Marketing Tips for Brands that Build
It’s 2020, and while we may not have the flying cars that the Jetsons promised, we have definitely found ourselves right in the middle of a major marketing industry overhaul. The Internet and the quick succession of many technological advancements in the last two decades have completely changed the landscape of marketing forever, and the construction industry has recently embraced many of these advancements.
Both on and off the job site, construction companies are embracing things like BIM software, exoskeletons, VR and AR (virtual reality and augmented reality). The fact is, the ability to transmit data and connect with others more easily has brought the construction industry to the next level in productivity, safety, and efficiency.
The success and health of your construction business depend on more than quality work alone. Considering that “the [construction] industry has more than 680,000 employers with over 7 million employees and creates nearly $1.3 trillion worth of structures each year,” competition for projects can be fierce.
If you’re focused on your craftsmanship, and not your customer service and construction marketing, you’ll soon find that even though you and your crew deliver timely, well-crafted results, you still need to attract more clients. Your online construction marketing can contain many different moving parts that all demand your attention, and with your focus being pulled in thirty directions at once during the workday, it can be challenging to devote the time and assets necessary to achieve marketing success. Your business is unique and will need a personalized mix of branding, quality content, SEO and SEM for construction companies, and more to optimize your online brand presence.
Of these billions of digital users, 33% search for a local business daily, 16% searched multiple times per week, and 11% searched weekly. This means those nearly 700,000 construction companies were vying for the attention of 2.632 billion people in 2019!
Thankfully, digital marketing agencies like VisualFizz have recognized the need for construction companies to establish marketing strategies and techniques to better reach this massive online audience. We have years of experience developing construction marketing strategies, as well as implementing a variety of social campaigns and other marketing promotions including high-quality design via booths, handouts, videos, and print. As seasoned professionals, we have found that these five strategies are particularly important to focus on when constructing a construction marketing campaign.
Marketing for Construction Tip #1: Utilize Social Media Consistently
Let’s face it, social media is everywhere. Not only is it an effective method of communicating with clients and developing brand recognition, but creating an account is a simple and free way to get started. However, when it comes to reaching your target demographic, it’s crucial to focus your efforts on the specific channels (Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, etc.) that are the most effective for your construction company. This could mean performing extensive research on the media consumption habits of your target demographic, like through a construction industry white paper or through blog posts.
Once your social media accounts are established, you will need to attract followers to raise your brand awareness, and a key aspect of success is consistency. Studies have shown that “presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%,” and that brands who embrace a regular posting schedule and present their construction company branding consistently “3.5 times more likely to enjoy excellent brand visibility than those with an inconsistent brand presentation.” It takes 5 to 7 exposures to a brand or company logo to ensure brand recognition in consumers because frankly, that’s just how the human brain works.
Social Media Posting – Regular, Consistent Updates and Web pages
Therefore, the best way to accomplish this is by making your social schedule and sticking to it so that as you build your social media footprint your followers and audience can begin to expect to see your posts. And speaking of your posts…
Different industries prefer to communicate in different ways, and insight into the construction industry’s social media consumption habits is very telling. As demonstrated by the graph below, in a 2018 national survey conducted by the Construction Marketing Association, 90% of construction professionals used LinkedIn, 96% used Facebook, and 78% used Twitter. This differs greatly from other industries, like “the top three industries working with Instagram influencers [which] include 91% of luxury brands, 84% of sports clothing and 83% of beauty brands.”
It’s clear that many construction companies have found value in different social media channels for different reasons, and use these advantages to help establish their brand voice, communicate, and network. For example, LinkedIn is a professional social media channel that promotes the collaboration between different companies and serves to forge connections that may result in a good hire or a lead on a new job. With LinkedIn, your audience is predominantly other companies and professional career employees in your industry, and your construction marketing tactics will reflect your audience.
Conversely, while you are always looking to draw followers to support any social media account, when engaging with and campaigning for additional Facebook page followers can use marketing tools specifically gearing towards targeted demographics. Hashtags, themes, giveaways, and contests are just some of the great ways you can use content to increase your brand’s online reach. And speaking of content…
Marketing for Construction Tip #2: High-Quality Content is Crucial
You won’t gain followers without engaging them first, and the rules of engagement clearly state that original, eye-catching content is what you’re after. This can come from a variety of sources but is most effective when a couple of key strategies are applied together, and this can be done in a few different ways. Let’s break it down:
Content Approach #1: Do Everything Yourself
If you are DIY-ing your content, you are not alone- in fact, according to the Construction Marketing Association, 97% of construction professionals today are active on social media, and many of them devote time and energy to generate authentic and original social media content. From photos of the crew at work to facts and trivia, social media is a gateway for construction companies to show their personality off to prospective clients and provides current and former clients with an outlet to share their positive experiences or completed project photos.
After all, according to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising and it’s important to capitalize on this in construction marketing strategies on social media.
Content Approach #2: Get Support from The Content Experts
As people do with contractors and other construction professionals every day, sometimes it’s best to leave things in the hands of the professionals. By developing social media strategies that best fit your specific business needs and targeting achievable goals, we work together to achieve impressive results.
An outside party’s guidance and input can help your construction company create social media campaigns that are cohesive, concise, and effective, and that includes premium-grade post and blog content.
For example, after working with VisualFizz for a year, asphalt-paving company Rose Paving saw its brand traffic from social media channels increase by a whopping 32.44 percent. Digital marketing agencies exist to help increase your construction company’s brand awareness and to give you the marketing tools you need to help your construction business succeed.
Marketing for Construction Tip #3: Attend Tradeshows and Practice High-Quality Sales Processes
This may seem like it goes without saying, but it’s definitely an important tip to remember. Tradeshows are the original online-marketplaces and were the networking hub of the construction industry for many years.
Before the advent of the Internet, trade shows were one of the best ways to check out the competition, learn about new innovations in the industry, and participate in industry-related events, but here’s the tip- they still are today.
As reported by spingo.com, of the exhibitors surveyed:
“88% participate in tradeshows to raise awareness of the company and its brand, 72% participate to get leads from new buyers and prospects, 65% attend to see current clients.”
This demonstrates that the tradeshow still holds an important place in a construction company’s marketing strategy.
Thanks to the networking opportunities of the digital age, you can sign up for and attend hundreds of different construction-related industry conferences and events every year- everything from World of Concrete and CONEXPO to smaller trade shows that more specifically fit your construction specialty. When presenting at tradeshows, it’s essential to practice high-quality sales processes- but it’s just as important to do so leading up to or following every conference as well:
Pre-Tradeshow Marketing To-Do’s
- Advertise your booth number on social media, through targeted email campaigns, on your website, and even in digital and print trade publications.
- Incentivize expo-goers to stop by your booth with demonstrations, giveaways, and exclusive show-only offers.
- Tease Facebook-live streams or other planned social media coverage.
- Design, proof, and create high quality materials for your exhibit including booths, handouts, videos, print materials and more.
During the Tradeshow Marketing Must-Haves
- Engage expo goes by successfully enacting planned demonstrations and sharing them on social media to increase outreach.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to engage potential clients face-to-face and take notes on promising leads.
- Leave a positive and memorable impression with every interaction.
Post Tradeshow Marketing Follow-Ups
- Be sure to follow up with all sales leads in a timely manner.
- Personalize your follow-up with details of the previous conversation.
- Offer a clear, easy-to-follow action you’d like the person to take.
- Recap on social media.
By using trade shows as an opportunity to create new connections, get a pulse on industry trends, and generate original content for social media marketing opportunities, trade shows often pay for themselves and are often a great investment.
However, as with other marketing techniques, your construction business will get out of the opportunity that is put into it. Taking the time to work with a creative digital agency like VisualFizz to develop specific marketing materials and strategies to stand out and create a favorable impression at a tradeshow like CONEXPO, which takes place every 3 years and features 2,800 exhibitors is often a smart idea to consider as well, taking into consideration the time, effort and resources a successful trade show appearance can require.
Marketing for Construction Tip #4: Email Marketing Campaigns
Whether attending a tradeshow or announcing a holiday sale, email marketing campaigns can be another relatively simple and cost-effective construction marketing tool that can be implemented in different ways.
The construction industry is currently seeing growth in its email marketing campaign success rates as a whole, as “Real Estate, Design and Construction Activities click-through rates improved by 1.02% (from 18.88% last year to 19.9% this year)” overall. This is encouraging news, and should definitely be a key element to any construction company’s marketing campaign- after all, “with a potential return on investment of up to 4400%, email marketing remains the best way to attract and retain customers.” As seen in the chart below, e-mail remains the steadfast leader in content marketing distribution.
If embarking on your own email marketing campaign, remember to:
Write interesting subject lines. As this is the first thing your email recipient will read, this is your initial (and sometimes only) change to entice them to read more. Be creative! Shocking statistics, quotes, and engaging language are all necessary here. Check out this headline scheduler here to see how you’re stacking up: https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer.
Include eye-catching graphics or other easy-to-scan content. Studies have shown that the average adult brain has an eight-second attention span before it switches to another task. With that in mind, creating attention-grabbing graphics with informative callouts, graphs, charts, and quotes is a great method to increase construction marketing email recipient engagement.
Maintain an up-to-date email list. You could be creating the greatest construction marketing emails in the world, but without a carefully curated list of recipients, they will hardly be effective. By promoting email sign-ups on your website and social media channels as well as at tradeshows and regularly updating your marketing email list by removing bounceback and adding new customers, you will be doing the leg work necessary to make every email marketing campaign more successful.
Email marketing is a delicate process, and while successful results come from organic effort, sometimes a professional digital marketing agency can be a big help. Agencies have access to and analyze email campaign marketing data and can then apply that information when creating your strategies. As a result, your audience will receive marketing emails specifically designed to increase the odds of a successful and positive interaction. You wouldn’t call a carpenter to fix a leaky pipe, and you wouldn’t have Uncle Dave in sales run your email campaign when he doesn’t know how to successfully check his email either. If you’re looking to consult with the professionals about the best email marketing strategies for your construction business, you can find additional support and resources here.
Marketing for Construction Tip #5: Maintain Up-To-Date SEO Practices
This is the tip that will take the most planning to execute successfully. Resources abound online with tips, tricks, and best-kept industry secrets to successful SEO (search engine optimization) implementation, and are often contradictory in their advice.
SEO Questions to Consider
What’s your keyword strategy?
Select your primary and secondary keywords when working on your SEO strategies. These are the most-searched words for your industry and by stuffing your content with these valuable terms, you’ll soon find yourself climbing the ranks of search engine results.
How will you earn backlinks to your website?
Technology is constantly evolving and search engines are getting smarter, but backlinks, or incoming links to a webpage, will also help make you more searchable. A page with a lot of backlinks tended to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google. To earn backlinks, you will need to create a lot of content: write engaging original articles, start guest posting, and submitting to web directories are all methods your construction business can use to build backlinks.
Are you sure your website can be crawled by all search engines?
“Web design” is not necessarily the same as “Web Development for Technical SEO”. While most website builders will know at least some SEO basics, there are some key areas during the build that need to be set up specifically with indexing in mind.
“Sometimes mistakes happen and a common one among web developers plus marketers is accidentally blocking search engine bots,”according to techelp.ca.
When this happens, you’re unknowingly being blocked from the index no matter how hard you work on your content and keywords. Be sure to work with a web development company that is well-versed in SEO to ensure this doesn’t happen to your construction company.
How are you developing a content strategy?
The above is all and good, but how do you know what to write about? Or how much of it to write? If some is good, more is better, right? It’s easy to see here how one question can quickly run into another when constructing the basic framework of your marketing campaigns and strategies. When designing your content calendar, be sure to include pieces that solve a common problem, are easy to read, have a unique angle, or derive authority from extensive research and sources.
These questions, and others, will need to have concrete answers before any construction company embarks on an SEO-focused marketing campaign. When it comes to navigating this complex process it is often advisable to seek the advice and guidance of a professional or professionals who are better versed in developing these types of strategies. When seeking the advice of a professional, be sure to have a clear goal in mind and to seek out an agency focused on the unique marketing needs of construction companies, like this one.
Whatever You Choose, Do It Well
Every construction company has its unique differences but is connected by a common thread. No matter your area of expertise, every contractor, builder, plumber, electrician, bricklayer, and more take pride in successfully executing residential and commercial projects to the best of their ability.
Every company, from the president to apprentice, is working towards a common goal: complete customer satisfaction. Back in the day, a job well done may have been enough to ensure high praise, but in the digital age, the traditional word-of-mouth recommendation looks incredibly different than it did a few decades back.
Social media, SEO, and email marketing campaigns are just some of the ways you can bring your construction company to the consumer in the comfort of their own home (or pocket). But the know-how to successfully make these tools work for you? That’s the real challenge. Anyone can create a Facebook and upload original content, but by no means does that guarantee the content will go viral and subsequently increase sales.
By investing in a partnership with a digital marketing agency, you can learn how to use marketing tools and strategies to propel your construction company to record-breaking digital heights.
Need a Hand?
If this sounds like something that can benefit your business, and you would like to learn more about the marketing resources available for your construction company’s needs, check out VisualFizz Builds or contact us for more information.