Every business owner, at one time or another, has wondered how they can better market their business to reach a broader audience of potential customers. Flooring business owners are no different and face a unique set of challenges when it comes to promoting their brand.
Flooring is a very niche industry and it can be difficult to know what to do with sales and marketing. We asked a few experts in the industry, and they had a few ideas on where to start when it comes to improving marketing tactics:
Consider whether you're targeting the right messsages to the right audiences.
It's one thing to know things about your target audience. It's a completely different thing to know your audience.
Are you running campaigns in the places where your audience frequents? Do you only know their income level, age group, and location…or also their goals, media preferences, and shopping habits? Understanding your target audience on an even deeper level will help you tailor more meaningful messages to more meaningful audiences…resulting in higher conversions and ROI.
Carole Cross, President and CEO of Mobile Marketing, in a recent webinar with QFloors customers, said that knowing your audience, where they are coming from, and how and where to interact with them, are important aspects to marketing your business:
“We always talk to our clients about the digital strategy piece first and we call it powering the journey. The first step in powering the journey is to increase awareness for your store online. What we look to do is find all the different ways we can find the right customers online. You can do this in a number of ways through search advertising, social media, video ads, geofencing, and local SEO work. All of that falls into how do we drive awareness and then once we have, how do we get prospects to engage with you?”
Dan Griffith, owner and CRO of All About Flooring in Greenville, SC and also CEO of GoDgtal, says that defining your target audience is paramount to being successful in promoting your flooring business:
“I think it starts with knowing who your customer is. There's a lot of room in the flooring market for very different businesses. For instance, if you focus just on commercial flooring, your customer is going to be radically different than someone like All About Flooring, who focuses on the higher end of the [retail] market with our product mix. So I think knowing who your customer is will help you with everything, from your website to your social media strategy, to your Google Ads strategy.”
Engaging with the right potential customers is crucial. Don't underestimate doing research to get a better idea of who you should be targeting when it comes to marketing campaigns. It may seem time-consuming, but if done right it will prove to be invaluable in the long run.
Ask yourself what you are doing to set your brand apart from competitors?
A strong brand is essential for any business, including a flooring business. But the only real way to get people to remember your brand is to make it have emotional and personal meaning.
With so many store names and logos out there, what can you do to stand out from the competition? The more you show how meaningful your brand is, the more people will also see its importance. When a customer visits your storefront or website, it should only take them a few minutes to get a feel for what your flooring business is all about. Make sure you display photos of team members and recent projects, awards, certifications, testimonial quotes, and anything else that shows people who you are.
Griffith says that showcasing what your business does well, along with your mission statement, is the best way to establish your brand:
“We really drive the fact that we're local by utilizing only pictures of actual jobs that we've completed. So that obviously has a huge impact on people that are looking. Because if you're looking at a stock photo again on a templated website, you don't look any different than anybody else out there. We have also collaborated with a local social media influencer in the upstate of South Carolina to reinforce that local connection in our community.”
Being widely known in your service area is a vital aspect of marketing for any business, and especially flooring. To establish an even stronger brand presence, consider serving in the community and posting about those opportunities on your company's website and social media platforms, inviting customers to share your brand on their own social profiles, and working with people who have a strong influence in the area.
Making your business recognizable is more than just simply having a logo. You must have an unmistakable presence in your community.
Consider how to better showcase your work instead of just talking about it.
There's no mistake that a picture is worth a thousand words. Instead of telling people how great your business is, show them!
Shannon Vogel, Owner of Reach Social, talked about the importance of showcasing your business on digital channels in a recent webinar with QFloors customers:
People will buy from you if they can make a connection with you,” said Vogel, “Social media is about relationships, not selling.
To help customers make that connection with your business, post high-quality images and videos to showcase your work on your website and social platforms. Highlight the different types of flooring you offer, the different projects you have been involved in, as well as any unique features that set your business apart from others.
Showcasing what your business does well is an important
aspect of building trust with people (and hopefully future
customers). Griffith advises:
We advertise locally and we use our social media
channels to show the work we're doing in the local
area. We post pictures of the homes after we complete a
job to not only showcase our work, but as a reminder
that we serve the local community.
Build a presence (not just a page) on social media
Social media is a great way to reach potential customers and showcase your work…if you use it the right way.
Social media marketing builds trust, communication, and reputation between dealers and their customers. But you want to have a presence in the social media channel that makes the most sense for your customer base.
It's a daunting task to figure out which social media platforms reach a large number of your current and potential customers. Ogden spoke about this in her recent interview as well:
Facebook is a pretty good place to start. After you get the hang of Facebook, you can experiment with other social media platforms and campaigns.
Griffith adds that what social media platform you use depends on what part of the flooring industry you specialize in:
If you're focusing primarily on the commercial market, you may want to consider something like LinkedIn. I'd use it for more business to business customers. On the other hand, if your focus is on high-end residential customers, you probably want to focus more on Facebook or Instagram.
Setting a goal of scheduling one post a week is a great start. Not only should you publish posts, but you should also spend time engaging with those who comment, like, and participate in your channels. Join community groups, reply to people's comments on your posts, share relatable content, etc. The more you contribute, the more people will see you as someone who wants to bring value to the community. However, remember that social media marketing is a double-edged sword: if you aren't using it for your business on a consistent basis, it could lead people to assume your business is unresponsive or outdated.
Check to see how unique your flooring business' website is.
A website is essential for any business, and is how many prospects first see your brand. Don't just create a website to create one; create a website that gives prospects a unique and engaging experience.
Many flooring businesses these days choose to use a “cookie-cutter” or templated design for their websites. These website templates are usually provided by website companies, flooring suppliers or organizations. There is nothing wrong starting out this way, but eventually you will want to make sure your site provides unique content that can't be found anywhere else. For Ogden, it's important to ensure your site provides value to both new and returning visitors.
“Many businesses use templated websites because they are easy to set up...but they fail to recognize that consumers easily recognize duplicated content. It's okay to start with a template, but you'll eventually want unique content so you can distinguish your brand from others. Your unique website should be used to set your business apart from the competition with its content, user-experience, and branding.”
Creating a website may sound like a daunting task, but there are many resources out there that can help you build a great site for your company. It will take time, money, effort, and maybe even some outsourcing, but it will be worth it in the end. Whenever you need help, our partners at Roomvo and Mobile Marketing can take care of you. You can also look at utilizing AI engines like ChatGPT to help you write website content (note: if you do decide to use ChatGPT for content, you'll still want to ensure it still caters to your company and customers' needs).
Bonus Tip: Make sure your flooring business is data-driven.
It's one thing to implement marketing strategies, but it's another to actually use data to make informed decisions. We recommend you take the time to learn how to read marketing analytics and data so you can get a better idea of your ROI. There are even programs out there that share information with other programs so that users can see a bigger picture of what's going on holistically. (QConnect is a great example of this type of technology.)
Marketing a flooring business requires a targeted and strategic approach. But as you define the right audiences, develop a unique brand, showcase your work, engage on the right social channels, and create a compelling website, you'll be able to successfully market to your flooring customers.