Home October 2018 Real Issues. Real Answers. Advertising: what works best?

Real Issues. Real Answers. Advertising: what works best?

Real Issues. Real Answers. Advertising: what works best?

“Email newsletters go a long way to establish (or re-establish) your reputation as an up-to-date supplier. Also it’s important that your website be current.”

“I believe well-done TV advertisements, with a project-based focus, seem to work best for us. Informing customers of the value of visiting the yards and design centers and sitting down with one of our knowledgeable specialists. We tend to get a much better closing rate with these customers who take the time to come in and let us help them through the whole process.”

“Every market is different, just about every lumberyard is different, therefore everyone’s advertising is also going to be different. Everyone has to find what works for them. A good website is a must. Social media, radio, and print advertising all work for us as well. In a business where we are constantly looking for new customers, we try to be anywhere that a prospective customer would look online. When they see our brand everywhere, customers develop confidence that we’re an okay place to do business. We have developed ways of tracking most of the advertising that we do. By tracking what advertising we do, we can see what works and what doesn’t. We then put more dollars into what’s working. “Social media can be used to get a lot of attention at not much cost for the advertising, but there is the cost of the person that does the posts, maintains the different sites, and answers the messages and comments. The questions and comments come seven days a week and all hours of the day and night.”

“When advertising, try to use a coupon that the customer brings filled in. This way you can track which ad is bringing in the business.”

“Over the years, I have found out the most effective advertising is word-of-mouth and happy customers. There are many forms of advertising, but keeping existing customers happy is the best way to spread your business’s name.”

“We spent quite a bit of time and money on our website several years ago, and it has paid off nicely. Photos, content, and researching key words for customer searches were all part of this effort. Once we made this investment, it has continued to pay several years later. We now have someone doing website maintenance and changes as we require them.”

“It has always been difficult to track any return on investment when we’ve implemented different advertising strategies, and with the high cost of radio, newsprint, or TV ads, we are very reluctant to even try any new strategic plans, opting to just react to different offers from the different sources.”

“We have a consistent program with CBS television stations in our markets. I make sure we are placed in the morning show. The evening news hour is another great spot. The TV station films two new spots for us annually. We also have a regular ad program with local newspapers as well as their online presence. We have optimized Google ad words and placement, so that our name comes up first in searches. Make sure your website is mobilefriendly, so customers can click on the number and call. Whatever you do, be consistent.”

“Keep a good website and respond to all inquiries ASAP.”

“In this day and age, there is absolutely no substitute for a powerful, wellcrafted website/web presence.”

“We too use a ‘scattershot’ approach, so not sure I can be much help!”

“Facebook has proven effective for us.”

“Believe it or not, full-page newspaper ads still work very well at moving product for us.”

“Radio is our go-to. For it to be effective, your ad program must be regular and not stop and start. Make a commitment for at least six-months, then go from there.”

Advice from manufactures, wholesale distributors and service providers:

“Print advertising is the most effective, but take advantage of any means you can to keep your name out there and draw customers into your store. Use products from your print advertising in social media for advertising. Social media is just that—social. This gives you the opportunity to build your brand in another form of marketing. Look into all social media avenues, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Houzz.”

“1. Start using Instagram. Follow all of your customers. Always be following more. Set a goal to post one Instagram per week. Increase goal to twice per week after one month, and three times per week after two months. Maintain this level of posting.
2. Set up LinkedIn. Follow everyone applicable. Any post on Instagram or Blog should also post to LinkedIn.
3. Set up the Blog page on your website. Set goal to post two Blog entries per month. Maintain this level of posting. Content can be anything… a new product you just brought on, a sweet door and window installation, a customer profile, etc.
4. Utilize paid campaigns for both Instagram and LinkedIn.”

“Make sure that all advertising works together to build brand and deliver a consistent message.”

“It is all about your ROI (Return on Investment). We used to spend $8,000 for a tradeshow and talk with 100 people for 10 minutes each. That is an average of $80/person. Today, we focus more online and make sure we show up when people are searching for information. It is hard to measure all of this but, there are lots of tools in Google analytics and in your website visits that tell if they are getting a return. For publications and events, we focus on special issues that will get the right audience, who want to know more.”

“Well-promoted, in-house educational and promotional events for industry professionals and DIY consumers. Website and social media to drive and keep traffic.”

“1. Define who you are going to focus your marketing efforts on (pro trade builder, remodeler, consumer, design/ architect, etc.) and make certain that your marketing vehicles deliver the needed awareness to drive the business.
2. Make sure that you are aligning your key vendor partners and utilizing their co-op funds to drive business.
3. Work with your vendors, marketing departments/personnel to confirm that you’re focused on the right tools to drive business in the market segments desired. They typically want to help and will provide needed insight on how to effectively spend marketing dollars.”

“Email newsletters go a long way to establish (or re-establish) your reputation as an up-to-date supplier. Also it’s important that your website be current.”

“Direct mail for pros. Local pubs and radio for consumers.”

Hundreds of readers share their insights for this every-issue feature. Have a Real Issue? Contact me at Rick@LBMJournal.com.

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