During an initial meeting with a contractor or home improvement retailer, we often hear questions about using Houzz to drive phone calls, store visits and ultimately purchases. Homeowners who are planning to build or remodel already have Houzz ideabooks filled with images of what they’d like to see in their homes. They’re showing you these images with the hopes of having their home turn out like those in the pictures.
The big question home improvement companies have is “how do I get my projects in those ideabooks?” and “how do I get the people on Houzz to call me?”.
If you’re like these companies, you know your target market is already on Houzz. They’re searching for a picture of exactly what they want and they’re looking for contractors and retailers who can help them achieve that look. You want to learn how to use Houzz to attract your target audience. A strong Houzz profile can make you their number one choice when they search through the list of Houzz pros.
The first step to any successful social media platform is completing your profile. Filling out the form is pretty cut and dried, but use these tips to make your profile shine and jump start your Houzz advertising plan. (A big shout out to my friend Susan Webb at Susan Webb Design Resources for allowing me to use her Houzz account as an example!)
Use a picture of you or your team members. Nobody really likes having their picture taken, however a picture of an actual person makes your company more personal than just using your logo. If you do not have a readily available headshot or group photo, use your logo or one of your best room or product pictures for now. As soon as you finish this article, however, call a local business photographer and set up a time for photographs. Many business photographers will come to your location and take some pictures of you and your team in your showroom. If you are taking a team photograph, it’s not necessary for everyone to wear company shirt, unless that’s normal attire. A suit and tie are probably not necessary either. If your team normally wears jeans, just make sure they are wearing their best pair and are prepared for the photos.
Upload one of your best photos in landscape mode to use as your cover photo. How do you choose your “best” photo? Think about the type of work you want to do more of or one of your most successful projects. If you’ve already uploaded some images to Houzz before filling out your profile, choose the image that’s been added to the most ideabooks. The cover photo option includes space for five images. When people search for Pros on Houzz, your first cover photo will show up as the largest and viewers will be able to scroll through the other five photos you’ve chosen. You can choose to show the breadth of work you take on or narrow your focus to a specific type of project.
Make sure you also provide a link back to your website (it’s the best way for prospects to check you out on your own turf). This cannot be emphasized enough. Regardless of the social media platform, the audience you reach is their audience, you are just “borrowing” their attention. By driving traffic to your website, not only do you have an opportunity to impress your audience with more of your amazing work, you can also set Google Adwords and Facebook ads to “retarget” your website visitors. These ads can remind homeowners of your products even after they’ve moved from the Houzz app to search Google or Facebook.
Consider your category carefully. At first glance, the category appears to be a no brainer. Cabinet companies choose cabinetry and interior design firms choose interior design. Before you fly right by the category section, take a minute to think through exactly what types of projects you want to pull from Houzz. While you may take on a lot of different interior design projects, which ones do you enjoy the most or which jobs are the most profitable for your company? If you specialize in kitchens and bathrooms, you might prefer to be listed as a kitchen and bathroom remodeler to show up in those searches by Houzz users.
Add services beyond the ones suggested by Houzz. Based on your category, Houzz offers a limited number of general services most people in your field including your competitors will offer. At the bottom of those categories, you may choose to add other services you offer. Here’s your opportunity to set your company apart from your competitors. Add all the other services you offer using the words your customers are most likely to use when searching for those services.
Specify in which geographic areas you work. Because most home improvement retailers draw from a specified market area and a contractor's’ license is for a specific state, Houzz offers a list of the closest surrounding areas for your service area. If your service area extends beyond their offerings, add in the larger towns or cities you also serve.
Include pricing ranges. Nobody likes to talk about money a minute before they have to. However, by indicating too broad of a range of pricing or no pricing at all you open yourself and potential customers up to frustration. Homeowners don’t want to go through an entire discussion of their project only to find out your services aren’t in their range. Be honest. While it may limit who contacts you, it will increase the quality of those contacts. Also, keep in mind most Houzz users tend toward the upper income ranges, so don’t be afraid to be realistic in what it takes for you to do your best work.
Add projects. It’s tempting to add full projects such as “The House on Mullberry Road” or “The Smith’s Beach House”. While you may want to create some of those folders, also consider more general folders like “kitchen remodels” or “custom home projects”. More than likely, your customers will be searching for those specific words than “Smith’s Beach House”. (Although a “Beach House” folder could be a good idea if you’ve built or remodeled several of those.) Arrange your projects so that your best project folders appear at the top of your profile. Also choose the best image from the folder to use as the featured image. Not every project you have will be a great Houzz feature. You can take some great photos with your cell phone, however consider upgrading your camera to a high quality digital camera if you have the ability to lower the resolution for placement on Houzz. You can also hire a photographer to take some pictures of your best work.
Complete photo uploads
As you upload images into your projects, don’t forget to add some description. Tag the different products in the image using the Houzz green tag. Add the names of the specific products, colors, brands and installing methods used in the project. As people search for those keywords on Houzz, your images will show up. Not sure what words your customers actually use for search? Keep a record of how your customers ask for specific products or services then use those in your description where applicable.
Keep adding photos and projects. Make a point to add new projects or photos to Houzz every week. Keeping a fresh profile increases the possibility of your customers finding you again and again and it reminds them you are active.
There you have it, the beginners lesson in how to use Houzz for marketing. With a very focused target market, Houzz offers home improvement retailers and contractor an ideal way to reach people actively interested in home improvement or building. Creating a strong Houzz marketing strategy starts with a complete profile. Need some help? We’re just a click away.