Blogging with a Purpose for Home Remodeling Showrooms
Updated: Sep 14
Blogs. What are they good for? Does anyone care? As usual, the answer depends on factors both inside and outside your control. But you can blog with a purpose and get value out of your blogging and content campaigns if you have the right strategy, know what you’re getting in to and if you repurpose your content for maximum benefit. Blogging is as unsexy as it gets, so let’s just get into it!
Content - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Let’s start at the beginning, what does “content” even mean and what types of content should you be aware of? Content to us just means “words on the internet”, it is often used as a black box to dissuade entrepreneurs from rolling up their sleeves and learning the ropes themselves. But these words on the internet do have a very tangible effect on how your site ranks and shows up on Google and other search engines. But let’s clear the air now – if you are a smaller fish, blogging (adding more content to your subpages) might not move the needle dramatically of your site’s ranking. More and more content might help your ranking, especially in local searches, but it will take a lot of time (some say at least six months) and, since a keyword strategy is very important to this, might be an uphill battle to get noticed by the algorithms. Let’s jump into what a keyword strategy is now.
Keywords in your subject lines and throughout your articles are what help Google and other search engines determine what your article is about, who it is important to and how important it is relative to other articles on the internet. You can use Google Trends to start researching keywords, see how popular they are by state and see what else Google recommends in terms of similar keywords that you might not have thought of. Next, you could use paid tools like SEMRush and Moz.com to go deeper into the competitiveness of these keywords, and here you can see what your competitors are doing to get some ideas on what’s trendy and working for them.
Now you should have identified a handful of keywords that are useful to your customer base and that are viable for Google. But you might see that some keywords, like “kitchen remodeling ideas”, are just too competitive. Google that phrase and websites like Houzz, Lowes and HGTV’s show up at the top of the organic results, so how could little-old-you ever catch up to them? You probably can’t, unless you have unlimited time and resources! But, if you tailor your content strategy to your local market and to the specific styles and manufacturers you carry in your showroom, then you might get in front of those local searches, but remember those kinds of searches will have far lower volumes.
Now that I’ve taken the wind out of your sails around content and blogging, let’s take a step back – there still is a lot of value you can get from blogging, even if it’s not from SEO and organic search. I’ll get to what that value is momentarily, let’s first cover what types of content you should be creating and some tips on how to do it.
On-Site, Email and Social Media Content
The general triumvirate of content that you should care about revolves around blogs and ebooks on your website, newsletter articles via email and social media posts to your most relevant channels. Not to fear – you can write one article for your blog and then optimize that article for your newsletter feed and social media calendar. You will not be penalized for duplicate content since social media platforms are “nofollow links” and your email is not online!
Start by writing a great article based on your keyword research and what you know to be really important to your leads. Try to make this article at least 600 words to convey a solid point of view with supporting information. If you are trying to play the SEO game, aim closer to 2000 words. Use best practices for character count for the blog subject lines, and today the experts seem to agree that 60 is a good number to aim for. For your email newsletters that go out regularly to your database of leads, you can repurpose the blog verbatim, but spruce it up with a branded email template. The subject lines for emails should be max 40 characters (because people like to know right away the reason you are emailing them). And for your social media posts, subject lines are less important because the post itself should be very short, depending on the platform. You should add fun and helpful graphics to convey the meaning of this post. Then, link those posts back to your website – social media is a great tool but always use it to get leads coming back to your site to learn more!
Organize Your Content Calendar
Now it’s time to organize your content! There are many free resources online, including this content calendar from Hubspot, to help organize your content and plan for the future. Calendars are useful because you can plan what articles you need to write and when and they help you see when holidays are coming so you can write relevant articles that pertain to these holidays (or that offer seasonal advice). You can also use tools like Canva to make beautiful social media posts or find templates for your newsletters. And your CMS should usually offer a database of free images to add to your blogs, so do your due diligence to make sure you know what’s out there and that you are making your job as easy as possible.
Email Sequences - Proactively Get Your Content in Front of Your Leads
Let’s dive deeper into email content and sequences because it’s not as easy as just repurposing blog content for email and sending it out willy nilly – you need to have a purpose each and every time you land in a prospect’s inbox.
Taking a step back, you should position yourself to be able to capture as many email addresses of curious leads who are perhaps not ready to purchase a home remodel today, but will be in the future, at every possible stage in their buyers’ journeys. This means adding forms, landing pages, book-a-demo buttons and newsletter sign up links on your website, as well as having a method to get business cards of in-store leads who are browsing but not ready to buy. Collect those emails! Then make a plan on how to lead nurture them!
Yes, I’m going to provide some tips on those plans, too, don’t you worry. Start by selecting a great marketing automation tool that allows you to schedule email sequences, add leads to this platform and, if you can, integrate it with your CRM so you can track deals. ActiveCampaign and Hubspot are two good examples that do all that. Plug your email optimized content into this platform and select the cadence by which you want to lead nurture your prospects. Make sure you have a dashboard to see who is clicking on what, who wants more information and who wants to be removed from your mailing list! You don’t want to work with those leads, anyways!
Social Media - Another Way to Use Your Content Wisely
Similar to newsletters and emails, social media is its own world entirely and is replete with custom tools to aggregate and optimize your posts across all your social media channels. You might still be wondering if you have to use social media, even after you’ve read until this point in our article on content. Remember, not all social media are relevant to you, so it’s important to determine which social media channels are most important to home remodeling leads. Check out Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz for starters. Consider adding some Ad money behind these posts if you see your organic traffic, followers and likes are on the rise.
Social media is a preferred medium of the younger generation, who are fast becoming the renovation generation, so don’t skip it. Share pictures of finished projects and add hashtags of the style, products and names of the cities and town you service.
Guest Blog Posts
Guest posts, like SEO, are usually considered to be for the bigger players to go after, but if you play the game right, you can still get a lot of traction out of guest blog posts. Reach out to home and style online publications that are relevant to you, or to your local newspaper to post one of your articles on their sites. Then select an article that has a lot of value for that outlet’s audience. If you are reaching out to a local paper, for example, you’d probably want to send them an article that pertains to something that’s going on in your community but also something that speaks to your core services. This might include a COVID-19 response and how people who are stuck at home can pass the time and be productive by remodeling their homes, especially if they want to sell in the near future. Be sure to get a backlink so you can play the SEO game as well as your email address so this new audience can contact you!
What Does it All Mean?
If you’re not blogging and using your content to attract and convert all possible leads, then, as you have hopefully learned, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to close more deals. There is no quick fix to blogging; writing can be a huge headache for those with scarce resources and who have the dreaded writers’ block. If you’d like to learn more about our process of creating tailored content for your specific leads, get in touch today at email@example.com or schedule a call here!