The experience is what people want and will pay for — so stop selling shiny boxes, fun features, and beguiling benefits.

Stop selling products! What? While this notion has made its way around the sphere many, many times over the years, our industry is still gravitating toward selling shiny boxes as though consumers are seeking to buy shiny boxes. But are people actually calling your company on the regular asking to buy a specific product and not any of the services you offer? Not likely. So, why keep selling as though they are? It’s time to change up your marketing approach.

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When considering ways to market your company and its offerings, social media should be top-of-mind and part of your current and future marketing plans and budgets. Why? Because social media is the fastest and easiest way to get in front of a consumer audience. Will it happen overnight? Not a chance. Will it happen over time? Absolutely. Only when it’s done right, though. Here are four things you can do now to get your marketing on the right track for the back half of the year.

First, block off one hour of time to identify the experiences your company delivers, rather than the products or the categories they fall into. Make a list of things that people can do with the technology and services your company provides. Instead of offerings like “outdoor entertainment systems,” “home theater,” or “security & networking,” think instead of the experience and make that the objective of the message conveyed. Consider “dinner and a movie under the stars,” or “poolside playoff viewing parties,” or “sipping through the sunset with the perfect playlist,” or more to-the-point experiences like “see who is home even when you aren’t.” Prioritize the list based on your company’s capabilities for the next six months and then prioritize it again based on potential profitability. The top three experiences your team can deliver profitably should be the priority for the remainder of the year. Everything else should be reviewed and reconsidered for next year.

Second, identify your target audience for these experiences and list what your team feels will most likely motivate people to inquire. Get granular here. Identify the types of clientele you have now that you would like to have more of in the future. Use this feedback to create buyer personas — semi-fictional representations of the various types of potential clientele your company wants to work with. The more you know about the types of clientele best suited to your offering, the better you can serve their needs and secure more of their business.

Third, develop visual assets that will best deliver the message each of those personas wants to hear and needs to see to encourage them to engage with your company and the services you offer. Since these assets are intended to be used on social media, each one needs to be sized according to the requirements of each platform. Hubspot offers a lot of tutorials and sizing guides you can access without having an account. Remember to always use the most current tutorials and sizing guides you can find, as parameters change often.

Fourth, dedicate time to review analytics for each of your active platforms and specifically how different types of posts are performing. You may find that video posts outperform everything else, or you may find that Reels or Stories are what your audience responds best to. Maybe weekend posts work well, or midweek ones do better. The only way you will know is by trying options. Do some A-B testing by repurposing video posts and creating new Reels, Stories, and Shorts with new captions, different music, with or without elements added, etc. Follow up to see how each version performs and use that intel to craft future posts and capture more effective imagery.

Here are some pro tips for social media marketing assets:

  • Alluring lifestyle- and experience-driven photos and videos pull people into your posts by giving them a sense of the experience they might enjoy if they were there in that space. Craft messages to accompany these visuals that are enticing, well-written, and “sticky” but not “salesy.”
  • Static product images aren’t compelling enough to slow the scroll. However, images with text overlay provide context and create a moment of pause for the viewer. For example, showing a photo of a Sonos speaker or soundbar isn’t very interesting to most people, but it does align your company with a brand that is arguably one of the most well-known with consumers. Overlay text on that speaker photo that says, “We sell speakers for all types of music lovers,” and now you’re more likely to attract people with different needs, wants, and budgets. Share this type of content on Instagram and Facebook as Reels, Stories, and Posts, using different verbiage in the posts to attract a wider audience.
  • Authentic videos that show diverse people enjoying tech in a variety of ways. Try creating “experience snippets” that show how homes can transition easily to accommodate a variety of experiences. For instance, take the viewer from brunch to a midday pool party outside to an indoor movie and game night. Share how tech makes the experience possible and more fun.

The Number One goal of this exercise should be to create more brand visibility and convert your target audience from social media platforms to your website and, ultimately, to submit an inquiry. As you craft your message and the image or video for the post, remember this goal and write to that spec.

Before you run out to start crafting posts, there’s just one more thing: Does your website currently serve funnel-filling, and does it do that well or is it clunky? Meaning, are you driving traffic to pages that quickly educate, inspire, and direct people to contact your team? If not, that’s something to consider quickly. As I like to say, get your house in order before you invite guests to come inside. Your “house” in this scenario is your website, and it needs to be ready to welcome the audience you want to attract. Landing pages are a great way to get people into your funnel.

Not sure where to start or need some inspiration to get off-center with your marketing, communications, or promotional activities? Shoot me an email [email protected] and let’s start the conversation. KMB is here and happy to help!

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A 25+ veteran of the residential tech & AV integration industries, Katye McGregor Bennett is the CEO of KMB Communications, a boutique communications firm that anchors the intersection of technology + design by connecting brands, buyers, and prospective audiences through creating compelling content and conversation that elevates and amplifies. In addition to co-hosting Design Uncut with Veronika Miller, Katye hosts two popular podcasts, Connecting Tech+ Design and AV Trade Talk. She is part of the DesignHounds influencer group and also serves on the NAHB Custom Technology Work Group, is a strategic advisor in the CEDIAHTA, and AVIXA communities, a frequent contributor to Residential SystemsConnected Design and founder of the AV Yoga group.