Even in the midst of COVID-19 (and maybe because of it) homeowners are thinking about big ticket projects around the house. Even though cities throughout Alabama are starting to open up again, we’re nowhere back to normal. And with travel and vacations being put on hold, consumers are thinking how they can invest in making their own home a more fun and comfortable place to be for the entire family. Vacation planning is turning into staycation planning, but with the activities centered in and around the home.
In early May, Google published a “Rising Retail Categories” tool that ranks top retail searches in real time. Since it published the tool, outdoor and home improvement items have dominated the top 20 list. The number 2 and 3 searches are sprinkler systems and swimming pools. Also high on the list is patio sets, porch swings and pool accessories. Alabamians are discovering they can get closer to their family, reduce stress and raise their quality of life by improving their homes.
With thousands of dollars not being spent on vacations and mortgage refi rates at all-time lows, many homeowners think now is the time to invest in their own properties. BBVA Compass’ Head of Direct Consumer Lending Bob Jones says that lenders are dealing with “abnormally high pipelines now.” So, with cash on hand, bigger projects like roofs, windows and doors, a new pool, dream landscapes with built in grills and fireplaces could be just what families need to feel both safe and comfortable at home.
But to earn their business, your company is going to have to pull them into the marketplace, sell them on the idea and convince them you have the expertise to do the work safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. How can you do that? To get in front of consumers today, you have to add on to your bottom-funnel lead strategy that only catches searchers through search engine marketing. SEM doesn’t make a connection with buyers, inspire them or get them dreaming about bigger projects. You need a more sophisticated awareness and engagement strategy to drive big deals.
Marketing During COVID-19 – Remember the Following:
- You need to engage homeowners and get them dreaming (these are emotional purchases – not immediate needs). So, you help them to justify it their plans with a content strategy that positions you as the expert and points them to the benefits.
- The actual ROI on home improvement projects can vary. Some projects like decks, outdoor living spaces, siding and windows can be nearly 100% recouped by increasing the resale value according to HGTV. But the return on investment homeowners are looking for is more quality time at home with loved ones. That kind of return is priceless, and it’s a strong motivator for them to consider.
- Potential customers are on their devices more than ever. Billboards and traditional radio and TV viewership are down – to reach consumers you need to shift focus to digital tactics beyond search.
- Stuck-at-home customers are dreaming of home improvements. Help them dream with “dream” blogs and photo galleries that show renovation ideas, photo galleries of notable jobs and testimonials from happy customers. Give them as much information as you can about the return-on-investment major projects could bring to their property. See HGTV’s recent article
- Push your blog content to homeowners through social media, digital advertising and emails to customers and prospects.
- Very important – Proactively communicating the steps you’ve taken to reduce face-to-face meetings, increasing virtual communication and enforcing worker health and safety guidelines could be the extra peace-of-mind that homeowners need to choose to move ahead with a major project.
- Target look-a-likes – digital advertising gives you enormous control to target select groups of people based on geography, homeownership, income and interests. Look back at your customer database and make sure you target prospects that look like the customers that have done business with you in the past.
The COVID-19 safer at home guidelines have helped homeowners to see the importance of investing in a safe, comfortable and relaxing home environment. Now more than ever, they are ready to reap the benefits of major projects from windows and doors to dream outdoor spaces. Will you be top of mind as they dream, plan, research, and purchase their next home improvement?
Let us help.
Alabama Media Group can help you attract new projects developing and distributing engaging content that homeowners want to read. Contact us today to learn how your business can be successful in the COVID-19 economy.