Monthly Archives: April 2013

Selling Backyard Water Features: Two Different Approaches

If you’ve been in the outdoor living area industry for any length of time, you’ve certainly seen some difference in the way homeowners go about their purchases.  Just 10 years ago, when home equity loans were popular, customers were willing to part with their money a little easier.  Today it seems customers are seeking value in their outdoor projects.    What’s the best way to sell to today’s consumers?

selling water features

There are two different philosophies to approach the in home sale when it comes to outdoor living area projects.  Top down versus bottom up selling.  By top down I mean you give the customer a price for the whole enchilada,  the backyard waterfall, lighting, seating area, fire pit and work down to get into their budget.  The bottom up is starting at a very basic project, and working up from there.

With a top down selling approach you’re basically giving the customer a complete, fully loaded offering of everything you can provide, similar to them walking on to a car lot and looking at the top of the line, completely loaded luxury car,  and deciding which options aren’t really needed.  It’s almost like shocking them with the price so they feel comfortable when the bid comes in lower.  While a popular strategy 10 years ago, it’s been less effective with clients in today’s market.

The bottom up approach starts with a bare bone, minimal feature, essentially your base model.  This helps the customer feel comfortable with the price, but who wants a stripped down version of anything?  This is where your needs analysis and your role as an adviser come into play.  How will they be using the area?  Is the water feature merely for decoration, or will they be gathering there?   A fire pit and a sitting area might fit their needs.

Using the bottom up approach, you’ll be providing your customers the value they’re seeking in their outdoor living area, while leaving yourself room for future work.  Maybe the backyard kitchen isn’t in the budget this year, but if you position yourself right and keep in front of them with email newsletters and other touch marketing, there could be another job down the road when they look for further enhancements.

So what approach is working best for your company in this economic climate?  Please share your thoughts and ideas.

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How Visual Media Can Help Your Swimming Pool Waterfall Business

By Jonathan Allard

If you haven’t noticed within the last couple years or so, that social media and video marketing have become a key player in the success of a business both big and small, then you’re missing out. These are great ways to interact with consumers and clients who have an interest in your company.  It is a great way to bring all types of information to a single platform using images or videos. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and more importantly videos are consisted of thousands of images, just think of the impact visual media has. There are many ways to incorporate visuals into your current marketing strategy by using social media sites such as; YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, among others. These sites are a great way to post and share updates of current projects, reflect on other projects you may have done, and communicate with the community. This is very important because with technology becoming so fierce, we rely on instant gratification and the fact that knowledge is power. Visual media is more important now than ever before.

Wikipedia refers to the concept of “visual marketing as harnessing the power of images and visuals (which) makes a marketing plan more powerful and more memorable. Images — when done deftly – can turn concepts and intangible things into something concrete. That helps people envision a brand and its message in their mind’s eye — and remember it when it comes time to buy”.

It is under the assumption that visual media is more for large corporate business’. This could not be further from the truth. You too should incorporate this concept and reap the rewards. With the swimming pool waterfall business being such a visual niche, it is important to have these images and videos that are best going to portray what you do, and that is art. Most people will not understand the intricacies behind a swimming pool or waterfall by just reading about it through an article on your website or newspaper. Having clean, detailed images of projects on your website, and a YouTube channel with videos of product information and some “how to’s” are going to leave a much bigger impression on the consumer than one with no visuals.

Social Media Examiner has a great article called “26 Ways to Use Visuals in Your Social Media Marketing”. This article helps in getting started or maintaining momentum in sharing more visual content and in creating a visual conversation with your audience. They do so by going through the ways not only to post images, but how to enhance them for a much larger impact.

References:

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/26-tips-visual-social-media-marketing-strategy/

http://blog.theberrycompany.com/blog/digital-marketing-2/the-power-of-visual-marketing-for-small-business

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_marketing

Demonstration Days: Gaining Exposure For Your Water Feature Business

backyard waterfall demonstrationOne of the most successful methods Neptune Panels installers have had in generating new business is by hosting a demonstration day.  Any contractor that does hardscapes, swimming pools, water features and outdoor living areas can benefit from this type of promotion.  Water feature contractors have generated significant business from a demonstration day.

Plan:

1.    Select a date 4-6 weeks out in advance.

2.    Find a suitable location that can accommodate a good number of people and has some traffic.  Car dealerships and retail shopping centers lend well to a promotion, and you’ll gain exposure beyond the demonstration. Once the area is prepped, a typical water feature can be completed in 4-5 hours.  Offer to cover the cost of labor if they’ll pay for only the materials in exchange to do the promotion.  They can also help in cross promoting through their local advertising.

Promote:

1.    Let your customers know what you’re doing.  Send them a flyer in the statement for the month letting them know.  Send out a couple of email invitations.  If you have a monthly newsletter, promote it there.  Post it on your Facebook page. Send invitations to the local chamber group and other builders associations or organizations you belong to.  Invite architects and other contractors.  This is a networking event getting you some exposure for the creative work you do.

2.    Send out a press release, contact your local paper and invite them to the event.  Post in your blog and on your website.  Maybe even contact your local TV station.  At certain times of the year they might want to highlight home improvement stories.

Execute:

1.    The day before the event have the area prepped and ready to go.  Be sure all of the supplies are ordered and in place and your team is set.

2.    The day of the event have a 10×10 tent set up.  Have a table with brochures, business cards, and a sign in sheet for attendees.  Refreshments like water and soda, coffee and doughnuts, and maybe even bring in pizza or sandwiches for lunch.  Plan to start around 10AM and finish around 3PM.

3.    Take pictures and video for the work as it’s going along.  This will be a great piece to use on your website and blog, and for promotional purposes.

4.    Have a great demonstration!  Invite questions and participation as the project progresses.

Follow-Through:

1.    Now that you’ve had a successful demonstration, it’s time to build off of it.  Get the picture and video posted to your website and Facebook page.

2.    Get an email out to everyone on the sign-in sheet.  Let your customers know the location of the completed project so they see firsthand what you can do.

3.    Follow up with the contractors and architects and find out where you can quote some projects.

Gaining exposure for your services of building resort style backyard water features by hosting a demonstration day can generate opportunities well beyond the featured installation.  While it takes some planning and promotion, the rewards can pay off for years to come.

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5 Important Strategies When Building A Backyard Water Feature

 Strategies When Building A Backyard Water Feature

When you build a backyard water feature, using your imagination and creativeness can result in some of the most breath taking features. Along with these attributes you also need to keep in mind some of the basics to keep your project working correctly and efficiently. Here are a few things to always keep in the back of your mind as you are building.

1.            Controlling the water

Water will always find the path of least resistance when traveling down your falls. Keep the sides higher will keep the water from spilling off areas that are not intended. The pitch should always carry the water towards the pond and depending on the angle it can slow or speed up the flow. Be sure that your reservoir is higher in the back and sealed up tight. You don’t want water leaking of the backside of the waterfall. Creating ridges and crests can help divert water into the designated areas or simply break the flow up.

2.            The drop

Depending on the desired effect will determine the face and angle of the cantilever. Some features are designed to flow down the face and then drop into the pond while others are meant to sheet or “spill” from above. By having a predetermined goal before construction will allow you to set your panels in the correct position and make for less adjusting later on.

3.            Leveling the Pond

When pouring the pond make sure you keep a levelness to the outside stones. You can still create different size rocks just ensure they all “flow” in the same manner. If the pond is poured at an angle and because water is always level, your unevenness will be highlighted.

4.            Pond Size

The size and depth of the pond can plays a big role in safety and efficiency. For one, if you are not adding decorative stone to the bottom to build up the actual depth make sure there will not be an issue with children or pets falling in. The size of your pond will be determined by the height and flow of water of your waterfall. Make sure that it is not to close otherwise you may get splashing of the pond rocks which can make the feature less enjoyable to those around it.

5.            The Shape of your Waterfall

The outline of your backyard waterfall should always have a natural look to it. With many different styles of stones and boulders to replicate it is easy to lose track of the final shape. You may have a feature full of the greatest textures and coloring but if it does not appear feasible in nature then most times it will not look right. Always step back as you are building to get a whole view of the project. Look at it from different angles to make sure they all coincide and look pleasing.

No two backyard waterfalls look the exact same and building styles are unique from person to person. Letting your creative side take over can ensure that your water feature will be an expression of your skill and artistic ability, just remember to fall back to the basics to keep on the right track to a successful project.

 

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Neptune Panels: Swimming Pool Contractors Guide to Loyal Customers

By Jonathan Allard

Picture compliments of swimkids.com

We know that in today’s swimming pool market, customer loyalty can determine whether your business fails or succeeds. It will not matter how great your advertising and marketing is, if you do not have excellent customer service, you will lose contacts. They want their questions answered within hours, not days, and they want to feel secure when they purchase your product or service. You’re running a swimming pool waterfall business; this means returning customer emails in a prompt manner and answering all questions from customers. Great businesspeople know that the number one reason for a strong business is a strong customer base. Building this base takes time, patience and skill, but in the end it pays off because your customers will continue to return to your website and promote your business through referrals. This brings us to our first way to keeping customers loyal.

swimming pool waterfalls, waterfalls, swimming pools, pools, how to get loyal customers, how to make customers happy, how to keep customers

A Website that is Easy to Navigate

A great website design will gain customers trust and friendship from the start. You want your first impression to your customers, before they even decide to make a purchase, to show that you have a clean and well organized website that is easy to navigate through. Your website should be professionally designed and be clear and tidy, which means keeping advertisements and other obnoxious banners to a minimum.  Having links to a Facebook and Twitter page on your website will allow your customers to keep in contact through these popular social media platforms, further increasing their trust in your business and website.  A good website will also feature informative articles that teach your customers about the products and services they are going to get are beyond professional. Consider adding a blog onto your website so your customers can gain more understanding about who runs the website and what your purpose is.

Train Your Employees on Customer Service

If there is only one thing you are going to do well, then it better be customer service. While the dynamics of installing swimming pools and waterfalls are constantly changing, one thing that will never change is that having quality customer service is the best way to gain your customer’s trust and loyalty. But what exactly does it mean to have “excellent customer service”? By following the tips below you can be sure your customers will trust your website, and in turn be more likely to promote your products on a repeated basis.

  • Fast response time – By responding to emails and other queries in a fast and efficient manner, you build trust with your customers because they know you are interested in their concerns and questions.  If you’re a larger swimming pool company, it’s also a good idea to display a phone number in a prominent location on your website where customers can contact you directly via telephone if they have questions or comments. Even having a live chat feature on your website is a great way to communicate with your customers if they have issues or concerns.
  • Generally, but not always, the customer gives the company their contact information, which enables the business to send out newsletters and product info to continue communication with them.
  • Also a great way to stay on your customers minds is send out holiday cards, email blasts, even making personal phone calls. This will encourage repeat business and give your customers a positive perception of you.

waterfalls, swimming pool waterfalls, pond, koi pond, swimming pool, how to keep customers loyal, how to keep customers happy

Offer Unique products and Services

The next step that needs to be followed when attempting to achieve great customer loyalty is to always offer high quality products/services. These products/services should meet the customers’ needs and expectations.  In your case you are offering a swimming pool or water feature, so you must ensure the customer receives all that they purchased, including correct pool-type, a design that they agreed upon, and a finished product that is sure to impress. If you’re selling physical products then it’s imperative that the products be free of defects, including scratches, dents or other physical deformities.  If while during installation damage occurs, which is inevitable, then as the owner you must take immediate action and either offer the customer a refund or fix the issue in a quick and timely manner.

Do Not Be Afraid to Ask for Feedback

This will help you hone your sales techniques and advertising tactics, and in exchange for their participation, you can offer a referral program or percentage discount for a future visit to your business.

Gaining customer loyalty boils down to a variety of factors, including hosting a great website, offering fast and efficient customer service, and selling great premium products.  When these three steps are combined together, you will have customers that are loyal, meaning they will return to purchase more in the future.

Was this information helpful?

References:

http://www.drivingretention.com/5-tips-keeping-loyal-customers-loyal/

http://www.wikihow.com/Keep-Customers-Loyal

http://www.microsoft.com/business/en-us/resources/management/customer-relations/7-tips-on-keeping-customers-for-life.aspx?fbid=POZlSqwD-cP

 

5 Keys To Build A Successful Water Feature Business

running a successful water feature business

A growing trend in outdoor living areas is the addition of water features and backyard waterfalls to the landscape.  While this is a niche market, it can be a highly profitable addition to swimming pool builders, hardscape or landscape contractors business.  There are a few key principles to follow in insure your continued success.  These five principles are:

  1. Follow a systematic and duplicable process.   When you build your water features using a system that can be replicated on jobsite after jobsite, using the same installation process, it takes the mystery out of the process and lets you teach and train crew members on the steps and procedures.  This is important so you can run your business, find more jobs, and focus on growing your customer base.
  2. K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid).  Let’s face it; building backyard water features isn’t rocket science.  There’s really no reason to overcomplicate the process.  Leonardo Da Vinci’s principle “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” certainly applies here, whether working with your crew or working with your clients.
  3. Work with the landscape, not against it.  As a professional, it’s your job to let your customer know what will work and fit with their landscape plans.  Sometimes clients can have some unrealistic wishes.  This brings us to the next point.
  4. Give your customers what they want, not what they ask for.  We’ve all had the customer that thinks they can’t live without certain features in their design.  This is what you get paid for, to give advice.  If you’ve listened to their expectations of what they are seeking to achieve, you should get a good picture of the finished product you can provide.  You’re the one that has solved the same problem for previous customers.  Clarify their desires,  ask the right questions, then show them the solution you’re going to provide.
  5. No free estimates.  While it’s certainly possible to provide a price range for your customer over the phone for a typical water feature, chances are the customer is looking for a design or drawing.  As a professional, you should respect your time and trade, and insist on working with customers that feel the same.  Every job you do is unique and your time is valuable.  When you do a design consultation, you’re providing value for that client.

Of course your success will depend on many other factors including providing a quality service and securing customer referrals.  Let us know if you agree or take a different philosophy in running your business from what we’ve covered here.  We’d like to hear your comments.

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Pros and Cons of Backyard Waterfalls

By Jonathan Allard

A backyard waterfall is a great way to incorporate art into your outdoor living space. Whether the feature is a focal point in your landscape or simply a complementary piece. Water feature designs serve more than an aesthetic purpose; the sound of trickling water can help you relax and feel calm.

Water features such as decorative fountains and waterfalls can provide a number of benefits to any environment. Most people will agree that providing components within their own living space that create a visual interest can reduce stress, which may lead to enhanced productivity.

However, adding a waterfall is not without risk…

waterfall, backyard water features, backyard waterfall, waterfalls, pros and cons of waterfalls, pros and cons of backyard waterfalls, fountains, fountain

PROS

Keeping Calm

The Advantage of Relaxation

  • backyard waterfall can provide a tranquil setting for you to relax and enjoy the outdoors–either by yourself or with friends. The waterfall can include fish or accent a swimming pool to enhance your experience while relaxing in the yard. In addition, the sound of trickling water, can be stress-reducing.
  • Most waterfalls featuring moving water also produce running-water sounds. These sounds can remind listeners of a calm babbling brook contributing to the calming effect of the waterfall. The falls noises also help cover the sounds of a busy environment. This effect is known as white noise and can help reduce the stress caused by the more mundane sounds of outdoor living; automobiles, planes, neighbors, and other environmental factors.

The Aesthetics Advantage

  • A water feature in the backyard will significantly bolster the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space–especially if colorful fish and an eye-catching design complete this landscaping feature. Backyard waterfalls can be equipped with lights to illuminate the  feature during the evening, further enhancing the easy-on-the-eye experience.

The Anywhere Advantage

  • One of the most intriguing benefits of landscape waterfalls is that they can be installed into any area of your yard, whether it is front or back, in the sun or shade, by the pool or in the patio. 

3708_332976516799291_1394706405_n

Attract Attention

The Conversation Advantage

  • Waterfalls can become a gathering place for family and friends — especially if placed in a backyard setting —  Designers often include seating or viewing space around the feature to accommodate the attention it attracts. Not only will the waterfall be a great focal point, but it will also serve as a conversational piece.

The Uniqueness Advantage

  • No two waterfalls are the same. Waterfalls come in an endless variety of shapes, sizes, and characteristics. There are the thundering and powerful types that command attention with their sheer volume and size. There are delicately flowing graceful types that relax and mesmerize you with their intricate beauty. Then there are the ones situated in locations where its settings are every bit a part of the natural beauty. Moreover, they are unusual cascades that bend your mind and leave an impression as a result of their uniqueness.

Better Air

The Humidity Advantage

  • The moving water of a fountain allows some of the water to evaporate into the air. This contributes to the humidity of the air and may actually improve the air quality of the surrounding space. In dry climates, the presence of a water feature may reduce or eliminate the need for a humidifier.

CONS

Safety

The Safety Disadvantage

  • The water in a waterfall can pose a safety hazard. If the water feature includes an open pool, it should include design features that prevent accidental entrance by children, as this can cause some possible injury. 

The Maintenance Disadvantage

  • Backyard waterfalls can require maintenance. If your feature is located near trees, removing debris can become a constant maintenance issue. Maintaining balanced water is the key to long term enjoyment of your backyard waterfall and swimming pool waterfallMany pool supply stores will have testing equipment to test your water and provide you with the analysis of your water, as well as the supplies you’ll need to maintain a balance.  Test kits are also available for you to check the water on a weekly basis.

The Disadvantage of the Attraction of Pests

  • Different types of waterfalls can attract pests to your yard. Fish falls may attract fishing birds, which will make a meal out of your fish. Raccoons and frogs may be attracted to your water feature, as well. Frogs can be interesting to watch, but they can be very noisy during the evening hours. Mosquitoes will also pose a problem in features that are not well-balanced and maintained.

 

Outdoor Living Areas: Assessing Your Customers Needs

Backyard waterfall and waterfall garden

As the popularity of outdoor living areas continues to grow, the opportunity for contractors to provide their customers with exceptional designs and options is better than ever.  Assisting with planning and maximizing the space available will provide your customer with years of enjoyment in their outdoor living space.  Here are five points of consideration when planning the outdoor living area.

  • Landscape:  What is the size of the area you’ll be working in?  What are the physical features?  Will you be adding a garden area?
  • Hardscape:  How will your customer be using the backyard space?  Do they like to entertain or is it more of a peaceful, serene escape?
  • Sun Orientation:  At what time of day will the area have the most use?  How will you create a shaded area?
  • Paths of circulation:  What is the walking area and flow moving into the outdoor living space?
  • Focal point:  There are a number of possible focal points you can create in the outdoor living area, any of which can be the area of focus for your customer.  A few examples are:
    • Water Feature:  Probably the most dramatic way to create a point of focus, a backyard waterfall adds a beautiful and natural escape.  There’s a soothing and invigorating quality to the sight and sound of running water.
    • Fireplace or fire pit:  There’s a mystical enjoyment that happens when gathering around an open fire.
    • Outdoor kitchen and dining area:  Cooking and eating outside bring a new level of excitement to meals and family gatherings.
    • Garden:  The natural beauty of a garden brings enjoyment from both the aesthetics and a meditative quality while tending the garden.

backyard fire pit

With various landscape design software packages available, going the extra mile to provide your customer with their ideal outdoor living area will enhance their satisfaction, as well as enhance your portfolio.  What better way to grow your business than with a long list of satisfied customers?

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How to Market Your Swimming Pool Waterfall Business on Pinterest

By Jonathan Allard

swimming pool waterfalls, waterfalls, swimming pools, pools, pinterest, how to grow on pinterest, how to use pinterest for business, what is pinterest

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months, you have probably heard of this social media platform called Pinterest. If you’re a female you have known about this image-capturing site for months, and have probably used some recipe ideas from it. If you’re a guy, you may be confused as to the purpose of this site which you may be hearing about for the first time. Do not worry though, we have put together the top strategies for marketing on Pinterest whether you work for a large company or own your own business.

TechCrunch reports that it got exclusive stats from ComScore showing that Pinterest had 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in January 2012. That’s up from 7.5 million in December…and a scant 418,000 last May. These stats represent the fastest sustainable growth ever for a standalone site.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a platform for user sourced, visual content, grouped into topics. From a broader perspective, it’s a social network that allows users to visually share new interests by ‘pinning’ images or videos to their own or others’ ‘pinboards’ (a collection of ‘pins’ that have a common theme). Pinterest in the visual version of Twitter, as you can hashtag all your photos and create external links within your boards. It is a great way to drive traffic to your site and other social media platforms, through media integration.

Here’s how it works:

1) When someone likes an image on a website they can pin it back to a board they’ve created on the Pinterest site. These boards can be named anything, but fall under categories designated by the Pinterest team, like weddings/events, home décor, travel, etc.

2) Individuals can see pins by people whose boards they are following, or by searching through the most popular pins (most repinned), by category, by search term, or by price. If a user has typed in the price of the object in the comment area it will also appear on the top left corner of the image (this only happens when the dollar sign is typed into the comment area. No other money symbol – like € or £ – makes the price appear on the pin).

3) Every image has a comment area, link, and options to like or repin. Viewers can visit the site that housed the original image by clicking on the image or on the URL in the top right corner of the image.

Maybe this cartoon explains it best, it’s addictive! (source)

 So how do I use Pinterest to help grow my business?

1. Use your business email (and Twitter) on account set-up: Once you receive an invitation to sign up for Pinterest (it’s still invite only!) use the same email address you use for your business Twitter profile, then sign-up with Twitter so you can easily share your new pins through your Twitter account. Pinterest doesn’t offer a connection to Facebook business pages, so Twitter it is. Of course, choose your company name as your username then add a company description, logo, and a website link.

2. Be worth following with great visual content: To get started, spend time looking around, this way you’ll get some great ideas and a feel for how the network works.

See this post here on some of the most successful brands who are using Pinterest effectively so far. Get your great, non-promotional content uploaded – see point 2! This way, new followers will have a reason to follow your pins; just as you would populate a brand new blog before you start promoting it. What images, graphics, info graphics do you have or could you easily get together?

3. Promote your brand externally:

  • Add the Pinterest follow button to your website and write a blog post to promote it.
  • Promote your presence on Pinterest through your other social networks by encouraging your followers/fans on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter to follow your pins!
  • Consider a Pinterest contest (see below).
  • Start following users you think would want to follow you back.

4. Don’t upset fellow pinners! The site naturally discourages blatant self-promotion. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, great, just don’t use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion. Think up creative ways to promote your brand on the network – showcase the lifestyle that your brand promotes. If you are in the Swimming Pool Waterfall business, do not just pin photos of how great your waterfalls are, pin photos of the work being done, waterfalls that you find interesting, even things unrelated to swimming pool waterfalls. This will engage a lot more traffic to your site, and create consumer awareness.

5. Become an expert on a topic: Become the go-to Pinterest account for pins about a certain subject or topic relating to your industry. You’ll see this by looking around the network. Some people are really owning certain spaces and you’d have to say there’s an early, possible gold-rush potential within Pinterest at the moment to do just that. I like this graphic designer and their logo love board, it is just simple but a great board. How about a pinboard that showcases life around and in your organisation, whether day-to-day stuff or events, even parties. It’s subtle, basic stuff but every little bit helps.

6. Create a fan Pinboard: You can allow other users to contribute their own pins to your hosted pinboards, so involve fans and customers in your marketing as you would in any other social channel. Dedicate a pinboard to your top fans or customers – ask the customer to pin images that showcase your brand within their lifestyle. Does your product allow the user to look good, be better at something, feel better – get images the illustrate that, think of it as a pictorial testimonial.

7. Learn about your buyer personas: View pinboards of your customers, learn more about who they are and what they’re interested in. Use Pinterest as a tool for understanding the interests and needs of your ideal customers. Then… show your expertise within those areas, be valuable and interesting. Very simple, and very time consuming to do it properly. Yet that’s surely the opportunity.

8. Remember videos: Pins can be videos as well as images – worth remembering! Existing footage you can use, interviews, fun stuff, even videos that you find interesting on the web. Pinterest is all about the visual, so if you can spark an interest through all types of media, you are bound to build your brand.

9. Integrate with other channels: Do you attend or run offline events that your fan base would find interesting to see behind the scenes? How about features around the best photos and video footage – this is good for those not attending and it helps you generate interest and promote the next event you run or will be present at. Consider online integration too – you can use hashtags in Pinterest, if you use them then create a pinboard around it, tag it with a hashtag you’re using on Twitter and Google+ and help integrate Pinterest within the campaign. You can use your Pinterest account to promote a relevant section of your site this way – driving multiple links (traffic) back to your domain around a particular topic, theme or campaign.

10. Measure traffic back to your website: Make sure this is all generating results and proving it’s worth your time and effort. Whenever possible, include links back to your website and landing pages in your pins. Keep track of referral traffic and leads generated from Pinterest to see what resonates and what doesn’t.

Here are a few external references to setting up your Pinterest account:

http://visual.ly/how-pinterest-can-help-your-business

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/05/08/64-pinterest-marketing-tips-and-tactics-infographic/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2017448/how-to-set-up-a-pinterest-business-page.html

 

Was this information helpful?

What are your thoughts on Pinterest?

 

 

How To Use Google Places For Your Swimming Pool Waterfall Business

 

google places for your swimming pool waterfall business

We’re all familiar with Google Search. Most of us use it every day to find information and data to help us with our jobs and make our daily easier or perhaps, just more entertaining. However, Google is not only a search engine. It also has a range of tools that provide marketers with social networking and content creation opportunities. Google Places is one of these lesser known tools, but used correctly, it can help your swimming pool waterfall business get found on local search results on both Google Search and Google Maps. In fact, you’ve probably unknowingly used it yourself to find a local restaurant or dentist. So, what exactly us Google Places and why is it important?

Google Places is a free service that lets you list useful information about your business for potential customers to see. It’s sort of like the Web 2.0 version of a Yellow Pages ad, but better. With Google Places you can:

  • Gain more visibility for your business
  • Attract more traffic to your web site
  • Level the playing field and appear higher up in search results

 

You probably already have a Google Places listing and don’t even know it. Google collects data from multiple sources, some of which may be outdated or incorrect and aggregates these into a Places listing. Google Places is a great listing for local businesses and getting to the first indexed page is of huge benefit to any business as it will bring in more customers and clients. When you apply for a page in these Google Places, you should make sure that you provide as much information as possible about your business, which means filling in all the optional text fields. You should also upload pictures and videos of swimming pool waterfalls and outdoor living areas you’ve done as the more information you have on your pages, it would appear that the higher you will be ranked in the Place index.

swimming pool waterfalls for google places

Google Places is rather like a Yellow Pages directory where people look to find products and services that they need and which are specific to a local area. Because of the growth of mobile marketing, the number of mobile devices and an ever-increasing desire on the part of the consumer for a more personalized customer interaction with a business and advertiser, the more important Google Places becomes for a local business owner.

A growing number of searches now concentrate on finding local businesses and services, so your business needs to be in those Google Places so that you have as much Internet exposure to your potential client or customer-base as possible. Because Places listings are increasingly finding their way onto the first pages of a Google search, your business needs to be prominent in order for it to beat the competition.

Looking at businesses that have been highly ranked on Places pages, you can’t help but notice that they have been reviewed by customers. The more and better the reviews, it appears that the higher the business is ranked. This has not been stated by Google, but is simply the information for which there is clear evidence in the Places rankings.

As a local business owner you have a client/customer base and you need to ask these people to review your products, business or services. You could have flyers made and give these out at the cash register, requesting satisfied customers to write a review for you.

In 2010 local businesses could choose to ignore Google places, but it would be folly to neglect to use them now. As more searches online are to find local providers of whatever the customer/client wants, it is important for local businesses to have a profile on the Places pages so that prospective customers know where to find what they are looking for. A profile which includes visual images be they photos or videos, will have a higher place on the index pages for that category of service or sales.

So, if you haven’t done so already, create and/or claim your Google Places listing as soon as possible. When creating or updating your listing be sure to do the following:

  • Optimize the listing by using key words that are directly relevant to the products and services you provide.
  • Add images, photos, and videos to create a rich and robust listing. The extra information will help Google match your listing to more searches and ultimately increase the number of views you receive.

 

Here a few helpful links on setting up your page:

http://www.google.com/support/places/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=142902&topic=1660711&parent=1656746&rd=1

http://allied-women.com/how-to-claim-your-google-places-listing-to-increase-your-local-business/

http://learning.hubspot.com/blog/bid/109463/How-to-Create-a-Google-Places-Account-Concept-of-the-Week

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