Getting Inside Your Potential Customer’s Head…

customer surveyConstruction market research helps, but there are some things only direct feedback from your current prospects and clients can tell you. When you want to know what’s going on in your potential customers’ heads, there are several survey methods that can help you find out.

Website surveys

The simplest way to get your prospects’ opinions is by offering a poll or survey form on your website. This allows anyone who stops by to share what they think with just a few clicks. If the topic applies to your business as a whole, such as which construction services your visitors are most interested in, place the form prominently in your sidebar. If you’re more interested in your readers’ take on specific issues, place your form at the end of blog posts related to that topic.

Social media polls

Many social media platforms give you the ability to post short polls for your followers or anyone else who might be interested. These surveys give you better quality information than website surveys. Someone following you on social media is naturally more engaged with your businesses than someone who stumbled across your site during an online search.

Email surveys

Your email list readers are some of your biggest fans and the most likely to respond to your questions. To keep things simple, ask them a single, open-ended question such as “What’s your best advice for someone choosing a construction firm?” Other times, you might want to send out a more in-depth questionnaire. In either case, respect your readers’ time and only ask for information you actually plan to use.

Phone surveys

Talking with your prospects by phone lends a personal touch to your survey and gives you the chance to clarify the questions or ask more about your prospects’ answers. It also shows you’re willing to invest your own time in getting to know them. While you might be wary of bothering your prospects and clients, research shows phone surveys can help build customer loyalty.

 

3 Secrets To Boost Social Media Click-through Rates

social mediaSocial media moves fast and if your posts aren’t up to par, chances are they’ll do little to bring potential clients to your site. With a few simple changes to the way to create your posts, you can greatly improve your social media click-through rates.

Give Them a Reason to Click

For high social media click-through rates, keep your social media content closely connected to your website. Publish informative blog posts, videos and other content on your site, then draw on these for your social media posts. You might write up a blog post offering 10 tips for meeting green building standards affordably, then choose one tip to post on social media. If you have professional architectural photos taken of a project, create an online tour and choose one of the photos for your social media.

Get Visual

It’s not just Instagram and Pinterest where images are essential. No matter what platform you’re on, photos and graphics grab attention and often do more to pique interest than a short post can. Your would-be clients are more likely to click through when they see something in an image that intrigues them.

Try photos of completed projects, work in progress, before-and-after shots, and photos of your team working or just hanging out. Your pictures don’t always have to look like the work of a pro photographer, but they should be clear and sized correctly for the platform. Infographics and data visualization also help guide your followers to the content on your site.

Invite Interaction

Social media sites are so easy to scan through quickly that sometimes only a specific call to action can pull readers out of their browsing trance and onto your website. When you want readers to click through, tell them. If you post a fact from your whitepaper on residential modular construction, follow up with “Drop by our site to download the full whitepaper.” For a photo of your work in progress, try a simple “Come see more of our latest project.”

 

3 Common Marketing Pitfalls And How To Avoid Them

No mattavoiding pitfallser how much experience you have running a successful construction firm, it’s still possible to develop a few blind spots in your outlook on marketing. Just becoming aware of the common marketing pitfalls out there can help you avoid the losses they can cause.

Not diversifying with care – When you find a lead generation method that works for you, it can be tempting to focus most of your resources there. Ultimately, though, each method reaches only a limited segment of your market. Conversely, trying to be everywhere at once can mean your efforts are spread so thin they hardly have an impact. The solution is to research what works in your segment of the construction industry and try one or two approaches at a time. Work on mastering the methods that show promise, but also keep looking for new methods that might be worth trying.

Not tracking results – Unless you know how your prospects are finding you, you can never be sure which of your marketing techniques are working and which aren’t. For every lead generation campaign you run, build in a tracking method. Use a program such as Google Analytics or Piwik for your website. Include QR codes in your print ads and key codes in your direct response mailings. For each major ad campaign, use a unique toll-free number.

Not encouraging repeat clients – If your effort to attract new leads comes at the expense of your relationships with existing clients, you’re most likely losing profit overall. Take some time out of making cold calls and bidding on every new project that comes along, and invest it in building strong relationships with your existing clients. Make sure you’re the first firm they think of when they’re ready to start another project. Position yourself as a helpful expert they can turn to for advice on any topic that falls within your specialty. Stay in touch by periodically passing along useful information and offering to make valuable personal introductions when you can.

How To Use Branded Content To Generate Leads

brand marketing strategyIn today’s crowded construction market, traditional ads aren’t always enough to get your firm’s brand noticed. By using branded content wisely, you can not only reach a wider audience, but also connect better with your ideal prospects so they’ll be more likely to contact you.

Focus on Quality

For your content to garner any attention at all, it must offer real value. You’ll get more leads out of a single piece of well-made content than a dozen articles that blandly repeat facts your audience already knows.

Take the time to create content that’s not just informative, but also entertaining or inspiring. Aim to create content that resonates with your audience on an emotional level, not just an intellectual one. It’s this emotional aspect that sets branded content apart from ordinary content marketing material.

Using branded content doesn’t have to be limited to publishing blog posts, photos of your projects, and video tours of your job sites, either. An unusual format, such as a music video, a game, or a series of interviews can do a lot to set you apart from other construction firms and intrigue your audience enough that they make the effort to get in touch with you.

Guide Your Audience to You

While branded content can get your name in front of your target audience, it won’t necessarily bring you leads unless you steer your audience in the right direction. Your branding can be subtle or direct, but there must be some way for your audience to connect the content with your firm.

End your articles with a note about who created the content, with or without a call to action. In your videos, place your logo in the corner or create a simple outro that introduces your firm. If you prefer a more modest approach, include a link in the video description that leads viewers to a page where they can learn more about how the video was made and how your services fit in.

How To Build An Effective Landing Page

landing page designWithout landing pages designed to pull in leads, much of the work you do driving traffic to your construction firm’s website is lost. Effective landing page design takes some planning, but it’s easier when you know what to include.

Choose the Right Elements

Before you plan your design, spend some time choosing what you want on the page. The goal is to create a page focused on a single objective, such as encouraging your visitors to contact you for a strategy session, download a report or just click through to another page. Some of the essentials are:

  • Headlines and subheadlines – These should break up your text into readable chunks and grab the attention of readers scanning the page. Keep them short, clear, and specific.
  • Hero image or video – This is a large, eye-catching image or video that represents what you’re offering and what your visitors have to gain by handing over their contact information. For example, it might be an image of a type of building you specialize in.
  • Trust signals – To convert visitors to leads on a short landing page, you need to establish trust quickly. Do this by including short testimonials, endorsements and awards, and logos of well-known organizations you or your firm belong to.
  • Information capture form – Usually, a form asking for a name and email address is all you need. If your goal is to get the visitor to click through to another page, a call to action is enough.

Create Your Design

Effective landing page design is minimalist and well organized with every element placed in a way that leads the visitor toward the action you want them to take. The visitor’s eye should move down the page from the main headline, to the hero image, though your content, and finally to your call to action.

Get to the point quickly. Organize your text in short paragraphs with subheadlines, bullet points, and other formatting as necessary. Stick with a simple color scheme and no more than two font styles.

 

3 Ways To Improve Local Search Results

local search marketingConsidering how many of your construction clients will come from your local area, ranking highly in local search results is a major advantage for your firm. Achieving those rankings is often just a matter of a little focused effort over time.

  1. Complete your business listing profiles – Fully fleshed-out, up-to-date profiles on business listing platform such as Google My Business, Angie’s List, and Foursquare help more clients find you while also boosting your search rankings. The details matter, so include your full contact information, hours of operation, and construction specialties. Check with your local chamber of commerce about having your information listed on their website, too. Encourage your clients and business partners to leave reviews, which lend more credibility to your profile.
  2. Publish locally optimized content – Website and blog content that’s specific to your location helps the search engines know where you focus your business operations. In your content, address concerns particular to your area, such as new local regulations, building trends, and currently on-going construction projects. Whenever you get involved in your community, such as by volunteering your services or by attending or even hosting a local event, show it off. Take pictures and post a write-up on your blog. In your content, include the name of your city and any related neighborhoods and well-known landmarks, but don’t overdo it to the point of making your writing sound unnatural.
  3. Network with local businesses – When local businesses link to your content, it tells the search engines you’re an active and valued part of your community. Once you have helpful, locally targeted content on your website, start interacting with complementary businesses online, such as building materials suppliers, real estate agents, and specialist trade contractors. Comment on their content and share it with your own audience. If you’ve published something you think their readers might benefit from, drop them a note to let them know. Creating resource lists and “best of” lists that include local businesses also helps attract links.

For more tips on improving your rankings in local search results, contact us at Construction Monitor.