Online marketing can be inherently difficult in certain industries, construction being one of them. Marketing the stellar work your construction company does may not be as sexy as unveiling the latest iPhone, but with the right approach, you can tell a story that is compelling and relevant to your target audience.
Improving your online presence can bring in new clients and create more revenue. The hardest part is usually getting started. If you’re not a tech-savvy marketer, you may feel overwhelmed. Here is a little inside information to help get you started.
Your company’s online presence starts with a website, and in today’s digital age, a website is an absolute must. It’s surprising how many businesses today still don’t have websites. In a 2015 survey of more than 14 million businesses, around 75 percent did not have a website.1 Just consider the amount of revenue those 14 million business are losing each year to competitors who do have a website.
Think of your construction website as equal parts business card, online advertisement, brochure, information desk and market research tool. With all those faces to wear, the last thing you want is for your website to look unprofessional or be frustrating to use. For instance, does your website clearly identify what type of construction work you do? Will visitors be able to discern—within a couple of seconds—that you are a mechanical contractor versus an electrical contractor? If not, you may lose them altogether from the start. My advice: don’t have your “nephew who knows computers” design your website. Hire a professional web designer. They are worth every penny and will know best how to advertise your business online.
A good website should:
- Be easy to navigate and find company information, specifically contact information
- Have a professional, modern feel that will impress existing and perspective clients
- Express the personality of the company
- Help you gather information about your customer base.
The last point is one that is most often forgotten. Your website is a way to learn who is interested in your services and what they want. It’s as easy as adding a contact form or allowing people to sign up for a monthly newsletter, which leads us to the next topic…
There is a fine line between email marketing and spamming. In a 2015 report by Salesforce.com2, around 47 percent of recipients will click to open an email depending on subject line. What they do after completely depends on your message. How do you find that happy medium? Restrict how many emails you send and make sure your message and subject line is relevant to your recipients. Too often companies rely on quantity over quality to play the percentage game. This is a quick way to get blacklisted by email clients as a spammer.
Use email marketing sites like Mailchimp, Campaigner or Vertical Response to create your email campaigns. These services allow you to see exactly how many people opened your email (click-through rate), clicked your link (conversion rate), deleted right after opening (bounce rate) and any other number of useful statistics. Remember that designer you hired for your website? Ask them to build you some professional-looking email templates.
Blogging and Social Media
Ever since the term blog was coined in 1997, blogging has grown in popularity. A blog or news section is common place on most company websites now. There are a number of reasons to blog: to connect with your customer base, to keep customers up to date with your business and to show you’re a leader in the construction industry. The most important reason to blog is to improve your standing with search engines like Google who give preferential treatment to sites with consistently updated and relevant content.
While it’s highly unlikely you’ll build a huge following of rabid fans on your social media sites, don’t think for a second that social media is a waste of time. Like bogging, the primary function of your social media is to stay connected with customers and show your involvement in the construction industry and community. Post company events, photos if you attend a tradeshows, re-post construction industry articles and post links to your blog articles. Offer discounts if a customer mentions your social media post and always post photos of current work. Potential customers may find you on social media and will be interested to see what you’re working on.
Warning: With blogging and social media, never post anything controversial. It will always come back to haunt you. Every month we read in the news how a major company inadvertently offended large groups of people on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. Post only what is relevant to your company. Don’t post about your family vacation unless it relates to your business. Use correct grammar and punctuation. People will call you out on spelling or grammar errors every single time.
In no time, you’ll build up a back catalog of content for potential and current clients to look through on your website and social media site. They’ll be impressed by how much effort you’ve put into your online presence and those first impressions can easily lead to new clients. Most of all, have fun with your online presence and be creative!
Tell us how your construction company is utilizing online marketing.
1. Businesses with No Website Statistics (January 2015) Retrieved from http://www.statisticbrain.com/businesses-with-no-website-statistics
2. 2015 State of Marketing (Fall 2014) Retrieved from https://secure2.sfdcstatic.com/assets/pdf/datasheets/mc_2015stateofmarketing.pdf