Why You Need A Digital Marketing Strategy

digital marketing strategyJust a decade ago, word of mouth and a few strategically placed print ads may have been enough to bring in a steady flow of construction clients. These days however, if you don’t have a cohesive digital marketing strategy, you risk being left behind.

Lead Your Prospects to the Sale

Because choosing a construction firm is a major decision, your prospects need time to get to know and like your firm before calling you for a consultation. To avoid losing their interest before then, you need to lead them step by step through the sales process.

Without a strategy, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with your online marketing options and end up taking a scattershot approach. If you’re only publishing a few posts here and there on blogs or Facebook, your prospects won’t see the next step to take in getting to know your firm and are likely to forget about you.

A defined digital marketing strategy leads your prospects through the stages of awareness, interest, desire, and action. It helps you guide your prospects from the first time they discover you in an online search or on social media, through signing up for your free downloads or email list, to finally contacting you.

Use Your Resources More Efficiently

With so many ways to promote a construction firm online, without a plan, you’re liable to spread your resources too thin and waste time on fruitless tactics. Developing an online marketing strategy helps you determine the most productive uses for your time and money. By mapping out exactly how you’ll reach out to prospects and lead them toward a sale, you’ll know where to concentrate your limited resources.

When you know how each component of your strategy fits together, you’ll be better able to analyze your results and optimize your approach.

A strategy makes budgeting and hiring easier, too. You’ll know ahead of time what funding, skills, and other resources you need to execute your plan.

Take time to create a digital marketing strategy, and you’ll attract more clients in less time while staying ahead of your less organized competition.

 

Building An Email List The Right Way

building an email listA responsive email list is one of the most valuable assets your construction firm can have, but not all lists are equally profitable. Knowing how to build an email list of the right people is what will make your email marketing efforts worth while.

Attract The Right Attention

If you expect your email list to be profitable, you’ll need readers who are likely to hire you eventually.

Because your blog and other website content are among your most powerful tools for attracting leads, make sure what you publish is highly tailored toward the needs and interests of your ideal clients.

If you’re stuck for ideas, think about your prospective clients’ most common questions. Answering questions such as “Do I need to work with an architect or structural engineer?” and “Can I install the electrical in my commercial building myself?” will give you plenty of material for client-oriented blog posts.

Extend this approach to your social media accounts and aim to make your posts useful and entertaining for the kinds of clients you want most, while also letting them know about your email newsletter. Promote your list offline, such as through displays at your trade show booths and your office’s front desk.

Choose Your Incentives Wisely

Considering the over-abundance of information online, many of your visitors will be hesitant to sign up for your mailing list without a good incentive. Offering something of value up front in exchange for joining can give them the nudge they need. Try offering a multi-part email course, original building industry data you’ve collected, or an intriguing case study or whitepaper.

Not all incentives will bring you responsive readers. Running contests tends to result in a list of people who signed up only for the chance to win something. Likewise, buying email lists is unlikely to produce any clients.

Learning how to build an email list is largely a matter of focus. Concentrate on attracting the right audience through targeted social media marketing and solution-oriented sign-up incentives, and you’ll build a responsive list you can rely on for sales.

The Value Of Effectively Branded Content

brand buildingWhen your prospects have thousands of other construction firms just a click away, it’s hard to stand out based on your services alone. Consistent brand building shows off your unique competencies more clearly while also connecting with your ideal clients and building lasting loyalty.

Holding Their Attention

Branded content is any content strongly associated with a specific brand and that aims to evoke emotions and encourage interaction. It blends marketing with storytelling and personal relationships.

To create content like this, you need to start with your client’s own stories. That means really getting to know the people in your target market both by collecting data and by talking with them in person. Then associate what you learn with the construction services you offer.

Done well, you’ll have content that reflects your clients’ reality and connects with them on a personal and emotional level. When your prospects feel like your marketing message is speaking directly to them and has real relevance, they’re more likely pay close attention all the way to the end. You’ll then have a better chance to demonstrate the benefits of your services and why you’re better than your competition.

Capturing Their Hearts

While advertorials aim to soft-sell by focusing on facts, branded content combines facts with positive feelings. The emotional connection this kind of brand building content creates is something that can’t be easily replaced by another firm. As a result, your clients’ choice to hire your firm is no longer merely a coldly logical business decision, but rather a personal one.

Clients who are emotionally attached to your brand are more likely to advocate for you and send referrals your way. If an emotionally connected client is unhappy with something, they’re more likely to tell you and work things through, rather than simply move on to another firm. They’ll also be more willing to defend your name if you ever have a public relations issue. In addition, these clients are less price sensitive, meaning you can set more profitable rates.

Going Mobile: Reaching Your Audience On The Go

mobile marketingYour prospective construction clients are busy people, which means they’re often out and about using their smartphones and tablets. Skillful marketing on mobile devices lets you grab their attention no matter where they are.

Get Mobile Friendly

Before you set out to target mobile users, get your site ready to convert those visitors into leads. Thoroughly test how well your site performs on mobile devices. In particular, make sure your construction work portfolio looks appealing enough to attract interest. Online device emulators can help out with this. If you’re serious about marketing on mobile devices, invest in a responsive design that will display perfectly on all devices. Ideas to make your site more accessible include:

  • Create succinct, well-formatted content that’s easy to skim through on a mobile device
  • Keep your headlines short to ensure they display well on narrow screens
  • Add brief summaries to the beginning of your blog posts
  • Use short paragraphs and plenty of white space, and break up content using subheads, images, bulleted lists, call-out boxes, and styling such as bold and italics

Target Local Prospects

Local searches are common on mobile devices, particularly for service-based businesses like construction. Help your local prospects find you by setting up profiles on local business directories. Google My Business, which ties in with Google+, as well as FourSquare, Merchant Circle, and Citysearch are good places to start.

On the mobile version of your site, provide your firm’s physical address, contact information, and hours of operation in a clearly visible position. Visitors should be able to find them at a glance.

Give some thought to Promoted Pins on Google Maps. This feature puts your company’s logo right on the Google Map to help you stand out from your competitors.

If you run print, TV or other offline visual ads, create QR codes for them that lead to a mobile optimized landing page. These grab your potential leads at the exact moment they’ve shown interest in your services and give you a chance to capture their contact information.

For more tips on marketing on mobile devices, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Using Premium Content To Capture Email Addresses

premium contentHelpful blog posts may attract prospects to your website, but they’re not always enough to convince those prospects to contact you. By offering premium content downloads in exchange for an email address, you can generate leads while also showing off your expertise.

Offer Unmistakable Value

Premium content, by definition, should provide even greater value than the standard content on your site. Create your premium downloads with the aim of helping your target prospects solve problems and accomplish goals related to their construction projects. Every premium download should offer a specific, clearly defined benefit.

Another way to create premium content is to provide information and insights your prospects can’t find anywhere else. One of the best ways to do this is by conducting your own research and adding your personal, experience-based observations. Conduct a case study, develop a white paper, take a survey or offer your take on an emerging trend.

Once you have a collection of downloads, build a library of content and offer full access in exchange for an email address. For even more targeted leads, build separate download libraries focused on the needs of each of your buyer personas.

Spotlight Your Premium Offers

On your website, offer free samples of your premium content downloads with the rest accessible only after your visitor provides an email address. For each sample, create a call to action that’s directly related to the download’s content. Tell the reader exactly what benefits they’ll receive.

At the end of blog posts that tie in with your premium content, place an email opt-in box that offers the option of downloading related premium content. If you have a particularly valuable download, create a dedicated landing page that promotes the benefits in detail.

Whenever you publish new premium content, send out a notice to your email list and your social media followers. Offer your downloads to relevant groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t hard sell, just put the word out that you have a resource they might find useful.

For more ideas on using premium content downloads to generate leads, contact Construction Monitor.

Magnify Your Marketing Online Through A Giveaway

giveawayA key part of effective online marketing is creating offers that stand out from all the noise and distractions on the internet. Because giveaways are relatively uncommon for construction firms, running one sets you apart while also bringing in new leads.

Choose an Enticing Prize

The prize you offer doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should provide real value to the people you most want as your clients. The easiest choice is a service you already provide for a fee, such as design consultation or budget development. Offering a prize directly connected to your other construction services helps ensure your giveaway entrants are qualified leads.

You’re not limited to prizes you produce yourself, though. Team up with a related business and cross-promote your offerings. If your target clients are homeowners looking to remodel, your prize might be interior design services or a certain amount of luxury tile. If you’re targeting commercial real estate investors, consider offering a copy of a high-end investment management software program, a place in a real estate investment course or even an invitation to networking dinner.

Make sure your prize and giveaway rules comply with your area’s sweepstakes and lottery laws so you don’t end up facing fines.

Get the Word Out

No matter how attractive your prize, you’ll still have to market your giveaway. To get the most out of your efforts, plan your marketing well in advance so you’ll have the content and relationships you need in place when you launch.

One reason a giveaway is such an effective online marketing method is that it’s time-limited and, to the right people, newsworthy. Take advantage of that by contacting influential bloggers, podcasters, and social media personalities in your field. If you’re giving away a product or service purchased from someone else, reach out to them for help spreading the word.

For your own social media promotions, create a series of short videos explaining the benefits of the prize. On your entry form, include a refer-a-friend option.

How to Keep Construction Equipment Cool During the Summer…

construction equipmentThe construction equipment you use is designed to be rugged. However, the extreme temperatures of summer can put enough strain on these vehicles and tools to cause breakdowns, sidelining progress and profitability. Here are some suggestions for how to keep construction equipment cool during the summer.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your construction equipment working properly in all temperatures, but it’s especially important in hot climates. The equipment will be better able to handle the stress of high temperatures if it has been checked and small problems corrected. A program of regular maintenance will extend the equipment’s overall working life and reduce the possibility of breakdowns and system failures.

Check Coolant Regularly

Coolant checks are part of maintenance, but they are important enough to deserve special attention. The coolant in your construction vehicles is vital to keeping the equipment cool during both normal operation and more stressful times when outdoor temperatures are high. Check coolant every day before starting work. Make sure you maintain an appropriate ratio of coolant and water to prevent equipment overheating.

Use the Right Equipment for the Job

Make sure the equipment on your site is used properly. Vehicles and tools should be used as intended, according to manufacturer’s instructions. It may be tempting to press a piece of construction equipment into service as needed, but using the equipment in ways it’s not designed for can cause damage, overheating and other problems.

Store Equipment Properly

When not in use, equipment should be stored in a shaded area to reduce the effects of heat. It’s even better if you have an indoor storage area with fans or other cooling systems. Storage areas should also be dry to avoid any effects from moisture, such as rust and corrosion, that could make it easier for the equipment to overheat.

Construction Monitor has the best interests of construction firms in mind, providing useful data, practical advice, and actionable content that can improve operations and profitability. Contact us today for more information on how to keep construction equipment cool during the summer.

Leveraging Your Social Media Profile To Generate Leads

social media networkingSocial media is good for a lot more than just building your brand. Approached correctly, it can also become a reliable source of warm construction leads. While social media lead generation takes focus and consistency, the basics are easy to master.

Build Your Network

To get the most out of your efforts, identify the two or three social media platforms where your prospects are most active and build attractive, fully fleshed out profiles there. Follow not only your potential clients, but also construction industry leaders and professionals in related fields, such as home financing experts, architects, and construction supply distributors.

You can find them by monitoring for key phrases your prospects use when looking for help and professionals use when they talk shop.

Actively share and comment on their posts. Whenever you can, refer business their way. The more you can help out your prospects and peers, the more likely they’ll be to return the favor.

Share Your Expertise

By helping your prospects solve their problems and find the information they need, you can demonstrate your skills and knowledge without directly advertising them. Stay alert for direct questions from your prospects and answer them with detailed, practical information while encouraging them to contact you.

One reason social media lead generation is so effective is that it can get your name in front of hundreds of prospects you might otherwise never have known about. To encourage word about your firm to spread, create content specifically designed to be sharable on social media.

Quick tips, intriguing data, short videos, infographics, and before-and-after or behind-the-scenes images of your projects can all work well. To spark interaction and learn more about your prospects, ask questions and run surveys and polls.

Talking with your prospects in real time lets you show off your expertise while also building rapport. Once you have a solid following, host a Twitter chat, Facebook Event or Google Hangout and give attendees a reason to contact you afterward.

For more ideas on social media lead generation, contact us at Construction Monitor.