Once upon a time, not so long ago, having a basic website was all you needed in order to establish a decent online presence. For commercial construction companies, being online at all was a bonus, since the industry was more about relationships and price and less about marketing. But times have changed; and if you, as a commercial contractor, want to continue growing your company, you will have to change with them.
Having an updated and functional website and making strategic use of digital marketing channels like social media and search engine optimization, are no longer optional, but essential tools to thrive in the digital age. Construction companies that rely on more traditional marketing methods – such as mailers and word of mouth – may be surprised to find that their competitors are achieving greater success by investing more time and resources into digital marketing efforts.
As of 2019, only 45% of all construction companies in the U.S. are growing. As a commercial contractor, you can’t neglect marketing and expect to bring in new clients at a high enough rate to grow your business. A solid digital marketing strategy can help attract new leads for your company while maintaining your relationships with current customers.
Digital marketing is crucial, because it allows you to gain valuable insight into your buyers’ business challenges. With this information at your disposal, you can better target your marketing messages and tap into the right channels to reach your ideal customers at the right time, in the right places, and with the right messages.
Managing your own marketing can be a difficult, often overwhelming task for commercial contractors. As going digital becomes more and more essential, many construction companies are turning to reputable digital marketing agencies to help promote their businesses and brands in new and innovative ways.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 digital marketing ideas that commercial contractors and construction companies like yours can use to grow your business by leaps and bounds!
DYNAMIC WEBSITE DESIGN FOR CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
A great website can be the deciding factor on whether or not a prospective customer enlists your services. At least 75% of consumers admit to judging the credibility of a company based on its website design alone. Further studies have shown that 30% of users won’t even consider a business without a website. Since 92% of consumers look at websites when deciding which local contractor to use, you simply can’t afford to have an out-of-date design.
Think of your website as a sales rep who’s out there promoting your company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now imagine that this sales rep is perpetually rumpled and stammers inarticulately. That’s precisely what you have when your business website isn’t up to standards in terms of functionality and user experience. An outdated or broken website – or worse, no website at all! – can quickly kill customers’ trust in your business and their confidence in your work.
Your website needs to be fast, functional, secure, and easy to navigate. The site should be built to match your company’s vision as well as appeal to your target audience, with visually and aesthetically pleasing imagery and captivating design elements.
You should include a portfolio of your past work and client testimonials so that prospective clients can get a better sense of your experience and specializations. The website’s design should be liquid – that is, all graphics and texts should appear the same on computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
For SEO purposes, you should identify and use industry-specific and locally optimized short-tail and long-tail keywords in the title, header, image alt tags, webpage URLs, and meta description tags on every webpage of your site.
Hiring an outside web design agency to build your website can be quite a cost-effective option. A professionally designed website lends legitimacy to your business, clearly describes your services, and allows you to showcase your work in the best way possible. In truth, investing in a great website should be the most important expense you consider from a sales and marketing standpoint.
HUMANIZE YOUR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is a powerful platform for connecting businesses with their customers. Incredibly, only 1% of contractors report using social media on a regular basis. This is a missed opportunity.
Since its inception as a vehicle for communicating with friends and family members, social media has evolved into a realm where people share their thoughts with the world, network with peers, and even do business. On social media, commercial contractors and other construction companies have the ability to engage directly with consumers in their local market. Popular social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn are the perfect avenues for spreading the word about your company and its services and driving traffic to your website.
While users may not specifically be looking for your services on social media, you can take advantage of the fact that they are there to keep your message in front of them. Updating your social media pages on a regular basis keeps your company at the top of consumers’ minds, builds trust in your brand, and showcases its value.
If you haven’t yet established a presence on social media, it’s time you did. There are any number of social media sites that you could use to connect with consumers, but the practical approach is to narrow your focus to two or three platforms that you know your specific audience frequents. This increases the likelihood that the people who need to see and hear your message will be able to do so.
On each platform that you use, create a business page and fill it with specific info about your company, including contact information, products and services you provide, engaging images and videos, current offers, and any relevant updates about your business. Create a cover photo for your social media pages that pairs well with your brand. This will be the first thing customers see, so you want to make a good first impression.
Structure your content to the specific social media platform that you’re using to reach customers. Regularly post informative, entertaining, and original content that’s tailored precisely to your ideal buyers. Delighting and engaging customers can help build and maintain a positive online reputation. Studies show that 90% of companies that engage in social media marketing say those efforts have increased online exposure for their business, and 75% of those efforts have helped to increase traffic to their sites.
Social media is an ideal place to post photos and descriptions of work you’ve completed for satisfied customers. Another great way to grab current and prospective clients’ attention is to give them an inside look into your team and its culture behind the scenes. People like to engage with other people, not businesses. Most social media users prefer to be educated, not “sold.” The general rule of thumb is that only 1 out of every 4 posts should be “salesy” in nature.
To maximize your social media presence, incorporate links to your social pages into all your business operations, including your website footer, marketing materials, printed brochures, business cards, and email signatures.
CONTENT MARKETING KEEPS YOUR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY RELEVANT
Updating fresh content to your website sends Google a signal that your site is alive and thriving. Creating relevant, informative, and current content is best accomplished by adding a blog to your website.
Blogging is one of the best ways to engage with customers digitally on a deeper level. You can use this dedicated space on your website to write in-depth articles about your products and services, discuss cutting-edge technologies and current trends in the construction industry, and talk about your recently completed projects with satisfied customers. Engaging long-form content is not only more likely to be read and shared on social media, but also gives customers more information about your company and what makes it unique. Well-executed, long-form pieces of content tend to get noticed more readily by Google and can even positively affect your site’s ranking in searches.
Focus on creating valuable content for your readers, designed to answer their specific needs. For inspiration, take note of what kinds of questions you receive on your Google My Business page, check the queries you get through calls and emails, and mine popular question-and-answer forums like Quora to see what consumers seek to better understand about the industry.
Update your blog a couple of times a week with content that speaks directly to your customer base. Always include vivid imagery throughout your posts to encourage users to stay on the page longer. Make sure every post includes a clear call to action.
Every time you create a piece of content, share it in as many places as possible, starting with any social media platforms you’re using. On the blog’s webpage, make it easy for your audience to re-share your content with the click of a button to further extend your reach.
VISUAL CONTENT BRINGS YOUR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY’S WORK TO LIFE
Peppering your website and social media pages with videos, photographs, infographics, GIFs, and illustrations can go a long way towards delighting your customers, as 91% of people prefer visual content over written words.
Video content is especially engaging and is shared more often on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Research has shown that including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80% and increases the likelihood that the page will show up on page one of Google’s search rankings by 53%.
Investing in a video marketing strategy can help increase online engagement, establish your brand and its personality, and better differentiate you from your competitors. A professionally produced video can be a bit of an upfront investment, but you will get years of use from it. You can upload it to YouTube, use it on social media, and embed it on your homepage.
Create informational videos related to the construction industry, showcase before-and-after shots of your latest projects, or produce video testimonials from your satisfied clients. Use drones to take overhead shots of your projects to grab customers’ attention and get them excited about working with you. Drones are capable of providing detailed photographs of large-scale sites that allow you to clearly demonstrate the kind of results your company can offer.
Using high-quality, professionally edited photos on your website can increase a company’s credibility by as much as 186%! Great photos keep people on webpages 67% longer, and more time spent on pages can positively affect your SEO rankings.
Actual images of your work and crew are far more effective at giving your website and social media pages an authentic feel versus using a bunch of stock photos.
Infographics can also play a significant role in creating customer engagement. Unique ways of visualizing data can catch the eye of fast-moving web surfers.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) FOR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
U.S. consumers perform more than 1.6 million monthly searches for contractors and general contractors. Over 93% of consumers’ online experiences begin with a search engine. Approximately 47% of individuals click on one of the first three listings in the search results page.
Search engine optimization (SEO) strategy works by leveraging Google’s ranking factors to get your website at the top of the list of pages people see when searching for a particular service online. Having a number-one position on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) for your desired keywords can increase desktop click-through rates by 34% and mobile click-through rates by 31%.
A successful SEO strategy can help define your target services and service area, reach larger audiences of prospective customers, drive leads for specific services using targeted keywords, and improve the quality of leads you receive from people who find your company online.
Google’s “Local 3-Pack” is a prominent map listing near the top of the first page of search results which presents to consumers the three businesses Google considers of the highest quality and the most relevant to the query as well as the searcher’s location. Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business page, customizing website content for your local service area, and getting reviews on Google My Business and other online review platforms can greatly enhance your chances of appearing in the highly-sought-after “Local 3-Pack.”
As Google’s algorithms and your competitors’ strategies are subject to constant change, you have to engage in SEO efforts on an ongoing basis to achieve significant results. This can be a daunting task to undertake, especially for someone who’s not familiar with it. Partnering with a trusted SEO agency can help you harness the power of search engine ranking and create a consistent flow of traffic to your website, which can result in new leads and customers for your construction company.
GENERATE INSTANT AWARENESS FOR YOUR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WITH PAY-PER-CLICK (PPC) ADVERTISING
If you want to quickly control your construction company’s visibility and online relevance, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is probably your best option. Pay-per-click enables you to precisely target your ideal audience, increasing your chances of reaching users that are more likely to convert and become leads.
PPC advertising works by placing your message or ad in front of people who are already actively searching for your services. These ads are displayed because businesses have bid on certain keywords for which they want their advertisements to show up. Factors such as the quality of the landing page an ad links to and the relevance of the advertisement to the searcher’s query help determine where your ad will rank.
Creating outstanding ad copy with top-performing keywords – with a special focus on long-tail keywords – drives better traffic and keeps your cost-per-click (CPC) low. When you bid for your ad’s placement, you will set your maximum bid (or CPC), which is the amount you’re willing to pay each time someone clicks on your ad. Your maximum bid and quality score will determine the placement of your ad. As Google cares more about providing the most relevant search results for searchers, it’s better to have a higher quality score than a high maximum bid.
Managing PPC ads for your company’s website or social media pages can get a bit complex and costly if you aren’t careful. Working with a PPC marketing expert can ensure that your business is seeing a healthy return on its investment, from using the right digital ads to marketing them in the right places.
BRANDING YOUR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
Many commercial contractors underestimate the importance of branding. But just like any other business, you want to draw new customers. In a competitive market like the construction industry, you have to find ways to make your company stand out.
The best way to set your business apart from the rest is to spend the time and energy to create your own brand. Your brand will be the first impression that draws the attention of potential customers, so it’s crucial to make it look as polished and professional as possible.
Invest in the services of a graphic designer to develop a professional logo that you can put on equipment, your website, advertising, business cards, and anything else people see that is associated with you. Construction companies have a lot of surfaces they can advertise on, so make sure your logo and company name are highly visible everywhere.
REMARKETING FOR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
Remarketing is the process of serving targeted ads to people who have already visited or taken action on your website. If you’ve ever gone to a site, clicked off it, and begun seeing advertisements for that website, you’re familiar with the practice.
Setting up a remarketing campaign isn’t as intimidating as you might think and can be a great way to bring back visitors who might have forgotten to call or message your company. By placing a cookie on the user’s browser, you can make sure your brand stays in front of those “lost” visitors and reminds them to take a second look.
GET YOUR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY ON WEB DIRECTORIES
If your business doesn’t appear in local Google searches, new customers will be unaware of its existence and customers who know about you will seriously question just how competent and professional your company is.
Claim and optimize your business’s online directory profiles so that when someone types in your company’s name, all of your pertinent information pops up. The best web directories for construction businesses include: Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, BBB, Houzz, HomeAdvisor, Contractors.com, Whitepages, and Yellow Pages.
When creating your listings, make sure the NAP (name, address, and phone number) information is consistent. Google uses this data to verify that your listings and website match and that they present credible information. Use the descriptions in each profile to enhance your SEO by integrating appropriate long-tail keywords.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS & TESTIMONIALS FOR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
When researching goods and services online, 95% of users read online business reviews. Over 85% of potential customers say they trust online reviews as much as if a friend made the recommendation.
Claim your company’s listings on the top third-party review sites – including Glassdoor, Indeed, Google My Business, and Yelp – so that it’s easy for your customers to share their experiences. Thank people for their positive comments and directly address problems in negative reviews. Consumers want to feel valued by your business; acknowledging their experience on problems sends a strong signal to clients that you genuinely care about them.
When customers leave feedback for others to see on your Google My Business page, these reviews will appear in Google searches accompanied by star ratings; this subtle addition lends extra credence to your company over businesses lacking starred reviews.
Don’t hesitate to solicit testimonials from your past customers, especially the clients who have benefited from your services over a longer period of time. Use these testimonials on your website and in printed marketing materials to further promote your business.
CUSTOMER RETENTION STRATEGIES FOR COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES
Happy and loyal repeat clients likely make up a great deal of any construction company’s customer base. That’s why it’s crucial for contractors to continue maintaining a relationship with previous customers.
It’s much cheaper to market to people who already know you and appreciate your work. Your past work will go a long way to carry you, but it’s important not to take anything for granted. There’s always a new competitor lingering, ready to aggressively advertise and lowball on price just to steal your business.
Keep in touch with your clients. Establish connections on social media. Post updates about your current and upcoming projects. Offer seasonal specials to returning customers or discounts on future jobs for sending referrals your way. Above all, keep your name in front of your customers and never let them forget that you appreciate their business.
Apart from social media and your website, some common ways to keep in touch with past customers include email, direct mail, and even SMS (text) messaging. You can use these methods to solicit positive reviews from clients, advertise special offers or coupons, and so much more.
TRACKING COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES’ CAMPAIGNS WITH ANALYTICS
No successful marketing campaign is complete without ongoing monitoring. Low-cost and free data-analysis programs, such as Google Analytics, can help you understand if you’re meeting your marketing objectives.
Google Analytics tells you everything you need to know about your website and PPC ads, as well as your presence on search engines. By using this single tool, you can find out where your web traffic and ad clicks are coming from, where you rank on search engine results pages, study your competitors, generate keywords for digital marketing efforts, and determine what you should offer next to your target audience.
Tracking your analytics provides valuable insight into the success of your marketing campaigns. By monitoring data on an ongoing basis, you’ll create more efficient campaigns, which will help drive better results in the long run.
Marketing your construction company involves a combination of both online and offline efforts with the ultimate goal being to build relationships with consumers and convert them into customers. The process begins offline with positive customer experiences, then continues online as prospective clients search for your business on web directories, review sites, search engines, and social media.
From establishing a professional, modernized website with informative and helpful content to relying on search engine optimization to achieve top rankings on Google, commercial contractors and construction companies that put genuine effort into digital marketing will overwhelmingly outshine the competition and soar to new heights of success.
Like many commercial contractors, you may be reluctant to get started with digital marketing because you assume that the initial costs will be too great for you to manage. In reality, digital marketing can be tailored to suit any business and any budget.
HighClick Media is a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in website design, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, brand management, and so much more! By partnering with HighClick, you can ensure that your construction company has a solid online marketing strategy in place that’s not only affordable but also drives results, boosting your return on investment and improving your bottom line. Call us at 252.814.2150 today to speak to a marketing specialist and find out how we can help you elevate your brand!