It’s undeniable that consumers have changed the way they digest content over the past few years. Rather than picking up a newspaper or turning on a linear television, people spend hours on mobile devices and scrolling on social media apps. According to Statista, people worldwide spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media daily. This significant amount of time gives companies ample opportunity to meet their target demographic where they are. As consumer behaviors shift, it’s essential to implement or adapt marketing strategies to support your business.
Historically, our industry is more traditional, confining ourselves to simple business methods. But with the unprecedented demand and increased access to inspiration, there is an excellent opportunity to catalyze growth and stand out from the competition.
Technology and social media platforms will continue to evolve, allowing us to consistently evaluate and modify marketing strategies to stay in front of our audiences.
When thinking about how to communicate with your target demographic or potential clients, there are various important factors, including team structure, frequency, platform, content, messaging and more. It’s certainly an investment to gain all these resources, but the return on investment can far exceed the cost if executed correctly.
Why take the leap?
It’s important to note that in our industry, we’re not asking clients to buy a pair of socks. These backyard projects are significant investments that require substantial thought and planning. Education on the product and the process is even more critical to gain buy-in here. When clients can understand the road and the whole journey, they can appreciate the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind the project and recognize the value of your work.
Traditional marketing methods, such as direct mail or billboard ad placements, are not to be ignored but are no longer enough to move people where you want them in the funnel.
Social media and performance marketing strategies allow you to paint your brand the way you want it portrayed. You can consistently tell the brand’s authentic story with as many touchpoints as you need to convert your audience into clients. Controlling the narrative allows companies to focus on strategically building the brand versus just trying to get pen to paper.
With increased access to observing people’s projects via social media, clients can see more and learn more before making a decision. Maybe they scroll through Pinterest to get ideas for their dream outdoor kitchen or find a cool how-to video on TikTok of a driveway installation – this content inspires homeowners to take the next step, and when they do, you want your brand to be visible.
Where to start
Once your business has decided to enter the world of performance marketing, the first step is establishing a team you can trust to build a program while staying true to the brand. A few key roles include a strategist, creative and performance marketer.
In the beginning, don’t hesitate to test anything and everything. It’s a space where you can have many touchpoints, so stay within brand parameters but try everything you can. You need to know exactly what will capture your target demographic most effectively, which may take some time.
It’s key to implement an evaluation process from the start to monitor the performance of all content. If you try something and it does not meet expectations or requirements– don’t do it again. If a test indicates that it can scale, lean into that and make the larger investment. If it doesn’t perform well, you can have another touchpoint in 24 hours or less that can eliminate the lasting impact of a negative output.
Digital/Social Advertising has a strong acquisition channel and is cost-effective. You can closely quantify what you put in, measure who you’re trying to speak to at what time and location, develop what creative and copy to launch and quantify the impact of what’s converting. Ultimately, businesses can track consumers through the journey to determine the return on ad spend – if your analytics are set up correctly.
Organically it’s about crowd growth and ensuring your pool is relevant to who you are looking for as a demographic and from a geographic perspective. Building your presence across various social media platforms creates consistency and cohesiveness for your followers.
How to create content
Establishing consistent brand messaging and a solid look and feel is essential before building on the performance marketing program. From there, you must tweak the content created to curate quality content depending on the platform, including YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or other social media.
What type of content performs the best on each platform? That’s the million-dollar question. And the truth is it is constantly evolving.
Currently, raw content is trending. Consumers want to see the behind-the-scenes video clips instead of the pristine project photo with a promo on top. Homeowners want to be informed and inspired.
The overload of content on the internet means you can be in Houston but watching a live project being built in San Diego. Consumers are using this firehose of ideas and inspiration to justify starting their own projects. They will be more willing to select your company if your digital footprint is accessible and impressive.
Overall, rely on your strong brand identity and be nimble when strategizing content. Proactive planning is important, but it’s arguably more valuable to be reactive and adjust your content to the current trends and algorithms.
We will see a continued evolution into what social media platforms such as TikTok have done for the world of content. The hunger for authentic and live content will continue, and the amount of static overproduced assets will continue to fade.
It’s exciting to think about where the outdoor living industry has come from, what we’re doing now and the undeniable potential for our future. If I revisit this conversation in a few months, my perspective could change entirely. That’s why staying on your toes and being agile as you navigate performance marketing in a traditional industry is crucial. Do so, and you will see the return.