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.

Using Twitter Cards the RIGHT Way for Lead Generation

attract leadsTwitter might not be the most popular social media platform, but with more than 300 million users, it still holds a lot of potential for connecting you with new construction clients. By enabling Twitter Cards, you’ll have more space to show your followers you have what they’re looking for.

Make Your Tweets Intriguing

While Twitter Cards let you include a lot more information than the standard 280-character tweet, the default Twitter Card shows only a “View summary” link at the bottom. Because that might be all that shows when your blog readers post or re-tweet your content, your tweets should offer strong motivation to click that link. Just announcing the services you offer won’t cut it.

If your goal is to bring in leads, enabling Twitter Cards on your free lead generation content is a good way to do it. When you share the link, include a compelling comment in the tweet text section.

It might be a clear benefit such as “Save $5000 on your home renovation” or something more curiosity-piquing such as “We were surprised to discover this.” Then use the card’s description section to outline the main benefits your lead magnet offers.

Choose Eye-Catching Images

Images grab attention and express ideas quickly, so they’re great for attracting readers back to your website. The clickable images on Twitter Cards are even more effective.

To get the most out of your images and videos, skip the ordinary pictures of completed buildings and try close-ups of striking architectural elements, quick video tours, highlights compilations, timelapse videos of projects or visually powerful graphics. If you do renovations, use dramatic before and after pictures.

Choose images with a 2:1 ratio and a size of at least 300 to 157 pixels. Use the Twitter Card Validator to make sure your card isn’t grabbing your logo or headshot instead of the image you want. Finally, include a text description both for the search engines and for the visually impaired.

How to Increase the Leads from Your Blogging Efforts

attract leads with your blogValuable content is only one component in a lead-generating blog strategy. To bring in the kind of construction leads you want most, you’ll need to zero in on your target clients’ interests, then guide them toward getting in touch with you.

Focus on Buyers

When you’re building your blog readership, it’s all too easy to make the mistake of choosing popular, highly searched-for topics, rather than the topics that will attract paying clients. You might get a lot of visitors to a post about office building depreciation, but they won’t necessarily be looking to hire a contractor. When you choose topics, consider what your ideal clients research when they’re ready to embark on a new project. If you offer commercial office construction, that might be topics such as “small office building design” or “office construction cost per square foot.”

Grab Their Emails Fast

When a potential client lands on your blog, they might love the guidance and insight you provide, but then click away and completely forget about you by the time they’re ready to hire. By offering a tempting “bribe” to sign up for your mailing list, you can capture their contact information immediately and then follow up. Your bribe could be an email course, a video series, a detailed case study or any other content, as long as it provides valuable information that addresses a specific, pressing issue your readers face.

Liven up Your Calls to Action

Attention-grabbing calls to action (CTAs) strategically placed in your blog posts are the final step in turning your readers into leads. Your CTAs should give your readers a good reason to hand over their contact information. “Sign up for our newsletter now” doesn’t cut it. Instead, try something like “Get your free mini-course on sustainable office construction” or “Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to hear about profitable new office building trends.” Place these CTAs prominently within your posts as well as at the end.

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.

3 Tips For Finding Leads Online In Unusual Places

online leadsEven if your favorite sources of construction leads are keeping you busy for now, it never hurts to have more tricks up your sleeve for finding leads online. Look in the less obvious places and you might find they give you some of your best clients yet.

  1. Work with strategic partners – Cross-marketing with non-competing businesses and organizations that work with the same market as you puts you in touch with new leads while also strengthening your network. Potential partners include materials suppliers, architects, and tradespeople such as roofers and carpenters. Even non-profits can help bring you leads. If you specialize in eco-friendly home remodeling, you might partner with a non-profit that focuses on health or environmental issues. Cooperating can be as simple as exchanging ads in each other’s email newsletters or social media posts or guest blogging for each other’s blogs.
  2. Offer your guidance – Forums, blogs, and social media accounts where your target market spends their time are all opportunities for finding leads online. People come to these sites for guidance when they’re planning a new project or have a problem with an on-going project. By browsing for questions related to your services and taking a moment to reply, you’ll get your firm’s name on the radar not just of that poster but also of anyone else who happens by looking for answers.
  3. Put it on video – Youtube remains one of the largest search engines in the world, yet it’s easy to overlook as a source of leads. Posting videos of your completed projects might help turn interested prospects into clients, but it won’t necessarily bring in new leads. To reach people who haven’t heard of you yet, focus on providing information that will help your ideal clients get their projects started. For example, if you offer remodeling services, create videos on simple DIY remodeling projects. A DIY-enthusiast homeowner might put in new kitchen cabinets themselves, but hire you to remodel their bathroom.

 

3 Effective Ways To Convert Blog Readers To Hot Leads

blog conversionA blog that can convert readers to leads is an invaluable marketing tool, but to bring your blog to that level, you need more than just regular construction news updates. Authoritative content combined with a little direction will give your readers more reason to contact you.

Conversion strategies

  1. Prioritize quality – To get your blog readers interested in doing business with you, you need to prove that you’re a trustworthy authority who offers something your competition doesn’t. Content that demonstrates expertise in your segment of the construction industry does exactly that. Instead of pushing out frequent short update posts, invest time in creating in-depth posts that offer real value to your target readers. As a bonus, these posts tend to get more links and shares, as well as higher search engine rankings.
  2. Offer premium content – The content freely available on your blog is great for attracting new readers, but it’s not always enough to convert readers to leads. To nudge your readers in the right direction, make some of your most valuable content available only in exchange for an email address. This works best with content that solves a specific problem or provides concrete benefits. You might offer your best tips for restoring a historical home or your analysis of data on the most profitable segments of the commercial construction market.
  3. Strategically position calls to action – If you know a little about blog writing, you’re probably already including basic calls to action (CTAs) at the end of your blog posts. While that’s an important step, there’s a lot more you can do to get your readers’ eyes on your CTAs. Include them in the first half of you post for readers who might not reach the end, and in your sidebar and a pop-up or screen overlay. Experiment with wording, formatting and placement, and track your results. For example, you might find a boldly colored graphic in the middle of your posts gets better results than the form in your sidebar.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

3 Reasons To Develop And Use Buyer Personas

buyer personaNo matter how much data you have on your target market, it’s hard to really get into your potential construction clients’ minds without a clear image of who they are. By using buyer personas, you’ll develop a more relatable vision of your clients so you can reach them more effectively.

Understand What Your Clients Want Most

Creating buyer personas shifts your perspective from seeing “prospective clients” as a vague collection of data to understanding them as individual people with specific goals, challenges, and interests. Your typical remodeling client might become not just anyone with an older house, but Dave, a 35-year-old professional and father of a growing family.

Once you’ve clearly defined the goals and challenges of each type of client you serve, you’ll be able to offer them exactly the solution they need and want. Buyer personas also make it easier to humanize your marketing with humor and other personal touches to build rapport and set your firm apart.

Know Where to Find Your Clients

To get the most out of your marketing budget, you need to go where your potential clients already are. Using buyer personas helps you zero in on where your clients spend their time, so you’ll know where to place what type of messages. You’ll know which type of client loves LinkedIn and which prefers Houzz; which connects well through email and which responds better to direct mail. Overall, you’ll see a better response rate for less effort.

Develop Future Services

An in-depth understanding of your clients’ goals allows you to better anticipate their future needs. You’ll spot business opportunities you might have overlooked if you hadn’t delved deeper into your clients’ personalities.

For example, if the persona of your commercial real estate client is strongly interested in environmental sustainability, you might develop a service to help them ensure their properties are as eco-friendly as possible. Through informed decisions like this, you can expand your range of services faster secure in the knowledge you’re offering what the market wants.

For more tips on using buyer personas, contact us at Construction Monitor.