Building on Your Content Base to Build Your Brand

build your brand with contentYour construction company’s brand isn’t just your logo and tagline, but also the information you provide your audience. A solid base of valuable content helps your potential clients understand what your brand is all about.

Focus on Your Clients’ Needs

Start building your content base by creating five to 10 long-form blog posts that provide timeless, valuable guidance. For each one, focus on answering one of the most pressing questions your ideal client might have.

Once you have ideas on what to write about, choose a format for each post. Depending on the topic, your post might be a step-by-step how-to, a quick-start guide, a media-based post with photos and videos from your portfolio or a statistics-based post about current best practices.

Sharing stories of your clients’ successes is an especially effective way to showcase your brand’s best attributes and pull in leads. Outline a problem your client had, then detail how you solved it and what benefits your client gained from your solution.

Develop Your Content with Care

When you’re ready to write, go beyond your own knowledge and experience. Include hard data from reputable sources along with your own analysis and consider interviewing other experts. To garner the most backlinks and shares, you’ll want to aim for at least 2000 words per post, so it helps to draw in material from a variety of sources.

Throughout your content, weave in examples of what your brand stands for. If you want to be known for comprehensive home renovation services, mention the hard-to-find services you offer or describe how you’ve guided clients through the entire design, production, and construction process. Finally, remember to lead your readers toward the action you want them to take, whether that’s downloading a case study or calling you to schedule a meeting.

Once you have your first foundational content online, focus on promoting what you have, but don’t stop building your base. Following an editorial calendar can help you find time to create more high-quality content.

Why Search Engines Are Gaining Ground Over Social Media for Driving Traffic (and How You Can Benefit)

search engine marketingSocial media has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, but as the social space becomes increasingly crowded, search engines are regaining their importance. Invest a little time in optimizing your website for search and you might be surprised how quickly you can outmaneuver less savvy construction companies online.

Why Search Engines Still Matter

Far from an outdated marketing channel, search engines are a rich source of hidden opportunities. By over-focusing on social media, many companies have neglected search engine optimization (SEO) and let their rankings slip. That leaves the door open for those willing to go after lucrative search terms.

Search engine optimization also makes it easier to target your ideal construction clients. When someone’s looking for a construction company specializing in urgent care clinics, they won’t browse social media, but instead will go to the search engines to find exactly what they want.

Simple practicality is another factor. The never-ending need for fresh content means social media can be a real time sink for a business. While SEO might take several months to produce results, maintaining those results requires relatively little time and effort.

The Benefits of SEO

To take advantage of the search engines’ recovering popularity, first make sure your website looks good and works correctly on mobile. This is especially important if you target property developers, real estate investors, and other busy professionals who search on the go.

Consider your would-be clients’ most frequently asked questions and create content that provides authoritative, in-depth answers. Content like this attracts backlinks and shares that help you gain higher rankings and has the staying power it takes to hold those rankings for the long term.

To really get your site up to speed on modern trends, optimize your content for voice search. Use questions phrases such as “What is…” or “How does…” and answer the questions concisely. Make your location clear by including the name of your town, neighborhood, street, and popular landmarks.

Earn Your Audience’s Attention – Create Outstanding Content

onlne contentBecause planning a construction project is no small undertaking, your prospects come to your blog and website looking for information that will help them through the process. Shallow, generic content won’t cut it. Give your audience clear, in-depth, actionable guidance, though, and you’ll hold their attention while gaining their trust.

Useful, Original Content Stands Out

Focusing on your prospects’ interests is the first step to creating content that stands out in their minds. Keyword research, social media research, browsing your competitors’ blogs, and asking your prospects directly are all effective ways to find out what you should be writing about.

Once you know what questions your prospects want answered, set out to provide in-depth answers. To do that, you might need to conduct your own research, collect and analyze data or interview multiple experts.

By investing this kind of effort, you can give your readers valuable, unique information they can’t find on your competitors’ sites. If your commercial construction prospects want to know which office building features garner higher lease rates, your independent research on the topic is bound to attract their attention.

Develop an editorial calendar that gives you plenty of lead time to create your content. Even if you’re writing from experience, taking time to tap your memory and organize your thoughts will give you better results.

Clarity Keeps Your Readers Interested

Construction is a complex topic, so the easier you can make it for your prospects to grasp the concepts they need to know, the longer you’ll hold their attention.

For each blog post, create an intriguing headline that makes it clear what your visitor stands to gain by reading. Think from your reader’s perspective and clarify any ideas they might not be familiar with. Write in a conversational, yet professional tone and keep industry jargon to a minimum.

Good formatting also helps your readers stay focused. Use plenty of white space and keep your paragraphs short. Break up text with subheaders, bullet points, text boxes, graphics, and photos.

Optimizing Customer Experience: Ask for Feedback and Make it Easy

get feedbackNo matter how much experience you have running a construction company, there’s always a chance to gain valuable insight by listening to your clients. The easier you make it for them to share their opinions, the more you stand to gain.

Ask at the Right Times

Before you start inviting feedback, get clear on what parts of your business you want to improve. Are you trying to shorten your prospect conversion time? Do you want your clients to stay with you longer? Clients at different stages can give you different types of insight.

New clients – You can learn how to make it easier to start working with your firm by asking your new clients about their experience getting started.

Satisfied current clients – After you complete a project, ask your client what they thought went well and what didn’t.

Departing clientsDissatisfied clients are one of your best sources for ideas on how to improve your business. Pay attention to signs that suggest a client is about to leave and step in to ask for feedback. Even if you can’t salvage the relationship, you can learn what not to do in the future.

Make Sharing Opinions Easy

The less time and effort your clients need to spend providing feedback, the more likely they’ll be to do it. Simple surveys work well if you keep them short. Two to five questions with space for comments is plenty.

To get more specific feedback, closely tailor your questions to the client’s interests, such as remodeling, new home construction or multi-family residential construction.

For new clients, include a short survey in your welcome package. For current clients, combine a feedback survey with a referral form.

A quick phone call can give you even better results. You’ll be able to clarify your questions when needed and ask for more detail when a client’s comment piques your interest. Dissatisfied clients won’t always feel comfortable coming to you with their complaints, but a phone call can re-open the lines of communication.

Using Online Reviews Correctly to Increase Visibility

online reviewsBlogging and using social media aren’t the only ways to bring more online attention to your construction firm. By leveraging good reviews, you’ll get more eyes on your business while also making a great first impression.

How Reviews Get You Seen

While it might seem the only job of your online reviews is to convince prospects of your expertise, the benefits start long before that. Reviews are part of what help those prospects find your business in the first place.

On platforms such as Google My Business and the BBB’s website, business profiles with the most reviews and the highest ratings tend to rank better in the search engine results than less active profiles. When your prospect searches for “office building construction,” on Google or another search engine, they’ll see a profile with 10 reviews of 4 stars or higher before one that’s written to target that phrase, but lacks reviews.

The amount of activity your profile sees also helps boost its search engine ranking. The more reviews your profile gets, the more people will see it and later leave reviews themselves, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of online popularity.

Making Reviews Work for You

First, choose one or two review platforms to focus on. Google My Business is one of the most reliable options.

To maximize your business profile’s visibility, you’ll need to actively encourage your clients to leave reviews. After you solve a problem for your client, do them a favor or complete a project they’re happy with, directly ask for a review. Send a short email with a link to your preferred review site. To make their job even easier, offer ideas on what to comment on, such adherence to schedule and budget, quality of workmanship, and ease of communication.

Add review site buttons to your website as a reminder for your existing and returning clients.

Avoid the temptation to buy reviews. Review platforms can often detect fake comments and will penalize your profile for them.

Drip Marketing… Beyond The Email Campaign

Does Email Lead Generation Really Work?

Building an email list takes some work, but your efforts can pay off for your construction company in ways you might not expect. In fact, email lead generation is one of the most effective and time-efficient ways to attract more leads and turn them into clients.

A Reliable Favorite

Some 42 percent of companies find email to be one of their most effective channels for pulling in leads, according to Circle Research, and for B2B companies, that number rises to 88 percent. Email marketing brings in leads more effectively than social media marketing, even though managing your social media can easily take up more of your time. Your email list can bolster your social marketing efforts, too. Your email list readers are three times more likely to post your content on social media than people who find your content in other ways.

For the average business, nearly 80 percent of the leads that come in never turn into customers or clients. The main reason isn’t the leads’ disinterest, but the businesses’ failure to nurture those leads. Email lets you keep in contact so you stay fresh in your leads’ minds and it gives you a way to offer further proof of your expertise to reinforce their trust. That’s especially important in the construction industry where your prospects might spend months selecting a company and arranging financing before they’re ready to get down to business.

Clearer Focus, Better Conversions

How well email lead generation works for your company depends on what you do with your email list. One of the most effective ways to pull more leads from your list is by using triggered campaigns rather than a single general email list.

A triggered email campaign is a specialized series of emails sent when someone takes a specific action, such as downloading a free whitepaper. It’s tailored to the readers’ interests and guides them toward the next step, which might be setting up a meeting or attending an open house.

Why Blogging Should Be The Hub Of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

blogging strategyBy helping more people find your construction firm and turning those individuals into warm leads, a blog acts as the linchpin that keeps your digital marketing strategy running smoothly. The better you understand how your blog does this, the better you can manage it to your advantage.

Reach Out to Your Market

Blogging helps improve your search engine ranking by keeping your site regularly updated with fresh content and increasing the amount of searched-for phrases on your site, as well as by attracting links from other websites and social shares from your readers.

Your blog also makes it easier to reach your potential clients on social media by giving you a source of content to post. Plan content for your blog, then draw on it for your Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, and Twitter tweets. If you write a post about renovating a clubhouse one week, you can use photos, tips, and interesting facts from that post as the week’s social media content.

Build Stronger Connections

When a potential lead does click through your search engine link or social media post, your blog will be there to welcome them. Unlike a skimpy brochure website, a blog can hold their attention with valuable content, demonstrate the benefits of working with your firm, and lead readers toward handing over their contact information. Your blog’s RSS feed and email digests give you more ways to stay in touch with your prospects.

To keep your prospects interested and build a good rapport, your digital marketing strategy needs a mix of content that lets your audience interact with your company in a variety of ways. A blogging platform makes it easy to upload and organize all kinds of content, including images, videos, audio, and downloadable PDFs.

As an added benefit, a blog gives you a way to gather data such as keyword activity, page views, and click paths that tell you what your target audience wants so you can give them more of it.

 

3 Strategic Content Planning Methods

strategic content planningGood planning and time management makes content creation easier and helps ensure you really connect with the construction clients you want. No single content planning method is right for everyone, though. Find one that fits your working style and you can get better results with less effort.

  1. Keep it short, sweet, and timely – What’s basic information to you might be a valuable discovery for your readers. To make things easier on both of you, base your content on the topics you find easy to write about and keep it short and pithy. Make a list of topics you’re well versed in so you’ll always have ideas on hand. Because you won’t need extensive research for this method, you can more easily hook into trending topics. Get fresh ideas from your clients’ questions, the topics your social media followers are talking about, and the blog comments and forum posts you’ve read recently.
  2. Let your audience lead – If you’re new to content planning and not quite sure what will appeal to your target audience, a little research can help. Find out what your potential clients are looking for online by conducting keyword research and checking out your competitors’ blogs and social media accounts to see what’s getting comments and shares. Ask your current clients what they’d like to learn more about, too. Then combine their interests with your goals. If you want more commercial retail clients and find they’re interested in natural lighting options for flex spaces, there’s your next blog post idea.
  3. Play the long game – If you want to make content a major part of your marketing, it will be easier to stay on track by planning three months to a year out. Creating an editorial calendar far in advance gives you the time you need to develop comprehensive, in-depth content that garners back links and social shares. You’ll have a chance to do thorough research, conduct interviews, and arrange guest posts. This method also ensures you’ll always have ideas ready to go.

3 Tips To Attract New Construction Business Through Your Website

attract visitors to websiteActively hunting down new leads is all part of running a construction firm, but getting warm leads to come to you on their own will make your job a lot easier. By fine-tuning your website to attract new construction business, you can grow your firm without adding to your marketing workload.

  1. Direct Your Traffic – Design your site to guide visitors toward giving you their contact information. Make it easy for them to find essential information, such as your services, portfolio, and the market sectors you specialize in. For each page, consider what your visitor will want to know next and make sure that information and your contact information are easy to find. If you’re using a lead magnet, such as a white paper or helpful checklist, to attract new construction business, highlight that content on your homepage, in your sidebar, and at the end of your blog posts.
  2. Offer Live Chat – Live chat isn’t just for retail websites. Given all the complexities involved in planning a construction project, your visitors are bound to have questions. If they can’t get answers fast, they might just take the easy route of clicking over to your competitor’s site rather than calling you to ask. With a live chat window, your visitor can get their question answered quickly and you’ll have the valuable opportunity to engage them in a conversation and set up a phone meeting.
  3. Introduce Yourself Through Video – Especially if you target business people, such as property developers, some of your visitors will be short on time and not in the mood to read through a bunch of text. A short introductory video helps you reel them in and hold their attention while you give them an overview of what you do and how you stand out from the competition. Video also gives your visitor a chance to hear and see you “in person,” which helps break the ice and encourage them to give you a call.