How Pinterest Can Work like Houzz for Home Builders

How Pinterest Can Work like Houzz for Home Builders

If you’ve read any of our previous blogs for homebuilders, you’ll know that we’re very pro-Houzz. It’s an excellent marketing tool for any homebuilder, because it’s full of qualified leads just waiting for your advice. What we haven’t talked all that much about is Pinterest. Very similar in layout to Houzz, Pinterest attracts many of the same users and followers as Houzz, making it another ideal social media platform for home builders to take advantage of. If your home building company is already engaging regularly on Houzz, it’s a good idea to take some of that great content you’re putting out, and post it to Pinterest as well.

Why Should Homebuilders Market on Pinterest?

Because Pinterest is a captive audience made up of your target buyers. The majority of Pinterest users are women, 77 percent of those users are between 18-54 years old, and 87 percent of women on Pinterest trust it as a reliable source for information. Women between the ages of 18-54 are a homebuilders target market. Most often, it’s the women of the household who are making the final decisions when it comes to building a home or hiring a contractor for a renovation. That’s what make Pinterest such a rich source of potential leads for home builders.

How Homebuilders Can Market on Pinterest

Now that it’s clear why you’d want to use Pinterest—your target buyer lives there—let’s figure out how to use Pinterest. It’s certainly a tricky one, since there’s no real linear timeline or news feed like you’d find on other social media platforms. Instead, Pinterest functions on boards and pins. You can create boards, and pin different articles, images, and blog posts to those boards. You can post to other people’s boards if they’re public, and you can invite people to pin things to your board as well. For you, the homebuilder, it’s best to start small.

Create a Board that Showcases Your Work

Whether you’ve got some stunning before and after photos, or you’ve got some killer images of a staged home you just completed, that’s all great content to put on a Pinterest board. Make sure you follow standard best practices for optimizing your Pinterest pins:

  • Link to your website
  • Include high quality images
  • Provide detailed descriptions
  • Don’t forget NAP
    • Name of your business
    • Address and city name
    • Phone number or a way to contact you

Create a Board That Draws People In

Now that you’ve got your work up there, it’s time to start drawing people in. Create a board that answers a common question that’s relevant to the housing industry, and that you know people will be searching. For example, let’s say there’s a holiday coming up. A board that puts together cool DIY projects to decorate your home for the holidays is going to draw in a ton of people, and get eyes on your company’s Pinterest.

Say you wrote a blog about 10 Classy Holiday Place Settings: pin that to your holiday DIY board, and make sure it links back to your website. This will help grow your company’s awareness, increasing the chances that you get quality leads. In addition, the more people you get coming to this holiday DIY board, the more people you’re going to have checking out your original board—the one with all the awesome photos of your past work. More eyes on that board mean more calls to your sales team about how someone can get a home that looks like the one they saw on Pinterest.

Create an Engaging Board

Finally, while you’re getting your Pinterest account up and running, create a board that engages people. As a home builder, you can set yourself up as an authority, and as a place of inspiration for those considering building a home in the near future. By creating a board that invites people to contribute, you’ll boost the number of pins your board gets, and boost your visibility on Pinterest.

For example, create a board that asks followers to pin a photo of their favorite room in the home. This invites people to get involved in the conversation, and the more people who pin to your board, the more people who are likely to see it. This boosts your authority as a place for information and inspiration, while simultaneously growing your company’s brand awareness, and reminding people that you’re an engaging, interested builder they might turn to when they decide to build their own home.

Pinterest can certainly be a bit daunting at first. It’s a bit of information overload, and it can be hard to tell what’s what when you first start. But, if you stick with it and continue to post rich, relevant content that those Pinterest users want to read, you’ll grow your following and boost your number of incoming leads in no time at all. For more information on boosting your social media marketing strategy, get in touch with the team at Evenbound. We’re here to help home builders boost their lead generation potential, and break into better markets. See how we helped one construction pro increase their average web traffic and streamline sales in the free case study below:

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B2B Manufacturers: How to Get More Social Media Followers, and Why You Need ‘Em

B2B Manufacturers: How to Get More Social Media Followers, and Why You Need ‘Em

If you’re not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn these days, it’s almost like you don’t exist. Nowadays, social media is just as crucial for B2B companies, including industrial manufacturers, as it is for B2C companies. Sure, social media marketing seems more intuitive for B2Cs, but the truth is that nearly everyone is using social media, which means that your customers, and the decision-makers at those companies, are using social media.

And just having a profile for your business isn’t going to cut it. If a page exists on the internet and no one reads it, does your company get more leads? No, it doesn’t. That’s why you need to invest in your social media presence and attract followers on the platforms you use. Your social media presence will create the network where you can share and promote your company and your digital content, attracting and converting leads.

LinkedIn: A Great Place to Start

If you read our blog regularly, you know how we feel about LinkedIn. For B2B manufacturers, it’s the social media platform you should be using to reach your potential clients, for a variety of reasons; most importantly, it’s where your target audience is networking and researching suppliers. Getting more followers on your company LinkedIn page requires that you regularly post relevant, insightful content specific to your industry and your potential customers’ pain points. You can even target each of your different types of client with specially tailored showcase pages (read more about how showcase pages work for B2B marketing here).

On your personal LinkedIn account, you can search for specific people in specific positions at the companies you’re looking to make clients out of, and then connect with those people. Joining discussion groups relevant to your industry and sharing your knowledge and expertise is also a great way to establish your credibility and gain new followers. For more on LinkedIn, read our 6 Easy Ways to Make LinkedIn Work For Your B2B Marketing Strategy.

Social Media Campaigns

Another critical aspect of gaining, retaining, and making leads out of your social media followers is by executing targeted social media campaigns. Just like other advertising campaigns, strategy is necessary to make your efforts successful. Well-planned social media campaigns will help you accomplish goals such as increasing brand awareness and promoting your digital content. To do this, you’ll need to determine the exact type of client you want to attract, and target them specifically with content matching their place in the buyer’s journey and their needs and pain points, through indirect (social sharing) and direct (PPC ad promotion) means.

Don’t fall behind the competition by neglecting your social media presence, either by failing to have one at all or by not investing time into engaging with your followers and working to attract new ones. If you’d like to learn more about social media marketing for B2Bs, or digital marketing in general, you should talk with the team at Evenbound.

Be sure to check out our other posts on how to make social media work for your B2B, such as this one on LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing, as well as the free case study below, that shows how paid search and social worked wonders for one B2B:

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How to Address Negative Reviews Online

How to Address Negative Reviews Online

Testimonials have always been an important source of advertising for home service providers, and most professionals in this field cite referrals and word-of-mouth as major sources of new leads. In the digital era, testimonials haven’t disappeared—they’ve moved online, in the form of online reviews. If you’ve ever looked up a new restaurant on Google, you know how influential reviews can be in deciding whether to eat there and just how catastrophic for business a negative review can be. If you get a negative review of your service online, how can you recover?

Determine Authenticity

The first step is determining the authenticity of the review. There are people out there who will post false, negative reviews, and most places where users can leave reviews, Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc., have means for reporting and removing reviews that are not legitimate. If you can’t get the reviews removed—which is often the case, as it is difficult to impossible to prove, with anonymous usernames and all that, if the reviewers were actually clients or had any experience with your company at all—there are other ways to respond.

Respond Professionally

One way is by posting on your social media about the fake reviews; it’s an experience that others can relate to and can ever be a source of humor, especially if the spammers have awful fake names. Another is by responding to the negative review—in a comment on that review, if possible—politely asking for the reviewer to contact you to clarify and rectify their experience. If the review is fake, the person will never get in touch, but other people reading the reviews will see that you take customer service complaints seriously and will follow up with them.

If the review is real, the first step is seeking to rectify the situation. Respond to the review publicly, as described in the last paragraph, and get in touch with the client directly to ask them how you can make good on the situation. In some cases, if you fix the problem, offer a discount on future services, or offer an apology for the error or poor customer service that compelled them to write the review, the client may choose to delete or amend the review.

What If There’s Nothing I Can Do?

If there’s nothing you can or will do to satisfy this negative reviewer for whatever reason, whether because they can’t be satisfied or the issue was monumental, you’re not doomed to sit in one-star purgatory forever. The thing about reviews is that the more you have, the less each individual one counts in the average, just like with grades in school. If you get a C on the test and it’s the only grade in the class, you’ve got a C in the class; but if you got a C on the test but all your other grades were As, you might make out with an A or B in the class. Same applies to reviews. So, solicit positive reviews from other clients, ones you know are satisfied with your service.

Bad reviews suck, and they can have a negative effect on potential customers, especially now that so many people are researching home service pros online, but they aren’t the end-all, be-all. If you get a negative review, determine its authenticity and respond accordingly by addressing the review itself and bolstering your rating with good reviews.

Online reviews are just one part of a strong online presence and digital strategy for home service providers. If you’re ready to improve your digital presence and marketing efforts, it’s time to talk with Evenbound.

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Topic Clusters: The Future of Content Marketing

Topic Clusters: The Future of Content Marketing

In case you haven’t noticed, the machines are getting smarter. And while we’re not at Terminator levels of intelligence yet, some of the tools we use to search and market every day have begun to understand search context and speech semantics.  As Google’s search capability improves, search engine users are able to submit queries that are more natural. The average user these days feels totally comfortable asking Google a complete, complex question, because the search engine can now parce semantics, and is able to provide results that answer those questions directly. What does that mean for inbound marketers?

Basically, it means that our content can be more intuitive. As Google continues to make user-focused improvements to their algorithm, their search bots are favoring content that’s written for people over content that’s written to rank well. That means that keyword-stuffed content is definitely out, and it also means repetitive, keyword focused content isn’t going to be as valuable as content that’s genuinely helpful. Search algorithms have reached a point where they can understand what keyword your content is centered around, even if you don’t use that specific keyword anywhere in your blog. This is where topic clusters come in.

What’s a Topic Cluster, and How Can it Help Inbound Marketers?

Topic clusters are a new method of content marketing designed to capitalize on newer consumer search habits. Created and announced by Hubspot—a leading inbound marketing authority—topic clusters work to boost your website’s ranking power, and help your site users reach your content more easily. Topic clusters take note of new search algorithm behaviors, and propose a more effective way of tailoring your content marketing strategy for higher SERP rankings and better readability for search engines and human users.

If your company has a blog, implementing topic clusters can help you improve the authority of your website, as you simultaneously improve the user experience of your blog for your clients. Essentially, topic clusters are dedicated clusters of information that all relate to one central “pillar page.” Let’s use the Evenbound website as an example. We’ve been optimizing our blog to take advantage of topic clusters lately, and at this point, have our blog centered around 7 major topics, or pillar pages:

  • Inbound marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Lead generation
  • PPC and Paid Advertising
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Website Design

If you’re familiar with Evenbound, you’ll know that each of these topics is a service that we provide for our clients. Each one of these topics also has a dedicated top-level page on our website, that answers all of the basic questions a consumer might have about the topic. For us, each of these pages is a separate pillar page, forming the central point for each content cluster. The rest of our blog posts are linked to the pillar page they’re the most relevant to.

For example:

Inbound marketing is the pillar page. Cluster content would be any blog that’s related to inbound marketing, but gives our audience more in-depth information about a specific aspect of content marketing. Some cluster content for inbound marketing would include:

  • Content Creation Tools
  • How to Write a Content Calendar
  • An In-Depth Guide to Inbound Marketing
  • Why Blogging is Important
  • How to Shift Your Sales Team from Outbound to Inbound

Each one of these blogs then links back to our pillar page: Inbound Marketing

This method of organizing our content strategy helps search engines catalog our site. Since each cluster topic links back to the pillar page, we boost the authority of that pillar page. This organization strategy also helps search engines better categorize our site. Since each blog that’s related to content marketing links back to the content marketing pillar page, search engine bots can more easily crawl each of those pages, understanding that each blog that links to that pillar page will offer more, in-depth content about the topic of content marketing.

Implementing Topic Clusters

The point of topic clusters is to help you rank highly for keywords you have the most authority on. Before topic clusters, you may have chosen a keyword, and then written a number of blogs about that same keyword. While this used to work well in the past, with today’s algorithm, you’ll just end up with a bunch of blogs that are competing with each other for the same keyword. This makes it confusing for search engine bots to decide which of your pages deserves the higher rank, and it doesn’t do much to collectively boost the power of your website. With topic clusters, you can essentially pool all of the authority gained from each of your blog posts and content-rich site pages, for a higher rank overall. But, how do you do it?

Start with Pillar Pages

The best place to start building your content clusters is your pillar pages. These are going to be pages that provide a lot of information, but have a very general keyword. Don’t pick a page with a long-tail keyword here, go for something more generic that speaks to your target audience.

For example, one of our pillar pages is Inbound Marketing. The page provides a ton of content, and answers basic questions that anyone would want to know about inbound marketing, like what it is, how it works, and who uses it. If you’re not sure what a pillar page would look like on your website, think about the services you provide. Do you have a page for each of those services, explaining what it is, and how it works? If you’re a home services contractor, you might have separate services pages for roofing, decks, and kitchen renovations. Each of those pages would make a great pillar page to center the rest of your topic clusters around.

Brainstorm Cluster Topics

Cluster topics should be related to your pillar page, but should each be focused on a different, more specific topic. If you chose roofing for a pillar page, potential cluster topics might be: “how to fix a leaky roof,” “when it’s time to replace your roof,” or “10 ways to choose the right roof for your home”. These topics are all about roofing residential homes, but they offer your site viewers more information that’s relevant to their everyday questions about roofing.

Write, and Link

Once you’ve got some solid topics for your topic clusters, it’s time to write and post that content to your website. Don’t forget to link to your pillar page! The most important part of topic clusters is proper linking, because that’s what tells search engines that a blog is related to your pillar content, and helps ensure that the authority each blog gains is passed onto your pillar page. This is the best way to build your site’s authority, and make sure you’re ranking as highly as possible for the keywords that are most important to your company.

Pro Tip: Choose the same anchor text to link to your pillar page in every topic cluster post. For example, when we write subtopics for our Content Marketing pillar page, we always link to that page with the words “Content Marketing.” This helps your readers, and search engine bots, identify where the link will take them, and it can boost your ranking for those keywords.

Reorganizing an Existing Blog

What if you already have a blog, but you want to take advantage of this new, totally helpful, very powerful way of content marketing? Do you need to delete all of your content and start over?

Thankfully, no. But you will have to put a little time and effort into restructuring your content so that it all links together in a logical way. The more straightforward your internal links, the easier it will be for search engine bots to crawl and categorize your site.

Start With One Pillar Page

Decide what just one of your pillar pages will be. Then go through your blog’s existing content, and be sure to link any blogs that are relevant to that pillar page. If you have multiple blogs on the same topic, consider combining them together for one longer, more helpful blog that’s easy to find and offers a wealth of information to your readers. When you’ve made it all the way through your blog by combining similar posts, deleting duplicate information, and linking relevant content to your pillar page, then you can start on another pillar page!

Once you get the hang of it, topic clusters are actually surprisingly easy, and they can do a lot to help you boost your blog and website’s overall ranking power. It’s a new method of content marketing that capitalizes on current consumer search trends, and new search engine categorizing technology. By implementing topic clusters, you’ll be providing your site viewers with an easy-to-navigate content strategy that simultaneously boosts the search engine ranking of each of your pillar pages.

If topic clusters still seem a little intimidating, check out the helpful diagrams provided by Hubspot for a visual explanation of topic clusters, or get in touch with us! Inbound marketing is kind of our thing, so we’re always happy to help if you’ve got questions about your blogging or topic cluster linking strategy. If you’re looking for help with your inbound marketing strategy, see how we helped this company rise to the top with our unique strategy:

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HA’s Inbound Marketing Vocab List

HA’s Inbound Marketing Vocab List

Whether you’re new to inbound marketing or have been in the game awhile, it never hurts to bulk up on your inbound knowledge. The inbound marketing industry has a ton of terms and vocab words that aren’t used anywhere else, so if you’ve always wondered what ROI or PPC stand for, we’ve got answers. Let this be your ultimate Inbound Marketing Vocabulary list, with simple definitions to some of the most common inbound marketing terms:

A/B Testing

A method of testing different variables of your marketing materials to see which option encourages a better response from site viewers and users. A great example of A/B testing is trying out different colors on your call-to-action button to see which color gets a better response rate.

Analytics

When it comes to inbound marketing, analytics are the numbers we monitor to see how our site and inbound marketing strategy is working. Site analytics tell you how many people have visited your website, where those visitors are coming from, and what pages they’re looking at. Analytics on social media posts and digital advertisements tell you how many people have interacted with your posts and ads. We monitor analytics to see which inbound marketing efforts are successful, and which could use a little bit more work.

B2B

B2B stands for the words “business to business.” This refers to a business that provides a good or service for another business, rather than for the average consumer. Manufacturers who create materials that other companies use to build a bigger object, like a car, are a good example of B2Bs.

B2C

B2C stands for the words “business to consumer.” This is the type of business that provides goods or services directly to consumers, like a clothing or grocery store.

Bounce Rate

A bounce rate is a type of analytic that measures how long a site visitor stays on your webpage. A short bounce rate means that people aren’t staying on your website for very long, and are “bouncing off.” We use this analytic to tell us which pages of our website could use a little bit more work to draw more viewers in for longer.

Call-to-Action

Also known as a CTA, a call to action is a button that encourages a site visitor to take an action, and become a lead. Usually a CTA comes along with a form that captures a visitor’s contact information. The CTA will encourage visitors to download a content offer, subscribe to a newsletter, or call a company for more information.

Click-Through Rate

A click-through rate or CTR is the analytic used to measure how often people click through to your website or landing page from an ad or search engine. A higher click-through number means more people are making it to your site from your ad, and marks a more successful ad or landing page.

Conversion

In inbound marketing, a conversion happens when someone who’s just casually visiting your site fills out an information form, clicks a call to action, and becomes a lead. They become a lead once you have their information, and the fact that they were willing to convert means they’re likely more interested in the product or service you have to offer.

Content Calendar

A content calendar is a calendar that outlines your blog topics or content ideas for a certain period of time. Typically, a content calendar will include a post title, a description, a keyword, and a date that the content should be posted.

Content Clusters

A newer term, content clusters are a way of organizing your content marketing strategy for optimal linking and client understanding. You start with a pillar page of content, which provides a general overview of one topic that’s important to your target buyer. Then, you link other, more in-depth content pages about that same topic to the pillar page. That way, visitors can choose what they want to know more about, or they can opt for a simple overview. It’s an easy way to organize content that makes sense for search engines and human readers.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the key ways to support a strong inbound marketing plan. It’s a way of putting helpful content out on your blog, your social media platforms, and in your emails that solves pain points of your target audience, and draws them further into your website, increasing the chances that they convert to leads.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is any kind of content, whether it’s a photo, blog, or infographic, that’s always relevant to your key buyer. This is content that doesn’t have a season and is always true and helpful. Evergreen content is a big part of an effective content marketing strategy because you can use it any time. It’s highly shareable, easy to link to, and the perfect content for when you need to get something out in a pinch.

Keyword

Keywords are probably the most well-known inbound marketing vocab term, but they’re simply words you want to rank well for on search engines. For example, if you’re a local roofer, keywords like asphalt roof, GAF shingles, and roofers in MyTown, USA, would be relevant words you’d want to rank for. For an effective keyword strategy, you’ll want to do some research to make sure you’re ranking for words your target audience is searching for.

Landing Page

A landing page is the page site visitors “land’ on when they click through from a search engine or advertisement. Effective landing pages usually have a form and a call-to-action button so that they can easily convert site viewers to leads.

Lead

A lead is a site viewer that has converted by submitting their contact information. Typically, leads are established after they sign up for a newsletter or download a gated content offer, and have to submit their email address in return for the content.

Mobile Optimization

Mobile optimization refers to the practice of ensuring your website and digital content show up attractively on mobile devices. It also refers to making your mobile site more indexable by Google’s search engines. Since more and more consumers are using mobile devices to search the web, mobile optimization is increasingly important.

Organic search result

An organic search result is one that shows up naturally on search engine results pages based on Google’s algorithm ranking. Organic results are not paid for, and organic results that show up on the first page of results are the most desirable, as they’re the most likely to receive clicks.

PPC

PPC stands for “pay-per-click,” a style of Google advertising in which businesses create ads, but only pay for the advertisement if someone clicks on it. For pay-per-click ads, you can bid on certain keywords that are relevant to your products or services.

ROI

ROI stands for “return on investment.” A relatively simple ratio, your return on investment is the money you net, minus the money you spend on your inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing offers a notoriously high ROI when implemented properly, because it doesn’t cost much, but can be leveraged to boost your revenue exponentially.

Target buyer/audience

Your target buyer or target audience is essentially your ideal client. They’re the person who definitely needs your product or service, and has the funds to pay for it. Most inbound marketing strategies are formed around the pain points and lifestyle of each business’s target buyer or audience.

We hope this vocab list helps figure out some of the more difficult industry terms. If you’ve got any more questions about inbound marketing, whether you want to know how it works, or how it can work for you, be sure to get in touch.

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