How To Implement An Effective Lead Nurturing Strategy

lead nurturingYou’ve put time and effort into developing your lead nurturing strategy, but to make it pay off, you’ll need to put your strategy into action the right way. Because the sales process in the construction industry often takes months, advance planning is critical.

Start Educating

For most prospects, the educational tactics in your lead nurturing strategy are the ones you’ll implement first. Segment your leads according to where they are in the buying cycle, as well as by project type, timeline, budget, and other relevant factors to better tailor the information you send to the needs of each group.

If your lead is just starting to consider investing in a construction project, encourage them with information on industry trends and opportunities. Once your prospect is ready to go ahead and is considering working with your firm, help them learn more by inviting them to a webinar or in-person meeting where you can show them what you’re capable of. When they’re close to making a decision, help bolster their confidence in your firm by sharing testimonials and success stories from satisfied clients.

As you educate your prospects, make a serious effort to learn about their needs, challenges, and concerns.

Call Them to Action

When your prospect is in the decision-making phase of the buying cycle, considering requesting a proposal, move from education to direct calls to action. This is where you can implement the sales-oriented tactics in your lead nurturing strategy, such as inviting your prospect to schedule a consultation or strategy session.

Even after your potential client has received your proposal and decided they like what they see, chances are they’ll place your firm on their shortlist rather than immediately start contract negotiations. Here’s where your earlier work will set you apart. Use the detailed information you’ve collected about your would-be client over the past months to address their concerns and demonstrate how your firm can deliver precisely the results they want.

 

5 Signs It’s Time For A Website Overhaul

website overhaulYour website is the face of your company and should present you as a modern construction firm that’s easy to work with. If your site is dated, slow, confusing or just not getting results, it’s probably time for a website upgrade.

  1. Your site isn’t mobile responsive – Your prospects are busy professionals who do a lot of their business on the go from their smartphones. To reach those prospects, you need a version of your site that looks sharp and is easy to navigate on mobile devices.
  2. Your site is hard to navigate – If your site has grown over the years with no design updates, chances are it’s become complex enough for your visitors to get lost. Confused visitors are likely to click away. Up-to-date navigation helps your visitors quickly find what they want, such as your contact form or relevant sections of your work portfolio.
  3. Your site loads slowly – If your site takes more than three seconds to load, it’s probably turning visitors away. With today’s high internet speeds, fast-loading sites have become the norm. A delay can make your visitor assume your site is down and click away. With a website upgrade, you’ll get cleaner code, optimized images, and other improvements that speed things up.
  4. Your bounce rate is high – Your “bounce rate” is the percentage of visitors who leave after looking at just one page. You can find it using an analytics program such as Google Analytics or Piwik. For a website offering a service, a rate of around 10 to 30 percent is reasonable. Adding useful, engaging content can bring down your bounce rate.
  5. Your design is outdated – Just like fashion, website design trends change with time. If your site looks like it hasn’t been touched in 10 years, your prospects are liable to wonder what else you haven’t been keeping current on. A re-design will give you a fresh, modern site that you shows your firm keeps up with the times.

For more ideas on how a website upgrade can help you win over more clients, contact us at Construction Monitor.

 

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Email List

email marketing strategyYou work hard to build your email list, but getting people to sign up doesn’t mean your work is done. If you want your readers to become paying clients, focused email lead nurturing is a must.

Encourage Two-Way Communication

Your email list is a channel for communication and interaction, not a platform to talk about your firm. For effective email lead nurturing, focus on providing content that helps your readers solve their problems and meet their goals, and encourage them to let you know how you can do that better.

Ask them what topics they’d like to hear more about and what kinds of problems they’re facing. Run polls that let readers offer feedback just by checking a box. With permission, share good news from your readers. Keep your writing professional yet personable to assure your readers the emails they’re getting come from a real person they can relate to.

Create a Feeling of Exclusivity

The prospects reading your email list have already shown more interest in working with you than those simply reading your blog or social media posts. Repay them for their loyalty by showing them a little in return. Make important announcements to your list first, provide high-value content not available on your website, share behind-the-scenes tidbits, and when possible, offer your readers special deals or services.

When people feel like they’re part of something special, they’re more likely to take an active role in that community. This also subtly appeals to your prospects’ egos, and everyone prefers to do business with someone who makes them feel good.

Stay Consistent

Find a publishing schedule that works for your firm and your target market, and stick with it. Consistent publishing shows your readers you’re making them a priority and that you’ll be present and listening when they decide to interact with you. It also keeps your firm on your readers’ minds, making it more likely you’ll be the one they contact when they’re ready to start a project.

 

Online Paid Ads – Are They Worth It?

online paid advertisingYou’ve probably heard the horror stories of businesses that lost hundreds on poorly managed online ad campaigns, but paid advertising doesn’t have to end this way. When run with care, online paid ads can be a cost-effective source of leads.

Get the Channel Right

As with any type of advertising, the success of your ad depends on where you publish it. You’ll get the best results by placing your ads where you know your prospects spend time. Finding a targeted, engaged audience is more important than gaining wide exposure. Ads on a website or email list focused on your specialty, such as home renovation or commercial property investment, can be well worth it.

Where niche businesses often go wrong is by taking out ads on sites with huge, but broad readerships. Ads like these cost a bundle, yet they reach few people who are interested in what’s being offered. On sites that require bidding on keywords, choosing general terms such as “construction contractor” can also blow through your budget fast with little result. Google Adsense, Facebook Ads, and similar options work best with specific targeting of keywords, demographics, interests, and other factors the channel allows you to define.

Set Realistic Goals

Another way businesses lose money on online paid ads is by failing to set a specific, realistic goal for each ad. Anything from a short ad to a full-length paid blog post can bring in warm leads, but can’t instantly convert someone who’s never heard of you into a client. Just displaying your company’s name and logo is unlikely to bring you any leads at all.

Think from your prospects’ perspective and offer them an incentive to take a small step towards getting to know your firm. That might be signing up for your email list, downloading one of your lead magnets or contacting you to schedule a strategy session. Once you have their contact information, you can nurture these leads until they trust you and are ready to do business.

For more guidance on running profitable online paid ads, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Finding Leads Online – A Beginners Guide

online lead generationWhether you’re new to the construction industry or an experienced pro, getting back to the basics of finding leads online can pay off fast.

Mining Business Directories

Particularly if you work with property developers and other real estate professionals, business directories are rich sources of potential leads. Start by searching online for “business directory” or “association” along with the title or industry of the people you want to work with. These directories typically list their members’ contact information. Business networking sites, such as LinkedIn and PerfectBusiness, also make it easy to find and get in touch with professionals in your target market.

Searching on Social Media

Popular social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are full of people sharing plans, asking questions, and looking for input. With a little creative searching, you can spot homeowners getting ready to renovate, commercial real estate investors interested in office buildings, and anyone else you might do business with. You can search by keyword or hashtags such as #homeimprovement as well as define a location.

The information someone posts and the questions they ask tell you something about where they are in the buying cycle so you can respond appropriately. A soft-sell approach is the way to go here, and answering a question or offering tips is enough to bring your firm to a potential client’s attention.

Participating in Forums and Blogs

Like social media, forums and the comments section of active blogs are places people turn for advice and the chance to mingle with those who share their interests. The comments and questions there can lead you straight to your potential clients. Start by making a genuine effort to participate and contribute while staying alert for posts from anyone who might need your services.

Actively tracking down leads, known as outbound marketing, is an effective way to get started finding leads online, but attracting leads to your website through inbound online marketing can also bring valuable, long-term results.

 

Why Your Construction Business Needs To Be On Popular Social Media Sites

social media networkOnce considered the domain of selfie-taking teenagers, a well-maintained social media presence is now critical if you expect your construction firm to be taken seriously and stay ahead of the competition.

Connecting with Your Target Market

Beyond the search engines, social media is the place many turn when they need information, advice, and ideas. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Houzz let anyone quickly find and connect with building industry professionals. When someone’s looking for guidance on their construction project, you want to be the professional they connect with. If your would-be client can’t find you, they will find your competitor.

A solid social media presence lets you take an active role in bringing in leads. You can follow the accounts of potential clients, search for questions you can answer, and network with possible cross-marketing partners. “Liking” and commenting on posts also helps get your name in front of potential clients. As an added benefit, your social media activity helps boost your rankings in the search engines.

Demonstrating Your Expertise

A developed social media presence confirms that you’re an established and reliable business. It also gives you space to show your potential clients what you can do for them.

Fill out your profile thoroughly, including your specialties and company vision. Post photos and videos of your projects, offer tips and guidance, and share news your target clients will find useful. Include the occasional candid photo of your team to humanize your firm and build rapport. On social media, where people tend to browse, this kind of content will catch the attention of those in the earliest stages of planning a project, but who haven’t yet started actively searching for a construction firm.

Avoid the temptation to create a profile on every social media site that looks interesting. Half-finished, inactive profiles reflect poorly on your business. You’ll get better results by identifying the two to four platforms your target clients use most and focusing your effort on those.

 

How To Manage Content With An Editorial Calendar

editorial calendarTrying to manage a blog, email list, and social media accounts without a clear plan is just asking for a headache. By creating an editorial calendar to guide you as you go, you can produce better content and manage it without stress.

Choose Your Topics

Start by brainstorming a list of topics you know your potential clients are interested in. Check your website statistics to see which topics get the most attention and think of ways to expand on those. Do some keyword research with one of the many tools out there to find out what your target market is searching for online. Browse other sites in your industry for inspiration. While you’re gathering ideas, consider which formats you want to use for which topics. Some might work well with text alone, while others are better suited to video.

Organize Your Calendar

Once you have a pool of topics, decide when you’re going publish on each channel and fill in a topic for each “time slot.” Try choosing a theme for each month related to what your potential clients are most interested in at that time of year. For instance, if they’re in planning mode in winter, they might be interested in learning about new construction methods and materials. Picking a theme for certain days of the week, such as construction law on Mondays or sustainability issues on Wednesdays, also helps you decide what to publish when.

Schedule Your Production Process

While some of your online content might be blog posts you can write off the top of your head, other content will require work done in advance. You might need to gather data, interview outside experts, take photos, create graphics or edit videos. Your editorial calendar can keep you on schedule for each step so your content is ready on time. Look back through your calendar and note what steps will be necessary to create each piece of content, then add those steps to your calendar.

 

5 Blogging Inspiration Ideas

blog ideasNo matter how enthusiastically you started your construction blog, chances are after a few months you’ll find it harder to come up with fresh blogging ideas. When you need inspiration, here are a few ways to find it.

  1. Check out your competition – Browsing your competitors’ blogs and websites is one of the quickest ways to get ideas. While you might not want to cover the exact same topics, seeing what others in your field are writing about can spark ideas. Even if you do, your take on each topic will be unique to you. The blogs of your partners, such as materials suppliers and subcontractors, can also provide inspiration.
  2. Search social media – The questions your target clients ask on social media are a rich source of blogging ideas. To find them, search your favorite platforms by hashtag and keyword. Pay attention to the “trending” sections of your social media accounts, too. These are often tailored towards your interests.
  3. Review the trends – Services such as Google Trends and BuzzSumo can help you zero in on what people are talking about online. Most topics won’t be directly connected to the construction market, but with a little creativity, you might find an angle that to relates your audience’s needs.
  4. Ask your audience – If you have an email list, send out an email asking your readers to name the one topic they’d most like to read more about. On your website, run a poll listing five or six topics to vote on. When you have a few minutes to talk with a client, ask if there’s anything they’ve been wanting to learn more about.
  5. Mine your workday – Stay alert for inspiration in the things you encounter throughout your day. It could come from a product sample you received, a comment from a colleague or even a concern you’re having about an on-going project. Use a notebook or phone app to jot down any blog post ideas you have to create an idea bank to draw from later.