7 Construction Marketing Strategies to attract more customers, promote your business, and soar past your competition.
When the phone's ringing with new customer leads, new projects are being booked, and your entire crew is busy on various construction jobs, it's easy to let construction marketing fade into the background. Once things slow down, your construction marketing strategies become the first thing on your mind.
No matter the size of your company, developing a good marketing strategy to attract customers in the construction industry comes with some unique challenges. It's important you don't let your construction marketing strategies sit on the back burner while other companies scoop up all the best local jobs.
Why is it important to have a construction marketing strategy?
Establishing a strong online presence to attract customers requires some technical skills, persistence in applying the best marketing strategies for your construction company, setting goals, and most of all patience.
Marketing is an essential part of running any business. It helps you reach your target customers and ultimately is the way in which you will grow your business. A well-defined marketing strategy is a road map you will use to guide your business decisions. Without a marketing strategy there will be consequences:
- losing jobs to your competition
- receiving fewer leads and customers
- missing out on opportunities to gain or retain customers
The five-year survival rate for construction businesses is 36.4%
Everyone knows how difficult it is to get a small business off the ground. In the construction industry, the likelihood that a new company will survive longer than five years is 36.4%. To succeed in this industry, an owner needs to have a good idea of the lay of the land, along with a handle on how to price projects, and market your business.
The question we hear most often is "where do I start to create my construction marketing strategy". This is the most common obstacle many business owners face. It's best to look at your marketing strategy as simply a set of goals you want to accomplish. These goals might include:
- building relationships with clients to encourage referrals and long-term retention
- reaching new customers with online marketing or through trade shows
- reaching a specific dollar amount of net profit or sales each year
With clearly defined marketing goals and an effective construction marketing strategy in place, you can begin looking at the tactics involved in attracting customers to your construction business.
7 Construction Marketing Strategies
"Effective construction marketing strategies make the difference between growing your business or losing out to the competition. To attract customers to your business, you need a marketing strategy that grows with an ever-changing and competitive construction industry.
With the changes taking place in website design, marketing, and your customers search strategies, it's important to implement a good online strategy for your construction business.
1. Build a Brand
Your business will gain more credibility by customers and the search engines with a well-developed brand. A brand is what sets you apart and makes your business recognizable. Most consumers, whether they know the difference between a backhoe and a bulldozer, would recognize the CAT logo and associate them with heavy equipment.
Branding is just as important for local construction marketing strategies as it is for nationally-recognized companies.
One of the most important elements of your brand is your construction company logo. Your logo should represent your construction business. For example these logos hint at the type of construction work they do with a strong memorable design.:
In addition to your logo, other elements of your brand which you need to establish include:
- car and truck wrap design
- business cards
- attractive color scheme
- professional typography
- clearly defined message
- support images and graphics
2. Develop a Professional Website
Attractive, easy to use, and most importantly - mobile-friendly. Your website should help your leads easily find the information they need without feeling overwhelmed or lost.
I love the website of Wagman Construction, shown below. Their website does a good job of highlighting the construction, heavy civil, and geotechnical services they offer throughout Pennsylvania and Virginia. Their entire website is well-designed and offers a pleasant experience for their online visitors. They offer an easy-to-navigate tabs with all the critical information a potential customer or even a potential employee would be looking for. They offer a clear contact us link in the upper left corner which directs visitors to a contact page organized to allow potential customers to easily find the information they need.
Another thing Wagman's website does well is including information about the longevity of their business by being a 4th generation family-owned business. This gives their website a personal feel and helps them connect with their customers.
A good marketing strategy to attract customers to your construction business must include a professional website that focuses on the customers you serve. Just like your physical office serves the customers who visit you there, your website serves your online visitors.
Include complete details about your services, your company, and your contact details including information about your physical location. Make sure your phone number is placed in the footer as well as prominently displayed throughout your website. Lastly, don't forget to include a contact form to make it easy for your customers to reach you during off-hours.
Search engine optimization helps your website appear in the search results. Ranking higher in the search engines could make the difference between a thriving business or one that's on the brink of failure. The higher your search engine ranking the more likely it is that your customers will find you. It's important to optimize every page on your website in order to capture various keywords which your target customer might use to search for you.
Check out this search results page (SERP) for home construction builders in Madison, WI:
While some people might contact someone in the first three results, other consumers may skip over these and go straight to the top organic results to search for a construction company. The first two websites in the organic search results aren't even for home builders! Midwest Home Inc shows up in the top map pack but shows up at number seven in the organic results. Much of their content about their home building services is accessed through links that open a new website which means much of their search engine optimization is lost.
Shaw Building Design, however, prominently features a Start Here button for website visitors to check out their Custom Homes and their navigation features pages for the types of home construction they offer.
Get the best marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.
4. Social Media
Customers like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Social media is a great opportunity to show a more personal side of your business. Used consistently to reach potential customers and communicate with existing customers, social media can be an excellent tool to attract customers to your construction business.
Faulks Bros. Construction, a Waupaca County based Construction company does a good job on their Facebook page, of connecting with their fans and showing a personal side to their brand. They typically post 8-10 times a month and about 1/3 of their posts are about their current or past projects. The remaining 2/3 are focus on events around the community, highlighting their staff, and showcasing beautiful photos. Getting personal with your target audience is one of the best marketing strategies for a construction company to implement.
One of the struggles many businesses face is knowing which social media platforms to use for their business. Facebook has always been #1 for marketing to consumers. This is the social media platform most business owners should start with. When selling to other business owners LinkedIn delivers better results. When using social media to attract new customers it's important to remember that most people prefer to be educated or entertained instead of being bombarded with sales messages. We prefer the 70-20-10 rule when posting to our social media platforms.
5. Local Directories
When someone googles the best service provider for a specific industry in their area, Google will often display links to local business directories. For example, I did a search for "construction companies in Boston" and out of the 9 organic listings, 5 were business directories and only 2 links were for actual construction companies.
As you can see, it's essential to list your construction company in these directories. Be sure to fill in every detail they request when you create your listings. The more information you list, the easier it is for customers to find your information and get to know more about your company. This information also affects your rankings within the directories. Be sure to keep track of the directories where you list your business and check-in with them on a regular basis to answer questions and follow-up on new leads. Don't forget to claim your Google My Business listing as well and fill out all the essential information to help Google get to know your business and rank you higher in the search engines.
6. Email Marketing
Just about everyone has an email address and checks it on a regular basis. Capturing email addresses for your customers and leads is an inexpensive marketing strategy that many businesses overlook. Email marketing is a great way to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
- To get the most out of your email marketing activities:
- segment your list using tags so your messages can be targeted specifically to different types of customers
- nurture your leads through your lead funnel using useful content
- keep the message of your emails consistent with your website and other branding
- offer various types of content to your subscribers while keeping the 70-20-10 rule in mind
Using email marketing can help build brand awareness, nurture leads, and improve website traffic. Most importantly, email marketing helps you maintain communication with both potential and current customers.
Showing up in the search results is key to receiving customer traffic and leads from organic searches. Paid ads help your business show up at the top of the search results page. Construction companies for a long time have thought paid advertising didn't apply to their industry since so much of their lead generation has relied on relationship building. We believe it's vital to utilize some type of paid search campaign to attract customers who are turning to the search engines to find companies just like yours.
Check out all the paid ads that showed up when searching for "construction companies"
Whether you're already showing up on page 1 for some of your keywords or you're just getting started, per-per-click (PPC) advertising is a strategy you should not ignore.
How to Get the Most out of These Construction Marketing Strategies and Attract Customers to Your Business
A well-structured marketing strategy helps you define the customers you want to reach, why they want to work with you, and how you can help them. As a construction business owner, you might think this is fairly simple and straightforward - you build homes, churches, hospitals, whatever your specialty may be. So your customers are people or businesses who want to build that structure and you help them by building it.
Get the best marketing insights delivered straight to your inbox.
But it's not that simple. Let's say you build houses - million dollar mansions in exclusive upstate New York neighborhoods to be exact. A 21 year old fresh out of college with over $250k in debt contacts you because he wants to build his first home. He has an entry level job, and no idea where to begin financing this project. Is this an ideal customer for you? Probably not!
Defining your ideal customer is an important first step of construction marketing. Your construction marketing strategy will use the profile of your ideal customer to implement lead generation strategies to keep a steady flow of leads coming to your construction business. Use these 7 effective construction marketing strategies to start attracting customers to your construction business.