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4 Top Tips for a Chicago Home Improvement Marketing Strategy

October 5th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Michele Potts

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Man working on plumbing in a kitchen renovation project

Home renovations are on the rise. Since the pandemic began, 3 out of every 4 homeowners took on a project. And 78% have even more plans brewing for the next year.

For the Chicagoland industry, it’s great news. Business is booming. But it also brings plenty of competition for companies that offer home additions, remodeling, painting, roofing and more.

That means a home improvement marketing strategy is more essential than ever. Zoe Marketing & Communications understands that need firsthand. Our sister company, Chicago Parent, has connected businesses with the local family market for nearly four decades.

Homeowners are hungry for quality work but also want to feel like you get them. Here, we’ll touch on your prospects’ top concerns and the four essential ways to connect with them:

You’ll soon see how this mixture works in tandem to provide your business with top-quality leads. From there, you can decide if your strategy is solid — or needs a bit of renovation.

What’s stirring up concerns for homeowners in Chicagoland?

If you’re unsure of your prospects’ main worries, you’ll have a tough time creating marketing messages that speak to them. So, what’s on their minds?

The Windy City serves the full gamut of seasons, from humid summers to freezing winters. That means homeowners are concerned with the quality and longevity of their projects. It’s true whether they want a new porch in Naperville or a bathroom remodel in Bridgeport.

Your future customers want the reassurance they’re investing in a reputable business. Let them know you’re licensed and insured, so your rates may be higher than other local options. Honesty here sets you apart in a good way.

Offer insights into the benefits of choosing quality over price. It can be a game-changer, especially in affluent areas like the Gold Coast.

4 top ways to build your home improvement marketing strategy in Illinois

Layering tactics increases the strength of your marketing strategy. For home improvement, aim for a mixture of content marketing, reputation monitoring, SEM and social media.

1. Content marketing increases your visibility in the city and suburbs

Blogs and video content are two forms of content marketing that help your services stand out. Whether people see your content while Googling or scrolling their feeds, it creates trust, showcases your expertise and provides value — well before you close a deal.

For instance, take a well-researched article on “how to choose a contractor in Schaumburg.” It might touch on the importance of licensing, questions to ask and red flags to watch out for. Meanwhile, video tutorials could cover selecting materials or a behind-the-scenes peek at a remodel.

Other successful types of content include downloadable “how to” guides or webinars.

Note that content does take dedicated effort, and consistency is key. But it helps build a trove of valuable resources. These can attract, educate and convert customers for years to come.

Home Improvement - Reputation Management2. Reputation monitoring elevates your SEO in Chicagoland

Your online reviews are often your potential customers' first impression of you. If Chicagoans see your feedback on Yelp or Google, what will they think of you? 

This tactic is often called reputation “monitoring” or “management” since it’s impossible to control. But guess what? Five-star reviews aren’t as great as they seem. One study says having fresh/new reviews matters more — as does having a realistic mix of “negative” reviews.

That said, trust is crucial, especially in the home improvement industry. And positive reviews do boost your credibility. So keep these two approaches in mind:

  • Court reviews from recent customers. Reach out to them with a direct, easy link to leave their reviews. Encourage them to be honest about their experience.
  • Respond to any negative reviews promptly and professionally. Don’t ignore them or, worse, try to delete them. Taking ownership and responding shows you’re committed to customer satisfaction. It also shows you’re willing to resolve issues, which is a strong selling point.

Remember, Google also watches your reviews, so they’re part of SEO, or search engine optimization. Being attentive and honest helps your SEO rankings, making you more visible to homeowners from the Loop to La Grange.

Home Imporvement SEM - Chicago3. SEM or search engine marketing is like Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel

SEM ads catch people’s attention as they roam — similar to Chicago’s famed giant Ferris wheel. But even better, these ads target keywords related to your services. So your ads will show up for people specifically Googling for what you offer.

Google Ads is the most common SEM tool. It increases the odds your ads will show up at the top of the results. You can fine-tune your audience by ZIP code, city, region, etc.

Ideally, SEM augments good content marketing. In other words, it’s also essential for your blogs to show up in the organic (i.e., unpaid) results. Still, it’s worth investing in SEM month-to-month to build up your presence and authority. 

Home Improvement - Social Media Before After4. Social media shows Chicagoans precisely what you do 

Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are like digital bulletin boards. They’re an ideal space to spotlight your business’ quality and expertise. In particular, transformational “before-and-after” videos and photos pull people in.

For starters, post regularly to social — at least once or twice weekly. (Select one or two platforms at first to make it manageable.) From there, invest in paid ads and boosted posts. Both increase your chances of being seen vs. relying on the algorithm.

Social media marketing requires writing, designing, scheduling and responding to posts. So expect to invest about 5-10 hours per week. Increase trust by answering questions quickly, addressing compliments or criticisms and offering extra advice or promotions.

Finally, keep your ads engaging by changing them every 30-60 days.

Elevate your home improvement marketing strategy in Chicago

Illinois’ home improvement industry is hot, as is the competition. Carving out your niche requires a robust, locally focused approach. A balance of content, reputation monitoring, SEM and social media can help grow your business, whether you service the neighborhoods or the suburbs.

Feeling overwhelmed? Talk to us. Chicago Parent will harness our local expertise to craft a sound marketing strategy to help you get noticed and get customers.

Focused on managing your own marketing? Get more support by discovering:

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Michele Potts

Michele Potts is sales director for Zoe Marketing & Communications. Constantly evolving during her 20+ years in the field, she values building trust and helping clients in various industries understand the basics of complex digital marketing.