Marketing for a Construction Company
Gone are the days of people searching the phone book for a contractor. The search for a contractor or construction trades begins online. Here’s how to market your construction company digitally, so you can stand out online.
Identify Target Market
Like marketing for any type of business, you need to know who you are speaking to. Construction companies need to know because it’s the key to getting more jobs.
Knowing who you’re speaking to will make your marketing more impactful and take you from taking any job to keep your schedule full, to being able to pick and choose which jobs you take.
At a recent event, I asked 2 contractors what kind of work they did. The first said they did a bit of everything. The second said, “I do timber framing for outdoor living spaces valued at X dollars and above”. The second has a target audience and knows exactly who he is speaking to. It is hard to market a “bit of everything”.
To start, sit down and go over the projects you take on most often and what they have in common. If these are reflective of where you want to be in the market, move on to the next step. If not, think about where you aim to be in the market and how big of a leap it is from where you are now. If it’s a huge leap, you may have to make several smaller leaps on your way there. Write out a plan to do that. If it’s a more manageable leap, marketing highlighting your expertise will help.
Think about your main point of contact on projects. They could be the decision maker as well (ie if you work directly with homeowners) but often times you they’re not. Write down everything you know about these people, as well as their common pain points and problems.
Now think about the decision makers. These may or may not be people you have regular contact with. Write down everything you know about them. How they live their lives, both at work and outside of work. Write down what they are looking for in a contractor, the pain points they experience, and how you can provide a solution. The deeper you understand the decision makers, the better you’ll be able to speak to their needs, goals, and pain points.
Write fictional buyer personas for both your main point of contacts and decision makers. It’s best to keep your buyer persons to a minimum. Even though you work with different people, they likely have overlapping goals and pain points you can speak to. If you have too many personas, it can be difficult to speak to them all and will decrease the effectiveness of your marketing.
Having a solid buyer personas will help you target your messaging, resulting in higher quality leads at a lower cost.
Where to put your focus.
Marketing teams at construction companies are often smaller and may be a single person. The limits of a small team mean you can’t do everything. There might be 15 things you can do to grow your business, but if you try to do them all, you’re not going to get anywhere.
Where should you put your focus?
The stage of your company should dictate your focus. New companies have different needs than established ones.
New to the market
If your business is new to the market, the most important marketing activities are brand awareness and building trust. You need trust and recognition to land larger projects.
Not new, but want to shorten the sales cycle
You’ll want to focus on lead-nurturing activities such as content marketing, email marketing, and sales enablement.
If your construction business is established and has grown over the years through word of mouth and recommendations, you’re likely reading this because you’ve realized you need to grow your digital presence. You’ll want to focus on SEO and website optimization.
Key tactics to spend your marketing budget on.
Above, we recommended tactics to focus on based on the stage of your company. Spend a large piece of your budget on the recommended tactics, and smaller chunks on the others.
Most searches start on the internet. Long before anyone makes a call or reaches out to you, they have done a ton of research online. Your website needs to relay all the information they need and hopefully answer many of the questions they have.
Your website should have the following:
Obvious Phone Number & Contact Page
There is a reason construction companies have logoed trucks with phone numbers. People call phone numbers. Your phone number should be incredibly easy to find and in several places on your website. The top right corner of the header is one of the most important spots, as well as in the footer. You also should have a contact page with a form. Have the form submissions sent to an email address which is actively monitored.
People want to know who they’re working with. Your about page should tell your company’s story and highlight your team. The team section is incredibly important for building trust. Don’t skip it. Feature each team member with a short bio. If you have a larger team, you can focus on your leadership team.
Gallery / Past Projects
The gallery page is your business’s chance to shine. Showcase your work. It doesn’t matter if you build commercial, residential, or a construction trade – show off your finished work. Hire a professional photographer and think about having videos made as well. If you have larger projects, you can tell the story behind the project and list people and companies who worked on the project.
Detail the services you offer on this page. If you communicate your services well on this page, it will decrease the amount of unnecessary calls you receive asking for bids on projects outside your scope of work.
Social proof sells. Highlight customer testimonials in multiple places on your website. Feature a few on the home page, as well as one or two testimonials on other pages. Remind website visitors everywhere, your customers love working with you.
Your blog is important for driving traffic to your website. You should be writing content (or paying someone to write it) focused only our buyer personas pain points and needs. You can also write blogs to answer common questions and show off completed projects in detail.
Call to action
What is the goal of your website. Is it to get people to call, or to get people to request a bid, or? No matter what it is, your website should have a call to action prompting visitors to do what you want them to do.
Social Media Marketing
Social media isn’t optional for construction companies. Your customers are on social media just like you are. Using a content calendar and a regular rotation of the types of content you would like to post. It will both make it easier for you to decide what to post and create a pattern of content your followers can come to expect.
Construction lends itself well to this visual platform. You can post photos and videos of in progress work, finished projects, and feature employees. If you hire professional photographers to take pictures of your finished work, you’ll have a large file of photographers to choose from.
You can post all the things you post to Instagram, as well as content from your blog. You can also find Facebook groups related to your business or where your ideal customer spends time and share your content there.
LinkedIn lends itself well to commercial construction companies and can also be a way to market your company to potential employees. Share everything you share on the other platforms. If you are working to build your brand as an employer, feature more employee stories, company culture, team events, etc.
Content has two purposes. The first is to answer your ideal customer’s questions and speak to their pain points. The second is SEO, which will boost the number of organic visitors your website receives. Content marketing falls under the umbrella of inbound marketing because the marketing tactic draws in qualified leads.
Content can seem like a lot of work, but it’s one of the most effective digital marketing strategies, it pays huge dividends, and it’s affordable. If you want to end up at the top of google search results, nothing does that better than building site authority through quality content.
What do you write about?
If you really dug into who your ideal client is and their pain points, you have all the information you need to write good content. You’ll want to write about and use keywords pertaining to your ideal client’s most commonly asked questions.
You’ll also want to address questions around the types of projects you want to be invited to bid on. What would your ideal client search pertaining to those projects. Content marketing pulls in people searching for specific things, making the people viewing your content a qualified lead. Make sure you are using a first-party data building software like RAEK, so you can capture the contact information of the leads viewing your content.
If you’re in residential construction, you’ll want to write content aimed at buying triggers, so you capture those leads early in their research process. What are life events that trigger people searching for a new home? New job, new family member, aging parents moving in, working from home, etc. These are all situations you can address and write about. Write about the community you build in — things people relocating to your area would want to know and be searching for.
Content also helps your sales team out by answering frequently asked questions. This both increases the quality of the leads contacting them and shortens the sales cycle.
It doesn’t matter what the industry is, email marketing is one of the best channels to generate revenue from. But email marketing for a construction company or trade? Yes, absolutely yes. Email also helps you save money on paid advertising, giving you a direct line of communication with customers.
New Subscriber Automation
This is typically called a welcome series, and it’s an important introduction of your company, to the subscriber. It’s typically composed of 2-7 seven emails.
The first email should be a welcome and a bit about what to expect from your emails. Subsequent emails should introduce your company, your employees, your products, and the process of working with you. You can also feature customer reviews and stories.
After the welcome series, email subscribers should receive regular emails from you. Newsletters allow you to nurture and stay top of mind with those leads who aren’t quite ready to buy yet. Your emails can include competed projects, company news, industry news, floor plans, rebate offers, customer stories and testimonials, timelines, etc.
It’s important to segment your list. Think about where people are at in the customer journey and segment where it makes sense. The simplest segmentation is before purchasing and after purchasing. You would likely speak to these subscribers differently.
For the first you would talk about how the process works, available floor plans, etc. answering as many questions as you can up front.
For the second group you might talk about maintenance schedules, warranties, etc.
If you’re a residential builder, you would speak to a customer currently in the building process differently than either of these two groups, and use email to answer common questions and free up your employees.
Local SEO is THE most important thing for construction companies and trades. When people are searching locally for a company, you want to show up, and you want to be at the top.
Where do you start?
- Claim Your Google My Business listing and keep it up to date.
- Your name, address, and phone number should the same and kept current across all platforms.
- Have a Facebook page listing your location and phone number.
- Have a section on your website stating where you are located and the geographic region(s) you serve.
After you’ve checked those things off the list, you can move onto these things.
- Ask customers for reviews – Google reviews help your rankings. You can automatically email customers with a link to your Google page and ask them to leave a review.
- Write quality content on your blog – Quality content builds authority, which impacts your search rankings
- Ask to be added to local lists – Community websites and blogs likely haves lists of resources or recommended local businesses. Email these websites and ask to be added to their directory or recommended businesses. This provides backlinks, which are also good for local SEO.
If you work in residential construction, you’ll want to advertise on image heavy social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook. Use professional photographs of finished projects or testimonials. You can also fill the top of the funnel by advertising a free resource guide on building a new home in your area.
You should also run search ads on Google. Search ads pop up based on what the person is searching. If someone is searching for a local builder or plumber, you want to pop up on the search page.
If you work in commercial construction, LinkedIn is a good place to run ads. While advertising on LinkedIn costs more than other platforms, you can specifically target by industry and job title.
Again, Google search ads are displayed based on what is being searched. You want to pop up for keywords related to what you do. This is easy to set up, or you can hire an agency to do so. Amke sure you are capturing the contact information of all the leads clicking on your ads by using a first-party data building software like RAEK.
Wrapping it Up
We’ve outlined 6 areas to spend your marketing budget. A good marketing strategy will have you spending in all 6 areas, but the amount you allot to each bucket depends on your goals and the stage of your company.
No matter the stage of your construction company, you should be building first-party data on your website visitors. Need help with your first-party data strategy? Contact us to find out how it can help you reach more of the right customer at the right time and save money on paid advertising costs.
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