Understand Your Competition and Propel Your Business Forward

Getting to know your customers isn’t the only way to learn about your market. Studying your competition can lead you toward new opportunities, help you define and capitalize on your strengths, and save you from expensive mistakes.

Spot New Opportunities

Researching what the competition is up to can reveal whole new markets you’ve been overlooking. If you typically sell kitchen and bathroom cabinets, but you discover the highest-valued builders in your area are thriving on retail renovations, it’s worth looking into the kinds of retail display cabinets they’ll be needing. Exploring the ways your competitors run their businesses can highlight opportunities for improvement in your own approach. Maybe you learn your strongest competitors all offer more extensive follow-up services than you do. By improving your after-sale service strategy, you might gain some ground on your competition.

Knowing what the competition isn’t doing is just as useful. No business can be everything to everyone, so your competitors weaknesses leave openings for you. Maybe you’re a framing contractor and you’ve seen an increase in building permits for home additions, yet no other local framing contractor seems to be targeting that market. Positioning yourself as a specialist in the finer points of framing home additions could bring you more business.

Learn from Their Mistakes

Keeping an eye on your area’s top companies can help you see when a company’s management has made a bad decision so you don’t make the same mistakes. If you notice a long-successful contracting company starts to lose its ranking, do some digging to find out why. Were they too dependent on a dying market? If so, you’ll know to avoid entering that market and to stay alert for signs of over-specialization. Did they try to expand too quickly? If they went from building only medical facilities to working on every type of commercial project within a few years, that’s a good indication to take your own company’s expansion a little slower.

To learn more about using data on your competitors to strengthen your business, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Building Loyalty in Your Customer Base

When your competitors are just a quick internet search away, building loyalty in your customers requires a strategic approach. By using market data to predict your customers’ needs and by staying in touch during the slow times, you can keep your customers around for years.

Give Them What They Want

When your customers know you understand their needs like no one else, you become their go-to provider. They’ll have little reason to shop around for anyone else. Keeping up on the trends helps you anticipate your customers’ needs so you’ll always be ready with the products and services they want.

Reviewing building permit data tells you what types of construction projects are happing in your area. If you sell lighting fixtures and there’s a rise in office building construction, chances are a lot of your customers will be looking for LED task lighting. An increase in warehouse construction, on the other hand, suggests they’ll be coming to you for batten and high bay fittings. Data on the top companies in your field can help, too. If local contractors are making a killing on kitchen and bathroom remodels, it’s probably worth having a good inventory of lighting for those rooms.

Stay in Touch

Construction work is seasonal and cyclical, so your customers might not always have a constant line-up of building projects. No matter how happy they are with your work, it could be months to years before they need you again. Staying in touch with them during their down times helps ensure you’re the first company they think of the next time they’re ready to buy.

A blog and email newsletter are both efficient ways to stay connected with your customers, but the topics you choose have to be relevant. Construction industry data can help you find those topics. If recent building permit data tells you home additions are hot now, blogging on the subject will encourage customers to keep visiting your website even when they aren’t ready to buy immediately.

How the Right Data Can Help You Reach Your Ideal Customer

Even when you have a crystal clear image of your ideal customer, you still need to know how to connect with them in a time-efficient and cost-effective way. By alerting you to trends and spotlighting opportunities, detailed data on local construction projects can lead you straight to the clients you want most.

Spot the Trends

Reviewing local building permit data can help you find neighborhood trends that show where your ideal clients might be within your area. If you’re a general contractor focusing on home additions, a neighborhood with a high rate of home addition, remodeling, and renovation permits is a rich source of clients. Neighbors take inspiration from each other and once a few start renovating, more are sure to follow. Do a great job for one client and your name will spread through word of mouth. For financing providers, keeping an eye out for new building permits can reveal clients who are in the market for construction or home improvement loans.

Track Their Habits and Interests

When you know your ideal clients well, data from a building permit can help you surmise what the property owner might be buying soon. A building permit for a large house in an affluent neighborhood is a good indication the owner might be interested in high-end countertops, cabinets, and floor coverings. If you sell eco-friendly or smart appliances, looking for house plans that include solar or geothermal heating can help you find homeowners interested in cutting-edge appliances.

Hoping to find more repeat business? Looking at the construction history of a building tells you who might become a long-term client. If a homeowner renovated their kitchen one year and built an addition the next year, that suggests an on-going interest in home improvement. On the other hand, if a home hasn’t been renovated in the last 20 years, the owner might be actively searching for someone to do the job. You’ll have a chance to reach them before your competition does.

To learn more about using construction data to reach your ideal clients, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Create the Right Content for Your Market and Win More Deals

Content marketing attracts new customers by helping people solve problems they’re having related to your service’s buying cycle. Do it right, and your would-be customers will find you faster and have more reason to choose you over your competition.

Research Your Market

To create content your target customers want to read, you need to know what they’re planning. Building permit data can give you a lot of insight into what your local homeowners and property developers are up to. For example, you might find quite a few kitchen renovation permits have been issued recently in middle-class neighborhoods. Knowing this, you can assume these homeowners are in the market for new, mid-range countertops, cabinets, and appliances.

If you sell one of these products, you might create content on choosing budget-friendly options that stand up to wear. If you’re a general contractor who handles renovations and remodeling, content on prioritizing expenditures and planning a kitchen layout are good bets. As your potential clients research their projects online, they’ll find your content and come to see you as the kind of helpful, knowledgeable provider they want to work with.

Focus on Buyers

It’s a common mistake to focus on topics that attract the most visitors, whether or not those visitors are potential buyers. To avoid this, consider the topics your ideal customers will research as part of the buying process. Think through the questions and problems they might have, and the decisions they’ll need to make. Then create content that provides valuable guidance on those topics. While this level of focus might bring you fewer visitors overall, the visitors you do attract will be more profitable.

If you’re a roofing contractor or roof truss manufacturer, an article on the history of roofing styles in early New England might attract plenty of architecture students, but few paying clients. Change that to The Pros and Cons of Common New England Roof Styles, though, and you’ll bring in people planning a new build or a roof replacement.

For more tips on creating content that attracts your ideal customers, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Adding Multimedia to Your Construction Website to Stand Out From the Crowd

While the written word has its place, text alone often isn’t enough to set your website apart from your competitors’ sites. By presenting information in remarkable ways, multimedia content helps you stand out and clearly convey the value you offer.

Stand Out and Win Customer Loyalty

As your customers research their building projects, they’ll visit numerous websites looking for information and answers. The better your site helps them understand the complex construction issues they’re dealing with, the more likely they are to remember you and come back for more. By using multimedia content to present concepts in a variety of formats, you’ll be helping your visitors understand those concepts more clearly.

Maybe your competitors’ blog post on construction-to-permanent loans didn’t make sense to your visitor, but your video or animated images do. Useful tools, such as cost estimators and room layout planners, encourage your visitors to bookmark your site and return. The greater variety that multimedia content offers also makes using your website more enjoyable, giving your visitors positive feelings about your company.

Create Content They’ll Love

Use what you know about your customers to choose the types of multimedia that will appeal to them. If you’re targeting commercial property developers, a review of recent commercial building permits issued in your area might show growth in office buildings construction. To reach those developers, offer a narrated 360 virtual tour with clickable “hot spots” that guides them through one of your completed office building projects. Then add audio content busy professionals can listen to while they work.

If your ideal clients are planning pool installations, they might appreciate an interactive quiz that helps them choose the best type of inground pool for their needs and budget. A photo essay that illustrates each step of the installation job will also help them make better decisions about their project. To sell while you educate, use each step to demonstrate how your company does the job better than your competitors.

Building An Email List of Qualified Prospects is Vital for a Successful Drip Campaign

The long lead times in the construction industry mean if you want to win customers, you need to stay in touch with your prospects for the long term. Email list building and drip campaigns are some of the most effective ways to do this. To make it work, though, you need the right people on your list.

The Value of Qualified Prospects

Email drip campaigns work so well largely because they’re designed with clear, measurable goals. Unlike an open-ended email newsletter, the email series that makes up your drip campaign leads your readers toward a specific action, usually hiring or buying from you. Qualified prospects are far more likely to read the whole series and take action at the end.

If you’re a roofing contractor who wants 15 new clients in the next three months, you’ll want a list of people planning roof replacements, new constructions, and major renovations. Prospects you already know need a roof built or replaced will bring you more success than people interested in general home improvement.

Having the right prospects on your list also makes it easier to tailor your email content to your readers’ interests, providing greater value and keeping them on your list longer.

Attracting the Right Audience

Construction data lists give you an efficient way to find potential clients you can invite to sign up for your list. Just adding their emails to your list isn’t enough to qualify them as prospects, though. Instead, encourage potential clients to sign up by offering something of value in exchange. Your email list building “sign-up bribe” could be a tips sheet, video series, case study or anything else closely tailored to the needs of the clients you want to attract.

If you sell waste management systems for apartment complexes, you might offer a guide to options for modernizing an apartment recycling collection system. An offer this specific attracts your ideal customers and qualifies them as good prospects while filtering out the tire-kickers.

For more tips on email list building methods that win valuable customers, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Getting the Inside Scoop on Which Construction Projects to Bid On

If you want to bid less, but earn more, finding the right construction projects to bid on is half the battle. By searching building permits and other local construction data, you can uncover more ideal projects while avoiding potential problem clients.

Play to Your Strengths

Instead of considering any project that comes your way, take the initiative to seek out projects where your unique skill set will be valued. A would-be client is far more likely to pay attention to a bid from a company offering expertise in the exact services they need. If you’re a general contractor specializing in light commercial construction, searching local commercial building permits can lead you toward potential clients. From here, you can narrow your search to specific building types, such as retail stores or medical offices, to find the right construction projects to bid on. If you’re a high-end building materials supplier, remodeling permits are a good source of potential clients looking for products to upgrade their interiors.

Check for Signs of Trouble

Using building permits to find potential clients can help you weed out the troublesome ones before you waste any time on them. If the same residential property developer has already let one or more building permits expire for their current project, it could mean they’re having trouble finding the right contractor. A little further investigation can tell you why that is and whether or not the project is worth pursuing. If the project requires specialist skills or materials you’re an expert in, you could be a shoo-in for the job. On the other hand, it could mean the developer is having financing problems or they have a bad reputation and you’re better off avoiding the project.

Building permits also help you find out if the project will require methods or materials you’re unfamiliar with, if regulations might make it difficult to actually complete the project or if the work will require more effort than it’s worth.

For help finding valuable construction projects to bid on, contact us at Construction Monitor.

The Importance of Pinpointing Your Target Audience

No matter how broad a range of construction services your company provides, not everyone who could work with you will. By clearly defining your target audience, you’ll be better able to find and connect with the right prospects for you to bring in more leads for your marketing dollar.

Know Where to Find Them

Before you can market to your potential clients, you have to reach them. The better you understand their demographics, habits, and preferences, the more accurately you can identify where they’re likely to spend their time. This, in turn, shows you where your marketing money and efforts are best spent. If you specialize in single family homes and you notice an uptick in building permits granted for large houses and room additions in your region, you’ll know to target your marketing toward growing families. If you notice more permits granted for renovations, you might want to target owners of older homes.

Know How to Appeal to Them

Understanding who you’re targeting helps you better use the data you have to find marketing angles that will appeal to your ideal clients. Building permit data doesn’t just tell you what new structures are going up, but it also tells you about the age of the buildings in your area to help you find clients who might be needing work done soon. That can be a valuable source of leads if your company focuses on renovations and remodeling.

Data on what other large construction companies near you are building can also give you ideas. If you spot a trend in new houses with solar panels and smart home features, you might decide to tailor your marketing toward an eco-conscious and tech-savvy crowd. On the other hand, if the data says small commercial construction is booming in your area, that suggets you’ll get better results by adapting your marketing to entrepreneurial types rather than large commercial property developers.

To learn more about pinpointing your target audience, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Business Is Booming – But Don’t Slow Your Marketing Efforts!

When you’ve got all the business you can handle, it seems reasonable to cut down on marketing to keep your schedule sane. Do that, though, and you’re liable to fall into a cycle of feast or famine. By working on long-term marketing instead, you’ll always have a construction project in the pipeline.

Build Your Email List

When a prospect joins your email list in the early planning phase of their construction project, you’ll have months to demonstrate your expertise and build rapport. By the time they’re ready to hire a construction company, you’ll be far ahead of anyone they come across later through a casual online search. Start connecting with prospects early by contacting landowners who’ve recently applied for a building permit. Get in touch and offer a free guide, white paper or other lead magnet as an incentive to join your email list. The insight you gain from their building permit will help you choose a lead magnet they’ll be motivated to sign up for.

Stay Up on the Trends

Just because you have a good thing going now, that doesn’t mean it will last forever. By staying on top of declining and emerging trends, you won’t be left without clients when the winds shift. Construction industry data can help you do that. If you specialize in commercial construction and notice a dropoff in the number of building permits granted for small commercial buildings, but an increase in permits for larger facilities, you might want to change your focus in the future. If you’re a building materials supplier and notice more homes being built with outdoor living spaces, it might be worth adding more decking material to your product line.

Polish Your Public Relations

Good PR gets your company’s name known in the community, and builds your credibility and positive reputation. Knowing the current market trends can help you understand what matters most to your ideal clients so you’ll know where to focus your PR efforts. If eco-friendly building materials, solar panels, and green roofs are trending, it makes sense to target your PR efforts towards environmental causes.

Why You Should A/B Test Updates to Your Construction Website

Small improvements to your website can make the difference between a potential construction client contacting you or clicking away. By A/B testing your website updates, you’ll see what changes are bringing good results so you can capitalize on them even more.

Get the Results You Want

The goal of any website update is to improve your metrics, whether that means lowering your bounce rate (the rate of visitors who view one page, then leave), encouraging more visitor engagement or increasing leads. Especially if you’ve paid a professional designer, it’s easy to assume any changes are for the better. That’s not always the case, though.

An A/B test shows you which updates are helping and which aren’t. A major change in layout might end up confusing your visitors. If they can’t find the content they want quickly, you’ll get fewer leads. Updates that are good for aesthetics aren’t always good for business. Considering how important eye-catching images are on a construction website, you might think a slick-looking image carousel or hero image of a recent building project could only help. If you find these features increase your bounce rate, though, you’ll know to look for something more engaging for your homepage.

Quantify Your Improvements

Even if you know which recent updates have improved your website metrics, it’s helpful to have some hard data on those improvements. A/B tests let you collect data on both the old and the updated version of each part of your website. If you spot a change that’s getting especially good results, you’ll know where to focus your efforts.

Maybe your new homepage features a downloadable case study on your recent multi-story car park project and you find it’s bringing you a lot more leads. You might want to make that case study even more prominent on your homepage or try out other types of lead magnets. A guide on budgeting a commercial construction project might bring more leads still.