12 Marketing Ideas for Contractors
As competitive as the construction industry is, it doesn’t always get the marketing attention it deserves, especially online. Some construction companies and contractors tend to focus on more old-school methods of marketing, and many rely on word of mouth, flyers, or print ads.
While these worked in the past, they’re starting to become increasingly ineffective in a world where digital marketing is taking over.
If you’re a contractor or own a construction business, check out these hot marketing hacks that can increase your sales and help you to build a lasting relationship with your customers.
Every contractor’s marketing campaign or strategy needs to have a goal, so before you do anything, you need to work out what your aim is.
Do you want to attract new customers?
Retain existing customers?
Or build long-lasting relationships with a key audience?
When you know this, you can do your market research and pinpoint where your target audience is likely to find you.
Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to plan your construction advertising campaign and execute it. And if it doesn’t yield the expected results, you can adapt or tweak it the next time around.
The trick here is to ensure that you can measure your results and see where you’ve made progress – or didn’t. For example, if you want to generate new leads from your website and are focusing your marketing efforts on SEO, you can see by your rankings on Google whether or not you reached your goal. If you fall short, you can adapt your campaign and boost your success in the future.
Statistics show that 63% of customers look for a construction company’s website online and use this to connect with them. 30% of people won’t even consider engaging with a company that doesn’t have a website.
But there’s more to it than simply having a website.
You need to ensure that your site is optimized for mobile, as more people use their phones than computers to browse the web. An attractive, user-friendly mobile optimized website is an essential contractor’s marketing tool – and every construction company or contractor needs one.
Clearly displayed contact details, easy-to-navigate tabs, and a gallery of Before and After pictures are three other components you cannot ignore. Having a gallery of Before and After images is the ideal place to showcase your work and to highlight the quality of the craftsmanship you can provide. It also gives you the opportunity to show people the scale of projects you work on.
Images are a far more effective form of construction advertising than a list of services or a written explanation of what you do.
A clear call to action is essential on your website. Encourage readers to:
Get in touch!
Send an email for more info
Give us a call
All of these tell leads what to do and make your availability clear.
Include these CTAs in your website navigation, make them bold, easy to follow, and with a direct end result. If you have a button that says get in touch, ensure that clicking on it takes people to an email or contact form.
A strong CTA grabs attention and guides your customers where you want them to go – straight to your sales department!
A lot of people never go beyond the first page of Google, so while having a website is a must, optimizing it for SEO is essential too. Ensuring your website is optimized for mobile contributes to your SEO ranking, but there’s a whole lot more that you need to consider.
If you’re battling to gain prime real estate on Google’s first page you can enlist the help of an SEO expert or agency, or you can opt for Pay per Click (PPC) ads that let you outbid other companies for that all-important top spot. Investing in SEO will help you to keep your business easy to find and having it highly ranked also helps to build trust with prospective customers.
Although email tends to be the main form of communication these days, some people will prefer picking up the phone and hopping on a call with a contractor. To make it easy for potential customers, make sure that your phone number is directly linked to your company, and it appears on all your branding and marketing material.
Whether you’re advertising on a billboard or online, give your phone number prime real estate. People won’t hunt around for it, and if you’re easy to contact you’ll generate more leads.
Google’s local service ads are ideal for construction companies or contractors as they target a specific geographical location. You don’t need to target the whole world — a narrow regional focus is ideal for reaching the greatest number of potential customers online.
With Google’s local service ads, you can customize your reach and ensure that when customers search for a contractor or a construction company in your area, you’re listed. Plus, you’ll get the Google Guaranteed Badge that pops up next to your contact details, adding extra weight to your listing.
As an added perk you only pay per lead, rather than per click, so you won’t blow your construction advertising budget trying to reach people that are nowhere in your vicinity.
As a contractor, you may think that social media marketing isn’t for you. Or if you have a construction business you may not see how you can capitalize on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. But the marketing opportunities are almost endless as just about everyone has a social media account on one or more platforms.
The key to social media marketing is to select one platform and focus your energy on it. There’s no point in having several accounts and never posting on them. You need to be consistent and create an online presence for your brand. You also need to research your target market and determine which social media channels are going to yield the highest ROI.
Facebook is a great option for a business page as you can add updates, before and after images, and connect with potential leads. Video marketing is extremely popular at the moment, so this is a great platform to post short clips, how-tos, and any other content that relates to your business.
If you’re more commercially focused, a LinkedIn profile may be your best choice. You can connect with other people and businesses and drive leads to your website.
Whatever platforms you choose, just ensure your content strategy is up to date and you don’t let your pages or profiles stagnate.
Your website and social media accounts provide a great platform for you to humanize your business. Construction is a hands-on industry, and your customers need to trust you to come into their homes or places of work – so it stands to reason they want to see who they’ll be dealing with.
Include photos of your team in your contractor’s marketing material and let people get to know them. They’ll feel a connection and see the more human side of your business. You can post more formal pictures on your website and use your social media pages for casual, action shots, to celebrate the completion of projects or employee milestones.
If you’re not great at writing, find someone who is and start a blog. You may think of blogs as the domain for foodie writers or fashion, but construction blogs are a good niche too.
When people look to hire a contractor, remodel, renovate or build, they tend to do a huge amount of research. If you can publish blog posts that offer valuable insight into a number of facets of your industry, you’ll create a very valuable resource for people – and an excellent marketing tool.
By blogging on construction topics you set yourself up as an authority in the industry and an expert in your field. Plus, regular blog posts are great for SEO and driving organic traffic to your website, so it’s a win-win.
Word-of-mouth marketing is incredibly popular, and the online equivalent of this is customer reviews. Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews are an excellent way to earn trust and to showcase happy customers. You can also publish testimonials on your website of past customers who’ve been satisfied with your service.
If you do receive a negative review it’s important to never ignore it or to engage in an online argument with a customer. Politely resolving the issue is the best course of action and you may even find that the person removes their review or writes a new one in your favor. Removing a poor review is a bad idea as it’s almost certain that other people will have seen it, and you’ll erode their trust. Rather respond and acknowledge that you could have done better – and offer to fix the issue.
Partnering with a similar business to boost brand awareness is a smart way to gain traction and grow your reach. You can engage in cross-promotion and reach new leads in a market that you may not yet have penetrated.
For example, if you’re a plumber, partnering with a tiler or painter can help boost your brand and make new connections. People often prefer to use companies that are affiliated or that can work together to provide a complete service, so this will also count in your favor. Just be sure that both parties understand the parameters of the construction advertising agreement and that it’s mutually beneficial.
So you’ve got your website, your social media pages are buzzing and you’ve buddied up with a similar business.
Now you need to nurture the leads that you’re generating.
Not every person who finds your business is going to immediately become a customer. But if you can create a consistent communication channel with a prospect, you have a far greater chance of converting them.
If you have a database of leads, send out regular updates, create a newsletter, or advertise any special offers or discounts. If you can tie in a seasonal offer, do so. Construction has peak and off-peak times, and offering potential customers a special rate for quieter times can be a successful way of getting them to convert.
The marketing world is ever-changing, and you need to stay on top of it. For contractors or construction companies the key is to always be easy to find, to highlight your services, and to showcase how satisfied customers are with your services.