Marketing Your Construction Business Online: Avoid These Mistakes!

online marketingOnline marketing is a complex subject, so it’s easy to make a misstep here and there. By getting familiar with online marketing best practices for construction firms, you can avoid major mistakes that waste your time and drive away business.

Confusing site design – No matter where your visitors enter your site, they should be able to find essential information within a click or two. Offer clear navigation that links to your About, Services, Portfolio, and Contact pages.

No lead-generating incentives – Many of your visitors will click away from your site and disappear forever unless you give them a reason to hand over their contact details. Offer case studies, an in-depth email course, helpful cheatsheets or other free, useful information in exchange for an email address. If you’re offering a free newsletter, give it a catchy title and dedicate a page to promoting it. This is one of the most essential online marketing best practices for generating leads from your website.

Weak social media presence – Neglected social media accounts look unprofessional. Spreading your efforts too thin only wastes your time. To gain leads from social media, you need a consistent, involved presence. It’s better to do one or two platforms well, than five badly. Get proficient with one platform before you expand to another.

Scattershot paid advertising – A banner ad here and a paid search ad there can end up being a waste of money if they’re not part of a well planned campaign based on market research. Know exactly what kind of client you’re targeting and what you want them to do when they reach your site. Stick with each campaign long enough to see results, which is usually 30 days at minimum.

No cohesive plan – Your online marketing should lead your potential clients through the buying process step by step. Plan out a sales funnel that generates leads, qualifies them, then helps you identify their needs and offer an appealing proposal. Develop marketing material for each step of the process.

How To Convert Leads Into Customers: Email Do’s And Dont’s

do's don'tsIt’s always encouraging when a prospective construction client contacts you, but between that first email and a signed contract, there’s a lot you need to do. By honing your ability to convert leads to customers, you’ll get more ROI out of your marketing and close deals faster.

Don’t: Let emails sit for more than 24 hours.
Do: Reply promptly. If you can’t provide the information your lead wants immediately, let them know you’re working on it. Activate e-mail notifications on your phone so you can reply when you have a spare moment. To save time, prepare templates for your most common responses.

Don’t: Send the same information to every lead.
Do: Nurture each email lead in a way that’s appropriate for where they are in the buying process. If they’re just trying to get a handle on what services and unique benefits you offer, take a low-pressure, educational approach. If a prospect knows exactly what they want, then a more sales-oriented approach is warranted.

Don’t: Give up too soon.
Do: Follow up two or more times. There are a thousand reasons a genuinely interested prospect might not get back in touch with you, so it often takes persistence to convert leads to customers. It’s enough to send a quick note reminding your prospect you haven’t heard back and you’re looking forward to talking with them.

Don’t: Do it all manually
Do: Automate your follow-up and lead nurturing process by creating a series of emails designed to educate your prospects and gradually lead them toward closing a deal. Develop a series for each type of potential client, such as home remodeling prospects or commercial real estate investors. Use an email marketing service to send emails automatically.

Don’t: Over-rely on email.
Do: Set up a phone call or in-person meeting with your leads as soon as you can qualify them. These more personal interactions help build the trust and rapport your clients need to feel before they’ll decide to work with you.

3 Elements All Effective Case Studies Have

case studiesMarketing using case studies positions you as an expert in your field while also getting your name out there and attracting potential clients to you. Developing a case study takes time and effort, but it’s easier when you have a format to follow.

The Problem

Just like a good story, a case study follows a central character as they overcome a challenge to reach a goal. To grab your readers’ attention, clearly define the problem your client faced in the outset of your report. Focus on a single, specific problem. Trying to cover multiple subjects dilutes your message and confuses your reader.

To choose a problem on which to base your study, consider the biggest concerns your target clients face. It might be an issue such as waterproofing a deep basement or installing solar panels on a metal roof.

The Possible Solutions

Part of the goal of a case study is to help the reader decide which possible solution to their own problems will bring them the best results in the most time- and cost-effective way. To do that, you need to lay out the options you considered. Avoid focusing only on solutions your firm offers. You’ll gain more trust and respect by presenting an honest assessment of all possible solutions that were open to the client in your study.

Then explain why you choice the solution you did. Point out what the other options were missing and what made them unacceptable choices. This demonstrates to your readers why your firm’s solution was the best way to go.

The Results       

Marketing using case studies works in large part because your readers want to know what you can do for them. It’s not enough to state which solution worked. You’ll also need to detail the results it brought in concrete terms, using numbers and facts where appropriate. Some possible results to include are:

  • Savings of money or time
  • Increased return on investment
  • Improved compliance with regulations
  • Better real estate usage efficiency
  • Better management efficiency

To get more tips on marketing using case studies, contact Construction Monitor.

 

 

3 Key Things Every Construction Website Should Have

construction websiteThere’s so much you could do with your construction firm’s website that it can be hard to determine which improvements are worth the effort. To get the most out of your site upgrade, start with a few proven website best practices.

Gallery-Style Portfolio

Nothing can convey the full effect of your work like good photography. To really show potential clients what you can do, you need not just a few photos on your project pages, but a complete online portfolio organized as an easy-to-browse gallery. Many online services are available that make setting up a gallery on your site easy.

Snapshots from your phone are fine for quick social media updates, but a portfolio demands quality. Invest in a professional architectural photographer who can capture the unique character of your work and highlight its most impressive features. Include not only finished buildings, but also stages of the building process.

In-Depth Services Pages

Crowding brief overviews of all your services onto a single page does a disservice to your skills and the value you offer your clients. Instead, create individual pages for each of your primary construction-related services. Detail exactly what the service is, how the process works, and what benefits it brings your client. The more your prospective clients know about what you can do for them, the more likely they’ll be to get in touch.

As a plus, focused service pages help improve your search engine ranking. A content-rich page focused on a specific topic is more likely to rank highly for related search terms.

Testimonials

A good word from a few satisfied clients boosts your website visitors’ confidence by acting as third-party proof that you can deliver. Praise from clients also humanizes your firm and can help showcase your more noteworthy services.

Written testimonials are fine, but for extra credibility, ask some of your best clients if they’d be willing to do video testimonials. Follow website best practices by strategically placing testimonials on your Home page, About page, and services pages.

Close More Construction Deals By Giving Information Away

industry informationClients who plan to invest a hefty sum in a construction project want to know they’re working with the best in the business. To win those high-profit contracts, you need to be known as the go-to firm. By freely providing valuable information, you can become a thought leader who’s opinion is not only trusted, but also sought out as the authority.

Position Yourself Online

Turn your website into a hub for information and tools, and you’ll draw people in your target market while giving them a reason to share your name. Using your in-depth knowledge of your ideal clients, develop information that helps them overcome their challenges and meet their goals. Focus on solving specific, clearly defined problems using formats such as:

  • Email and video courses
  • In-depth ebooks
  • Checklists, templates, and cheat sheets
  • Webinars
  • Case studies and white papers
  • Survey results

Extend this to your social media accounts by publishing articles on LinkedIn, creating an invite-only Facebook group or running weekly Twitter chats.

Reach Out to Your Target Market

Public speaking is a quick way to get out there and connect with potential clients in person. Start with your local Kiwanis, Rotary Club, and Chamber of Commerce then work up to trade associations and conferences, and corporate training programs.

To further boost your credentials, write for local newspapers and construction trade magazines. Learn the needs of each publications’ audience, and pitch your story ideas to the editors.

Radio stations often look for guests who’ll benefit or entertain their listeners. Create a media kit that includes your your bio, past speaking or other related experience, and topics you can discuss with authority. Then start pitching your ideas. If you’re really ambitious, many cable TV stations still offer public access opportunities.

Providing free, useful information helps spread your name and establishes you as a helpful, reliable authority. You’ll attract more leads who are already sold on your skills and ready to close a deal.

For more ideas on how to become a thought leader in your segment of the construction industry, contact Construction Monitor

3 Unconventional Ways To Generate New Construction Leads

generate leadsIf you’ve been in the construction business for long, you already know a little something about generating leads. As the industry and the online economy grow, though, some less conventional ways to generate construction leads are coming into their own.

Social Lead Capture Page

Traditional lead capture pages try to sell the visitor on signing up before they receive anything. A social lead capture page gives the visitor something first. With this method, you can win your visitors’ appreciation, social media shares, and contact information.

Choose a topic you know your target clients are eager to learn more about. Create a dedicated page that provides truly valuable information on that topic in an easy-to-digest format such as an infographic or a short video. Make it something you yourself would want to share. To directly generate construction leads, place social media links and your call to action, such as your newsletter sign-up form, under the content.

Partner Up

Referrals are one of the best types of leads, but they don’t always come from the obvious sources. Instead of relying on your past clients to refer leads your way, form strategic partnerships with complementary businesses.

Partner with real estate agents, building services specialists such as electricians, banks specializing in real estate loans, and of course, your materials suppliers. Consider offering a referral fee for every lead that turns into a paying client.

Get Out and Mingle

When you’re aiming to win high-budget construction projects, it takes some effort to earn your potential clients’ trust and respect. One of the best ways to do it is through speaking. Host a talk designed to answer a pressing question or provide critical information your target clients need to reach their goals. You could even make it an event such as a cocktail party or barbecue. It takes some advertising to bring in an audience, but it’s far easier to develop a good rapport and high level of trust when your potential clients can see and hear you in person.

Using An Email Drip Campaign To Grow Your Business

How Word-Of-Mouth Advertising Has Moved Online

word of mouth advertisingA personal referral from a satisfied client is more powerful than any ad, but these days, that kind of word of mouth advertising isn’t limited to in-person conversations. Knowing how to spread the word online will help you win clients you might otherwise never have heard from.

Social Media Buzz

Social media is an indispensable tool not just for connecting directly with your potential clients, but also for helping them connect with each other. When people come across something useful or interesting online, they’re often happy to share it with anyone they think might benefit. Social media makes sharing quick and easy.

By publishing insightful guides and whitepapers, inspiring images, and other material that helps your would-be clients accomplish their goals, you’ll give them something to share with others in the market. Your shared content then does the work of demonstrating your skills and expertise without coming off as self-promotional.

Sites such as LinkedIn and Houzz are natural fits for construction professionals, but mainstream social platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest also help. The trick is to know which platform your target market gravitates to and direct your efforts there. Each one requires a tailored approach.

The Power of Influencers

Online influencers are bloggers, experts, celebrities, and others who have the power to affect purchasing decisions thanks to a large online following of people who trust their opinion. The Internet has allowed enthusiasts in even the smallest niches to establish followings, giving you the chance to access highly targeted audiences.

Well established bloggers commonly offer paid advertising opportunities such as sponsored posts, reviews, and shout-outs. Because these allow the blogger to inject their own personality and opinions, they’re more relatable, engaging, and trustworthy than ads. Guest posting, publishing your post on someone else’s blog, is another way to tap into an influencer’s audience. These methods work as efficient word of mouth advertising with one trusted authority recommending your services to hundreds or thousands of people in your target market.