.

In the examples below, we have created 2 audiences. One “general home improvements” audience and one specific to “the flooring industry”.

HI General Hi Flooring

Companies that sell a range of products such as upholstery, furniture, paint, etc. may want to reach a wider audience and use the mainstream targeting general interior design / home improvement segments. Being more generic, this audience has a lot more users, so we’ll have more reach, and it’ll probably cost us more to run.

However, if you are specifically a flooring company, you only want to reach users who are interested in flooring, so you can exclude more generic segments. The second audience targets users who research flooring online, making it a good choice for flooring companies. Of course, as we become more precise in our targeting, the number of users decreases, which means our reach will be lower. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as we target the most relevant users. This brings us to our second tip… ..

2) make sure you have enough audience to target

While we want to target the most relevant users with our ads, we need to make sure we’re not « too specific ». For example, targeting women in their 40s to 50s, who live in Swansea, who are interested in interior design and who are actively shopping, will likely be too big of a niche for most businesses. While there are some instances of audience segmentation like this, we need to make sure that our audience size is representative of our business size.

For example, « B&Q », which has stores across the country, would create many audiences for the various departments they have, with an audience size totaling millions. An audience of this size would not be recommended for ‘Jane’s Mercerie’, which would only have the budget to operate locally, using the Swansea audience we talked about earlier.

The key point here is to know your target market in Tip 1 and then make sure you are not too specialized and have a sufficient user base to reach Tip 2. As stated it depends of course the size of your business, the location in which you operate and the media budget you have.

3) Use all the CRM data you have

CRM data (if it’s GDPR compliant) can be an invaluable data set for any business to reach out to past customers or subscribers. This is also true on paid social platforms.

We strongly recommend that you upload any CRM data you have to your paid social advertising accounts and re-engage the users who are on your list. It can help entice expired users to buy again, can let users know about a new product line or offer you have, or just to make sure those users haven’t forgotten about you.

In addition to that, we recommend that you create a Lookalike Audience from your CRM data. We will talk about this more in point 5.

4) Create remarketing lists for the website to re-engage users who haven’t taken the desired action

Points 1 and 2 are all aimed at attracting new users to your website, a tactic known as prospecting. Point 3 talks about remarketing to users on a CRM database. There is one more gap to fill and that is to re-engage users who visited your website but weren’t converted (purchased / signed up).

Remarketing basically means targeting users who have already interacted with your brand, either as a website visitor or as someone in your CRM database. Website remarketing works by tracking a user’s behavior on your website and building lists based on the actions they take. For example, a key remarketing audience that we recommend that you set up is cart abandoners. This audience is made up of users who visit your website, browse products, add products to their cart, and then leave your website before completing a purchase.

We want to retarget these users because they have shown a genuine interest in your products and were about to complete a purchase. They just need one last push to cross the line. It can be as simple as an emergency message such as « Hurry up, buy today! » « , Or a promotional code such as » Use code TODAY 5 to get 5% off your purchase! « 

HI Remarketing

Remarketing campaigns are generally not used for brand awareness, as we target users who are already familiar with your brand. But they’re a great tactic to use to generate sales, leads, or whatever goal you’re trying to achieve.

5) Create similar audiences

Lookalike audiences are another type of audience to use. Lookalikes use the social media platform’s algorithm to find users similar to those you are already targeting. Lookalikes can be created from your website’s remarketing lists and CRM data.

The essential objective of this targeting is to find new users who have not yet interacted with our brand and to provide them with information to increase brand awareness. These users share similar behaviors and interests to users we already know. For example, creating a Lookalike Audience from previous buyers will tell the platform to look at the characteristics of users who have purchased from us and find new users who share those characteristics. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

6) Be creative and inspire

One way to really stand out when it comes to home renovations is to think about your creativity. We recommend that you use a range of ad formats including image, carousel, and video. Not only is it good to have a creative variation, but it’s worth testing to see what works best with your audience.

In the home improvement space, users want to be inspired. They want to see ambitious products, the cream of the crop. Therefore, creativity is very important when thinking about how to set yourself apart from your competition. Using high quality images is a good start to achieve this. It is no longer enough to simply show the product you are selling. Brands need to create stylish experiences and spaces with multiple products to give the full impact of what their products can achieve for the customer’s home space.

We’ve included a few paid social ads from home improvement brands that do this well.

HI Wren2Hi Howdens2HI Zara2

Summary

Paid social advertising is a great option for home improvement companies to get in front of their key target market when they are relaxed and maybe already looking for inspiration. Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest do this very well as users of these platforms actively seek out high quality images and videos, to help provide information across a range of industries.

Using the massive audience data bank of these platforms can help us target the right people, exactly when they are looking for your products and services. Pair that in-depth targeting with a beautiful creation and you are sure to be ahead of your competition.

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