Construction Marketing: 11 Tips for Building a Better Audience
If you are in the construction industry marketing may be the furthest thing from your mind—well, unless you are having trouble booking jobs. Then marketing your business is likely the top thing on your mind.
Whether you’re a single-person operation or you have a dedicated construction marketing team, the industry comes with its unique challenges. From the dangers of the job to competing for the larger projects with other companies, it is important to not let your marketing strategy sit on the back burner while your competitors capture all the local jobs. So what can your construction company do to stand out? Here are 11 construction marketing tips to out-book and out-build your competitors.
1. Ensure your number is super easy to find everywhere
There are a few industries where phone calls are critical, construction being one of them. Whether it’s a local homeowner looking for help remodeling their kitchen or a big development company looking for a construction firm to take on some larger projects, your leads won’t get in contact with you if there are too many barriers.
To get as many calls as possible, your well-managed phone number should be tied directly to the name of your company, whether your ad is appearing on a Google search, a billboard on the street, or a flyer at the local supermarket.
I did a search for “construction companies in Boston,” and these three listings showed up immediately. While all three had numbers tied to their listings, only Sula Valley had a number that was super easy to find at the top left hand corner of their website.
Then, as I clicked along to their Facebook page, I immediately spotted their number in the “About” section.
This is a great example of a company doing this well. To ensure you’re also making it as easy as possible for your leads to contact you, make sure your number is above the fold on your website, tied to all branded material on other sites and social media platforms, and, of course, ensure there is someone responsible for answering and following up with incoming calls to maximize the potential business.
2. Set up Google local service ads
While I would definitely recommend running your standard Google Search and Display ads, for construction marketing, you should take advantage of Google’s local services ads. Why? Because this ad type is made for your industry! When these ads are configured properly and someone searchers for “construction company near me” your service ad with a “Google Guaranteed Badge” will appear alongside a direct link to your phone number.
“One of the really cool things about this is that you only pay for leads, rather than per click,” says Matt Bermudez, marketing manager at Yael Consulting.
An endorsement from Google, the top spot on the SERPs, breaking down barriers to allow your leads to easily call you, and only paying for leads. What could be better than that?
3. Make your website helpful for customers
Did you know that 63% of customers primarily use a contract companies website to find and engage with them, and 30% do not consider a business that does not have a website, according to Blue Corona.
Having an attractive, simple, and easy-to-navigate website that helps your leads get the information they need without feeling overwhelmed or turned off is critical for construction marketing success.
I love the example below from Killian Construction Co. The entire website experience is pleasant, with a simple and visual homepage, as well as easy-to-navigate tabs with all the critical information a lead would be looking for. There is also a clear contact us section in the top left corner.
Another thing Killian’s website does well is including slideshow highlights from their portfolio to help leads get an idea of projects they have completed in the past.
4. Get super niche with your audience targeting on social media
The popularity and widespread use of social media is no secret. In fact, 75% of construction companies now promote their businesses on social media, according to JBK. This is a good and bad thing for construction companies. The great news is that there are now even more places and opportunities to promote your construction business, but with such a crowded space it can be challenging to stand out.
The great thing about social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is that you can get super specific with your targeting. The first thing you should do on these platforms is specify the location you are targeting.
Next, consider your target audience. What do they look like in terms of income? How about interests and behaviors? Perhaps you have a few target audiences and creating specific campaigns to align your content with each makes the most sense. Whatever you decide, the options are plentiful so explore what works and soon enough you’ll be speaking directly to your target audience and gaining even more jobs through social media.
5. Follow up with past customers
A big part of building your audience is keeping the one you already have—yup, I mean encouraging your past customers to keep coming back. Whether it’s a smaller job you completed for a family last year or a commercial project that you completed several years ago, if your customers experience was positive, then it might be worth seeing if they have any upcoming needs that they haven’t yet had time to address.
“You should be following up with your existing customers a few months after completing a job, just to check in to see if you can help them with anything else,” says Jonathan Weinberg, founder and CEO of Builder Prime. “The customer will be impressed that you called and it could lead to more business.”
Maintaining these positive relationships is a great construction marketing strategy—not only does it help you work with happy customers, but it can also lead to new business through referrals!
6. Create compelling video content
With one-third of internet activity being spent watching video and video leading to a 157% increase in organic SERP traffic for businesses, it is clear that video is a marketing strategy that cannot be ignored! This is especially true in such a visual industry like construction. Often, many beautiful things result from construction projects so why not show them off with engaging video content?
Video is also a great way to give your brand personality. A video showing off your projects, a timelapse video of the construction process, or a fun company culture video showing off the unique personalities of your team could all help make your company more personable and help build your audience.
I love the quick Facebook video below from S+H Construction, where one of the co-founders shows off her pride for being a part of the company’s growth over the last 40 years. Very cool!
7. Feature your employees
The truth about construction marketing is that it is challenging not only because of the high level of competition but also the fact that you need to gain the trust of your leads in order to have any chance in converting them into future customers. We have all heard of the construction horror stories that make the trust threshold higher for this industry.
That’s why showing off the human side of your business is so important. By featuring your staff in your marketing campaigns, your leads can see the smiling human faces behind your business—and they can feel as though they are getting to know you and your business in a way. This is one small step in increasing their trust in your offerings.
Try inserting a human element into every one of your marketing campaigns. This can be as simple as having some your staff on the homepage, like McCormick Home Solutions does in the example below.
Grogan Building Supply, on the other hand, frequently posts photographs of their employees on Instagram to celebrate a work-related success or a birthday. People like to see the human side because it makes them feel more connected to your business, in turn increasing their level of trust.
8. Prioritize reviews and customer testimonials ALWAYS
Bouncing off of my last rant about building customer trust, there is no better way to do this than allowing your happy customers speak for you. In the construction industry, you absolutely need good reviews in multiple places in order to instill trust in your leads. This is likely the first thing new leads are going to seek out when researching your business.
So how can you make sure your covering your bases in terms of reviews? Here are a few starting points:
- Include customer case studies and testimonials on your website.
- Ensure your Google and paid search campaigns have reviews configured.
- Check the status of your Yelp page, Google Reviews, Angie’s List, etc.
- Encourage your happy customers to write reviews on all major review sites (incentivize them with a reward or raffle).
- Produce customer testimonial videos to promote across your social channels.
And once you have these reviews, make sure to direct your lead to them!
9. Build a super informative blog
Construction marketers might hear the word “blog” and think of food bloggers, fashion bloggers, or even business blogs—but “construction blog” cannot possibly be a thing, can it? The answer is not only is it “a thing,” but it is a super smart and compelling way to build trust and bring in more customers.
“In this industry, people do a great deal of research,” says Jorge Fontan, owner of Fortan Architecture. “Having a website that is a resource for people can lead to potential clients who want to work specifically with you after getting help from the information you post.”
Blogging on construction-related topics can not only build you knowledge credibility, but it can also help you strengthen your websites quality, leading to more organic traffic and better SEO. Really, the benefits of a strong educational blog are endless for construction marketers!
10. Try some guerilla marketing tactics
We’ve been talking a lot about the online space for construction marketing, but what about stepping outside into your community to do some real in-person marketing experiences?
Guerilla marketing is not only a fun way to step away from your computer; it also allows you to let your creative juices flow and can often be the most compelling way to get new customers in the door. Try an old stand-by like signs on your current jobsite or something outside of the box like a flash mob to “Brick House” at a local hardware store. Whether you’d rather play it safe or experiment, the options are endless when it comes to guerilla marketing. If you’re looking for more ideas to get started, WordStream also has a great post with “20+ Jaw-Dropping Guerilla Marketing Ideas,” which will likely spark some inspiration.
11. Partner with similar businesses for co-marketing campaigns
Last, but certainly not least, a great way to take your construction marketing efforts to the next level is by partnering with a business similar to yours to do some cross-promotion and expose your construction company to an entirely new market.
“Co-marketing campaigns will take on different forms for B2B vs. B2C, for products vs. services, for new startups vs. established brands,” says Braveen Kumar from Shopify. “However, with a little creativity, you can connect the dots between you and a partner brand to expand the impact of both of your marketing efforts.”
So what are the best brands to co-market with? Well, think about your target audience. Where else do they shop? What other needs do they have? A few rules for building strong partnerships that can lead to impactful co-marketing campaigns include:
- Building these relationships with similar brands, but not direct competitors.
- Ensuring the brand you partner with has a reasonable (if not large) audience.
- Partnering with a company that you can help in some way in return.
Teamwork makes the dream work!
Now that you have all of our construction marketing secrets, we cannot wait to hear about all of the new projects that fall on your lap once these tips are in action! Keep us updated on your construction marketing endeavors in the comments below.