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Award nomination for St. Louis home builder marketing campaign

hibbs homes home builder marketing st louisWe’re pleased to share that our work has been nominated by the Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri for our work in social and digital media for St. Louis home builder Hibbs Homes. The award recipients will be announced next month at a reception for the HBA.

In celebration of this momentous achievement, we thought it appropriate to share this case study in home builder marketing, with a recap of our strategy and impact for this client.

Maybe it’s the gorgeous construction and design of each custom home, maybe it’s the team at Hibbs Homes – but this client’s work has been a true labor of love by our team. The passion for this work can be evidenced in our recent “We build the house. You make it a home.” campaign, which rolled out earlier this year.

We began working with St Louis custom home builder, Hibbs Homes, in December 0f 2014, and have worked in partnership with their team since that time on:

  • Website creation and launch
  • SEO strategy
  • Social media marketing
  • Content creation
  • Public relations

Our Client’s Business Goals

As one of the most successful builders in St. Louis, our client was seeking to continually build his brand presence, without having to continually personally manage his own marketing. In partnership with Kim’s previous marketing consultant, the very talented Melody Meiners, we began developing a messaging and social media marketing strategy that would keep Hibbs Homes top-of-mind for anyone looking to build a new home in the St. Louis region.

Our Marketing Strategy

Based on our research, we believe that Hibbs Homes is the most active and successful builder over multiple social channels in the St. Louis region, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram, and LinkedIn. In 2015, we were able to generate over a half million impressions (565,100) solely on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, 3,811 website visitors, 285 new email subscribers, and 185 new leads for our client through our social media efforts.

Social media is utilized to help individuals become more educated by sharing the Hibbs Homes team’s expert knowledge. It is also used to promote energy efficiency lifestyle practices by sharing on their blog simple ways to help them leave a smaller carbon footprint. Because of the high-quality content we’ve been able to create in partnership with the Hibbs Homes team, their audience looks to them for what’s next in homebuilding. Additionally, Hibbs Homes has been able to educate them about the importance of high performance home building.  

hibbs homes home builder site banner Our Home Builder Marketing Impact

By posting our projects as they are built, and great visuals of the finished products, we have been able to gain media attention, new customers, and many of new fans. In 2015, we were able to achieve the following impacts to our business through strategic social media marketing:

  • 2,982% increase in website traffic from Facebook
  • 3,450% increase in website traffic from Twitter
  • 247 new email subscribers
  • 180 new client inquiries

Home Builder Social Media Awards

Lastly, by focusing our work on Houzz.com, we have engaged an active community of potential customers and fans nationwide and have achieved their 2015 Houzz Influencer Award and 2015 Design Award. Kim also received the 2016 Best of Design awards in January of this year, based on the portfolios of his design and construction work we’ve featured on Houzz.

Acknowledgements

Our sincerest thanks to Melody Meiners, Kimberly Rupert, and the entire Hibbs Homes team for their partnership throughout, which made this possible. Special acknowledgement to Taylor Bartley, our marketing project manager, for her dedication and hard work for Hibbs Homes.

hire danni eickenhorst to speak at your event, public speaker, marketing speakerABOUT DANNI EICKENHORST

Danni is one of the top social media strategists in the United States, having been nominated for multiple awards for her strategic digital marketing efforts. She recently launched her online course for small business owners, Universal Marketing Theory, and serves as a marketing and business coach for businesses of all sizes. Read more about Danni’s impressive career, including an award from Governor Nixon, successful election outreach, and her coverage of a major national disaster here. Feel free to reach out to Danni with questions or to have her speak at your next event.

st louis marketing blank page marketing consulting

Why You Need to Stop Procrastinating your Marketing Efforts

Every time you think about getting on top of your marketing, you can always find an excuse to put it off for just a little bit longer. You know your business has something great to offer and you’re just hanging around, waiting for the rest of the world to realize it. Procrastination is not a good business model, especially when it means missing out on clients.

Still not sold on stepping up your marketing efforts? Here’s why you need to stop dragging your feet and get in the St Louis marketing game.

You need a website. You just do.

Even if you don’t plan to have a very robust website or offer much online functionality, you still need a website. It’s incredibly important for potential customers to be able to find you online and check you out a bit, even if it’s just to make sure you are legitimate. These days, people won’t so much as buy a latte without checking out the café’s webpage, so you absolutely cannot get away without having a professional looking website. Even having a very simple, straightforward webpage can have a great impact on your overall marketing efforts. Not only will it give you a place to explain the basics of your business and provide contact information, but it will also open up another avenue for potential customers to discover your business.

You are making it easy for your competitors to get clients

If customers can’t find you online, they can’t hire you, so you might as well just push them through your competitors’ doors. Getting a website together is a good start, but proper marketing also means making sure that your site is Search Engine Optimized. If your site isn’t properly optimized, potential customers are not going to be able to find you when they do a search online. Think about it – when you are looking for any new service, what’s the first thing you do? You do an internet search and click on something that shows up on top. You might be the best in the business, but if your competitor’s site is showing up on page 1 of Google search results and your site is buried down on page 11, you are losing potential customers every single day.

If you aren’t on Social Media, you’re missing out on free publicity

Social Media is for so much more than posting photos of your delicious lunch and coffee art. Social Media accounts give you a way to get your content in front of the eyes of your audience. People spend several hours a day scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest – so if you aren’t throwing yourself into that mix, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. All of these platforms are completely free and allow you to keep current and potential customers up to date on what’s happening with your business and well as promote any specials events or deals you might have going on.

Social Media also provides a way for your business to directly connect with your customers. It can be used to provide customer service, keep customers excited about your products and services, and get feedback. Staying active on Social Media won’t cost you a dime, but it will keep you fresh in the minds of your customers and help you reach new ones as well.

You can’t do it all

You can be the best at what you do. You can put in hard work and provide quality products and services, but that doesn’t mean you can truly convey just how great you are to potential customers. There’s nothing wrong with needing help with your marketing plan, you just need to stop procrastinating and make the call. Working with Blank Page on your St Louis marketing efforts will help you get the word out about the amazing work you do and start bringing more clients through your doors. You do what you do best, and we’ll do the same.

Free Restaurant Advertising: Social Media Engagement

Photo of Ed Aller Design by Monica Mileur.

Photo of Ed Aller Design by Monica Mileur.

Restaurants can’t afford to miss out on the value of customer social media engagement. Having a strong social media presence can expand your reach beyond your neighborhood, while keeping your customers in mind when developing your social media strategy will build customer loyalty. Utilizing the following practices across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will increase awareness of your business, generate social media engagement, and attract customers.

Increase Visibility

Use a combination of trending and niche hashtags to increase the visibility of your online content and, ultimately, awareness of your restaurant. For example, if local business Strange Donuts is hosting #strangedonutday to celebrate #nationaldonutday, include both hashtags in your post to increase the visibility of your content like food enthusiast, Chowchief. If your expertise is #craftbeer and your region also uses #stlcraftbeer, always use both hashtags like Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. Pizzeoli incorporates hashtags for the style of pizza they offer in order to increase visibility beyond St. Louis, in addition to event-specific hashtags such as #stlcraftbeerweek to promote a beer and pizza pairing at their restaurant as a part of the week’s festivities.

Hashtags

Increase Social Media Engagement

Social media interactions help to sustain the relationships customers build with your restaurant. Executing a presence creatively can increase the impact of your content and even attract first-time customers.

Start conversations with your content. Using captions that encourage discussion and responding attentively to comments will promote traffic as well as loyalty. Additionally, regramming customer photos helps to promote your restaurant. It’s flattering for the customer and it communicates what that customer enjoys about your restaurant through his or her own unique Riseperspective. Conducting contests can boost event attendance or promote your business. For example, Rise Coffeehouse encouraged customers to post photos of their coffee using #rise2000 for a chance to win a $10 gift certificate.

Show Your Good Side

Behind-the-scenes photos and employee images rank well on social media platforms because they allow customers to get to know a company, which ultimately builds loyalty. Presenting a balanced gallery of product- and people-focused images provides a clearer and more engaging sense of the welcoming energy behind all of the parts and pieces that combine to create your business.While dynamic branded content generates more followers, informal content makes new and existing customers feel more invested.

For example, posting employee bios will allow your customers to get to know the faces that represent your business while menu spotlights will showcase new food and drink items. Captivating images paired with detailed explanations will make the menu more accessible for all levels of familiarity with your restaurant. Both options also serve as a great opportunity to display the atmosphere of your restaurant, depending on how you stage the shot.

Ultimately, social media followers should be able to gain a sense of what a restaurant is like from their social media presence. How a restaurant presents itself on social media should be in sync with the experience customers have when visiting in person.

creve coeur marketing

Creve Coeur Marketing Resources

As a full-service marketing firm, based in Creve Coeur, we wanted to share a list of marketing resources for St. Louis area businesses looking to grow in the West St. Louis suburbs.

Networking Opportunities

For businesses growing in the area, there are 3 really active hyper local groups for B2B, B2C and nonprofit organizations:

Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce: The chamber offers networking opportunities several times a month, including a small monthly B2B networking group, lead sharing coffees, monthly luncheons and yearly events. Blank Page Consulting has been an active member of the CCO Chamber since 2014 and we’ve benefited from both the resources and referrals this group provides. Click here for their event calendar.

Young Professionals Network: This West County-based networking group primarily serves those working in the real estate and home finance industries. They host regular events related to real estate industry advocacy, career growth and peer mentorship. Check out their LinkedIn Group here.

Hyper Local Media

Patch.com: Though less active than they have been in previous years, we still see benefit in sharing news with Patch.com’s Creve Coeur site. The hyper local online paper provides local bloggers and businesses with an opportunity to showcase their stories, job openings, press releases and events for free. Low-cost on-site advertising options are also available. Check out the local Patch.com here.

St. Louis Jewish Light: Since 1947, the St. Louis Jewish Light has provided an award-winning Jewish community newspaper. They offer both print and online formats. They focus on serving the St. Louis Jewish community and has a weekly readership of around 14,000. The paper is based in West St. Louis, but serves the entire region. Learn more and check out advertising options here.

Local Print and Mail Media

Money Mailer: Perhaps you’ve seen their monthly envelopes in your inbox stuffed with coupons and local opportunities? Creve Coeur Chamber member Jane Massey represents Money Mailor, a low cost opportunity tends to work for local shops, retail and restaurants very well. Choose from 37 locations and 12 different sends each year. Coupons are also shown online and in a downloadable app. Contact Jane for pricing and recommendations for your next campaign.

MarketVolt: You may be familiar with the small MarketVolt logo on the bottom of many emails you receive. That is because MarketVolt is a Creve Coeur based company who is taking over email marketing as we know it all over the globe. They aim to help businesses streamline operations, increase revenue and generally prosper, using email marketing and other interactive technologies. Learn more about how MarketVolt can help your business here.

Promotional Products

Two of our local favorite for promotional products are Big Frog and Tessler Promotions. For uber-personal service, Larry Tessler works strictly offline – phone calls and personal visits with samples and extraordinary service. From pens to coasters and even branded flash drives, Tessler Promotions offers the lowest cost promotional printing we’ve found in the area. Call Larry direct at (314) 995-9977.

Big Frog, based off Old Ballas Road, offers quick turnaround printing on promotional t-shirts with no fees, no minimums and completion in as little as 24 hours. Check them out online here or stop in to their shop at 10552 Old Ballas Road 6 days a week.

HOW-TO-GROW-YOUR-EMAIL-MARKETING-LIST INBOUND MARKETING CONSULTANT

Grow your email list at the office or in the field

By: Danni Eickenhorst

Email marketing continues to be one of the strongest marketing channels available to most businesses, and with an estimated return-on-investment (ROI) of 4,300%, if you haven’t yet started to grow your email list, now is the time. Last week, we talked about the benefits to the permission-based approach to email marketing. Here are a few things you can do to build that opt-in list – no matter where you are:

Subscribing customers in your office or store

  • Ask every customer or client if they want to receive your email newsletter.
  • Request customer email addresses with every sale.
  • Use our online email sign-up tool to instantly record customer email addresses at checkout or registration.
  • Put a fish-bowl in your lobby to collect business cards. Offer a monthly prize for those who throw in a card. Don’t want to manually type in all of those addresses? Try Evernote – one of our favorite apps – which lets you snap a picture of those cards and quickly add them into your email list and as a new connection on LinkedIn.
  • Offer discounts, inside scoops and promotions to those who sign up. One St. Louis-based store gave every customer $5 off of their purchase if they followed them on Facebook or signed up for their email list on a tablet at the checkout.

Building your list online

  • We can add a “Join my mailing list” app to your website and Facebook page so people can sign up automatically.
  • As your Facebook fans & Twitter followers to sign up for your list by providing a link on page.
  • Share your latest newsletter on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest to showcase the great content they can subscribe for.
  • Build buzz by teasing upcoming content to get your fans, followers & connections to subscribe.

Subscribing followers in the field

Our email marketing services include tools you can access from anywhere to grow your online list. One tip we recommend to clients and customers that will help you grow your email list is to provide value to prospective clients at sign-up. One example of this would be your company hosting a table at a community event. If your company is doing typical public outreach handing out flyers and giving away schwag (free t-shirts, water bottles, brochures), we recommend that you hold back on your premium items and offer them as a free gift for those who sign up for your email list. This will save you money on your promotional items and it will also create a more urgent need for them to sign up.

We recommend always having a low-tech option for email signups as well, such as a fishbowl on the counter for business cards or a manual sign-up sheet.

Reach out to Blank Page Marketing for help launching your email marketing campaign, from training and design to full managed email services.

Oh, and… if you haven’t signed up for our email list, we’d be honored to be invited to your inbox!

Using Landing Pages for Lead Generation

By Danni Eickenhorst

Landing-Page-ExampleWhen running an inbound advertising campaign utilizing Facebook ads, search PPC campaigns or inbound content, we recommend utilizing landing pages to help increase leads generated from your efforts and to help with data segmentation and analysis during and after the campaign.

A landing page is a one-page promotional page designed to capture consumer data through a form or email request. Visitors arrive at the page after clicking on a call-to-action, which you provide. Generally you’ll see these pages in use for an e-book download or webinar. The pitch on these pages entice you to sign up for free information via email or a free consultation in exchange for a promised product.

We have worked extensively with Leadpages and Hubspot and have seen that utilizing a new landing page for each inbound campaign allows our clients the following benefits:

  1. The ability to test language and design for effectiveness from one page to the next
  2. The opportunity to differentiate their message to various consumer segments
  3. The chance to tailor campaigns based on the source of consumer traffic (social media, PPC, email marketing, referral)
  4. To upsell lower-tier clients to larger service or product packages based on their segment with custom pages

Looking for more marketing tools and tips? Click here to sign up to get inbound marketing lessons delivered direct to your inbox with Social School.

Looking for help with your next campaign? Click here to review our inbound marketing packages.