Using Emotional Advertising to Attract New Business

emotional advertisingWhen your potential clients are looking for a construction company, facts and data aren’t the only things they consider. How they feel about your company also matters. By appealing to emotion, you can create an immediate connection with new prospects that makes them easier to convert to clients.

Build Positive Associations

Shock and anger might grab our attention in the short term, but ultimately we’re more drawn to things that make us feel good. Showing your prospects the benefits of doing business with you is more likely to win them over than trying to scare them with horror stories about your competition.

If you build hospitals, you can associate your work with feelings of vitality, serenity, and hope. In your advertising, show how your family-friendly public areas evoke a sense of calm or how your flexible design approach allows for future technological advances that give new hope to both patients and staff.

If you specialize in commercial office buildings, aim to inspire feelings of satisfaction and excitement. Talk about how companies love to rent your buildings because their employees are happier and more efficient there.

Reflect Your Audience’s Values

To really connect with your prospects on an emotional level, you need a clear understanding of their values and beliefs. The emotions you evoke in your ads and how you choose to evoke them tell your prospects whether you really “get” them or not.

If you’re targeting start-up owners in need of their first office building and you know they want to be seen as bold and visionary, you might focus your ads on the pride they’ll feel bringing clients to the innovative office your firm built. If you work with property developers primarily interested in financial independence, it makes sense to talk about the satisfaction they’ll get owning an office building high-paying, long-term tenants love.

By appealing to emotions your prospects want to feel, your ads seem less like ads and more like messages from a like-minded group your prospects will be happy to connect with.

Can Vlogging Help Your Construction Business Grow?

vlogIf writing blog posts sounds like a chore, vlogging can give you a more efficient and enjoyable way to get the word out about your construction company. Vlogging, or video blogging, helps you build a stronger connection with your target audience while also reaching new potential clients.

Build Relationships That Attract Warm Leads

The sense of familiarity video fosters is even stronger when those videos come on a consistent schedule. Unlike sporadic videos, a vlog offers continuity that encourages your viewers to keep coming back. You can share ongoing updates on a current building project, develop a series on solutions for common problems or do regular Q&A sessions. You’ll be building relationships as you educate your viewers about the benefits of working with your company.

Before long, they’ll feel like they know you. When they’re ready to start their project, your company will be first on their list because they already see you as someone they’ll enjoy working with and, more importantly, as a trustworthy expert.

Reach a Wider Audience

Because videos are so much easier to digest than blog posts, people love to share them. Better yet, the people they share with are more likely to actually watch a quick video than to read through an entire blog post.

Create a video series on how your company builds distinctive, energy-efficient apartment buildings renters love, and chances are some of your viewers will pass the link on to other residential property developers they know. Not only will you reach new prospects this way, but you’ll also have the benefit of coming recommended by a trusted colleague.

Your videos will let that potential client see your work in action and get a sense of who you are as a person, making them far more likely to remember you than if they’d read a blog post. This is particularly true in construction where video can demonstrate your abilities more clearly and persuasively than words.

Why Marketing in the Off-Season is Critical to Building Your Brand

top of mind awarenessBuilding a brand isn’t something you can do overnight. If you want to give your target prospects a clear idea of what your construction company stands for, you’ll need to keep your brand in front of them year-round.

Earn Top of Mind Awareness

Memorability is one of the most valuable benefits a strong brand identity brings your company. Your brand sets you apart from generic general contractors and draws your ideal clients to you. Maybe you’re known as the eco-friendly company that publishes funny yet practical green home renovation tips on social media or the medical facilities specialist that sponsors training seminars for clinic staff.

Creating this kind of memorability requires consistency. Drop off the map over the winter and your would-be clients might not remember you exist, much less what your brand promise is. Stay in touch, though, and you’ll be the first company they think of when they’re ready to start a new project in spring. The work you do to build your brand over the off-season, whether it’s getting your logo seen at events or publishing a series of infographics, keeps your company’s name at the forefront of your prospects’ memories.

Stay Ahead of the Competition

Building your brand’s image in the minds of your potential clients takes time. To really understand what your company is all about, your prospects need to see your marketing repeatedly. By marketing during the off-season, you’re giving yourself more time to educate your prospects about what your company offers, prove your skills, and develop a rapport.

When the construction season comes around again, you’ll have an established relationship with people who really understand the benefits of working with you and who like your team on a personal level. The emotional connections you’ve built through long-term branding fosters a loyalty that isn’t easily undone. That puts you miles ahead of any competitors who wait until spring to start battling for attention along with everyone else.

How Thinking Outside the Box Can Help Your Online Marketing

think outside the boxNo matter how specialized your construction company, chances are you have competition that’s marketing online to the same audience. Instead of spending more on ads to outcompete them, outmaneuver them with a little creative thinking.

Stand Out From the Crowd

Attention spans online are short. Ads are largely ignored and most blog posts given little more than a quick scan. To spark your ideal clients’ interest, you need to offer something fresh that’s laser-targeted to their needs. Thinking outside the box lets you find new approaches your audience doesn’t see every day.

Take a second look at the reasons your clients choose to work with you, develop more detailed buyer personas to learn about their habits, and look outside the construction industry for inspiration. If your clients appreciate the level of personal attention you offer, market through limited-attendance webinars. If they have long commutes, produce an industry-specific podcast to give them something to listen to on the way. Marketing to young families? Create a “Kids’ Corner” for your website.

Break into New Markets

Creative thinking can help you spot potential clients you’ve been overlooking. While this could mean entering a whole new sector, such as small office construction when you’ve been focusing on retail construction, it can also mean targeting subniches within your current specialties. Maybe you discover there’s a growing demand for storefront remodeling that could be even more profitable than the retail buildout services you usually offer.

To uncover new possibilities, re-evaluate the analytics data from your website, email list, and advertising campaigns with an open mind. Go through any client surveys and comments you have, too. Pay close attention to what your audience has shown interest in and what they’ve been asking for.

This process also helps you define your ideal clients more clearly. By targeting narrowly defined, overlooked groups, you can improve the cost-effectiveness of your search engine and social media advertising and the efficiency of your search engine optimization.

3 Key Reasons to Use Ebooks in Your Marketing Efforts

ebook marketingThe complex, ever-changing technology of the construction industry can make it hard for your potential clients to decide which company is right for them. Ebooks help solve that problem by letting you demonstrate your expertise in a way that guides your readers toward choosing your company.

  1. Build credibility – Because the typical ebook focuses on a single, narrow topic, it gives you a chance to include facts, data, and your own personal insight to show your potential clients you know what you’re talking about. You’ll also have space to highlight client success stories. If you specialize in renovating retail spaces, you might write an ebook that helps first-time specialty store owners understand ADA accessibility guidelines and the options your company can offer for meeting them.
  2. Reach a wider audience – Offering your ebook in exchange for an email address is a good way to bring in new leads, but it’s not the only way. If your ebook solves a common problem or covers a current hot topic, chances are your prospects will pass it on to their friends and colleagues. You’ll reach potential clients who might never have known about you otherwise. To get even more eyes on your ebook, email complementary blogs and let them know you have something that could benefit their audience.
  3. Educate your prospects – When a would-be client isn’t sure exactly what they need, they’re liable to pass your company by even if you’re a perfect fit. They might know they need a new pediatrics center, but have no idea how to start working with a construction firm to plan one. With an ebook that helps potential clients in the early stages of planning, you set the foundation for a trusting relationship that will be hard for your competitors to match. Beyond just guiding prospects in the basics, your ebook can also show them how your company’s services are different and why that matters. If your pediatrics centers feature unusual, child-friendly architecture, your prospects should know.

 

How to Successfully Use Video in Your Content Strategy

video marketingVideo lets you show off your completed projects, reach a wider audience, and build a more personal connection with your potential clients. For your videos to successfully turn viewers into clients, though, they need to work with the rest of your content.

Choose Compelling Topics

Chances are, when your would-be clients are searching for videos, they’re looking to solve a problem or learn something where the visual aspect is important. Keeping that in mind when you choose video topics helps you create videos that get attention.

Your popular blog and social media posts are a good place to start looking for ideas, but also consider topics that are particularly well suited to video. Videos on how little-understood building features work or the benefits of modern building materials can enhance your existing content. Then try video tours of your completed projects or current job sites, interviews with satisfied clients, key company members, and owners of complementary businesses or a weekly Q&A with questions from your audience.

Integrate your videos with the rest of your content to bring in leads. If you create a video about eco-friendly boutique hotel construction, post your insights on green building methods on social media to attract your followers to the video. In the video itself, you might direct viewers to a related free download at your website.

Reach Out to Your Audience

To get your videos in front of your target audience, start with your website. Include an introductory video on your homepage and About page, add video tours to your online portfolio, and create a page of video testimonials. To boost blog conversions, add relevant videos to your existing blog posts. If you do weekly short videos, include them in your email newsletter.

Then share your videos on Youtube and Vimeo with complete, SEO-ed titles and description to help your potential clients find them. Make short clips for Facebook, Instagram, and Houzz, and tell your followers where they can watch the rest.

 

4 Tips For Building Your Brand Online Without Breaking the Budget

online brand buildingIn an era where business cards and brochures are no longer enough, your construction company needs a strong online brand to reach your clients and prove your value. That doesn’t have to mean splashing out for brand strategists and graphic designers, though. Some of the most important aspects of online branding cost nothing more than time

  1. Express your why – Your “why” is the higher purpose and shared values of your business that reach your clients on an emotional level. It’s the reason your clients choose to work with you and not your equally skilled competitor. These ideals should come across in all your online branding. If your “why” is constructing office buildings that reduce worker stress, build your branding around features for low-stress workplaces.
  2. Know your audience – Instead of defining your target clients merely as “commercial real estate investors” or “residential property developers,” aim for a deeper understanding of what motivates them beyond turning a profit. Do they invest in commercial real estate to have assets that create freedom for their family? Do they build multi-family housing because they believe in providing affordable housing for families with kids? Your branding should speak to these interests, which ideally align with your own company values.
  3. Build a community – A loyal following gives you a bigger base to draw repeat business from, more opportunities for referrals, and social proof that attracts new clients. With the broad reach it gives you, the Internet makes it easy to build a community around your brand. Share updates from your clients with your social media followers, start a Facebook group for retail property investors or run a project or challenge your audience can participate in.
  4. Get the look – Cohesive, consistent branding shows potential clients you’re a serious business that has its act together. It also improves brand recognition. Make sure your website, social media profiles, infographics, and other online marketing material use the same color palette, typography, and style of photography. Use a consistent voice for your marketing copy.

 

 

How Using an Editorial Calendar Can Simplify Your Marketing

editorial calendarWhen you’re already knee-deep in the day-to-day business of managing a construction company, keeping up on marketing can feel like a burden. With an editorial calendar, you can simplify your marketing by creating valuable content that attracts clients to you without much additional demand on your time.

A Marketing Matrix

An editorial calendar acts as a framework for your entire marketing plan, giving you a bird’s eye view of exactly what you need to publish to meet your goals.

If you’re looking for more clients interested in building educational facilities, you might decide to publish an in-depth case study of a facility your firm build. You can then use your calendar to plan out blog posts, videos, and social media posts that lead your audience toward downloading that case study.

A calendar isn’t just for your blog, either. You can also tie in your paid advertising, such as newspaper ads and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. With all your marketing efforts streamlined towards a clear goal, you’ll no longer waste energy wondering what to do or creating content your target audience ignores.

A More Efficient Production Process

An editorial calendar helps you make more efficient use of the time you spend on marketing. Without a calendar, you could waste hours every month searching for ideas and still end up publishing second-rate content because you didn’t have time to conduct research and fully develop your thoughts.

The extended overview a calendar provides makes it easier to produce content in batches. If you create a lead-generating case study about an elementary charter school your company built, you can draw on that material for the rest of that month’s planned content. By reusing the same information in different formats, such as blog posts, infographics, and social media posts, you’ll minimize the time you spend creating fresh content. Better yet, planning well in advance let’s you break your content production into manageable chunks you can fit in around your existing schedule.

3 Tips to Develop a Winning Content Strategy

content strategyA well thought-out strategy is what drives the results of your content marketing. Take time to define your audience and your end goals, and you can be confident the work you put into content creation will bring you more of the construction clients you really want.

  1. Plan toward your goal – Getting clear on exactly what you want your content to do is the first step in making that content work. If your goals is to encourage your target clients to set up in-person appointments, you’ll need content that leads them through each step of the way. Some of your content should grab their attention when they’re in the early stages of planning a project, some should help them evaluate their options, and some should aim to convert them by showing them what your company can do.
  2. Zero in on your audience’s problems – Writing any content that might interest “middle-class homeowners” or “retail chain facilities managers” in general isn’t necessarily enough to turn those readers into clients. To really pull them in, your content should aim to solve their problems. Start by developing a buyer persona for each type of client you want to attract. Outline their goals and challenges so you can tailor your content toward giving them exactly what they’re looking for in a construction company. Also consider the formats they might prefer, such as blog posts, Facebook updates or video.
  3. Create an editorial calendar – Using a calendar to plan your content production in advance gives you the time you need to create high-quality content. You’ll have time to gather data, conduct interviews, and organize your thoughts to develop the kind of in-depth content your potential clients need to see before they trust you with a major construction project. A calendar also makes it easier to ensure you’re publishing a good balance of content for each stage of your marketing funnel and that all your content works toward a common goal.

How to Build Your Email List in the Off Season

grow your email listBy using your off-season downtime to build your email list, you’ll have a group of warm leads at your fingertips when the construction season starts up again. The slow season is also a great opportunity to use list-building methods you might not otherwise have time for.

Appeal to Advance Planners

During the off season, your ideal clients are likely to be planning their next project. To grab their interest, create lead magnet content that answers the questions they might have in the early stages of planning. If you do home renovations, you might offer your prospects guidance on how to budget or how to develop a realistic timeline.

Host Webinars

Free webinars let you target specific groups, such as luxury home owners or multi-family housing investors, and help you build rapport be letting your audience hear your voice and interact with you through live chat. Because webinars carry a high perceived value, they also give your prospects solid motivation to join your email list for access. The main downside is that they take time to host and listen to. That’s why they’re perfect for the off season, when free time is more plentiful for both you and your potential clients.

Guest Blog

Having your writing published on the blog of a complementary business is a highly effective way to reach a new audience. For example, if you build warehouses, you might write something for an apparel retailer blog on the most useful warehouse features for clothing storage. Finding guest blogging opportunities and writing your posts, however, takes time you might not normally have.

So when you have a little extra time during the off season, search online for terms such as “guest blogger” and “guest poster,” and when you find a blog that accepts guest posts, shoot them some ideas on topics you could cover for them. In your guest post bio, invite readers to your website to grab a related free download and join your email list.