Like many industries, construction companies have experienced their fair share of challenges since the outbreak of the pandemic, such as labor shortages and project stagnancy. All businesses face unique obstacles, but in 2022, as everyone adjusts to the new normal, you don’t want digital marketing to remain a stumbling block.
A competitive disadvantage and loss of relevance are two major costs outlined by the Digital Marketing Institute for businesses that don’t embrace digital marketing. Failure to innovate or think outside the box will hold companies back. In today’s digital world, experimentation, agility, and flexibility are required for successful construction marketing.
Currently, the industry is crowded with traditional marketing methods. Many a construction company has not yet fully leveraged the prowess of social media platforms and even digital marketing as a whole to expand their customer base and boost their bottom line. In general, the industry is yet to adopt digital marketing on the scale of other industries. Companies that do will leapfrog the competition by establishing an early online presence where competition is relatively still scarce.
For modern businesses, digital marketing is ubiquitous. Unlike a billboard, it’s targeted, cost-effective and measurable, which is advantageous for smaller companies, who may not have an established presence in the current marketplace. Nowadays, many construction companies will hire a digital marketing company to focus their marketing efforts. Any digital marketing expert will tell you that online marketing requires a detailed multipronged approach, but in the meantime, let’s outline a broad brushstroke digital marketing strategy.
Back in the day, it used to be that you’d exchange business cards, or someone driving past a construction company’s billboard would take down the name and number if it wasn’t a business they immediately recognized. Most construction companies strategically place signboards around the sites they’re working on, but not many include their online contact details, i.e., website and social media handles.
While construction businesses aren’t the same as retail ones, prospective customers will at the very least search for your website; some may even follow your social media accounts. As it is, 74% of marketers believe social media is an effective tool to reach potential clients. This raises another important question: Are your website and social media operational and user-friendly?
Referencing your website and social media accounts when they’re in poor form may do more damage to your business operations. It only takes about 0.05 seconds for potential clients to form an opinion about a website that determines whether they like it and if they’ll stay or leave. If you need a good reference, take a look at Bechtel, or Murray & Roberts, for example.
A great website looks good and is correctly optimized to rank high in search engine results. Each page has a clear function and directs clients to take a specific action, i.e., book a consultation, find out more or sign up to a mailing list. Of course, the end goal is always to increase sales. Drawing on the example of Bechtel’s website, on the first page, you can already see the opportunity to learn more about their construction services.
(A strong website will usually have the following components; purpose and clarity, usability, user-focused, navigability, great appearance, as well as ease of updates and content management capabilities, as well as SEO, and analytics.)
While not technically your website, your social media channels should convey a consistent look and feel, while messaging should maintain a consistent tone. Social media channels should be used for brand awareness, to reach your target audience, and position your company as an industry leader by publishing material that’s part of your content marketing strategy. Think of your construction company’s website as your virtual office front, and social media as its “dial-in” broadcasting platform.
If you’ve done research on digital marketing, you would have come across the term search engine optimization or SEO. The leading marketing software platform Yoast describes it as, “The practice of optimizing your webpages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google and other major search engines.” In rudimentary terms, SEO is the process of taking a piece of online content and optimizing it, so search engines like Google show it towards the top of the page when someone searches for something online.
No doubt, SEO is a digital marketing prerequisite and the foundation of any digital marketing strategy, regardless of the industry. It focuses on improving rankings in organic (non-paid) search results. Construction companies wanting to boost their online traffic (visitors to their website) and increase brand awareness should have local SEO, which forms part of their overall construction marketing strategy.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing a construction business website for a location-specific search query. Google uses an IP address (for desktop) and geolocation (for mobile) to determine which businesses to show potential clients. So if a prospective lead searches for a local construction business, the search engine will only display those businesses relevant to their location. When it comes to a construction company’s visibility, smaller businesses operating on a regional level using local SEO may have some leverage over larger national brands.
To implement local SEO, you will need to set up a free Google My Business account. This allows you to list your company online on Google Maps and local search results, as well as provide important information about your business, including opening/closing times, contact details, reviews, and links to your website.
You can improve your website traffic and enhance your local SEO ranking by:
Your local SEO could be affected if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, especially because Google uses mobile-first indexing, meaning that the search engine will prioritize indexing the mobile version of your website before the desktop version. If your website doesn’t work well on mobile browsers, other mobile-friendly websites may rank higher than your company’s.
On the upside, many website design platforms already have mobile-friendly templates, and if you get your website professionally designed, the web developer or agency should include mobile responsiveness as part of their offering.
Nearly 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase. High ratings and glowing feedback from satisfied clients build trust and social currency, whereas poor review management could turn away a massive chunk of more qualified leads. Because current consumers harness immense influence in the digital arena (we’ve all seen how a single Tweet can move a market), it’s critical to not only have a social media presence but also a robust review and reputation management strategy.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should shy away from negative reviews. It’s pretty much impossible to avoid one or two unsatisfied customers here and there, so long as you respond to them promptly with the appropriate action. The online reputation of a construction company serves as a trust signal that determines if your target audience will do business with you, so keeping your pulse on customer feedback is paramount.
The number of reviews responded to and not responded to directly impacts search engine ranking. Keeping tabs on online reviews is beneficial on two fronts; 1. Showcasing positive reviews act as a conversion optimization tool 2. Implementing feedback from negative reviews can improve customer service and products. Generally, it’s a good idea to monitor reviews on social media channels. Some, like Facebook, already have review integrations.
Each construction company will use social media differently. And remember, you don’t need to have social media pages on every platform, only those where your potential leads are. Once you’ve established an online presence on appropriate social media, you’ll want to develop a review management strategy that covers:
Sometimes responding publicly to bad reviews can work in a company’s favor because it demonstrates accountability. Of course, this requires discretion; there’s a difference between entertaining a troll and resolving a genuine customer complaint.
That being said, it’s often much more effective to use an online reputation management tool to monitor performance and provide alerts when new reviews are posted. Hiring a professional digital marketing company to manage your social media platforms and reviews, is also an effective solution to ensure your digital marketing efforts are up to scratch.
If you want to perform a quick reputation audit of your company, all you need to do is open up an incognito Google window and type in your company name. Take a good look at the sites that appear on Google’s very first page. You should also identify what Google My Business-related features appear like ratings, comments, reviews, and user-generated photos.
Just as businesses are built on relationships, so too is a digital marketing strategy. HubSpot defines guest blogging as, “a content marketing tactic that involves writing and publishing one or more articles for other websites.” Guest blogging will raise your company’s profile and create valuable backlinks* that boost your ranking on search engine results pages.
Google is increasingly attaching authority not just to websites, but prominent industry leaders as well. For example, if Jeff Bezos were to write an article about the future of retail on a completely unranked website domain, Google would rank it higher. While the domain might not have the SEO track record, Bezos’ individual authority would make the article worth being on the search engine’s first page.
Guest blogging is an easy way to create authority as a construction company. If you create content that appears in leading construction industry publications, you acquire greater legitimacy. In some ways, by syndicating your content, the publication acknowledges your authority. The more sites your content appears in one, the more authoritative you appear to search engines.
Marketing software company SEMrush highlights other advantages like:
A great guest blog should funnel people to an outcome, not merely your website’s homepage. Most new guest bloggers don’t think about where they’re funneling their readers to. If your goal is to get as many email subscribers as possible, you’d create a lead capture landing page to do so. On the other hand, if you want a greater social media following, you’d encourage readers to stay up to date with your company by following your profiles.
If you’re thinking it’s too much work or have insecurities around writing, you needn’t worry. Here’s the open secret: You can hire construction marketing professionals to write and develop email marketing content, video marketing videos, and any other content required for your construction company.
*A side note on the importance of backlinks: Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from one web page to another website. They represent a “vote of confidence” from one website to another. Search engines like Google use backlinks to find and rank the best content. Therefore, the more backlinks you have, the higher you’ll rank.
Marketing analytics tools provide insights needed to optimize marketing strategies and target the most profitable clients. Better leads bring more sales and improved ROI. With accurate, real-time data, you can better understand client behavior and preferences. It’s impossible to know how many page views, visits, and what the traffic patterns of your website are without using Google Analytics, or tools of a similar nature.
By creating a campaign in Google Analytics, you can track how a specific digital marketing campaign is performing. To better explain, let’s use the example of a construction company. The company is interested in local searches because they want to capture the local business. Google Analytics will capture and provide information on social media marketing campaigns like which platform does better.
For instance, after analyzing your construction analytics, you may notice you’re getting more traffic on Facebook, but most of your customer engagement is happening on LinkedIn. In which case, you would readjust your marketing strategy accordingly. If Facebook receives more traffic, then it would be wise to place paid ads on the platform, for example.
As a rule of thumb, you should track the following metrics:
A thorough analytic tool will help your construction company understand the effectiveness of its entire digital marketing strategy, not just your website or social media channels. With each marketing element initiative stacked against each other, you can determine the true ROI of your digital marketing strategies. The aim is always for your construction company’s digital marketing results to align with business goals.
Analytics should be baked into your construction marketing strategy, not just something that’s checked once in a blue moon. When you have evidence from real-time data, you can pursue the right tactics and change those that aren’t working. While it can be a struggle to track search engine marketing efforts, with the right tools and team, it really doesn’t have to be.
A tip on vanity metrics: Be wary of analyzing metrics that look good to others but don’t provide useful data to inform future marketing strategies. For instance, getting many likes on social media is good because it depicts an increase in visibility, but beyond that, it won’t necessarily translate into increased website traffic or qualified leads.
When it comes to construction marketing, there is so much you can do to digitally future-proof your business and turn potential customers into loyal brand advocates. The first step is having a great website that communicates your company’s vision and implementing fundamental marketing tactics. It’s no small task, which is why most constriction company’s hire digital marketing agencies to help.
Comrade Web Digital Agency offers comprehensive construction company digital marketing services from implementing social media marketing to website design development; handling paid advertising, and more. As digital marketing experts, we help construction companies increase targeted traffic, generate qualified sales leads, and improve their brand visibility. To find out more and get a free website audit, click here.
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