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.

4 Crucial Elements for a Robust Marketing Plan

marketing planA clear plan is critical for getting the most out of your marketing efforts, but your plan doesn’t have to be complex to be effective. Master the most important elements and you’ll have a powerful marketing plan that’s easy to follow.

  1. Business identity – You business identity includes you firm’s mission and vision statements, and outlines what makes your firm distinct in terms of services, capabilities, and values. It should also define your target audience and the experience you want to give them. Are you a residential construction company specializing in highly customized homes for eco-conscious young families or one focusing on aging-in-place remodeling for active older adults?
  2. SWOT analysis – Conduct a SWOT analysis to get a better idea of how your business is situated in the market. Determine your firm’s greatest strengths in terms of attracting clients and note what weaknesses could lead you in the wrong direction. Describe the business opportunities in your market and how the market might threaten your current business model.
  3. Marketing strategy – A marketing strategy is a process that helps you reliably meet your sales objectives. Guided by your SWOT analysis, it gives you an overarching vision of how to reach your audience, connect with them, and turn them into paying clients. This can include multiple methods. If one of your strengths is a list of clients who rave to their friends about how much your renovations have improved their lives, referral marketing is a good bet. If your projects are visually striking, you’ll want to use social media, too. Then choose specific tactics. As a tactic to encourage referrals, you might define specific times to ask for referrals, create referral forms, and offer a referral fee.
  4. Metrics – Specify how you’re going to measure the success of your tactics. Go beyond tracking leads and sales revenue, and pay attention to equally important metrics such as percentage of clients by referral, percentage of leads converted, client acquisition costs, and your close rate on bids.

How to Successfully Use Video in Your Content Strategy

video marketingVideo lets you show off your completed projects, reach a wider audience, and build a more personal connection with your potential clients. For your videos to successfully turn viewers into clients, though, they need to work with the rest of your content.

Choose Compelling Topics

Chances are, when your would-be clients are searching for videos, they’re looking to solve a problem or learn something where the visual aspect is important. Keeping that in mind when you choose video topics helps you create videos that get attention.

Your popular blog and social media posts are a good place to start looking for ideas, but also consider topics that are particularly well suited to video. Videos on how little-understood building features work or the benefits of modern building materials can enhance your existing content. Then try video tours of your completed projects or current job sites, interviews with satisfied clients, key company members, and owners of complementary businesses or a weekly Q&A with questions from your audience.

Integrate your videos with the rest of your content to bring in leads. If you create a video about eco-friendly boutique hotel construction, post your insights on green building methods on social media to attract your followers to the video. In the video itself, you might direct viewers to a related free download at your website.

Reach Out to Your Audience

To get your videos in front of your target audience, start with your website. Include an introductory video on your homepage and About page, add video tours to your online portfolio, and create a page of video testimonials. To boost blog conversions, add relevant videos to your existing blog posts. If you do weekly short videos, include them in your email newsletter.

Then share your videos on Youtube and Vimeo with complete, SEO-ed titles and description to help your potential clients find them. Make short clips for Facebook, Instagram, and Houzz, and tell your followers where they can watch the rest.

 

3 Tips to Develop a Winning Content Strategy

content strategyA well thought-out strategy is what drives the results of your content marketing. Take time to define your audience and your end goals, and you can be confident the work you put into content creation will bring you more of the construction clients you really want.

  1. Plan toward your goal – Getting clear on exactly what you want your content to do is the first step in making that content work. If your goals is to encourage your target clients to set up in-person appointments, you’ll need content that leads them through each step of the way. Some of your content should grab their attention when they’re in the early stages of planning a project, some should help them evaluate their options, and some should aim to convert them by showing them what your company can do.
  2. Zero in on your audience’s problems – Writing any content that might interest “middle-class homeowners” or “retail chain facilities managers” in general isn’t necessarily enough to turn those readers into clients. To really pull them in, your content should aim to solve their problems. Start by developing a buyer persona for each type of client you want to attract. Outline their goals and challenges so you can tailor your content toward giving them exactly what they’re looking for in a construction company. Also consider the formats they might prefer, such as blog posts, Facebook updates or video.
  3. Create an editorial calendar – Using a calendar to plan your content production in advance gives you the time you need to create high-quality content. You’ll have time to gather data, conduct interviews, and organize your thoughts to develop the kind of in-depth content your potential clients need to see before they trust you with a major construction project. A calendar also makes it easier to ensure you’re publishing a good balance of content for each stage of your marketing funnel and that all your content works toward a common goal.

Tactical Marketing – Getting Serious About Lead Generation

tactical marketingWhether you’re a generalist or a specialist, understanding your target market is critical to connecting with potential clients and winning more bids. Once you’ve done the groundwork, though, you need specific steps to bring in leads. That’s where tactical marketing comes in.

Tactics Make Your Strategy Happen

The term tactical marketing is used in contrast to strategic marketing. Strategic marketing is your first step in building a marketing plan. It’s about deciding who your ideal clients are, what information to present to them, and how to present that information. When you’re clear on that, it’s time to move on to tactical marketing – executing specific tasks to put your strategy into action. For most construction firms, that means using tactics such as cold calling, placing ads, and building a lead-generating website.

Strengthening Your Tactical Marketing Game

Beyond cold calling, there are a few other highly effective construction lead generation techniques worth adding to your tactical marketing plan.

Ad campaigns – Because construction services have such a long buying cycle, a single ad with only your company’s name and phone number is unlikely to get attention. A complete ad campaign, however, helps you attract leads by zeroing in on their interests. Start by creating an offer tailored to a specific segment of your target market. Publish ads that promote your offer and take prospects to focused landing pages where they can sign up.

Referral program – A structured referral program encourages word of mouth. Create a simple form you can offer your satisfied clients after you’ve helped them solve a problem and when their project is complete. Consider offering rewards for client referrals.

Strategic alliancesPartnering with businesses that offer complementary products or services lets you tap into a whole new audience. So if you specialize in warehouse construction, you might partner with a warehouse equipment company. You can create a useful giveaway, such as a tips sheet or checklist your partner can offer their clients, or even work on a joint project.

 

3 Inbound Marketing Techniques to Try Today!

inbound marketingGet your inbound marketing right and you’ll enjoy a steady stream of warm construction leads coming right to you. It might sound like a big job, but by starting with a few proven techniques, you’ll only need a little well-aimed effort to see results.

  1. Offer High-Value Gated Content – Offering free, genuinely useful guidance is one of the most effective ways to attract high-quality leads. Consider your ideal clients’ greatest challenges and create content that helps them solve it. That could be an email course on choosing features for education facilities, a webinar on budgeting for a luxury home remodel or an office construction cost calculation tool. Make this available in exchange for an email address and promote it on your website, blog, social media accounts, and elsewhere. Creating content takes time, but you can start researching ideas today.
  2. Choose Your Keyphrase Wisely – While keywords and phrases are no longer as critical as they once were, there’s still benefit to be gained by strategically optimizing for the right ones. To maximize your SEO efforts, choose just one or two moderately competitive phrases you know your ideal clients use to search for construction services online. Going after “construction company New York” might be too ambitious, but with “luxury remodel Staten Island” you have a real shot at a top ranking. Tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and the Moz Keyword Explorer can give you some ideas.
  3. Optimize Your Website – At the foundation of every in-bound marketing strategy is a website that’s well optimized to turn visitors into leads. Make sure your site provides a simple, obvious path that guides visitors toward providing their contact information. On your homepage, use a clear, benefits-driven headline and include a call to action that encourages visitors to learn more. Prominently display your phone number and other contact information. Ditch the bland stock photos and use real images of your projects and team. Even minor improvements can make a noticeable difference, so there’s a lot you can do today.

Online Advertising – When Does It Really Make Sense?

online advertisingWith the rise of the internet, homeowners, property investors, and your other potential clients have countless new ways to find what they want. Sticking with print advertising alone means missing these new opportunities to reach them. If your ideal clients use the Internet, then online advertising is a sensible investment.

Extending Your Market Reach

Ultimately, online advertising makes sense if it brings you more revenue than it costs. That doesn’t mean just bringing you more of the same old clients, though. Digital advertising lets you more effectively reach the type of clients you really want so you can win more profitable projects.

If you’re moving from general commercial construction into medical facilities construction, you’ll have more ways to reach this specific target market online than through trade magazines alone. If you do remodeling and you’re tired of low-budget clients, online ads can help you zero in on wealthier, luxury-oriented homeowners.

The only time digital advertising isn’t worth it is when you know with certainty that your target clients are rarely online.

Fine-tuning Your Strategy

Paid online advertising is complex. There are search engine ads, social media ads, email ads, video ads, and native ads, and each has its own set of best practices that are constantly evolving. Because of this, advertising on the Internet only makes sense when you have a well-defined goal and a clear plan for reaching it. Without this, you’ll only waste time and money.

Before you jump in, research where your ideal clients spend time and what they’re looking for online. Are those wealthy homeowners on Pinterest browsing for sunroom ideas or are they reading blogs about renovating historical homes?

Make your ads a strategic part of your marketing funnel. Offering a lead magnet, such as a free case study or email course, will get better results than just giving your prospects a number to call. Have a plan for tracking the results of each ad so you’ll know which to continue and which to drop.

Why Blogging Should Be The Hub Of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

blogging strategyBy helping more people find your construction firm and turning those individuals into warm leads, a blog acts as the linchpin that keeps your digital marketing strategy running smoothly. The better you understand how your blog does this, the better you can manage it to your advantage.

Reach Out to Your Market

Blogging helps improve your search engine ranking by keeping your site regularly updated with fresh content and increasing the amount of searched-for phrases on your site, as well as by attracting links from other websites and social shares from your readers.

Your blog also makes it easier to reach your potential clients on social media by giving you a source of content to post. Plan content for your blog, then draw on it for your Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, and Twitter tweets. If you write a post about renovating a clubhouse one week, you can use photos, tips, and interesting facts from that post as the week’s social media content.

Build Stronger Connections

When a potential lead does click through your search engine link or social media post, your blog will be there to welcome them. Unlike a skimpy brochure website, a blog can hold their attention with valuable content, demonstrate the benefits of working with your firm, and lead readers toward handing over their contact information. Your blog’s RSS feed and email digests give you more ways to stay in touch with your prospects.

To keep your prospects interested and build a good rapport, your digital marketing strategy needs a mix of content that lets your audience interact with your company in a variety of ways. A blogging platform makes it easy to upload and organize all kinds of content, including images, videos, audio, and downloadable PDFs.

As an added benefit, a blog gives you a way to gather data such as keyword activity, page views, and click paths that tell you what your target audience wants so you can give them more of it.

 

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.