Lead Generation Toolbox: 4 Methods You Can’t Afford to Ignore

lead generationA steady flow of construction leads keeps your firm running strong and fuels your growth. To achieve that steady flow, you need a strategy based on reliable lead-generation methods. There are plenty of methods you could use, but a few stand out as especially productive.

Active Prospecting

Whether it’s by cold calling or inviting key business owners to luncheons, you need to reach out to bring in leads. When you contact your prospects, mention someone the prospect already has an interest in or identify a specific business issue you can help with. Always have something of value to offer. Reliable construction industry data can help you identify good prospects and better define what you can offer them.

Planned Referrals

Referrals are some of the most favorable leads possible, but getting them requires some forethought. When a job is nearing completion, invite your client and their friends to the construction site for a progress review. When the job is done, follow up with a thank-you package that includes a referral form the client can use to pass along the contact information of anyone who might need your services. Consider offering a reward for every lead that turns into a sale.

Strategic Trade Shows Participation

Choose the right trade show and you’ll put your business in front of hundreds of potential clients. To attract qualified leads, design your booth and signage to clearly express what you do. Provide useful information, whether through signs and pamphlets or in conversation. Attract attention by handing out giveaways that are closely related to the services you offer.

Goal-Oriented Website Design

If you expect your website to bring in construction leads, you’ll need to plan the path your visitors will take from the page they land on all the way to the contact or sign-up form. Start by providing useful information prospects are searching for online. Then optimize every step to move your visitor forward. That means including strong calls to action at the very least.

For more information on attracting construction leads, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Reputation Management: How Your Online Reputation Can Affect Your Business

reputation managementYour reputation is among your company’s most valuable assets. Whether online or in the physical world, your reputation tells potential customers what they can expect when they deal with you. It is particularly important to maintain your reputation online, where leads and potential customers can easily find information — true or false — about your company. Here are some important ways your online reputation can affect your business and why reputation management is important in the online world.

  • Customers have access to much of your history: Customers can easily find information about your company’s history online. You can control what kind of information is available on your official website and sanctioned social media sources such as Facebook or Twitter. Outside of these resources, however, your customers can find other material such as newspaper articles, assessments of your company on review sites such as Yelp, and simple mentions on personal blogs or websites. This information can give potential customers a comprehensive picture of your reputation.
  • Customers can see your customer service in action: Potential customers can see how you handle customer service issues when they occur online. For example, if someone posts a complaint on your website, it’s easy to see how long it took for your company to respond and how you resolved the issue. Customers and leads can see for themselves the speed of response, the tone you took, and what you are willing to do to correct errors and ensure customer satisfaction. This can strongly influence a buying decision in cases where customers make emotional (rather than logical) choices.
  • False information is easy to present: In the online world, it is easy for disgruntled customers, competitors or pranksters to post false or negative information about you. Online reputation management gives you the opportunity to directly address this information and correct it (or have it removed) before it can harm your company.

Construction Monitor provides the most up-to-date business management data for construction firms and affiliated companies. Contact us today for more information on reputation management and how to effectively maintain your company’s reputation, and continued success, online.

3 Reasons an Online Presence is Crucial to Your Business

online presenceMore than just electronic business cards, your website and social media accounts are integral parts of your construction marketing arsenal. Managed correctly, they’ll help you gain new clients and profit more from existing ones.

Attract New Prospects

You have only so much time in the day to make calls and send letters, but your website and social media accounts are ready to do your construction marketing for you 24 hours a day. Take the time to develop your online presence with the kind of information your ideal prospects are searching for. The more you put out there, the better the chances your potential clients will find you via their online searches.

Include strong calls to action that encourage your visitors to contact you for more information or provide you with their email address. Offer incentives such as a free white paper or time-saving checklist.

Position Your Firm as an Authority

Your online presence provides a platform where you can share your knowledge and demonstrate your expertise. It’s the perfect opportunity to gain your visitors’ trust and appreciation by using what you know to guide them in making informed decisions. Help them understand relevant laws and regulations, various construction techniques and building materials, and the influences behind today’s building trends. When your prospects see you as credible and generous with your help, they’ll be more likely to choose you as a business partner.

Build Stronger Relationships

The online content you provide gives your prospects and current clients a way to interact with your firm and get to know you even when they don’t have time to call or meet in person. They can read your blog posts, browse your portfolio and watch your videos, then leave comments or ask questions.

Offering multiple methods of contact assures your prospects and clients that you’re accessible and responsive. Your blog comment section and social media accounts also let your prospects connect with your existing satisfied clients who can put in a good word for you.

For more information on effective online construction marketing, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Buyer Personas and How They Help Target Your Lead Generation

Creating a buyer persona for your leads and prospects lets you more easily visualize the type of customer you are looking for. More importantly, buyer personas are effective at giving you insight into what your customers want and need. The following information will help you understand buyer personas and how you can use them.

Many products and services do indeed have a vast audience, but no company can successfully market everything they offer to everyone at all times. Trying to do so spreads your marketing so thin that it will do little good. To make your marketing work, you need to understand who will need your products and services, who will most likely respond to your marketing messages, and what they need from you to become a customer.

A buyer persona is a profile created to reflect the characteristics of your ideal customer. It will include personal and demographic data, along with information on what that ideal customer will want. Much like a character in a novel, buyer personas should have a personality, and when you look at that persona, you should be able to make assumptions about the person it represents.

For example, if your company specializes in high-end renovation work, your buyer persona might be a professional person with a high income and the willingness to spend it on his home. If you sell paint and decorating supplies, a viable persona might be a young couple who have just bought their first home and are working to give it their unique touch.

When you know what your buyer persona wants and needs, you can narrow your marketing to better target customers. This ensures that your marketing budget is spent effectively on messages directed specifically to leads who are most likely to respond.

Construction Monitor helps construction companies make the best use of their marketing resources, providing industry-specific data and information on best practices that can be put to use immediately. Contact us today for more information on buyer personas and how creating a buyer persona for your target market can improve your lead generation efforts.

Know Your Audience: Where and How You Interact With Potential Customers Matters

target marketKnowing as much as possible about your customers is only part of the battle in successful targeted marketing. Once you have gathered useful demographic data on your leads or established accurate customer personas for your most likely customers, you still have to interact with them and convince them to buy your products or services. In this part of your marketing process, where and how you interact with potential customers matters.

In-Person Interactions

In-person interactions require the same type of customer care they always have. You must answer questions, provide information, and make informed suggestions that are best for the customer.

Online Interactions

Online, you must be willing to engage with your customer when they need and want to interact with you.

  • Questions: Customer service agents who answer questions must be available to respond as quickly as possible. Delays in answering online queries will give customers the chance to lose interest in you and look elsewhere.
  • Problems: Problems must also be addressed quickly. If a potential customer thinks you’re ignoring a problem or issue, your reputation will suffer and your potential customer will conclude that you don’t care.

Other Interactions

Some interactions can be very subtle, but they will have a significant effect on how your potential customers react to you.

  • Design: The design of your marketing materials often reflects the demographic segment you’re targeting. Marketing aimed at an upscale market will usually have a more sophisticated look that refers to issues exclusive to that segment. Marketing aimed at a more general audience tends to have a more popular appeal.
  • Copywriting: Similarly, the copywriting and text of your marketing materials should be geared toward your target audience. Chatty, familiar-sounding text will work for a customer who is shopping around while terse, facts-only copy will be more appreciated by customers who have little time to spare.

Construction Monitor’s mission is to provide the most accurate and most recent data that construction companies can use in their marketing efforts. Contact us today for more information on targeted marketing and how to make sure your marketing interactions are as effective as they can be.

 

Geo-Targeting and How it Can Help You Land New Clients

geo targetingConstruction companies acquire a large number of their clients through referrals or word-of-mouth. However, a savvy company that wants to compete at the highest level also needs to know and apply some of the most effective marketing techniques to expand their reach and gain more clients. Geo-targeting is one of the more useful of these techniques.

What Is Geo-Targeting?

Geo-targeting is an online advertising and marketing method that delivers targeted messages and advertisements based on a potential client’s geographical area. If you’ve ever been searching on Google, for example, and had an advertisement for a local company appear on your screen, you’ve been on the receiving end of geo-targeting.

Geo-targeting can be applied to potential clients who visit your website, your social media pages, or anywhere else you maintain an online presence. The process of geo-targeting an online ad requires the ability to read a visitors IP address, the unique electronic number that identifies each computer using the Internet. The numbers of an IP address allow a geo-targeting system to determine a user’s location, often down to the level of individual towns or streets

Using Geo-Targeting to Get New Clients

  • A geo-targeting system can serve up advertising relevant to a specific geographical area. For example, if your company serves clients in Minnesota and Florida, a geo-targeting system can tell if a potential client is looking at your site from one of those areas. It can then present advertisements and marketing messages that are specific to client’s needs in those areas. At the same time, geo-targeting can exclude advertisements to potential customers that are not likely to need your services.
  • With geo-targeting, you can focus your marketing efforts in specific geographic areas, such as in a radius around your store or company location. This allows you to focus on local prospects that are more likely to respond.

Construction Monitor provides data, industry information and marketing tips that can help construction firms of any size increase their client base. Contact us today for more about geo-targeting and how you can use it to apply focused customer acquisition techniques to your marketing efforts.

3 Tips for Increasing Word-of-Mouth Business in the Construction Industry

Word of mouth has the potential to bring you a consistent flow of targeted construction leads, but you can’t rely on chance to make that happen. To get the most from your referral marketing efforts, invest time in methods that actively encourage word to spread.

Offer Incentives

People are busy, and even your most satisfied clients might not find the time to send business your way unless there’s something in it for them. Offering incentives as part of your referral marketing plan can give your clients the extra motivation they need to contact you.

For every lead that turns into a sale, you might offer a restaurant gift certificate, tickets to a popular entertainment venue, an exclusive gift or a straightforward cash reward. Offering a percentage of the sale is another option, but remember that it has to come out of your profits. Make this incentive open to your employees, too.

Grab More Opportunities

Chances are you’re overlooking a lot of opportunities to ask for referrals. When a client thanks you for your work or offers a testimonial, ask if they know anyone else who could use your services. If you’re able to do a client a favor or help them manage a difficult situation, that’s another time to ask for referrals.

It might sound counterintuitive, but complaints can also bring you referrals. If you can solve the problem quickly and end up with a satisfied client, that client might be impressed and appreciative enough to connect you with some leads.

Keep in Touch

When a job is completed, follow up by mailing a package that includes a thank-you letter, a form for a testimonial and referrals, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Contact former and current clients two to four times a year to check in on how they’re doing and find out if you can offer any help or advice. To up your chances of bringing in referrals even more, consider inviting your best former clients out for dinner.

For more information on making referral marketing work for your company, contact Construction Monitor

2 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Generate More Leads for Your Construction Business

LinkedInAs the most popular professional networking platform, LinkedIn lets you connect with specialists in every segment of the U.S. construction industry, as well as other industries. Just having a profile there won’t do much for you, though. To bring in leads, you’ll need to get actively involved.

Build Relationships

LinkedIn makes it easy to find and connect with your ideal clients by letting you search for individuals, businesses and groups by industry segment. Once your profile is filled out in detail, including a professional profile picture, start adding connections using the “People You May Know” list. Then follow your current and prospective clients. Take some time to look into your contacts’ connections, starting with the ones they’ve written recommendations for. When you send an invitation to connect, offer a few words about why you’re interested in connecting.

Join groups relevant to the U.S. construction industry, but pick just two or three large, active groups. Take part in discussions there as a person, not a company. Share construction industry news and visual content such as photos and infographics, and offer your own point of view. Consider starting your own group to position yourself as an authority and attract attention from people in your target market.

Demonstrate Your Expertise

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s publishing feature to share advice, insights, news and other content that’s relevant to the prospects you’re targeting. When you spot a news story about a current or prospective client, post it as a status update. Consistently publishing useful content demonstrates your knowledge and willingness to help, strengthening your image as a reliable service provider. It also helps you build an attentive audience of people who are interested in the services your company provides.

Leaving recommendations for your current clients and contacts is another way to establish yourself as an expert in the field. What’s more, recommendations act as a constant reminder that your company is available and increase the chances your contacts will return the favor by sending leads your way.

For more information on generating leads in the U.S. construction industry, contact us at Construction Monitor.

3 Must-Have Tools in Your Construction Lead Generation Arsenal

constructionEvery construction lead you bring in has the potential to add thousands to your bottom line, but getting those leads still takes an outlay of time, money and effort. Focusing on the most efficient lead generation tools helps ensure your investment pays off.

A High-Quality Portfolio

A carefully chosen selection of clear, well-composed photos of your best work will have more impact on a prospective client’s impression of you than any written description ever could. A quality portfolio shows exactly what your firm is capable of and provides visible proof of soft skills, such as flexibility and attention to detail.

Because relatively few construction firms bother to put together a portfolio like this, having one strengthens your image as an experienced, reliable professional. For photos that show off your work to its greatest advantage, consider hiring an architectural photographer.

Email Marketing Service

Taking the time to build relationships with your target audience is one of the most effective ways to ensure a steady flow of leads. By giving you a way to maintain regular contact with your prospects, an email newsletter helps you build stronger relationships with a wider audience and still spend less than you would using direct mail. A number of web-based services are available that make it easy to collect signups to your newsletter from your website and manage your mailings.

Content Management System

Every day, your potential clients are online searching for information related to the projects they’re planning. The more client-focused content you publish to your website, the greater the chances your site will show up in their searches. When it does, you’ll stand out as knowledgeable, willing to help, and an overall good choice to do business with. Including clear calls to action in your content further encourages your visitors to contact you.

A content management system (CMS) helps you easily publish and manage articles, photos, videos and other lead-generating content on your site even if you have minimal technical knowledge.

For more information on efficient construction lead generation, contact Construction Monitor today.

Using Social Media to Source New Construction Leads

Word of mouth has always been an important part of construction marketing, and the growth of social media gives you even more power to build buzz around your firm. To get a consistent flow of leads from your social media efforts, though, you need the right approach.

Provide Content Worth Sharing

Social media makes it easy for people in your target market to pass your name along in conversation. If you expect them to do that, though, you need to give them something worth talking about. That means the content you post to your social media accounts must be relevant to your potential clients’ interests, noteworthy, and well crafted.

When choosing what to publish, focus on what’s in it for the reader. Aim to add value. Post tips and advice, links to relevant articles, case studies, overviews of projects you’ve completed, updates on projects in progress, announcements of new services and partnerships, testimonials from happy clients, and special promotions.

Make Time to Mingle

To bring attention to your social media accounts, you’ll need to get out there and interact with your potential clients. Go in with the goal of truly connecting with others in your industry, rather than with a sales mentality. Think about why your potential clients are on social media in the first place and look for ways to help them reach their goals while also letting them know how your firm can help.

Join in the conversations you find and engage with influential members of your segment of the industry, as well as with associations and organizations. Leave insightful comments, answer questions with genuinely useful advice, and ask thought-provoking questions. This kind of construction marketing takes time, but can pay off with long-term, lead-generating relationships.

Consistency is key to building an engaged social media following, but you don’t have to log in every day to maintain your momentum. Web-based services are available to help you automate your posts by uploading them in batches to be posted at scheduled times.

For more practical construction marketing tips, contact Construction Monitor.