by L. A. “Tony” Kovach
It should be self-evident that a better public image would result in more manufactured housing sales and thus more revenues to companies and associations.
It's obvious that the web is a powerful tool, one that we use daily. Do you know what the second most popular search engine in the world is? Most know that Google is #1. Some might guess, Yahoo, Bing or another search engine as being numbers 2, 3 and so on. But in fact the number two search engine is YouTube. Video is one of the fastest growing elements of content online. We will take a look at how we can leverage YouTube to improve manufactured housing's public image – and thus our Factory Built Home Industry's bottom line results.
Having started in retail back in 1981, and having worked with retailers and communities off and on ever since to boost sales, I know first hand that customers often have 'tornadoes' and other windstorm events on their minds. As a sales trainer or marketer, you have to think: if I hear a concern more than once, it is a good clue that a strong response is needed! Keep in mind that millions – yes, millions – are NOT calling and are NOT coming to sales centers or communities like yours due in part to the issue of 'tornadoes and manufactured homes.'
That sad reality costs you, your association and everyone in our industry a fortune. So let's fix it, the easy way.
We created MHLivingNews.com as a site to boost MH Owners satisfaction and also to inform the public. This will be part of an evolving strategy to boost Industry sales by creating long overdue resources. With that set up, let's see how placing a video hosted on YouTube can boost Industry image the easy way.
If you look closely, you will see that this video was posted on June 25th. Roughly 72 hours later, when this screen capture was done, it had been view already 560 times. Go to MHLivingNews on this page:
to see the view if you haven't seen it already.float: left; margin-top: 8px; margin-right: 10px; margin-left: 10px;
This video hasn't had a million views...yet! But let's be honest, there are election campaign videos I've seen on YouTube from well known and funded candidates that have not yet hit 560 views. By the time you see this article, about 3 days from the time I'm writing it or later, hundreds, perhaps thousands more will have seen this video.
I won't rehash the points made in my blog post Protecting Yourself, Promoting Yourself, other than to say, you should read it if you haven't already, as it relates to this article. See what other industry leaders and business professionals have already said about this video.
Which leads me to a comment from an industry pro that wrote the following after seeing the video:
“I like the idea of sending the link to the weather people---Just imagine what an impact that would have---if every state association took it upon themselves to send this video to all the major markets in their state---and of course, each state should be sure to include NOAA.”
While I like this idea, I will observe that state execs – and their staffs, if they are fortunate enough to have one – are often wall to wall on their days. So my suggestion is similar, but different.
1) YOU take 30 minutes or an hour, find and email the link to every news editor and weather person in your market.
2) Do you have a website that has the public as your target market? Then post a link to the page above! Give the link a catchy title such as; Can a manufactured home survive a tornado and high winds? Click here to see the video!
4) Any time you have a customer that raises this topic, have the page linked on your hand-held smartphone, and on your computer or laptop. If a picture is worth a thousand words, so too is a video. Grab a cup of coffee while they watch the video.
5) Make sure your staff and families see the video. I've talked to way too many people IN our Industry - and who are dating or married to someone in our Industry – who don't realize how tough our homes are! They need to be 'on your side,' on the side of the FACTS about manufactured housing! The video should be part of your orientation process for new people.
This particular video is just the start.
We plan to do more videos – and other Industry image building efforts - to boost the image and thus your sales and effectiveness. Those efforts will be posted on MHLivingNews.com. If you have ideas, suggestions or requests for topics and videos, by all means, please call or email me. I'm happy to have input on topics that will help us advance the cause of factory built housing.
A stitch in time saves nine, so the saying goes. By helping a video like this 'go viral,' it is just a matter of time before the first customers call or come because they saw the video and say, I want to see a modern manufactured home at your retail center or community.
You can't get much easier than sending out emails to weather men, news editors and posting links on your site. If YOU did this, and made sure others on your team and in your Industry circle of influence does this, it will pay off. That's PR, that's life! It is better than guaranteed. ##
(Editor's Note: L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is a member of MHSpeakerTrainer.org)