Marketing for Construction Businesses

marketing for construction businesses

Marketing for Construction Businesses

Are construction contracts won on a good sales pitch? Or is there more to meet the eye when it comes to marketing for construction businesses?

 

Most people we’ve spoken to in and around the building trade say that at a high level when you are bidding for business, it’s not just who you know… but also what you can pay.

 

That isn’t a payment to the marketing agency for generating the lead, that’s a payment to the procurement officer or company secretary to ensure your company gets that all so lucrative contract. With rumours of the big five contractors apparently dividing government contracts up over games of poker (I’m not sure how true that is), how can construction businesses get into the supply line at the outset of the bidding process rather than being frozen out?

 

Well, the news is good? Bias has 5 great tips to raise your companies profile and refine your marketing strategy, ensuring the people searching for your services, find them!

5 Marketing Tips for the Construction Industry

 

  1. LinkedIn: You have to ensure that all of your key members of staff have profiles on LinkedIn and that they are fully optimised for their role. Don’t be afraid to put it out there that you are actively seeking contracts with bigger companies or target companies. Also, create a company page for your own business and get the right information about your company in the description field and share your content there.
  2. Content Creation: Make no mistake, everybody is searching the internet for everything. Better deals, better suppliers, cheaper deals or cheaper suppliers, wherever your business is pitched, somebody somewhere is searching for you. Creating content is not about telling everybody how good your services are. You need to identify the buyer personas and use these to correctly formulate a strategy to produce content that will answer the pain points those personas may have.
  3. Case Studies: You may think that the visualisation where possible of works your business has completed would have no bearing on pitching for further business but a buyer always likes to see what your end result looks like and quite possibly may want to check that your project went well. So when structuring your proposal, add a case study of a similar project you have completed previously and if suitable add video or pictures to support this.
  4. Video: As we have just touched on video in point three about case studies, you can also use video to tell a story about your business and post these to your social media channels. You can talk about your services, what defines your business and makes you different from your peers, the type of clients you would ideally like (yes, if you don’t ask you don’t get) and also again film completed projects. You could have a pre-project start clip, an in-situ clip and then the finished article. You don’t have to produce a very corporate video, there are a number of video marketing agencies you can talk to but many smartphones have the capability to create these simple videos.
  5. Social Media: There are a huge number of construction businesses that either refuse to accept social media is going to help them raise their business profile or do not want to invest the time and possibly money it can take to properly utilise social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc. We’ve got some great tips on how construction industries can use social media to gain followers and drive traffic to their websites, which can be found here.

Business Development Managers in the Construction Industry

 

Most construction businesses of a medium to large scale can and do employ business development managers we talk to many and we do this on LinkedIn. Many of them are “old school” and rely on their own contacts list to generate contracts and revenue. However, this is all well and good to help drive the business forward but once you plateau via this method, your business starts to stall in its growth cycle.

 

The marketing patterns and strategies are moving at a very fast pace… data, mobile, apps, social media. Some of the industry stalwarts may not appreciate the value of the tips given here today but it’s your job as a BDM to embrace the latest techniques in marketing for construction businesses and help drive your businesses forward.

Inbound Marketing for the construction industry… should they go hand in hand?

 

In an industry so late to the charge to digital transformation, would they really accept something sounding so new?

 

For the notoriously off-line construction industry, digital marketing techniques may seem like a waste of time and effort. Virtually everything involved in a construction project takes place on site, in the real world.

 

So why should your business try advertising online when so many leads and projects come through word-of-mouth referrals and recommendations?

 

You can never have too many leads

 

No matter how good your current referral process may be, there is always the potential to improve. In fact, the more high-quality leads you can generate, the better the chance of increasing sales. But if your word-of-mouth mechanisms are already maxed out, where are those additional leads going to come from?

 

Buying habits are changing

 

Virtually every purchasing decision begins with online product research. From the latest Dan Brown novel to companies capable of building a new secondary school, buyers will conduct initial investigations via search engines and other content easily available on the Internet.

 

As a result, your business has to be easily found online and needs to appear authoritative in your vertical. Again, inbound marketing can help by making that content available, and getting it in front of decision-makers as they begin pre-purchase (or pre-tender) research.

 

Fire and forget(ish)

 

Once in place, an inbound marketing campaign virtually runs itself. Construction buyers encounter a piece of content that piques their curiosity or addresses a specific business pain, and in return for registering their contact details, are allowed to download it. They get a useful document, your business gets a reasonable well-qualified lead by return.

 

A properly implemented inbound marketing campaign will use automation to keep the lead warm too. Triggered emails will invite the new lead to download new content, every time bringing them closer to your business and helping to establish trust and expertise. Warm leads are delivered to you on a plate, greatly simplifying the sales process and preparing them for conversion almost immediately.

 

Freeing up time for other activities

 

With an automated lead generation system in place, the sales and marketing team have more time to devote to other activities. Marketing can combine the information they have on new leads with that of existing clients to create finely tuned campaigns that target specific demographic segments, increasing the likelihood of successful conversions.

 

Sales, on the other hand, can devote more time to converting incoming leads or following up existing clients. Inbound marketing also frees up time and resources that can be invested in improving tenders and quotes, further improving the contract win rate.

 

And all the while, every download or interaction with your inbound marketing content is helping to raise the profile of your construction firm and to cement your position as a true authority in your field.

 

With benefits like improved lead generation, increased efficiency within the sales and marketing departments and greater brand awareness, there is no question that inbound marketing and the construction industry are fully compatible.

 

Twitter as a Social Media Platform for Tradesman

 

Twitter as a Social Media Platform for Tradesman. So for the third (delayed) instalment of the Social Media for Tradesmen series, the second platform we shall look at is Twitter. When we engage our clients with regards to their marketing we always establish how well they think that they are doing with this. We typically find the following:

 

  1. They have a Twitter account
  2. They typically follow anybody who follows them
  3. Do not utilise Twitter adverts
  4. Post mainly offers and images of their works/products
  5. Do not educate their followers on the business and its background or its products and services
  6. Overload text with #hashtags
  7. Don’t know when the optimal time to post tweets is
  8. Feel that they do a lot of work for little response
  9. Feel frustrated that they cannot keep a structure to their tweets and consistency around the brand message
  10. Do not understand content sharing and how this can help set them up as an authority in their field

 

twitter for tradesmen series

 

These are all far too common conversations with around 85-90% of all new and current clients and I thought we could look at how as a tradesperson you could utilise Twitter effectively.

 

The first thing to do when you have set up your profile and you have uploaded your branding images, logos, profile information and company/business text is link the Twitter account to Facebook so when you tweet on Twitter you can post to your Facebook Business Page automatically see (https://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/how-to-sync-your-twitter-and-facebook-status-updates/216675).

 

Some people may disagree, they may say that the messages sent on Twitter don’t suit Facebook because of the limit on character space. However, in this series of articles, we will broach this later.

 

Posting tweets and when

 

twitter posts for tradesmen

 

As you can see in the image here shows the Tweet posting box where you create the message that you want to send. Remember that you only have 140 characters to use including spaces to get your message out. Because of this, I’d practice writing out short, sharp, punchy messages on some paper and once you have done that, add some keywords with hashtags.

 

twitter keywords for tradesmen explained

 

Here is an example of a post I created on my Facebook business page (feel free to drop by and give us a like) utilising not only Facebook to Twitter posting, but also a tool to create a shortened link. See where the post starts bit.ly/1tGHLfz this link was created using Bitly a tool for reducing the length of the URL in the website pages (we’ll discuss tools later in the series).

 

This example shows a short, Twitter orientated post with links to the content I’m referring to, this would be a page in your website or blog and my keywords marked by a #hashtag so this tweet will appear when other users search for content related to #content #strategy or #marketing. Remember the key things to a good post are:

 

  • Post links to your content (webpage or blog post)
  • Use relevant hashtag keywords for the post
  • Place a URL that can be read on Twitter easily enough

 

So that’s how you post a Tweet to your feed and share it to Facebook. Some tips for you tradespersons out there are:

 

  1. Don’t just post offers and deals to your Twitter Feed, educate your followers around your product and services so you become an authority by linking back to your own or another authorities content or webpage
  2. Break down the information into short, punchy and direct snippets so that the message fits into the allowed 140 characters
  3. Always add relevant images to support your text content where possible
  4. Do share images of your finished works such as fitted kitchens, painting and decorating, plastering and rendering, re-upholstery and use before and after or pre and post to support the work or services you supply.
  5. Don’t be afraid to use images sourced from the internet to help support your conversation but make sure that you give the correct credit at the end of your post to the author or photographer of images or links you use alternatively purchase them from a respectable agency like Shutterstock
  6. Learn when to post your articles by searching the latest results on Google
  7. Look at your peers, follow their Twitter accounts and watch what type of tweets get the best response, this is a learning curve and education for you and your followers is key

 

Pinterest as a Social Media Platform for Tradesman

So in closing, we will discuss Pinterest and how you can utilise it to gain followers and cement you and or your business as an authority in your field.

 

When we first engage our clients with regards to their Pinterest marketing we always establish how well they think that they are doing with this. We typically find the following:

 

  1. They don’t have a Pinterest account
  2. They typically do not have many followers on their account
  3. Do not understand how to drive traffic to their website with their pins even though they post images of their works/products
  4. Do not educate their followers on the business and its background or its products and services
  5. Do not link back to their website in the text
  6. Don’t know when the optimal time to post pins
  7. Feel that they do a lot of work for little response and therefore feel frustrated and deem it pointless

 

Pinterest for tradesmen

 

These are all far too common conversations with around 70-80% of all new and current clients and I thought we could look at how as a tradesperson you could utilise Pinterest effectively.

 

The first thing to do when you have set up your Pinterest profile and you have uploaded your branding images, logos and company/business text is link the page to Twitter and to Facebook automatically see (https://help.pinterest.com/en/articles/set-your-business-account and if you need a visual explanation check out this video on YouTube or use this to make it even easier if you have a Facebook page already set up).

 

Posting articles and when

 

There are a number of different articles written across the web about when and how you should pin on this platform and below are 5 good blog posts to help you get along.

https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/get-your-pins-noticed-on-pinterest/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/galtime/twelve-mistakes-you-are-p_b_4817604.html

https://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/09/24/how-to-schedule-your-pins-on-pinterest/

https://blogs.constantcontact.com/pinterest-for-business/

https://www.mcngmarketing.com/best-times-pin-pinterest/

 

How to pin on Pinterest

 

How to post on Pinterest

 

From your dashboard, as you can see from the image above, you can add a post to a current pin board or create a new board and go from there.

 

So to create a new board click on the “create a board” square shown as the first “board” on the series above, it’s the greyed out image.

 

Here you fill in all the detail you need to correctly create your board:

 

  1. Name of Board
  2. Description of what the board will contain
  3. The category
  4. Location
  5. Public or Private
  6. People that can also edit the board

creating a board on pinterest

 

Once you have created your board, you can now go ahead and add your content, in the example below, we have added some simple infographics

 

posting to pinterest boards

 

First click on Add a Pin and either upload your image from the web or your device (PC, Laptop or mobile device). Then you will be asked to choose which pinboard you would like to add the pin to and provide a description of that content and always remember if it relates to the content on your website ensure you add your URL or page link to the description, lots of people miss this opportunity.

 

pin posted to board in pinterest

 

So that’s how you pin to your Pinterest board. Some tips for you tradespersons out there are:

 

  1. Don’t just post offers and deals to your pinboard, educate your followers around your product and services so you become an authority and build trust
  2. Always add relevant text to support your image content and add the link to your website page if that is relevant
  3. Do share images of your finished works such as fitted kitchens, painting and decorating, plastering and rendering, re-upholstery and use before and after or pre and post to support the work or services you supply.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use images sourced from the internet to help support your conversation but make sure that you give the correct credit at the end of your pin to the author or photographer of images or links you use.
  5. Look at your peers, follow their boards and watch what type of pins get the best response, this is a learning curve and education for you and your followers is key
  6. Check out the infographics below

 

 

 

pinterest-infographic-zogdigital

 

Inbound Marketing Call to Action

Paul Sullivan
No Comments

Post a Comment