Unlike large corporations, most small construction firms and contractors don’t have a dedicated marketing department (or marketing employee, for that matter) with a big budget to bring in new business. This shouldn’t stop you, however. There are cost-effective, proven marketing strategies you can implement and execute that will help you target the right type of customer for your business to generate additional revenue in 2022 and beyond. With a well-though-out plan in place, you won’t be wasting dedicated dollars on leads that go nowhere and will get the ROI you need to help expand and grow your business.
First Things First
Define who your customer is. Are you targeting residential and/or commercial clients for construction work? Is the work revenue-specific, for example, construction for high-end homes? If you are a roofing contractor, do you service both homes and offices? Is all your work local and within certain ZIP codes, or are you traveling throughout the region for jobs?
Having a clear definition of your customers will help shape your messaging so you can speak directly to their needs, including their pain points and concerns and how your services address them. This will also help you determine the type of lists to buy so you accurately zero in on the right target audience and don’t spend money trying to reach people whose service needs are not in your wheelhouse.
Start with Your Digital Presence
Other than asking for referrals from friends and family, everyone searches online to find a contractor. You need a plumbing contractor, you Google plumbers in your area. You need to replace a roof, you search online. Even potential clients who have a list of GCs to contact for a job, go online to research firms for a more detailed idea of each company’s experience, expertise, licensing, bonding, certification, insurance, Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, etc. Here are some suggestions to get your firm’s digital presence up to par:
Review your website.
- Is the branding on your website prominently displayed? Does it convey the message and story behind your business?
- Does the “About Us” section speak to your local reach (or beyond if you service many areas) and include your experience and company’s core values?
- Is the look and feel of your website modern and up to date and legally compliant? If you haven’t done a website refresh in years, it’s time to do so. Also, be sure your website is mobile-device friendly, as increasingly more prospects look up information from their smart phones and tablets.
- Is your website easy to navigate with clearly defined menus? Are your services listed front and center? Is your contact information easy to find? Is there a call to action? Consider including a chatbot to answer simple customer inquiries immediately.
- Does your website include photos of your work? Consider including a video.
- Are there referrals and testimonials from clients included on your website? It’s easy to ask clients to provide you with written recommendations. Client testimonials go a long way in conveying the confidence and trust customers have in your work.
- How often do you update your website with new information? Include a blog so that you can keep content fresh and current. If you don’t have the budget to hire a writer, simply post photos of your latest work with a paragraph or two of the services you provided on each job.
You most likely don’t have the time or bandwidth to update and improve your website. You can hire a freelancer or firm to perform a website analysis and then make the necessary changes and updates. There are individuals and businesses that offer website design and development services in price ranges that will fit your budget.
Get a social media presence.
If you don’t already have a social media presence, at the very least set up Facebook and LinkedIn platforms. LinkedIn is great for B2B, and each quarter sees significant increases in monthly active users and platform engagement. The platform is also constantly introducing new features that improve the performance of businesses and pages.
If there is someone inhouse who can post for you, set up an Instagram account to feature photos of recent jobs. You want people to see your work. Plus, the wider your digital reach, the more likely people will find you when they search for the services you provide. It doesn’t cost anything to have a social media presence (unless you hire someone to write your posts).
Be sure the branding on all your social media platforms is cohesive and consistent. Post regularly on your platforms.
Conduct a Lead/Nurture Email Campaign
Complement your online presence with an email campaign to the target audience that represents your customer demographics. This involves purchasing the right list and personalizing emails with copy and images that speak to your potential clients’ needs. A lead/nurture campaign will help bring leads into the sales pipeline, establish company recognition, and foster trust with potential customers.
Here are some best practices to follow when conducting a campaign:
- Provide expert insights for valuable content
- Concentrate on one relevant topic per email, including a pain point that will resonate with customers
- Keep emails short and ensure they flow naturally
- Track key metrics and test your emails, including which subject lines work better than others
- Maintain brand consistency
- Include a call to action (call for more information, an estimate, etc.)
- Follow up
Email marketing firms are available to help you set up and execute an email campaign as well as track results. It’s important to remember that email campaigns garner results over a period of time. It’s all about nurturing and establishing a business relationship, which is a long-term investment that will ultimately pay off.
There are additional marketing strategies you can consider such as paid advertising, direct mail, telemarketing, print advertising, SEO marketing, and others. Begin with the basics and as your business grows you can look to spend more marketing dollars.