You probably know already that promoting your log homes business using your website is your best marketing bang for your buck. In fact, according to several surveys, cost per lead (CPW) using on-line marketing tactics averages at least 60% less than conventional marketing (outbound) does. That’s because your website is your 24/7, never sleeps, never calls out sick or takes a vacation, sales person who is always pointing visitors toward your log homes company.
Sound enticing? Here are the three steps to get started:
1) Establish Goals
The first step of any good marketing program is to set goals. There’s no need to having a website if you don’t expect it to produce ROI.
Start setting goals by looking at your numbers. Do you want to attract X number of new leads by the end of the year? Or do you like to express growth by dollars? You need to know where you want to go. And when you find out, find ways to get there.
Goal-setting normally involves looking at four key factors:
- Setting the goals themselves.
- Making plans to achieve those goals. What are your current plans? Are your current plans working?
- What are your challenges? Are you limited by budget? What are your competitors doing?
- What is your timeline? Obviously, if you’re in September, and you’ve set a goal for 10% growth for the year, you’re not going to achieve it this year.
Even if your business has been flat, it’s never too late to start marketing a log home business using your website. Why is that? On-line marketing tactics are continually evolving, so if you think you’ve missed the boat, there’s always another boat about to come along. A major ingredient to this process simply is staying with marketing trends – adopt what’s working; ditch what’s not.
2) Perform a Website Redo
Establishing your online marketing goals first will take the pain out of thinking you need to invest in a website. You should not spend one penny on any marketing budget item without having a good idea of expected return. (You would never get on a plane without knowing the destination.)
Everything that goes into your website redo should be driven by your online marketing goals. As you’re going through the pre-proposal phase of your redesign, keep the following question in your head: “What is (this or that) going to do to help achieve my goals?”
You know how customers price out a log homes package and think that's the cost of the home? They forget to figure in the cost of a foundation and site work. A website is the foundation and site work. The actual structure is the marketing built upon your website.
Your website itself, won’t intentionally generate any leads. Your website is the foundation for the online marketing you’re going to do.
Since you’re laying a platform for online marketing, let’s look at the five key items:
- A design that fits your branding.
- A responsive design layout. This is so your new website will look great on all screen sizes, including smartphones. Ideally, look for a Twitter Bootstrap, 12 column fluid grid system.
- Great navigation. Every page on your website should easily be accessible.
- Keyword optimized pages with good, but not over-blown linking structure. This is the SEO of today. Ask the web agency what software they’re using to do their keyword research. (Good software is expensive).
- Social linking. These link your website to your social media channels, like Facebook.
Only five key items? I could have added a lot more details, but remember, it’s a foundation.
3) Integrate Inbound Marketing
Here’s where you get catapulted into the space age of marketing a log homes business using your website as the foundation of it all.
What the heck is inbound marketing? Check out our slide deck.
Basically, inbound marketing is a content delivery system that delivers the content your customers are looking for at the time they’re looking for it.
While you're trying to sell log kits or custom log homes, at the same time, your potential customers are searching the Internet looking to buy what you're offering. What if, when they searched, they found you (and not one of your competitors)? How does that sound?
Inbound has specific components in its methodology:
- Goal-setting and target marketing (#1 above).
- Strategic planning.
- Fresh content designed to educate and attract leads (blogging, social media, etc.).
- Landing pages.
- Content offers.
- Email marketing.
- Marketing automation.
- Integrating sales with marketing (Smarketing).
Does all this sound overwhelming? You could download our e-book, skim it, then give us a call. We’ll spend plenty of time with you to answer all your questions.
Here’s really the deal: The log homes industry is new to inbound. Your competition is not even aware of the term, "inbound." So, it’s like: "The early bird gets the worm." Whoever adopts inbound now will capture the most business and get a jump on their competition.
Key take-a-ways from this article:
- Focus first on goals, then on deliverables.
- Your #1 goal should be to grow your business.
- Inbound marketing will grow a log homes business faster and with more positive ROI than any other method.
Get a fuller understanding of inbound marketing and get an edge on your competition! Download our free ebook below.