To achieve success you must be willing to go above and beyond what is already out there – remember the only people to fear the competition should be those that are simply settling for average: average targets, average work, average results.
So when you start to create a new content calendar, or pitch a new marketing strategy to your construction team, always consider…
‘what makes this better than what I’ve previously seen? Is my competition doing this already?’
Rather than simply aiming to become ‘the best’ at what you do, make your construction business as niche as possible; be the only ones to do what you do.
So to get the ball rolling, we’ve collated 10 recommendations to enhance your marketing strategy: How can YOU be crushing the competition?
1. So what makes your construction business better than the rest?
In order to achieve success you need to be clear on what exactly it is that makes you so different from your competitors.
Whilst it’s crucial to identify who and what you represent as a group internally, you also need to know from your priority customers why it is that they come to you.
How easy is it for them to make an enquiry about your product? Do you provide specification tools that other’s don’t? What advantages does your product provide against others within the industry?
Ultimately ,you can’t expect to be better than the rest without knowing your customers’ wants and needs, which involves extensive survey research: find out what could make them switch teams and buy from competitors instead.
We ourselves have undertaken an enormous amount of in depth research this year and have learnt an astonishing amount about the way our clients’ prospects and customers interact with their brands and marketing touch points.
Check out this post by Kissmetrics for more information on survey questions, in order to serve your target audience in the best way possible.
2. Nail your customer personas
It’s easier than you think to assume you’re writing compelling content, when in fact the content itself, no matter the quality, has failed to address anyone in particular. This is where clear, concise and detailed customer personas are crucial to ensuring your marketing efforts are reaching those most relevant. Achieving this will ensure your hard work and efforts have an impact above anyone else.
If you already have your customer profiles outlined, this is the time to review and update them: what information do contractors require over installers? What key issues do architects have that you can address?
Online customer behaviour and product requirements are constantly shifting and so its’ important that, by using your customer research, your persona profiles are as up-to-date as possible. After all these will ultimately help you to reach your growth goals.
Watch this video by consultant Mark Kelly who discussed the importance of personas at our latest DECONSTRUCT event.
3. Shadow the customer journey from start to finish
Document the journey each persona profile will make towards becoming a potential customer. A lot of tiny steps are taken where they’ll be searching for specific content to guide them along the way.
What type of content could persuade them into finding more about your company? What will best help them to make that final decision?
Ultimately, how can you keep them engaged so that they complete the construction buying cycle?
Identify each persona’s main queries, motivations and objections at each stage of the journey to gain a clear understanding of the content required. When creating your content for each stage, also consider what CTA’s to use in order to lead them onto the next step.
If you’re looking for an easy and effective way to align your persona profiles to their individual customer journeys, here’s a simple template provided by CMI.
4. Get on the advertising bandwagon
Contrary to popular belief, Facebook advertising can be used for both B2B companies as well as Ecommerce platforms. Over the past year, the platform has seen a decrease in organic reach in order to pave the way for paid advertising.
Aside from generating brand awareness, Facebook ads can provide the user with a definitive call-to-action to find out more information on a new product launch, or for purchasing a product at discounted rates on your Construction eCommerce platform. It has become a visual, video-led platform for driving users to your website.
Whilst paid ads have been popping up on Facebook for a few years now, it’s the sudden increase in allocated marketing budget for these which has been the most recent change.
According to Forbes, there are 40 million active small business pages in Facebook and 4 million of those businesses pay for social media advertising. These statistics show that small-sized companies should consider paying for Facebook ads in order to gain visibility and most importantly, surpass competitors.
Therefore it may be worth considering increasing your budget for social media advertising – trust me, your competitors will be doing the same. Check out our post on Facebook advertising for more information, or check out this interesting article for recommendations on producing effective ad design.
5. Write engaging, niche content
Content creators within all industry’s are battling for one thing: a prospect’s attention. However according to Hubspot, ‘when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later.’
And why is this? Because there are more distractions now than ever before – with more content being published on a daily basis, making it nearly impossible for small companies to compete.
So rather than dishing out as much content as possible, you’ve got to be creating content that’s engaging and most importantly, niche to your target audience.
We can guarantee that architects and contractors alike will be searching for a narrower, more targeted range of content to weed out material that is vague and unfocused for their query. Rise to the challenge by answering more specific questions to your personas, doing the research by identifying what they really need (as previously mentioned) and then providing it in the most effective, digestible way.
Find out more on developing your construction-led content strategy by downloading our Content Marketing eBook.
6. Get in front of the camera
Did you know that video content this year is predicted to represent 74% of all internet traffic?
This is not surprising when you consider how much more digestible it is to watch product demonstrations rather than consume the details in text form. As you develop a marketing plan for 2017, be thoughtful regarding which content could be better delivered through video.
Glazing Vision also incorporated the use of video to present their new box rooflight range, which includes brilliant product information and installation requirements.
7. Be visible by smashing search traffic
Ranking highly in search is becoming increasingly more competitive, and so construction businesses need to try harder than ever to gain online visibility.
And with the expansion of paid search ads now dominating page one of Google, with the removal of the advertising sidebar, PPC should be seriously considered across all business types to support organic search and to rank above your competition.
Alina, our Customer Insights manager, predicts that this year content needs to be present on Google snippets by focusing on ‘how to’ questions or short FAQ style blog posts; this will allow your construction business to gain more search visibility on the first page. Filter this into your content calendar to ensure you’re not neglecting crucial search opportunities.
Google is also giving more prominence to shopping ads, which is worth considering if you have or are intending to build an Ecommerce website.
Our new eBook is the first in a series and serves as a starter guide to PPC (pay-per-click) advertising; for more information on how your construction business could benefit from paid search and be ranking ahead of your competitors, download your free copy here.
8. Let email marketing reign supreme
Email marketing if implemented correctly can be personalised, targeted, and helps to expand overall reach, making it one of the most effective content distribution channels. Make sure email marketing takes up a significant amount of your content calendar this year in order to stay ahead of the game.
Could you be providing your construction audience with a monthly round-up of your case studies and technically-led blog content? What changes in building regulations are crucial for your audience to be aware of?
Build credibility by reinforcing your business as thought leaders.
However you have one chance to make an impression, and consumers eyes are drawn to certain words that indicate spam. For guidance on this, check out this useful list by Econsultancy.
You should also get in the habit of optimizing and retesting your various email campaigns to see what works best: A/B testing campaigns enable you to collate detailed stats in order for you to improve and refine your future campaigns.
Other tips? Where possible and particularly for campaigns, try not to include more than one call to action in an email – people receive hundreds of emails a day so keep them as short and concise as possible.
Check out these predictions from Campaign Monitor on how email marketing will transform in 2017, including the prediction of mobile payments coming to inboxes and new behavioural data that will help marketers dominate their competition.
Emails shouldn’t just stop there either. What about email confirmation when somebody downloads a whitepaper from your site? This is often overlooked and yet is the last impression you leave a prospect. Read our post here for more information.
9. Don’t lose or ignore your prospects
Regardless of whether you nail all of the above and produce innovative, niche content that attracts your target market, all of your efforts will go to waste if your sales process isn’t closely aligned. Check out these top tips for sales and marketing alignment, complete with a downloadable document.
It seems simple, but too often marketing and sales become easily disjointed. Remember that every action you do needs to be documented – use Google shared drive to store information and share regular updates with your sales team on the follow-up process.
Working closely is what will set you apart from the rest: does everyone on your sales team follow the same process for qualifying and nurturing prospects? What automation software are you using to make the sales and marketing process easier?
Also remember to document any issues you uncover along the way, and always look for areas within the follow-up process where prospects or customers may get lost or ignored due to a lack of time, energy and resources.
10. Make the best use of budget & time
The budget required for creating and promoting content can vary – depending upon individual business needs. For example, while some will choose to keep most of their content marketing inhouse, others rely more heavily on content freelancers and contractors.
So ask yourself this: What marketing goals do I need to achieve, and how can I best handle my budget to meet these?
In order to present strategic and creative opportunities to the team you simply cannot handle everything on your own; therefore dividing the workload is crucial in order to ensure content remains of high-quality and consistent.
Hubspot have shared a great marketing budget template to keep you on track, whilst our post, ‘Choosing the right marketing partner for your business’ will help to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money.
Do you have any other recommendations to share with us? We’d love to hear from you so do drop us a tweet!
And remember on your journey to crushing the competition – measure the success of every marketing campaign you carry out.
Track your progress through monthly meetings in order to identify and solve issues early on so that you can learn from mistakes, evolve your marketing tactics, and continue to remain one step ahead in the construction marketing field.
For more information on developing your construction marketing strategy this year, take a look at our resource page, or give us a call on 01908 671707.