Advertising Methods For Contractors
Like all industries, construction is only as successful as its best marketing plan. Choosing the right blend of marketing channels through which to push your business is crucial to your company’s growth and success. Depending on your services and their needs and goals, the formula of marketing strategies will change. While each channel is strong on its own, the perfect mix is unbeatable.
Within the realm of marketing, there are various channels to choose from. When it comes to construction specifically, some strategies have proven to be more successful than others. These channels are optimized to match the nature of the construction industry, which involves online research and more specialized search locations.
Pay-per-click (PCC) advertising refers to a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a sum of money each time their ad is clicked on. Because they are paid for, these ads appear generally at the top of search results when the keyword that they target is searched for. Both Google and Bing offer PPC options, with Google Ads being the largest and most used. While PCC does involve repeatedly spending fees, you only pay when the ad is clicked on. So, because it generated a click, the ad is deemed successful. Well-made PCC ads use engaging content that makes the user want to click, but also keeps them on the page after the fact.
PCC prices range depending on the keywords that are being targeted. The more competition there is for a specific word, the more expensive it will be. Competition, in this case, refers to the number of times a word is searched on Google or Bing. The more searches it has, the more popular it is. Ideally, you want to focus on keywords that actually relate to your business. The more your services match the intended search, the more likely you are to generate a viable lead.
Social media marketing is exactly what it sounds like, it involves using various social platforms to push your business and services. The most important aspect of social media marketing is choosing the right platform to push your ads. You want to target the platform demographics that you believe best match your potential clientele.
Social Media Demographics Breakdown
- Facebook: Facebook has 2.7 billion monthly active users, with the main age group being 25-34 (26.3%). The gender split is 44% female and 56% male. While other platforms continue to rise in popularity, Facebook is still the most used and most engaged with. While its main age range is on the younger, statistics show an influx of older people joining the platform.
- Instagram: Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, with the main age group being 25-34 (33.1%). The gender split is 57% female and 43% male. Instagram leads in the steadiest growth since its inception. Because Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same parent company, Meta, they share the same ad platform which offers various cross-platform promotional opportunities.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn has 738 million monthly active users, with the main age group being 46-55. The gender split is 49% female and 51% male. While LinkedIn statistically caters to an older audience, younger groups are visiting the platform. Because the majority of the active users are higher-educated, higher-earning, and more business-focused, it is an excellent advertising opportunity.
- Pinterest: Pinterest has 400+ million monthly active users, with the main age group being 30-49. The gender split is 78% female and 22% male. Pinterest has one of the most evident gender predominances, making it a more common platform for products often geared towards women.
Directory Online Marketing Strategy
In the contracting industry, there are online directories that function as an index to search and find potential companies to fulfill project needs. These directories can be divided into two main groups, specialized online directories, and general online directories.
- Specialized: Specialized directories include platforms like Thumbtack, Builder Central, and Angie’s List. As a company offering services, you would sign up with these directories and create a profile that describes what you offer and past work. It is important to be thorough when filling out your profile as users will often skip over those that seem lacking. Encourage your past clients to leave reviews as it helps you appear more reputable. It is important to note that while often setting up a profile is free, boosting your profile to show up higher when people search usually requires a subscription fee.
- General: General directories are essentially the online version of YellowPages. Though hardly anyone still used the phone books, they may still opt for the virtual avenue. Either way, it is only beneficial to set up a profile in these more general directories. The more you appear on a google search, the more your company will look both professional and reputable. Additionally, these platforms offer sponsored listings where you can pay for your business to appear more often.
Events To Attend
The event space is one where construction differs from other industries. Event shows are a good place for builders and construction professionals to showcase past work and meet potential clients.
- Trade and home shows: Depending on the types of construction your company does, you may find a lot of value in attending trade and home shows. Before attending an event do your research on who is attending. If you target other businesses as opposed to individuals, look for more commercial venues. If you tend to target individuals, then more personal shows may be your best bet. Additionally, if you work mostly in a certain industry like hospitals or retail, look into potential shows that align with your target audience.
- Community events: While community events aren’t the most lucrative of business opportunities, they offer value in their own right. Sponsoring a community event is a great way to get your brand presence out there as well as help a local cause. Leads aren’t the only important end goal, pushing your name and services to the public can benefit in the long run and foster results down the line.
While traditional print marketing may seem like it’s on its way out, online versions are still viable sources. Depending on your target clientele, the publication avenue you choose will vary. Direct mail and regional publications are the two primary categories that your business may fall into.
- Direct mail: Direct mail refers to what many call email marketing. This option is considered rather successful as it is almost guaranteed that the recipient will see it. You can purchase local mailing lists that fall into your target market or generate your own based on past clients and projects. You can narrow these down by type of work and specific locations.
- Regional publications: Regional publications are more general than direct mail and are also often less expensive. Most places have publications that go out to the general public and highlight life and work in the area. If you’re targeting location-specific clients, it may be worth your time to put an ad in your local regional publication. While quite a few of these publications are printed, they almost always have an online version as well.
Tips For Boosting Your Online Presence
Online marketing is becoming the core aspect to many advertising strategies. Your brand presence, both online and offline, is incredibly important for growing your business. You want to be reachable, searchable, and reputable. With these three things, your service can rest above the competition.
On-Brand, Helpful, High-Performing Website
A great website is non negotiable. Your company’s platform should be fast to load, easy to navigate and hold all the necessary information for booking work. Investing in a custom-built website is imperative to get a high-quality site that looks good, loads quickly, and has interactive features that are both useful to you and your potential clients. Perhaps it’s a map pack that highlights your location or a responsive form for those looking to inquire. Whatever it may be, a custom site is the best way to guarantee all your features can be built out.
Key Elements For a Good Website
- Functional: Good websites function properly in the sense that the flow of the site is intuitive and the clickable aspects are usable. Functional sites need a site map that includes all necessary pages and the key information to be easy to find.
- Clear CTAs: Call to actions (CTAs) are generally buttons that call the user to take a specific action. This can include a “book now” button that leads clients to make an appointment or a “learn more” that leads to an inquiry form. CTAs help users stay on the page and generate potential leads to foster.
- Optimized for mobile: More and more, most people are doing their web surfing on mobile search applications. It is necessary to build a site that will function properly and look good on a mobile version. If your site is not easily accessed or used on a phone, you may be losing potential customers.
- Easy to find core information: Core information like location and contact email should be found almost immediately. Most companies opt for placing this type of information in the footer or the header so that it appears on every page. Its exact location, whether it’s at the top or the bottom, is not as important as simply being able to be accessed easily and quickly.
- Load speed: The more things you add to a site, especially photos and videos, the bigger your site becomes. And the bigger the website, the longer it takes to load. Statistically, sites that are slow to load will get clicked off of and you may lose potential clientele. Custom-built sites that are programmed to your needs can help combat slow load times.
- Reviews: Reputation is everything when it comes to services. While word of mouth is still incredibly important, your online reputation is becoming just as paramount. Most potential clients will look to your online reviews to gauge whether or not your company is worth spending the money on. Online reputation management on platforms such as Yelp, Google Reviews, etc., is worth spending the time and effort. Check in to see where your reputation sits online and if needed, reach out to unhappy or unsatisfied clientele.
- Commercials: Even as time goes on, television commercials continuously prove to be effective advertising tools. While it is not recommended that you rely on commercials alone, paired with other marketing channels can make for a successful advertising campaign. You want to highlight your unique value proposition. Focus on what makes you better than competitors and why your potential leads should choose you. While this information can be included already on your site, a video provides a visual aspect that some potential clients may respond better to. Though it’s a heavy upfront investment, the long-term results are worth it.
- SEO work: Search engine optimization (SEO), refers to the process of helping a web page rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP) and generally falls within the digital marketing strategy. When Google is composing the SERP, it crawls through potential web pages and ranks them based on their perceived quality. The higher you rank on the page, the more potential customers will see your company name and thus the more work you may get. Starting a blog on your page is one of the best ways to boost your SEO. Your marketing team can identify keywords in the industry or services in which you specialize, and create content that reflects them. Over time, Google will continue to push your page higher and higher.
Top Ways To Optimize Your Content
- Cover related questions: Often people search for specific questions to find a piece of information. By identifying these questions and placing them on your site with helpful information, you can rank high in the SERP. Not to mention, you’ll be offering important content in your related field.
- Keep it updated: Updating your content over time keeps it fresh and timely. This is important as time goes on and searches start to shift slightly in their keywords. By keeping your content updated with the search trends, your page will continue to rank over the competition.
- Look at the word count: The length of your content is important. Too little information and you won’t be able to compete with other, longer pages. Too much information and your content can be hard to read and people may even potentially click off the page when they can’t find their answers quickly.
- Keep it easy to read: Content on your page should be easy to read. As a rule-of-thumb, keep your paragraphs short and use headings to segment the piece based on topics. Pass your writing through online editors like Hemingway, to ensure that your sentence length is optimized.
Tailoring your marketing strategy to your industry and business is key in crafting the most successful campaigns. Choosing the right channels can take some trial and error, but with proper research you can identify some key spaces to grow your brand awareness and generate potential leads. Marketing is an investment that may not always drive immediate results but holds immense value in the long term.