A Definitive Guide to Digital Marketing for Flooring Installers
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is when you promote a product or service for purchase on the Internet.
As a floor installer, using digital marketing can double, triple, or quadruple your business. Digital marketing opens your doors up to hundreds (or thousands) of more customers who are looking to have their floors installed—but didn’t see your flyer or have a friend that can recommend reliable floor installers.
By marketing online, you’ll be able to reach more customers.
There are a lot of ways to market online, but generally speaking all digital marketing strategies have one goal:
Turn a website visitor into a customer.
A website visitor is somebody who is visiting your website or social profiles. These are the people who are showing a clear interest in your product or service. We refer to these people as your customer avatar. These are prospective customers that need digital marketing strategies to convince them to buy a product or service from you, over your competitor.
Every business has a specific customer avatar for each of their products. Customer avatars are a crucial part of digital marketing because you’re going to build your digital marketing strategy around them.
A customer avatar is the most likely person to buy your product because they are the person the product was created for.
For example, as a Flooring Installer, who is a better person to market to:
- A 16 year-old living at home with their parents in high school
- A 35-year old with a fixer upper home
If you answered the latter, you’re correct. The 16-year old is not your customer avatar because they don’t have a home to install floors in. They live at their parents home and don’t have any buying power when it comes to deciding to change their floors.
The 35-year old with a fixer upper home does. They’re the person who is going to open their wallet and say, “I want you to install my floors.” That’s the person that you’re going to create your digital marketing strategy around.
Here are the 4 steps of a digital marketing strategy:
- Traffic: Getting your customer avatar to visit your website or social profiles.
- Leads: Having this website .visitor to opt-in to give you their email address or phone number via an online form.
- Sales: When a lead makes their first purchase with your company.
- Return Path: Motivating a customer to purchase more services or products from you.
Businesses are choosing to market online because that’s where their customers are spending their time and looking for the services that they offer. For example, if you were to look for a floor installer, where is the first place you would look?
Would you open Google on your phone or computer and type in “floor installers in my area”?
Most likely. And guess who else would open Google to find their floor installer?
What Are The Benefits of Digital Marketing?
Just like you’d open up Google to try to find floor installers, so would your customers. These statistics from Blue Corona show how often consumers are using online resources, like Google and the local business’s website, to choose who to buy their services from:
- 97% of consumers go online to find a local business or local services
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps
- 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business
If 97% of consumers are trying to find the right local business to install their floors online, then by being offline you’re losing out on 97 out of 100 new customers.
If your business isn’t registered on Google Maps, only 14 out of 100 potential customers know your business exists.
And, if you’re not using a website to create leads and sales, you’re losing out on 82 smartphone using customers out of 100, every time they search for floor installers in your area.
That’s a lot of contracts left on the table if you don’t create a digital marketing strategy for your business. It’s also a lot of new revenue if you do build that digital marketing strategy.
This is why digital marketing matters for your industry. Here’s everything you need to know about creating a successful digital marketing strategy for your floor installation company.
Traffic is the first step in your digital marketing strategy as a floor installer because it’s how you make potential customers aware of your business. Remember, traffic refers to online visitors that “visit” your website. The more people that visit your website, the higher your chance of increasing your leads, sales, and return path for even more sales.
The key to increasing your traffic is to realize that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are tried and true strategies to get more people on your website. Here are 10 ways to increase your website traffic:
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, known as its acronym of SEO, is how well your business ranks in search results. For example, when somebody local to your business searches for “floor installers in my area”, who shows up first?
The company that shows up first is the one who has the best SEO on that page. As a local business with a service like floor installation, SEO is the most sustainable traffic source in comparison to other channels (like social media platforms or referrals).
Why? Because 97% of consumers are searching online to find a local business. By increasing your SEO, you’re increasing your chances of being seen by all of those potential customers and converting that traffic into leads and sales. SEO has the potential to have the greatest ROI over time of all the methods we’re going to discuss.
Here are the basics of increasing your SEO:
- Figure out what keywords your customer avatar is using to find floor installers in your area
- Use Google Keyword Planner to figure out the search volume data and trends surrounding your business’s most viable keywords. For example, you’re going to type in “floor installers”, “floor installation”, “new floors”, and anything other terms you regularly hear your customers saying when referring to floor installation
- Create content related to keywords being searched for in your industry (ex. Floor installation)
- We’ll talk about this in the Content Marketing section below, but here’s an example of what this means. If there’s search volume for “floor installation things to know”, you’ll create an article published to your website and/or a Youtube video titled, “Things To Know About Floor Installation.” This will make you rank in search results for the keywords of “floor installation things to know”.
- Put your business on your town’s Business Directory
- Google “[your town’s name] business directory” and reach out to the corresponding websites, like Chamber of Commerce or County Clerk
- This will increase your SEO by backlinking your website. Backlinking your website is when another website links to yours. This increases SEO because it builds credibility on search results that your website is validated and has the information a search engine user is searching for.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
We just talked about the free way to get your business listed as one of the first search results for floor installers, but there is also a paid way to make this happen. Search Engine Marketing, SEM, is when a business pays Google to put their business as one of the top search results for specific keywords. This is called a Google Ad and is created using Google Adwords.
For example, the top four search results for “floor installers in Los Angeles” are Google Ads. You can tell that they’re Google Ads because they have “Ad” written in green to the left of their website address.
These businesses are all using the SEM digital marketing strategy to get leads and convert them into sales. Here’s a basic overview of how to create a Google Ad:
- Create a headline (the blue text) and ad copy (the text below the headline).
- Use the keywords you found through Google Keyword Planner to choose what search engine user to show your ad to.
- Drive this traffic to a landing page on your website.
- A landing page is a website page that has one purpose: to get a conversion. As a floor installer, your conversion for this landing page will most likely be to schedule a consultation call.
We’re sure you’re familiar with Google as a search engine, it’s the largest search engine in the world with 70,000 searches per second. The second largest search engine in the world is going to surprise you: YouTube.
Google owns YouTube which is a significant help in improving your SEO, because your YouTube videos can rank in Google search results. For example, a video titled, “Things To Know About Floor Installation”, can rank on YouTube AND Google. This means that one piece of content is ranking on the two largest search engines in the world.
When it comes to creating content for YouTube , you can abide by the same strategies you’d use for creating content for SEO. You want to figure out the search volume of specific keywords and then create content around those keywords, just as you read in the SEO section of this guide.
If you’re wondering if anyone is going to be searching for floor installation information on YouTube , take a look at the YouTube search results for “Things To Know About Floor Installation”:
Take note of the number of views for each of these videos:
- 500,000 views
- 1,900 views
- 166,000 views
When you create content this specific, you’re going to find your customer avatar. If 1% of these viewers turned into leads, here’s how many new leads these businesses generated with their Youtube content:
- 5,000 new leads
- 19 new leads
- 1,660 new leads
4. Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
While Youtube can be looked at as a social media platform, you’re going to use it differently than you’d use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter in your digital marketing strategy. Youtube is a great place to direct your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter followers—and these platforms can be used to increase the awareness of your company.
On Facebook, you can create a Business Profile that provides users information on your business like:
- Hours of operation
- Information about your business
- Customer recommendations and reviews
- Price range
You can put the same information on your Instagram Business profile. Note: To have a Business profile on Instagram, you first need to create a Business profile on Facebook.
Here’s the information that will go on your profile:
- Business Type
- Information about your business
- Contact information
Take a look at @QualityFloorInstallersInc Instagram profile to get an idea for the information that you can show on your Instagram profile:
You can also create a Business Twitter profile to post content to. On Twitter, you can showcase your location, website, and information about your business in your profile.
During this part of digital marketing, business owners tend to feel overwhelmed. How are you going to create content for all of these social platforms?
- Your Facebook content can be your Instagram content which can be your Twitter content. Don’t create new content for each social channel—disperse your content across each channel
- You don’t need to have every social media profile available. Ask your customers what social media profiles they use the most often, and then focus on those.
What type of content should you post to your social profiles?
Here are a few ideas:
- Before-and-after photos of your floor installation projects
- Answers to FAQs
- Customer testimonials
The goal of your social media content is to build your brand and increase the engagement and growth of your profiles.
5. Social Media Advertising
Just like with Search Engine Marketing, you can pay social media platforms to promote your business for you. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can show content (of your choosing) to people that would be interested in seeing it.
Social media advertising can be extremely specific, targeting people in your local area who are interested in home remodeling.
Here’s an important note: the content you promote through paid ads on social media shouldn’t be the same content that you are showing your followers on a regular basis. This paid content is focused on lead generation and ROI because you’re paying for it. While increasing your follower count is great, there’s no promise that those followers are going to convert. So, when you’re paying Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to show your content to users that are likely to book a consultation or make a purchase, you want to make sure that your content promotes them taking that action.
6. Content Marketing
Content marketing encapsulates many of the above strategies. It’s an umbrella term for:
- SEO strategies that drive traffic and generate leads by creating content that your customer avatar has shown interest in.
- YouTube videos that drive traffic and generate leads creating content that your customer avatar has shown interest in.
- Social media posts that drive traffic and generate leads creating content that your customer avatar has shown interest in.
There’s a reason that the above three bullets all end in the same way—because content marketing has two purposes:
- Drive Traffic
- Generate Leads
Here are a few ideas for the type of content you can create for your content marketing strategy:
- Social posts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Podcast Episodes
- Downloadable guides
If you’re wondering what kind of content your customers want to consume, ask current or past customers what would be the most convenient way to answer their questions and mitigate their concerns around floor installation prior to finding the installers they’re going to hire.
Ask them if they would prefer to:
- Read answers to their floor installation questions
- Watch a video with the answers to their floor installation questions
- Get bite-sized pieces of information via social posts
- Listen to a podcast episode on everything to know about floor installation
- Read a long guide on floor installation
At the end of the day, your content marketing strategy is built around your customer. The floor installation business that succeeds in their strategy is the one who asks their customer what content they want and then delivers on it.
7. Local & Industry Directories
We spoke about local and industry directories as a way to increase your SEO through backlinks. While this is certainly a reason to be featured on your Chamber of Commerce’s website, it’s not the only one.
Having your website linked on these directories increases your traffic by increasing the chances that a person looking for a floor installer on this website finds your business. It also gives you social proof, a term used in marketing to showcase a business’s credibility by being on a credible website or being promoted by a credible source.
By being on the Chamber of Commerce’s website, you’re showing that you’re somewhat endorsed by them and that you’re a trusted business in your area.
8. Local & Industry Directories to be included on are:
- Chamber of Commerce
- Your town’s website
- Apple Maps
- Google Maps
- LinkedIn Company Directory
- Yellow Pages
9. Email Marketing
Email marketing is when you take a website visitor’s email contact and send them emails with promotional content about your business. As soon as that visitor gives you their contact information, they become a lead.
This is an essential part of the traffic you’re driving to your website. If visitors come to your website but don’t have a way to contact you or for you to follow up with them, then you’re not going to see the results that you want from your content strategy.
We’ll go into this in more detail in the Return Path section of this definitive guide to digital marketing for flooring installers.
10. Traditional Marketing Strategies
Direct mail, business cards, referral cards, receipts, coupons, etc. are forms of traditional marketing. They’re all marketing that happens offline in people’s mailboxes and in conversation.
While these types of marketing certainly aren’t dead, they have the same necessity as the traffic that you are driving to your website. You want to make sure that you’re able to follow up with these potential leads. So, if you’re sailing out a direct mail postcard with a discount for floor installation, you want to motivate recipients to go to your website, where you will then collect their email address.
This ensures that you are able to convert these leads into customers, and that you aren’t spending money on marketing that doesn’t have a return of interest.
There are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your website and you don’t have to master all of these ways. You just need to identify the ways that have the largest ROI and then focus on those, so that you can turn website traffic into leads.
Leads are the people that visit your website and give you their contact information to follow up with them. This will either be an email address or a phone number. Remember, as soon as somebody gives you their contact information, they become a lead.
This lead has a high chance of converting into a customer. By giving you their phone number of email address they are showing a clear interest in floor installation, but they may need you to convince them that you’re the right business for them.
Here are strategies to use on your website to motivate visitors to give you their phone number or email address.
1. Content Upgrades
A content upgrade is a piece of content that isn’t freely available on your website. Let’s say a website visitor came to your site after searching for “easiest floors to install”. They clicked on your website because you have an article titled, “The 5 Easiest Floors To Install”. In that article, you give them what they came to learn (the 5 easiest floors to install), and then you offer them a content upgrade.
For example, a content upgrade titled, “7 Questions To Ask Your Floor Installer Before Signing The Contract”.
For your website visitor to see this content upgrade, they have to fill in their email address. You’ll send this content upgrade to their email address and you’ll have officially landed a new lead. Note: Sending this content upgrade is a totally automated process through your email marketing host.
2. Free Consultations
The biggest question your customer has is, How much is it going to cost to install new floors?
By offering to answer that question for them, you can motivate website traffic to give you their email address or phone number. Once they’ve opted-in to hear back from you, you can reach out to them to schedule the consultation. This consultation drastically increases your chances of landing this lead as a customer because you’ve already done the hard work of getting them on the phone with you.
We’ll talk more about this in the Sales section of this guide.
3. Downloadable Product Brochures
Just like your content upgrade, you’re going to motivate website traffic to give you their email address in return for your product brochure. This brochure highlights your available products and can include before-and-after photos of those products.
Again, this product brochure is automated and will be sent immediately to a new lead who has opted-in for it.
4. On-Site Targeting
On-site targeting sends personalized pop-ups to website visitors. Each of these pop-ups is different depending on how the visitor is, or has, interacted with your website.
For example, if a user is looking through a blog post about bathroom design, then the pop-up will ask them if they want to download your content upgrade of “10 Modern Bathroom Designs Under $5,000”.
On-site targeting is used by digital marketers because it can give website visitors the content upgrade specific to their needs. Instead of a general content upgrade of, “10 FAQs About Floor Installation”, the content upgrade will be based off of what the visitor is showing the most interest in.
5. Slide-Ins In Place Of Pop-Ups
Slide-Ins are pop-ups that “slide in” from the side of the screen instead of popping up in the middle of the screen. The slide in can be for your content upgrade or on-site targeted content upgrade.
Just as with pop-ups and free consultations, the goal of the slide-in is to offer the visitor something they would be interested in giving their email in return for.
6. Exit Pop-Ups
Exit pop-ups are pop-ups that open up when a website visitor closes out your website on their computer. This pop-up is designed as your last chance to turn that visitor into a lead—so whatever you’re offering needs to be good.
For example, you can offer a discount on floor installation or another type of incentive that makes the visitor decide that they want to share their information with you.
7. Call Leads
Platforms like Callpage.io connect website visitors with your sales representative. If a representative isn’t available, their information will be logged so you can call them back when someone is available. According to Callpage.io, you can generate 75% more sales call leads on your website using their calling software.
Once you’ve established the mechanisms that turn your website visitors into leads you can get to the best part of digital marketing—turning those leads into paying customers.
Now that you have leads—what do you do to convert them into customers? This step of digital marketing is called sales. It’s when you’re using strategies to show these leads that you are the floor installation company that they want to work with.
While the traffic and lead generation strategies that we’ve already covered have helped you build this case, you still need to make the close.
This means that you need a lead to:
- Book an appointment
- Confirm a scheduled appointment
- Agree to the estimate you’ve given them
- Sign the contract
- Follow-up with if they haven’t already signed a contract
Chances are, this is the part of marketing that you’re already most familiar with. As a floor installation company, you’ve taken plenty of appointments, given out hundreds of estimates, and sent out tons of contracts.
One of the best parts of digital marketing is that most of this can be automated. Once a website visitor decides that they want your content upgrade, you can send them the content upgrade and then ask them if they want to book an appointment for a free consultation. Or, maybe your strategy was to offer the consultation upfront.
Either strategy works, and using both works even better, but now you want to implement existing software systems that can help you turn this lead into a customer.
The goal of your digital marketing strategy is to create a lot of leads—enough that you’re not going to be able to call every single one to set up an appointment or confirm their appointment.
This is when software comes in to automate this process. Using email marketing campaigns, you can do all of the above, and only do a quarter of the work that you’re used to. The software is going to automate this marketing for you, sending emails as needed and making sure that your lead feels like they’re getting a personalized experience.
Booking An Appointment
For example, you can use a software like Calendly to have your customer choose a day and time that works best for them to schedule their free consultation or in-person appointment.
You’ll choose the times that you or your sales team are available for the consultations/appointments and then Calendly will only show these times to your lead. They’ll also update your calendar as leads take time slots so that you’re never double booked.
Confirming An Appointment
Always confirm appointments one day prior to your call. This ensures that your lead still has time for it and is still interested. If they’re not we’ll show you what to do in the Return Path section of this definitive guide.
With softwares like Calendly, this can be automated. You can choose when you want a confirmation email to go out to your lead and what it says.
Just like Calendly can handle your appointments, there are softwares available that can also handle your estimates. Here’s a list of softwares that can do this for you.
The idea behind automating your estimates is that as soon as you get off the phone with your lead, you can plug their information into your estimation software (ex. 1,000 sq. feet of linoleum needs to be changed to real hardwood floors) and then have the software create a professional estimation that gets automatically sent to your lead.
This helps keep your lead from flatlining—research shows the more time they have to make a decision, the lower the chances are that they’ll convert. The faster you can get that estimate into their hands and then the contract, the higher chance you have of taking this lead and turning them into a customer.
Signing The Contract
Contracts can also be automated, by using software like Docusign. With Docusign, or other contract softwares, you can house your contract online and have Docusign send a personalized version with the lead’s estimate immediately after they agree to the estimate.
The lead can sign the document online with a virtual signature, which helps you make the transaction process as quick as possible.
Following-up With Leads
Leads that don’t immediately convert, for example a lead who got an estimate but hasn’t agreed to it yet, can be sent down a different email marketing campaign. This campaign can send them photos of floor installations that you’ve done in the past, estimates from other companies in the area that you know are higher than your own, and any other information that can improve their chances of converting.
For example, your email campaign can offer them 0% financing on their floor installations if the price is too much for them to afford at once.
All of the sales tactics that you have seen work best in person are also the strategies that will work great online. Just make sure that when you bring them online, you’re looking for the software solutions that can automate the process for you, so you can focus less on the sales and more on your business.
Once somebody has had their floors installed by you, you don’t want to end your relationship with them. By keeping your business top-of-mind, you’re going to increase your referral rate.
You can do this by creating:
- Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly Email Broadcasts
- Social Media posts
- Retargeted ads
For example, if your customer had new wood floors put into their home, you can send them a monthly broadcast with the best ways to keep their floors looking new for as long as possible. An email with specific cleaners to use, how often to clean them, and more can be extremely useful for somebody who just spent a lot of money on getting their floors redone.
By continuing your relationship with your customers, you show them that you didn’t just want their money—you’re here for them long term. This is the benefit of digital marketing. While traditional marketing strategies tend to leave customers in the dust after you’ve installed their floors, with digital marketing strategies you’re able to keep them in your ecosystem.
This means that when it’s time for them to install floors in a different part of their home or a friend talks to them about getting new floors, they’re proud to refer you as the company to go with.
Let’s look further into these return paths to see which works best for your business.
Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly Email Broadcasts
The key to these email broadcasts is to make sure that you’re not sending too many emails, or else your customers are going to unsubscribe and you’ll lose this return path. The best way to find out how often customers want to hear from you is to ask them. In your first email to them after their floor installation, you can give them the option of getting emails from you weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
These emails can include information like:
- Floor cleaning techniques used by professionals
- Discounts on applicable
- Furniture pads
- Once a year deep washes for floors
- How to keep your floors looking brand new based on floor type
- Easy ways to make old floors look brand new
- Interior design ideas
The goal of these email broadcasts is to be useful to your customers. Just like you don’t want random emails that aren’t applicable to you sent to your inbox, they don’t either. Make sure that they’re seeing content that is helpful to them, and they’ll keep looking out for your broadcasts.
Your social media posts specific to return path can cover the same topics as your email broadcasts. This is a strategy in digital marketing called splintering and it’s a hack to create more content, without having to do too much more. For example, your once a year deep wash floors can be turned into a useful Facebook post with step-by-step instructions.
Or, your interior design ideas/before-and afters can be Instagram posts that your customers are interested in seeing. If they have a home, they’re most likely always looking for different ways to improve their homes value. Show them how much homes have gone up in value by changing the flooring and you’re guaranteed to get return customers.
Your articles can be the same as your email broadcasts (remember, splintered content!). You can highlight these articles in your email broadcast and having readers click a link in your email to read the article on your website. Or you can write these articles and then paste them into your email.
However you present your customers these articles, you want to make sure that they’re answering questions that somebody who just had floors installed is going to ask. If you’re the floor installer who is there for them after they’ve had their floors installed, they’re going to be the first to call you when they want to change the floors in their dining room too.
You know when you shop for a product online and all of a sudden that product keeps showing up as a Facebook ad in your newsfeed? This is a retargeted ad. The website that is showing you this ad has a tracking pixel on its product page that has “tracked” you back to Facebook so that the ad for the specific product that you were looking for can be shown to you.
Kind of creepy, kind of cool, and definitely used a lot in digital marketing.
Our suggestion is to use these retargeting ads on Facebook to get customers to leave you a review on your page, on Yelp, or on Google. The more reviews you can get, the better chance you’ll have at driving traffic to your website. By asking your customers for their feedback on Facebook, while they’re scrolling on Facebook you’re lowering the amount of effort they need to put into giving you this testimonial.
In order to set up retargeted ads, you can create an ad on Facebook. They’ll walk you through the process of getting your tracking pixel on your website depending on who your website host is, and show you exactly how to create your ad.
Developing a Digital Marketing Program for Your Flooring Business
You’re now a floor installation digital marketing master. By promoting your floor installation services online, you can drastically grow your business and become one of the most well-known floor installers in your area.
Just take this definitive guide a step at a time and remember to only use the strategies that make sense for your company. You don’t need everything (SEO, content marketing, SEM, paid social media ads, etc.), but you do need something (SEO and content marketing).