MNI Blog  /  3 minute read

How Small Businesses Can Advertise to the DIY Market

Hands are getting dirty. People are staying home more, and they want their homes to be as inviting, comfortable, and fun as possible. We’re gardening and growing, painting and decorating,


By Meghan Springmeyer
Account Executive


Meghan Springmeyer is an Account Executive with MNI Targeted Media and passionate DIY’er. She recently remodeled her children’s bathroom and in the last several months painted several rooms in her house. She credits the success of these projects to her digital toolbox which includes turnkey apps and videos. That’s why she believes in the power of digital to enhance the UX personally and professionally and offers this blog.

Hands are getting dirty. People are staying home more, and they want their homes to be as inviting, comfortable, and fun as possible. We’re gardening and growing, painting and decorating, sewing and crafting and doing our best to DIY, all to varying degrees of success but always with pride.

When the pandemic redefined the way most of the population lived and worked, priorities shifted and as a result there was an 80% dip in eCommerce categories like apparel. Meanwhile, DIY took just a 3.5% hit in sales and there’s every reason to believe that research will show how this has been made up. The DIY trend - from the practical to the fun - is real and millennials are responsible for it, with 73% taking on DIY projects during this time according to Home IFD. In part, this make sense since millennials are now spending more time on their devices, leading to them watching DIY YouTube channels and social media pages for tutorials and inspiration.

The Four Essential Pillars of a Successful DIY Product Advertising Strategy

The new normal is now normal and this presents a real opportunity for big box stores and other local B2C companies to offer a helping hand. Brands interested in targeting home improvement consumers should have the following four pillars to their media strategies: search, social media, CTV/OTT, and geo-targeting.

  1. Start with Search

    Most DIY & home improvement projects begin with online searches. Brands investing in search ad formats will be better positioned to have their products and services at the top of the results, and thereby grab consumer attention.
  2. Focus on Social Media, Where Consumers are Looking for New Ideas

    Consumers are spending more time on social to learn new things, including DIY projects. The native nature of branded social media ads fit in seamlessly with display and video content, engaging the consumer within the format that they are already immersed in.
  3. CTV/OTT Watch & Learn

    Streaming video has increased as people spend their time indoors. This captive audience is also device fluid—switching from the TV in the bedroom to their laptops while working, and to their smartphone and tablets in the kitchen. Meaningful ads on video streaming platforms that work across devices will cut through the clutter.
  4. Geo-Targeting Helps DIYers Get the Tools they Need

    Geo-Targeting creates ads that drive a local brand’s product variety, value, and convenience while placing importance on the store’s current operating hours, so they can easily find where to purchase the supplies and tools needed for their next creative project. Brands can also place important operation safety procedures in their geo-targeted ads. With this information, consumers will keep in mind that the brand made safety a priority and may extend their loyalty post-pandemic.

Building a Relationship with DIY-Focused Consumers

There’s every reason to believe the passion for all things DIY is more than a passing trend, so giving people the tools, they need through content marketing will establish your brand as a resource. With a successful DIY-focused advertising strategy, your brand can become a trusted companion on consumers’ DIY journeys for things large and small.

When serving up DIY projects remember your audience – the person taking on home lighting installations is different than the person tie-dying. The budgets for both are quite different so take time to learn about who you are targeting and factor in their wants, needs and values in your offerings and keep the focus on the project, not the product.

And finally, remember to make content digestible. Not all projects are easy, but they can be broken down into bite-sized steps which will make the consumer feel empowered and more confident in following your brand’s content. Beyond this, remember you’re talking to people with day jobs - most aren’t in the construction business - so organizing your website and app so that it’s easy for consumers to get the information they need in one place should be a priority. Help them build shopping lists; provide step-by-step guides and embed virtual visualizers to imagine what the paint color will be or what the flowers over in that corner will look like.



Want to learn more?

Check out our Got:20 session on DIY and Home Improvement.


Successful ad campaigns start here.