The times and technology may have changed, but the old marketing adage of meeting your audience where they are has remained the same. And today those audiences are online. Even if you’re a B2B construction company, most of your target customers are likely surfing the internet right at this moment.
So what does that mean for your marketing efforts and your lead generation strategies? In this article, we give you some best practices that are not only going to help your construction company generate leads today, but also tomorrow, next week, next year, and well into the 2020s.
Focus on local search results
The first strategy for boosting your lead generation is to ensure that your construction company is listed in as many online search directories as possible. And definitely go local. You want to make it as easy as possible for people who live and work in your region to find your company in local search results.
The good news is that you don’t have to scour the internet to find every outlet, portal, social media page, and review site where your company gets an online mention. There are applications out there that will scan the furthest reaches of cyberspace and tell you everywhere your company appears online. This makes it easy to ensure that your contact info is correct in all your online listings.
Boost your content marketing
A business card and a sales pitch simply won’t cut it in today’s digital world. Construction companies, like any enterprise or customer-facing business today, need to focus on inbound marketing strategies — like content marketing — to maximize lead generation. While there are many tried-and-true content marketing best practices out there, you only need to know some basics in order to begin.
First, keep a company blog and post on it regularly, as in once or twice a week. If you can publish posts under the company owner’s byline, thereby putting a face to the operation, all the better. Also focus on creating useful, compelling content. To do this, you need to know your audience. Lucky for you, that isn’t so difficult in the construction business: your audience is anyone in the home service/building industry. So focus on publishing how-to blog posts and tutorials on subjects related to the industry. Examples might include “home-building mistakes to avoid,” “how to install drywall for beginners,” or anything else in your wheelhouse.
Also consider producing engaging video content, like tutorial videos in the home-improvement space. Audiences love videos, and if you can link to interesting video content in your email marketing, you’ll generate greater engagement. More on this below.
Elevate your email marketing game
No modern lead generation strategy is complete without good old-fashioned email marketing. Regarding best practices, there are some strategies that construction companies can implement in order to get more sign-ups and grow your list.
For starters, incentivize the audience you’re trying to attract. Tie your email strategy into your content marketing and offer visitors some useful/educational tidbit for free in exchange for their contact info. Normally in the B2B world, many companies offer things like white papers and ebooks in exchange for a sign-up. As a construction company, you’ll want to offer something that aligns with your target audience. Homeowners’ guides are a good idea — you can offer your potential subscribers how-to guides on everything from waterproofing a shed to building a backyard deck to installing thermostats to properly caring for hardwood floors. And as mentioned above, include links to your video content when possible.
There are some other email marketing best practices to adhere to that are equally crucial. First, if your content has driven your audience to your email list sign-up page, only ask for their email address and first name. Asking for more info than that can feel intrusive and might scare them away. Once they are subscribers, send emails at regular intervals (once a week), and continue to offer them more valuable content. Moreover, be sure to include the recipient’s first name in the subject line of the email. Even that little bit of personalization can really boost open rates.
Display your contact info boldly
Modern lead generation strategies aren’t only comprised of digital means. There is still a place for the savvy lead-harvesting tactics of years past. Take your contact info, for example. Certainly, you’ll want this information to be easily accessible to your audience. And if you’re using the inbound marketing strategies mentioned above, you’ll likely be directing a lot of traffic to your homepage and social media sites, where you’ll want that contact info boldly displayed.
But just as crucial is where people see your contact info out in the real world. If, as a construction company owner, you have various contractors doing work in different neighborhoods, then you’ll want your contact info displayed on each and every work vehicle. Just having people in the neighborhood see your company name on your trucks goes a long way toward boosting brand recognition and generating interest.
Optimize for voice search
With the rise of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, as well as Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana, we can read the writing on the wall: virtual assistants are the wave of the future. And although this technology is still in its relative infancy, AI engines allow it to evolve at staggering rates. Various statistics portend how dominant it will be in the future. For example, according to comScore, 50% of all searches done in 2020 will be voice searches. Moreover, 30% of all searches will occur without even looking at a screen.
What this means for construction businesses is that today’s customers have eschewed the phone book and are moving away from typed online searches in favor of home smart speakers. There are realities, however, to this brave new world that businesses must take into account. For example, when a person performs a voice search, the results are ranked by proximity and online user reviews. So construction companies need to know that optimizing for voice search means simultaneously boosting customer service along with nipping bad reviews in the bud or resolving them as soon as possible.
Get recommendations from related industries
To be successful, you’ll obviously want to amass a long list of good reviews from satisfied customers. But to generate more leads, you’ll also want non-competitive businesses in related fields to recommend your company to potential clients. The way it works is simple. Whenever you recommend a business to a customer, be it HVAC, roofing, electrical, or plumbing, let those businesses know. Then, make it known that you would greatly appreciate it if they recommended your construction company to their customers, should the topic ever come up.
The home-service field is a small world, particularly when you’re limited to one part of a city or region. You’ll want to be part of a circle of businesses all recommending each other to ensure that a rising tide does indeed lift all boats.
Implementing the six practices mentioned above may seem like a daunting task if your construction company has yet to get in on the inbound marketing game. That’s why, to bring all your efforts together and ensure everything runs efficiently, we also recommend investing in a solid CRM for construction companies. It’s the best way to organize your operations, manage your customers, and grow your business all at the same time.