How the Right Images can Help Convert Your Website Visitors

website imagesBecause construction involves a strong visual component, the right images are critical for communicating the value of your company. Choose website images that showcase your expertise and convey your personality, and you’ll convert more of your visitors into clients.

Communicate Benefits

Sometimes the benefits you offer clients just can’t be fully conveyed with words. Photos, however, show your prospects exactly how your work outshines your competitors’. This goes beyond your basic portfolio. If you pride yourself on your flexibility, choose photos that show how your building projects have met some of your clients’ unconventional requests. If you carefully select high quality building materials, use pictures that demonstrate how your preferred materials compare to inferior products.

Build an Emotional Connection

While photos of your work are important, they aren’t the only thing your prospects want to see. Pictures of your team help would-be clients get a sense of who you are as people and let you express your personality in a way that speaks to your ideal clients. Candid shots from the company picnic reveal a family-friendly side that can help attract new home builders, whereas pictures of your design team in the office might appeal to more business-minded clients. If aging-in-place remodeling is one of your specialties, a picture of your happy clients showing off their home’s new features assures your older prospects people just like them trust you.

Guide Your Visitors

Most people skim webpages, so they can easily end up lost and confused. Graphics grab your visitors’ attention and let you guide them where you want them to go. Arrows and icons lead your visitors through your marketing funnel. Diagrams, illustrations, and text boxes get critical ideas across and clarify complex concepts. That’s particularly important in specialist fields where your clients might not fully understand everything that goes into their construction projects. The better your prospects understand what you do and how your expertise benefits them, the more likely they are to chose your company.

3 Ways to Incorporate Infographics Into Your Marketing Efforts

infographicBecause they grab attention, convey information quickly, and easily garner social media shares, infographics are a valuable marketing tool in the data-heavy construction industry. Using them throughout your marketing helps you reach a wider audience and connect with them faster.

Connect Them to Your Content

Every inforgraphic you create should tie into other content that expands on the topic and leads readers toward contacting you. A blog post, video or downloadable case study are all possibilities. If you create an infographic that gives property developers the dish on this year’s hot trends, connect it to a blog post describing how your company can help them cash in. If you make one about environmentally sustainable building materials and practices, tie it to a video on how you use those materials and practices in your clients’ projects.

Share Them on Social Media

As one of the most shareable kinds of content on the Internet, infographics are practically made for social media. This goes double if they include handy tips or surprising facts that make the one sharing them look helpful and knowledgeable. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the best places to post your infographics, but Pinterest is another good bet if you’re targeting home building and remodeling clients. Link your infographic back to a relevant webpage or other content where potential clients can learn more.

Include Them in Newsletters

Attention spans are short when checking email, so the faster you can get your point across, the better. Infographics let your readers get the gist at a glance so you have a better chance of tempting them back to your website. While you can use one long infographic as your newsletter’s main body, there’s a high risk it will get caught in the spam filters. Instead, use small infographics to illustrate single ideas. If your newsletter talks about the three biggest pitfalls to avoid when planning a hospital renovation, include an infographic that illustrates each pitfall with an eye-catching icon.

4 Benefits of Using a Website Heat Map

website engagementA website heat map is one of the most effective tools for using your visitors’ actions to better understand what they’re looking for in a construction firm. By presenting data in a simple, visual way, heat maps show you what’s attracting your would-be clients.

  1. Learn what grabs their attention – Mouse-movement heat maps, also called hover or attention maps, tell you about what catches your visitors’ eye when they first arrive. If they go back and forth between two links, you might need to reword those links for clarity. If they tend to wander around the page, consider a redesign to help them find what they want fast before they give up.
  2. See where their true interests lie – Click maps shows you where your visitors ultimately decide to go, helping you better understand their goals. If far more visitors click your “renovations” link than your “new construction” link, maybe it’s worth re-targeting your site for renovations clients. If you want visitors to check out your portfolio first, but they tend to head for your community involvement links, you’ll know to make your portfolio link more prominent.
  3. Assess their attention spans – With a scroll map, you can see how far visitors scroll down different webpages. If they’re scrolling to the end of your blog posts on budgeting residential property development projects, but barely reading any of your industry news posts, that tells you about their interests. If they’re not making it past a few paragraphs on any page, why? Do you need more engaging introductions, better formatting, catchier subtitles or more images?
  4. Target your most valuable audience – Heat maps show you which behavior patterns convert best so you can optimize your site for visitors who fit that profile. Maybe the visitors who click over to your blog first and read several posts to the end are the ones who typically become clients. On the other hand, maybe it’s the ones who spend a little time on your portfolio, then head straight for your contact page.

Using Instagram Stories to Build a Social Following

share your storyAs Instagram’s algorithm evolves and it gets harder to reach your target audience, Stories are taking on an increasingly important role. In the construction field, where there’s always something new to share, the growing interest in Stories is a promising opportunity to build your following.

Build Deeper Connections

Because Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, they’re perfect for sharing candid behind-the-scenes glimpses into your company. They let you show your audience how you work so they gain more trust in your skills. They also give you a chance to share a little of your human side and develop a more personal relationship. Your distinct personality is a big part of what makes people want to follow and interact with you. Post Stories about recent progress on a building project, show how you solved a problem or give your audience the highlights from a recent trade show or office party.

Q&A Stories are another good choice. These help you establish your expertise to build trust and show anyone not following you yet that your feed is the place to come for help planning their construction projects. Doing a regular Q&A is also an easy way to publish consistently, which is key for growing your following.

Get Your Stories Seen

The way you format and promote your Stories is what really makes the difference in how many new followers you gain with them. Add location and hashtag stickers to help people find your Stories. Unlike with standard image posts, you’ll want at least one broad, high-volume hashtag, such as #realestatedevelopment or #remodeling, if your goal is to build your following.

After you post a Story, use your next image post’s description to invite your followers to check out the new Story. If your account has the option, consider using Promote for Stories. Let your followers on other platforms know, too. Share an image from the Story on Facebook or Twitter and invite your followers to see the rest on Instagram.

How a Slide Deck Can Help You Showcase Your Value to Potential Clients

slide deckSlide deck presentations don’t have to be boring. With good organization and a little creativity, you can turn your presentations into highly effective tools for convincing prospects of the value you’ll bring to their construction plans.

Tell a Story

If you’re trying to win over a new client, the goal of your slide deck presentation is to persuade them by providing information. A mess of disjointed data from past projects can’t do that. By organizing your presentation as a story, though, you can convey information in a clear, memorable way.

Remind your audience of the problems they’re facing, show them how things could be instead, then show how your company can get them from A to B. So if your prospects are looking for an expert in modernizing office buildings, you might start by describing problems such as energy inefficiency and crowding, then show how your company has solved these issues with energy-saving features, public spaces, better building access, and other improvements. To keep things clear, stick with three main benefits your company offers and three points about each.

Think Visually

We tend to process information presented visually faster and remember it for longer than written information. Slide decks are perfect for conveying your value visually, but so many presenters miss the opportunity by transferring text directly onto their slides in the form of full sentences and bulleted lists. The result is dull and confusing.

Instead, use visuals to clarify and augment your points. Each slide should give an instant visual summary of the specific value you’re presenting, while you fill in the details verbally.

Put some thought into the best way to represent your main points visually. Replace bullet points with diagrams or illustrate features and benefits with icons. For example, you might use a colorful blow-up drawing to show the energy-saving features commonly included in your buildings. Combining a photo of a finished building project with a graphic illustration of the value you brought to that project is another option.

How to Earn the Attention of Your Target Audience

target audience attentionIt’s not always easy to get your content to stand out in the sea of information out there these days, but it can be done. Take the time to understand your ideal construction clients’ concerns and interests, give them what they’re looking for, and you’ll have no trouble holding their attention.

Focus on Their Interests

The first step in earning your audience’s attention is to focus on the topics they care about most. If your target clients are hungry to learn about converting old warehouses into modern office buildings, they’ll happily pay attention to your blog posts on renewing facades and retrofitting modern technology. If warehouse conversion isn’t their thing, though, they’ll ignore that content no matter how good it is.

Even if you’re fairly certain you know what your prospects want, continual research helps you spot shifting trends and topics you might have overlooked. What topics do your prospects and clients often ask about? Which articles and blog posts on your site are most popular? What kinds of social media posts in your field get the most attention? A little old-fashion keyword research can help you spot in-demand topics, too.

Offer Real Benefits

Long gone are the days when you could dash off a cursory, keyword-laden blog post and expect it to bring in leads. Today’s readers won’t stick around for content that doesn’t genuinely benefit them. The complexities of the construction industry make for an especially demanding audience. Your potential clients need help understanding popular construction features, modern building materials, and ever-evolving building codes.

If your content answers their questions, solves their problems or gives them valuable new knowledge, your audience will pay attention and keep coming back to learn more. Cover topics in depth and include hard data, well-sourced facts, and visual aids such as diagrams and graphs. Offer your personal, experience-based insights readers can’t get elsewhere. Share your opinions and humor, too. Your true personality will hold your audience’s attention better than a bland corporate voice.

5 Tips for Creating a Stellar Ebook

ebookAn ebook is the classic lead generation tool for a good reason. It motivates your audience to share their contact information and gives you space to show off your expertise. Plan your ebook well and you can create an asset that keeps bringing you construction leads for years.

  1. Define your topic clearly – A narrowly defined topic makes it easier to offer a concrete benefit and cover your topic in depth, which makes your ebook more attractive and valuable to your audience. If you’re targeting commercial real estate developers, “Five Features Commercial Tenants Love” will appeal to them more than “The Basics of Green Construction.”
  2. Catch them early – People in the early “awareness” or “interest” stages of your sales funnel are the most likely to be influenced by your ebook, so keep that in mind when you choose your topic. If you offer home remodeling services, consider creating an ebook about prioritizing home upgrades.
  3. Balance educating and selling – Teaching your readers helps you hold their attention and earn their trust by showcasing your expertise. If you expect them to stay with you after they get the information they want, though, you’ll need to lead them forward. When you talk about the benefits of a construction feature, technique or material, make it clear your company can provide it. End your ebook with a call to action, such as an invitation to download a detailed case study or a video course.
  4. Keep your style simple – A simple, conversational writing style makes it easier for your readers to understand the often complex ideas involved in planning a construction project. It also shows your readers your approachable human side, which helps build rapport.
  5. Present it well – Good visual presentation encourages your prospects to actually download the ebook you’ve been talking up in your blog and social media posts. Create an attractive cover or hire a graphic designer for one. Give your ebook its own landing page with compelling copy and graphics that convey the key benefits.

How a Content Marketing SWOT Analysis Can Help Your Construction Business

SWOT analysisPerforming a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis on your content can help you get an effective, workable content marketing strategy into place quickly. With this done, you can be sure everything you publish will pull its weight in terms of bringing you new construction leads.

Get Your Bearings Fast

If you’re at a loss for how to move forward with your content marketing, a SWOT analysis can show you the way. It’s a simple process that gives you clear, usable results quickly even if you’re not an expert at marketing or data analysis. To start, all you’ll need is a list of basic stats on your best and worst performing content, such as formats, topics, lengths, and traffic sources, and a similar list for your main competitor’s best content.

Then work through the process of listing your content’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. If your best performing content focuses on cutting-edge innovations in prefabricated buildings, but your competitors are behind the times, you’ve found a strength you can capitalize on. If you notice your competitor’s content shows up in the search engine results ahead of yours, that’s a threat to look out for. Competitor not doing much on social media? There’s an opportunity for you to grab the leads they’re missing.

Create a Basis for Your Strategy

When you know what your content has going for and against it, you can more easily determine the direction you want to take with your content marketing. Say you want more single-family home construction leads. If you know you’re good at creating home tour videos and you’ve spotted an opportunity in social media, you might focus on filming more videos for social media.

With that goal in mind, you can get to work brainstorming ideas for videos, deciding how to integrate them into your sales funnel, and scheduling them in your editorial calendar. Instead of spending weeks crunching data, with a SWOT analysis, you can start creating strategic, lead-generating content within a day.

Are Google Ads Dead or a Viable Lead Generation Source?

PPCGoogle Adwords has changed a lot since its launch in 2000, and while it’s no longer as cheap and easy as it once was, it still holds the potential to bring you construction leads. With an up-to-date Adwords strategy, you can attract leads you might not find elsewhere.

Get Results Fast

One of the biggest benefits of Adwords is its ability to bring in leads faster than improving your website’s visibility through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO, while highly valuable, is an involved process that can take four to six months to show results. With Adwords, your link can be at the top of the results page for a highly competitive term in a few hours as long as you can place the top bid for that term.

Using Adwords also gives you a chance to outrank a strong competitor. Maybe you’re the new guy in town for retail store renovation, and your competitor has been there for 10 years. Outranking them in the search engines through SEO could take years, but Adwords can quickly make your content just as visible as theirs. The automated target outranking share bidding strategy offered through Adwords makes it even easier.

Reach the Right Audience

Before you jump into Adwords, take time to understand the service and plan your strategy. What works on Facebook or LinkedIn, won’t necessarily work on Adwords. Set up a lead-capture page that adheres to Google’s Adwords Policies. Spend some time on the Keyword Planner to find cost-effective keywords. A highly focused term such as “office renovation companies” will generally cost less and attract more of your ideal clients than a broad term such as “commercial construction companies.”

Use conversion tracking codes to calculate each ad’s ROI. A/B test your ads and landing pages. Pay attention to whether Search Network, Display Network or Youtube ads work best for you and refine your strategy accordingly. Set a strict budget and spend more on an ad only when it gets results.

3 SEO Myths to Ditch Today

SEO factsImproving your website’s search engine rankings takes focused, on-going effort, so the last thing you should do is waste your energy following misguided beliefs. Get clear on today’s common SEO myths and you can get on with what actually matters.

Myth 1. Keywords Aren’t Important

Over-using keywords is definitely a thing of the past, but keywords still affect your ranking. Nowadays, placement and context matter more than frequency. In a blog post about luxury multi-family housing, use variations of that term in your title tag, one or two headers, article body, and one link’s anchor text, but also include related terms such as “in-unit amenities” and “shared spaces.” Most likely, those terms will show up naturally as you write. Take time for keyword research, too. It helps you spot topics your audience wants to learn about.

Myth 2. Link-building is Dead

It’s true submitting your articles and links to general directories won’t help much, but backlinks from high-quality websites are as valuable as ever. If you specialize in office building construction, links from authoritative sites on commercial property investment, facilities managements, and related topics tell the search engines you’re an authority in your field.

To get backlinks like this, reach out to website owners in non-competing businesses that share your audience. If you create a useful resource, such as a free video course, drop a line to website owners letting them know you have something that might benefit their readers. Ask the owners of popular blogs if they accept guest posts.

Myth 3. Social Media Won’t Help Your SEO

Search engines pay little attention to backlinks from social media, but social media can help you get backlinks that do matter. Posting your work and interacting with your ideal prospects gets you in front of a wider audience. There’s a good chance some of those readers will find your work valuable enough to link to from their own sites, and it’s those links that boost your search engine ranking.