In construction, clients like to work with brands they trust.
If you’re in the space, you have to win a client over long before you get their business. So where does it start? Winning a building contract begins with marketing for construction firms.
In the past, marketing in the construction space was mostly traditional. Methods like brochures, print, TV and radio ads, and demo projects were all highly popular and effective.
Today, these methods are increasingly giving way to digital marketing. In the online world, savvy construction firms are creating websites and driving traffic to them in two main ways:
- Paid ads on social media and Google to find prospective clients fast.
- Content marketing to get SEO traffic, niche authority, and organic leads.
Once visitors are on a website, you have to convert them into leads and customers. On this page, we’ll explain how you can do that. You’ll learn about websites, SEO, Google Ads, and other important marketing strategy elements.
Here are 7 things you can do right now to get more leads and customers for your construction business.
1. Invest In Your Website
Your website is where you convert visitors into leads and customers. It must instantly communicate what you do at first glance and encourage people to buy from you. The following website elements will help you stand out while maximising your sales.
1. Clear, Uncluttered Design
A beautifully designed website is easy to navigate and buy from. Some elements that look good in the construction space:
- Stunning images with plenty of white space around them highlight past projects and 3D models.
- Clickable images take people deeper into your sales process.
- A top navigation bar or “hamburger icon’ in the upper right corner makes it easy for visitors to find what they want.
2. Brand Message
Your brand’s message should speak to your ideal customer. All the images and text on your website should be congruent with it.
Does your brand value quality or affordability? A green lifestyle? Vacation getaways, comfortable residences, or convenient city dwellings? Your message must leap out at first glance.
3. Mobile First
Mobile is now responsible for most web traffic. 62% of website visitors come from mobile. Your website must be designed to display well on smartphones and tablets.
4. Load Speed
Mobile users are likelier to click away from your site than desktop users because of high load times. Make sure your website is as fast as possible. Use dedicated cloud hosting and content delivery networks (CDNs) to make your website faster if need be.
Dedicated cloud hosting gives you more bandwidth. Content delivery networks distribute your data around the country and planet, helping your site load faster no matter where users are.
5. A Chat Feature
Source: Residential Attitudes
Most website visitors never return, so engaging with them on their first visit is critical. One of the best ways to make a personal connection is through a chatbot or live chat window. Let your bot or operator answer questions, collect email addresses, and guide visitors.
6. Prominent Contact Info
Prospective leads may not contact you if they have to hunt for your contact information. Display your phone number, email address, and physical address clearly. Your header, footer, and sidebar are usually where you should put them.
Having a Contact button in the menu that leads to a contact page is also helpful.
2. Pay Per Click Ads for Construction
PPC ads get prospects to your website immediately. They’re the fastest way to put your offer in front of your ideal customers.
Google Ads target prospects based on search intent. Someone looks for “Sydney commercial building construction”, and they see your ad. They are likely looking for a construction firm – and it’s on you to win their business.
Social ads target prospects based on interests and past behaviour. For example, someone’s been looking at Instagram content about Sydney homes… So you know they may be interested in construction in your area.
One thing that’s very important with Social and Google ads for construction is nurturing your site visitors. Collect emails, use retargeting ads, follow up with emails, etc. Construction niche customer journeys tend to be long, and you want to stay top-of-mind for prospects.
3. SEO for Construction Firms
SEO is Search Engine Optimisation: the process of ranking your website on Google. SEO for construction firms mainly means three things:
- Finding the right keywords, e.g. “Sydney commercial construction”
- Writing content about your keywords
- Getting backlinks (off-page SEO signals)
For example – for “Sydney commercial construction”, you might offer a sales page for commercial construction in Sydney. A search for “best insulation Australia” could take readers to a review of insulation materials available in the country.
If the content is good enough, people will see your website on Google and go to your website. There, you can convert them into leads and customers!
4. Content Marketing for Construction Firms
You can demonstrate your expertise, and the quality of your craftsmanship, with content. Then it’s easy to show what you can do, tell your story, and build desire that drives sales.
We recommend using video for construction. Text content, e.g. blog posts and text emails, is good too. But a picture tells a proverbial thousand words; there’s no better online medium to display the beauty and functionality of your creations to prospects.
It helps that video is now the most widely consumed content form. It’s what consumers and B2B decision-makers are used to seeing… So give it to them, even if you’re just sharing smartphone shots.
Speaking of that… We actually recommend lo-fi, smartphone-shot videos. Production video is always nice, but there is a proven space for simple videos. These convey immediacy and intimacy — a feeling of being there in the moment.
Don’t neglect blog posts because they are still one of the most sought-after information sources. They’re especially important if you’re looking to get SEO traffic.
With blog posts, you can easily establish your authority and expertise while informing prospects about upcoming events. For example, a newsletter about changing building regulations and incentives can end with a time-limited discount.
5. Social Media Marketing
Social media is where you put your offer in front of Social users. You create content that reflects your construction firm’s offer, then get it out there with paid ads, influencer marketing, or producing your own images and videos.
We recommend starting out with just paid ads on Social. Running your own pages and groups can be difficult to master. Meanwhile, Megaphone’s construction clients regularly see returns on ad spend (ROAS) upwards of 10x thanks to the heavy focus on creative testing and data.
That being said… Once you’re ready to experiment with your own content and influencer marketing, keep the following three tips in mind.
A. Choose the Right Platform
The research you did for creating your ideal customer profile should tell you which social media platform prospective customers spend the most time on.
B. Be Consistent
Post at least daily to keep followers engaged and your pages growing. Mixing up the post types and subjects will provide plenty of material and reduce consumer fatigue. This is where your content calendar displays its true value.
C. Have Multiple Pages
Multiple products and subjects demand various pages, so you can segment followers and deliver the content most likely to trigger deeper interaction. You might have a page for new projects, one for construction technique advances, and another about green energy.
6. SMS and Email Marketing
Email marketing is incredibly profitable; it has an average ROI of 42x. It works especially well in niches like construction.
The reason is that people rarely make an on-the-spot decision about construction. Both consumers and organisations take a while to make purchases.
Email marketing lets you stay top-of-mind as this is happening. It’s a way to directly reach customers as they’re going through the customer journey… And keep pitching them on your offer.
What you do, on a basic level, is add a pop-up and/or lead boxes to your website. Then you add calls to action that encourage people to sign up to your list. For example, you could offer a free ebook called “How to save money on construction in Australia” as a sign-up bonus.
Once someone has signed up, you just keep marketing to them. Educate, entertain, and sell until they buy from you.
SMS marketing works as a more modern subset of email marketing. By sending text messages to customers, you can stay in touch with them as they make their purchase decision. In our experience, this works about as well as email.
7. Reputation Management
Construction firm reputation management is an often overlooked yet critical aspect of marketing for construction businesses. The nature of construction projects inevitably leads to some dissatisfied customers.
Proactively handling your online reputation can limit damage from negative press, poor reviews, and harmful comments to keep your image shining brightly. Saturation is the crucial element in reputation management.
If you get harmful listings appearing high in search, find the keywords searchers use to get to those damaging reports. Then create content that will rank higher using the same terms and publish it through multiple channels — your website and social media pages, press releases, review sites, and more.
Putting out as much information as possible will soon drive the harmful listings down to the lower pages that no one looks at in search results. Your reputation will be restored and perhaps even enhanced by the positive online company image you’ve created.
Do I Need a Marketing Plan for my Construction Firm?
You probably follow building plans when constructing nearly anything. These include blueprints, but also project planning that delivers materials to workers at the right time.
Effective marketing for construction firms is the same. First, you need some idea of your marketing strategy. Second, you need to plan what you’re doing, both with paid and organic traffic sources.
Third, you need to plan for channel-specific decisions no matter which tactics you’re using. For example…
- With paid ads, a key planning decision is your target audience. Your goal is to define a target audience that likes your offer and quickly converts after seeing it. This gives you the best return on investment from your construction firm’s marketing budget.
- With content marketing, you want a content calendar. Consistency is important with all types of content – email, social, blog – and this helps maintain it.
Make sure you have a plan that includes everything you need – general and channel-specific – to win at marketing for construction.
Construction Firm Target Audience
Defining your target audience lays the foundation for your entire marketing effort. Nailing your ideal customer gives your marketing team the critical data they need to design the best website and ad campaigns to make the most of your budget.
Gathering this information brings insights that power wise marketing choices:
- Product: What is the core product your construction business builds?
- Demographics: What are your ideal customer’s characteristics? Age, education, income, location, ethnicity, and gender help narrow the audience.
- Behaviours: What are their habits? Knowing their favourite social media channels, reading and movie preferences, sports interests, and lifestyle choices tells you where to connect to them.
- Interests: What are they passionate about? Relating to them through what they care about most catches and holds their interest.
- Pain points: Knowing what they’re worried about allows you to offer the ideal solution.
Construction Firm Content Calendar
The content calendar keeps your entire organisation focused and working together to build and sell what customers want. It also enables accurate budget planning.
Your marketing manager and content strategist can use the calendar to plan content months ahead, so creators and editors have time to do an outstanding job. They’ll be able to schedule content for events and promotions that eliminates content gaps and ensure the critical consistency that enhances your brand reputation.
Leave the Marketing to the Marketers
Your construction firm’s greatest asset is your construction expertise. It took years of experience to attain. A well-developed understanding of what it takes to build even small projects is why people come to you.
Professional construction firm marketing is similar. It takes years to learn campaign planning, website design, SEO, PPC, content marketing, and social media. This is why people come to our agency: Megaphone.
We serve over 350 Australian businesses, earning them over $100,000,000 each month. We can save you years of trial and error, delivering the right prospects to your sales team fast. To learn how, book a free strategy session – usually worth $1,200 – today.