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.

 

3 Tips For Finding Leads Online In Unusual Places

online leadsEven if your favorite sources of construction leads are keeping you busy for now, it never hurts to have more tricks up your sleeve for finding leads online. Look in the less obvious places and you might find they give you some of your best clients yet.

  1. Work with strategic partners – Cross-marketing with non-competing businesses and organizations that work with the same market as you puts you in touch with new leads while also strengthening your network. Potential partners include materials suppliers, architects, and tradespeople such as roofers and carpenters. Even non-profits can help bring you leads. If you specialize in eco-friendly home remodeling, you might partner with a non-profit that focuses on health or environmental issues. Cooperating can be as simple as exchanging ads in each other’s email newsletters or social media posts or guest blogging for each other’s blogs.
  2. Offer your guidance – Forums, blogs, and social media accounts where your target market spends their time are all opportunities for finding leads online. People come to these sites for guidance when they’re planning a new project or have a problem with an on-going project. By browsing for questions related to your services and taking a moment to reply, you’ll get your firm’s name on the radar not just of that poster but also of anyone else who happens by looking for answers.
  3. Put it on video – Youtube remains one of the largest search engines in the world, yet it’s easy to overlook as a source of leads. Posting videos of your completed projects might help turn interested prospects into clients, but it won’t necessarily bring in new leads. To reach people who haven’t heard of you yet, focus on providing information that will help your ideal clients get their projects started. For example, if you offer remodeling services, create videos on simple DIY remodeling projects. A DIY-enthusiast homeowner might put in new kitchen cabinets themselves, but hire you to remodel their bathroom.

 

How Does Geo-Targeted Marketing Work?

geo targetingBy its very nature, a construction project’s development is deeply intertwined with the needs of the geographic area where it takes place. Geo-targeted marketing lets you address your ideal prospect’s location-specific interests to show them you understand their needs.

What Geo-targeted Marketing Does

Simply put, geo-targeted marketing, or location targeting, means directing your online marketing at specific geographic areas. Offline, you can easily target residents of a particular area just by placing ads in local newspapers and radio programs. Online, unless your ads are geo-targeted, anyone can see them. That makes it hard to speak to the differing needs of people in diverse locations.

When you geo-target your marketing, you can customize your ads to let your would-be clients know you understand the challenges they face, such as working within strict building energy codes or building in heavily forested, high-elevation areas. By focusing on relevant specifics, you’ll attract attention and build trust.

The Technology Behind Geo-Targeting

Geo-targeted marketing typically works by using a visitor’s IP address to determine their location. To do this, ad servers and platforms use information from geolocation services. This method isn’t flawless, but it can usually narrow down a user’s location to their postal code. When you advertise on a platform such as Facebook Ads or Video Ads for YouTube, you can choose to show your ads to a specific city, neighborhood or postal code, depending on the platform.

This lets you offer location-specific ads that lead to landing pages designed especially for that area’s audience. It also helps you target by demographic group by focusing your marketing on areas that are favored by a certain age- or income-range. If you want to attract people to an event at your office, you can send SMS ads or place online ads that will reach those within a small radius of where you are. For behavior-based geo-targeting, you can target the area around places your potential clients might visit, such as home improvement stores.

 

Email Drip Campaign Basics – What You Need To Know

email marketingBecause it can take months for construction leads to turn into clients, it pays to stay in contact with your prospects over the long term. An email drip campaign lets you keep in touch without adding to the work you already have.

Guiding Your Leads

An email drip campaign is a pre-scheduled sequence of emails automated to be sent at specific intervals. These campaigns are often set up to start when a website visitor performs a trigger action, such as downloading a free tips sheet or signing up for a webinar.

The ultimate goal is to guide your prospect through your sales funnel, but each campaign has a more specific primary goal. It might be to welcome new leads, educate prospects about the services you provide, nurture greater trust and rapport or reconnect with a client you haven’t heard from in six months or longer.

Regular, well-timed contact keeps your firm at the top of your prospects’ minds, while also letting you soft-sell your services by showcasing your successes. It can also help you build long-term relationships that result in more return clients and referrals.

Crafting Your Campaign

When you set out to create a campaign, know your goal first. What step do you want to lead your prospect toward? The content in your emails should give your prospects whatever they need to take that step, whether it’s a clearer understanding of your design-build process or more reassurance of your skill at restoring historical homes.

Finally, decide how many emails to include in each campaign, as well as when each email will be sent. As a rough guide, you’ll want to start out with a higher frequency, then slow down over time. A welcome campaign might consist of a daily email for one week, whereas in a lead nurturing campaign, you might send a weekly email for the first month, then cut back to one every two weeks for the next two months.

 

Setting Up A Sales Funnel for Construction Lead Conversion

sales funnelConstruction lead conversion is a gradual process that involves building trust and providing guidance. There’s no quick-fix solution, but with a skillfully designed lead funnel, you’ll be able to turn leads into clients almost on autopilot.

Reach Out to Your Audience

To guide new leads into your funnel, consider what those in your target market hope to get from you early on. Are they searching for tips on ecologically sustainable office building construction? Do they want guidance on aging-in-place home remodeling? Keep your target audience’s goals in mind when you create content for your social media accounts and blog, provide material to attract referrals from past clients, and when you create your cold call scripts.

Capture Their Contact Info

The next step in your sales funnel turns information seekers into warm leads by bringing you their contact information. Some will contact you on their own, but you’ll get better results by offering an incentive. It could be an ebook, white paper, video series, webinar or any other premium content that gives your visitors valuable information in exchange for their email address or phone number.

With each incentive you offer, focus on solving a common, concrete problem for a specific audience. For instance, if you work with luxury hotel developers, you might tempt them in with data on trends in sought-after hotel amenities.

Along with getting contact information, your incentive should “pre-sell” your prospect. Let them know who your services are best suited for and exactly how your expertise benefits your clients.

Build a Relationship

Because construction lead conversion can take months, your funnel should include a way to stay in touch with prospects while they research and plan their projects. An email newsletter is one of the most efficient ways to do this. A simple, twice monthly newsletter keeps you at the forefront of your prospects’ minds. It also lets you showcase your services and success stories to encourage your prospects to choose your firm when they’re ready to start work.

 

How Blogging Can Build Visitor Trust

building trustPublishing a blog is a good way to help people find your construction firm online, but that’s not where the benefits end. Your posts also build visitor trust by showcasing your expertise and helping you build influential connections.

Establish Your Credibility

Before your visitors give you their trust, they need to see some proof that you have the skills to turn their construction plans into a reality and the personal integrity to deal honestly with financial and scheduling matters. By filling your blog with valuable tips, advice, and insight that will help your target audience solve their problems and reach their goals, you show them you know what you’re talking about. Your blog also gives you a way to draw more attention to your portfolio images, client testimonials, and success stories that further prove your expertise.

Your hard skills aren’t the only thing your blog shows off, though. Freely sharing your knowledge positions you as a helpful, generous expert who’s willing to take the time to guide others in the right direction.

Team Up with Influencers

Your blog opens an abundance of opportunities to work with construction industry influencers and build visitor trust by leveraging their good reputations. Find out who the influential personalities are in your segment of the construction industry and start building a relationship by interacting with their blog and social media posts. Mention them in your blog posts or ask to interview them for a post. Send a short question to several influencers and, with their permission, create a blog post from their answers. Ask to guest post on their blog or invite them to guest post on yours.

When you publish an especially high-value post, let relevant influencers know you have something their audience might find helpful. If you’ve built a connection, chances are they’ll be happy to share your post, which gets your name in front of more potential clients along with a recommendation from someone they already trust.

 

3 Ways Construction Companies Can Attract More Leads Through Video Content

video marketingVideo content holds attention, conveys information quickly, and is highly sharable, but it’s often overlooked as a tool for bringing in construction leads. Used skillfully, though, your videos can attract leads in several ways.

  1. Gate your videos – Value-packed videos can give your website visitors an incentive to hand over their contact information. Choose one of your target prospects’ most pressing problems and produce a series of videos that help them avoid or solve that problem. If you offer remodeling services, you might create videos with practical tips on avoiding cost overruns and missed deadlines during a home remodeling project. Then make the series accessible in exchange for an email address.
  2. Include videos in your emailsEmail newsletters that include videos have been shown to get higher clickthrough rate. That means more readers coming back to your website where you can lead them towards contacting you. A 60- to 90-second video is enough to do the job. If you’re telling your readers about a service, create a short video showing the real-life results of that services or interview a satisfied client. If you’re announcing the completion of a new office building project, take your readers on a quick video tour. Make sure the thumbnail you embed in your email displays a play button and runtime so your readers realize you’re offering a video and that it’s quick to watch. Use the word “video” in your email title to grab your readers’ attention.
  3. Invite your viewers to connect – Posting your video content on Youtube, Vimeo, and other sharing sites puts you in contact with a wider audience. Unless you motivate your viewers to get in touch with you, though, chances are they’ll just move on to the next video. To turn your viewers into leads, include a call to action in every video and give people an easy way to find your website. Consider using an app that lets you embed a Facebook “share” icon and an email opt-in form right into your video.

 

Using Case Studies To Build Credibility

case studiesWhen a potential client is learning about your construction firm, the content you publish is a big part of how they judge your credibility. By showing exactly how you’ve solved a client’s tough problem in the past, a case study makes your reliability clear.

Show off Your Successes

Few types of content demonstrate your real-world problem-solving skills better than case studies. A case study backs up your claims of expertise so well because it’s essentially a client success story with an in-depth description and hard evidence to prove how you helped your client overcome a problem and reach their goals.

The biggest challenges your firm has faced make ideal case studies. Write about that tricky second-story addition you built on an older home, the boutique guesthouse you built in a densely forested area or how you sourced sustainable building material for a demanding client.

When your prospects see how adeptly you were able to analyze your client’s problem, devise and evaluate potential solutions, and then put your chosen solution into action, your credibility becomes undeniable.

Back Up Your Marketing Claims

Integrating case studies into your marketing lends credence to your claims of expertise. Feature them on your home page to let your visitors read about a real person who saw success working with your firm. This works well if you have widely divergent specialties, such as home remodeling and educational facility construction. When you develop sales presentations, include case studies to let your results speak for themselves.

Case studies are rife with ideas and data that can inspire blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts. Using your case studies as a jumping-off point for new content helps you get more use out of your existing material and draws more attention to the case studies themselves.

Case studies make ideal lead magnets, too. Put together a video tour or photo essay on a finished project, then offer the related case study in exchange for an email address.