Mackenzie | October 20, 2020 | Digital Marketing
Building a marketing plan or marketing strategy is never an easy task. When you're marketing an entire construction company, there is so much to consider. Many construction companies have succeeded for decades based on word-of-mouth referrals and name recognition, and are just now finding that it's not working as well anymore.
The problem is, consumers are starting to trend away from making a purchasing decision based solely on referral, and construction companies without a solid digital presence are starting to fall behind.
If you're looking for ways to market your construction company using new tactics like digital and inbound marketing, this is the guide for you.
Part resource and part article round-up, this complete guide to marketing a construction company will cover everything you need to know to start marketing to the modern consumer.
Before you start any kind of marketing effort, it's absolutely imperative that you know who you're marketing to.
For construction companies especially, identifying your target market is essential to getting more of the right jobs.
I've talked about Why Contractors Should Know Their Target Market before, so I won't go too far into it. I will say, if you're frustrated that your construction company can't seem to break into a higher market, this is the step that will help you break that cycle.
Typically, construction companies get busy taking every job that comes up. While that's necessary when you're starting out, it can hold you back from business growth once you're more established.
Start marketing your construction company to the leads and projects you want. Identify:
All of those answers combine to make up your target market. You can further refine your target market into specific buyer personas.
This is a critical step in marketing any construction company. If you want to get bigger, better jobs, you have to know who is making the decisions for those jobs and create marketing strategies and content that speak to them.
Once you understand who your target market is, you can get started marketing to them.
But, to do that, you kind of have to know how to market to them.
If your construction company is working hard to revamp your marketing strategy, it's important to have a solid understanding of general digital marketing best practices.
Many construction companies are used to more traditional marketing methods, like print advertising, that just don't deliver the results you're looking for. To develop a marketing strategy that puts your construction company ahead of the competition, start with a few basics:
Digital Marketing Resources:
Familiarize yourself with terms and tactics like:
I get that this might seem overwhelming. It's an entire marketing methodology, after all. It can be daunting to scroll through all of those terms and tactics, but I find it helpful to keep one thing in mind.
The key to any successful marketing strategy is putting your customer front and center, at all times.
If you are taking steps to improve your website and your digital presence in a way that will be helpful for your ideal customer, you're on your way to a marketing strategy that delivers results.
There's just one more thing to do before you start digging into the real work of developing a marketing strategy for your construction company.
Set some goals.
I've talked about goal setting in way too many blogs to count, so check out a couple of these blogs for more info on exactly how to set effective goals.
The point here is that you won't know if your marketing tactics are successful unless you have some way to measure them.
Setting goals also helps guide your marketing strategy and can make an overwhelming marketing methodology feel more manageable by identifying exactly the tactics you need to invest in to reach your goals.
When you set specific, measurable goals that define what success looks like to your construction company, that "where to start" piece just falls into place.
For example, let's say your goal is to grow your construction company's digital presence. You've decided to define that by the traffic numbers your website sees.
If you want to grow your website traffic by 20% in the next six months, it's not too hard to figure out where you need to start. You need to invest in marketing tactics that draw people to your website.
By defining your construction company's marketing goals, you can easily zero in on the marketing tactics that can deliver that success.
With an established target market, a confident understanding of digital marketing tactics, and solid goals for your construction company's marketing strategy, you've got everything you need to get the ball rolling.
At this point, you've done most of the hard work. Even though marketing might sound intimidating, remember that you've already done a lot to make getting started manageable.
Start with the tactics that will push your construction company to the goals you've set. Take each tactic one at a time, and you'll quickly build up to a solid marketing strategy that can generate leads for your construction company.
In this section, we'll cover 6 marketing tactics that can deliver the growth you're looking for. Jump to the sections that best fit your marketing goals, or run through these in order to get a more comprehensive sense of how to effectively marketing a construction company:
Marketing Tactics for your Construction Company
Local SEO is critical to most construction companies, because you likely work in a certain geographical area. Whether you have crews in one area, or you have a few locations, you need to show up in local searches. Why?
Let's think about your buyer's journey.
What do you think most people are going to search for when they're looking for a construction company or contractor?
If you guessed, "construction companies near me", you'd be right.
You need to nail your local SEO to show up in those critical searches.
Not sure where to start with local SEO? Here are a few must-make improvements to take care of right away:
Once you've got those taken care of, check out these resources for more info on beefing up your local search presence, from why it's important to how to do it, the right way.
Local SEO Resources:
If your website isn't working, there's no digital marketing effort in the world that will get you the results you're looking for.
Nearly every digital marketing tactic revolves around the functionality and success of your website.
Think of your website as your construction company's digital office.
Every marketing tactic you employ, from social media marketing to content development and even paid advertising, is designed to drive people back to your website, where they can call you, fill out a form, or learn more about your services.
If your website doesn't work or isn't optimized for those visitors, your construction company's marketing strategy will inevitably fall flat.
Not sure if your website is working for you or not? We've got a tool for that.
This checklist will tell you — in no uncertain terms — where your website is looking good, and where it needs some improvements.
From there, you can start to make improvements that will move the needle on your construction company's marketing goals.
Optimizing your site for SEO will help draw in more of those site visitors.
These resources can help you implement changes that will drive results:
Website Optimization Resources:
Like any aspect of your construction company's marketing strategy, it's best to start small.
Spend time updating a few key pages of your website, and let them start working for you. You can always make improvements as you go, but it's most important to get something good out there as quickly as possible.
If you're having trouble settling on implementation, and your team is dragging their feet on making website updates, I'd encourage you to check out Growth-Driven Website Design. It's a great way to get your marketing strategy up and running in a way that truly delivers results.
Any quality digital marketing strategy makes use of content marketing.
It's the best marketing tactic you have to:
Content marketing can also help to nurture leads through their buyer's journey and position you as an authority in your market.
Inbound content marketing is about delivering the relevant information your ideal customer is already searching for.
By providing helpful answers to the questions your ideal client is asking, you start to build trust while pulling them into your website.
The more people you have on your website, reading your amazing content, the greater your potential to convert leads.
While content marketing is a simple concept at its heart — write great content, get great leads, there's a lot of thought that goes into what and how to write that content that will deliver the results you're looking for. Here a few resources to get you started there:
Content Marketing Resources:
If content marketing is how you draw in new traffic and qualified leads, social media is how you amplify that content and your brand to increase your reach.
Many construction companies feel that, since your industry is more professional, you don't really have a place on social media platforms.
That's simply just not true.
Regardless of how professional your projects are, the people who are in charge of planning them and signing off on them are people.
And most people have social media accounts.
Social media is a rich platform to grow brand awareness for your construction company, helping you reach more people and gain a better position in your industry.
The key to doing social media right, like any other aspect of marketing a construction company, is starting small.
Pick one social media platform that you know your company can do well on. In general, we'd suggest Facebook or Instagram for a construction company, although LinkedIn could also be successful.
When you start to see success with that first social media platform, then you can begin to branch out. But take the time to really experiment and understand one platform first. When that's working to deliver leads, you know you've got what it takes to try another platform.
If your construction company is struggling to increase your brand awareness with social media, these articles can help you better connect with your audience.
Social Media Resources:
Okay, so your content marketing strategy is drawing people in.
Your social media strategy is amplifying your voice and expanding your reach.
Your website is optimized to convert leads when they get there.
And your local SEO is putting you front-and-center for relevant local searches.
What could possibly be left?
Now, yes, this is technically not marketing, it's advertising, but it's still an important component of your construction company's marketing strategy.
When implemented properly, paid advertising can give you that extra leg up against the competition. Paid ads:
But, the kicker with paid ads is of course you're paying for them. So it's really important — no matter how big or small your budget — that you're putting in the time to develop a solid paid ads strategy.
For construction companies in particular, paid advertising can be especially competitive. Many construction pros spend money on the same popular key terms and phrases, which can drive the cost of your campaigns up.
The hack here is to take the time to do a competitive analysis.
What keywords are your competitors bidding on? Are there long-tail keywords they might be missing?
A competitive analysis can give you a great picture of what other companies like yours are doing to draw in more of the right leads. But, it's important to remember that you shouldn't bid on a keyword just because your competition is. Choose keywords that make sense for your company and your goals.
Construction companies also struggle to decide on a reasonable budget for their ad campaigns. How much should you be spending, and what should your results look like on that budget?
Check out our Google Ads Benchmarks By Industry article for real-life answers to those questions, based on the work we do for construction companies just like yours.
For more info on getting started with paid ads, from Google and paid search to paid social media advertising, check out these resources:
Paid Advertising Resources:
While most of these construction marketing tactics have been geared at drawing in more of the right leads, what do you do about those leads who are a good fit, but just aren't ready to make a purchase?
You email them.
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics your construction company has to reach out to people you know are qualified leads and help pull them through the buyer's journey.
Inbound marketing is focused on the successful tactic of delivering the right message, to the right person, at exactly the right time.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to do that.
Everyone you have on your email list is someone who has given you their email address.
That means, to some extent, they are interested in your construction company.
You can leverage those leads successfully by implementing an email marketing strategy. Here are a few tips to help you build out an email marketing strategy that works:
Email Marketing Resources:
So there you have it. A complete guide to marketing your construction company.
I know we covered a ton of topics and tactics, so it's worth a quick wrap-up.
No matter where your construction company is in the marketing process, whether you're just now starting to transition away from traditional marketing, or you've been optimizing your website for the past month, remember that analysis and optimization are always the keys to your success.
You can implement every single one of these marketing strategies, but if you never look back to analyze your results or optimize future campaigns, you're unlikely to reach those goals you set out at the very beginning of your marketing campaign.
Take a little time out of each month to look back on the previous month or quarter's success. What worked? What didn't? Are there improvements you can make? Is there a marketing tactic your construction company just can't seem to make work?
Just taking an hour a month to analyze your past results, and apply your findings to new campaigns can put you heads and tails above the competition.
There's a lot that goes into digital marketing, especially for construction companies. While starting a brand new marketing strategy might feel daunting, just take it slowly, step-by-step, and you'll start to see results that bring you closer to your goals.
Not sure if digital marketing is worth the work? Check out this case study:
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
41 Washington Ave. #390
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Join the Evenbound Community! Get updates on recent Evenbound news.