Understand Your Market BEFORE Spending on Facebook Ads

Facebook lets you target your ads to nearly any conceivable audience, but using ad targeting effectively requires in-depth insight into your target market. Combining Facebook’s targeting options with the knowledge you get from construction market data lets you maximize your ad budget.

Demographics

For any business in the construction industry, location is one of the most valuable Facebook targeting options. A careful review of building permit applications in your area will show you what construction projects are going on where. With a mapping tool, you can see projects around your area at a glance. If you spot an upward trend in kitchen remodeling in a certain ZIP code, you might target that area with ads for your construction services or for countertops, floor coverings or other remodeling-related protects you sell.

Interests

Knowing what projects are popular in your area gives you valuable information about the local market’s interests, even if you don’t work directly on those types of projects. If you sell tile and stone products and notice an increase in pool and spa installation permits, you might focus on advertising your pool patio stone. If you learn kitchen and bathroom remodels are booming, you might decide to invest more in ads for your countertop and flooring material instead.

To attract more clients for garage construction, you can target those who list their interests as Automobiles or any other vehicle your clients are likely to have. Specialize in home remodels using eco-friendly building materials? Try targeting owners of electric vehicles or hybrids who have a demonstrated interest in sustainability.

Home Ownership

Using building permit data to find out where the remodeling is going on lets you take better advantage of Facebook’s Year Home Built and Home Value targeting options. A cluster of remodeling and renovation jobs in a certain neighborhood shows you where the homes are older and their owners have money for upgrades. You can then target your ads toward owners of older homes in that location.

To learn more about using construction market data to optimize Facebook ads, contact Construction Monitor.

How to Attract Construction Clients Using Facebook

attract clients through social mediaAs the largest social media platform out there, Facebook is a goldmine of potential construction clients. By sharing valuable information, spending time with your target market, and honing your advertising skills, you can attract more of those clients to your firm.

Become a Valuable Resource

To stand out in your would-be clients’ cluttered Facebook timelines, it helps to offer something that’s both eye-catching and genuinely valuable. Providing useful guidance also establishes you as a knowledgeable professional who can be trusted with high-value construction projects. Create striking before and after photos of your building projects, short tour videos, infographics with surprising data, Q&As, and anything else that helps your ideal clients reach their goals. Showcasing related businesses doing good work for your target audience can also get you some attention.

Put Yourself Out There

Interacting with people in your target audience and the pages where they’re likely to spend time helps put you on the radar of more potential clients. So if you offer medical facilities construction, look for pages run by hospital administrators and pages that offer guidance on hospital management.
Spend some time making thoughtful comments on their posts, answering questions, and asking your own questions. Even if the page owner never acknowledges your input, there’s a good chance some of their followers will.

Invest in Ads

Managed wisely, Facebook ads can give you a better ROI than nearly any other form of online marketing. To pull in interested leads, create a specific, valuable, audience-targeted offer. That could be a free whitepaper, a 15-minute strategy session by phone or even an invitation to a local discussion panel you’re hosting. Take advantage of Facebook’s targeting options to find your audience. If you do home upgrades, you might use the life events targeting option to find people are moving to a new house. Track conversions, such as invitations to bid, not just likes. Split test your ads so you can keep refining them.

A/B Testing is Essential for a Successful Facebook Ads Campaign

a-b testingFacebook ads might be a relatively cheap way to reach your ideal construction clients, but running a campaign is still an investment of time and money. By A/B testing your ads, you’ll get clear data showing you which ads are worth investing more in and which are best deleted.

Running Ads That Meet Your Goals

A/B testing, or split testing, lets you compare the performance of two different versions of an ad. In order to compare, though, you need to decide exactly what kind of performance you’re looking for. What makes an ad the “best” isn’t always the number of click-throughs it gets. Your most-clicked ad might not actually be meeting your business goals.

If you’re running a brand awareness campaign to let your target audience know you’re the most experienced restaurant construction specialist in the area, your goal might be to get as many shares as possible. For an email list building campaign, however, the ad that brings the most sign-ups is the winner, even if it doesn’t get the most clicks overall.

Collecting Valuable Data

A/B testing works best when only one variable of your two Facebook ads is different. This way you’ll know exactly what caused one to outperform the other. You might find the ad with a picture of a finished building gets more clicks than one showing a project in progress. So if you’re comparing two different photos or a photo versus a video, use the same text. If you compare two texts, use the same images.

To collect data on your ads, you’ll need URLs you can tell apart in your reports. Google Analytics UTM tracking parameters allow for advanced tracking, but a link shortener such as bit.ly or tinyurl.com will work for basic tracking.

Testing both ads equally keeps your data accurate. Run one ad for at least three days, then hide it and run the alternate version at the same amount of time on the same days.

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.

3 Quick Tips To Help Generate Leads From Facebook

online leadsFacebook’s popularity with a broad demographic makes it one of the richest sources of social media leads out there. With just a few small improvements to the way you use this platform, you can bring in more qualified construction leads with less effort.

Three good tips

Here are three tips to help generate leads.

  1. Offer a freebie – The chances of someone calling you to schedule a consultation based on a Facebook post are slim, but social media is still an ideal place to start building relationships. To capture your fans’ email addresses, offer a free information product such as a checklist, resource list or white paper. Design your free offer with the goal of solving a specific problem for a specific type of client, such as commercial real estate investors or housing developers interested in environmental sustainability.
  2. Invest in ads – Facebook ads let you target precisely the audience you want based on demographics, interests, and behavior. If you want social media leads who enjoy sailing, have young children, and frequently organize events, you can find them. Instead of using one general ad, create multiple ads tailored to each type of client. Your prospects are more likely to respond to something that speaks directly to their needs. Invite them to take a specific action, such as downloading your free white paper or contacting you for a strategy session.
  3. Engage with your audience – Making a genuine effort to interact with your Facebook fans helps build a connection that encourages them to contact you when they’re ready to do business. Instead of bombarding your audience with promotional posts, create posts that offer real value. Keep your fans up to date on industry news, introduce them to new construction trends, offer insider tips, and direct them to useful tools. Ask open-ended questions about their challenges, goals and opinions, and invite conversation. When someone does reply, take the time to acknowledge them.

Whether you decide to start with ads or just more conversations, learning what works on Facebook is one of the most effective things you can do to bring in more social media leads.