With construction being a hands-on type of industry, it’s not always easy for hardhat types to wrap our heads around issues such as marketing. We’re usually too busy doing actual work to bother about following the latest trends, but that’s not to our advantage. Heading into this new year there are several web marketing trends we can benefit from, if we incorporate them into our construction website and social media postings. Here are the top four to take note of:
Building with Big Data
Pretty much everyone is gathering data these days—on their customers, their website visitors, their email recipients, and their competitors. A large quantity of the information is freely available to registered agencies and users. In that sense, you don’t need to be a big company with your own data program to have access to it. Some of the ways companies typically use data to boost their marketing efforts include:
-Keyword research to find out what terms their prospective clients are searching for before coming to the website.
-Using data obtained through channels like online quizzes and downloadable content to profile the target audience as tightly as possible.
-Showing their online presence on websites through use of technology such as chat boxes or bots.
The existence of detailed information makes it possible to find out who your prospective customers are, what they are looking for and how best you can reach them. This gives you the opportunity to personalize your marketing efforts, not just in terms of adding first names to emails you send out, but in terms of customizing the images you show on your website to appeal to the type of people you know are looking.
The Value of Video
Everyone loves watching films, and online video is no exception. Recent research from HubSpot shows that by adding a video clip to a website landing page, you can increase conversion rates with up to 80 percent. But what’s so exciting about construction you’d want to make a film about it, I hear you ask. Several things could be interesting, actually, including:
-Filming your work on a project such as the installation of new kitchen cupboards, to show the level of quality and detail you exercise.
-A personal video of yourself or one of your workers explaining your approach to a particular kind of project.
-A video tour of your portfolio, including frames of some of your satisfied customers voicing their appreciation.
We all know how popular home renovation shows are currently. Why not use your website, then, as a mini version of your own show? As far as social media is concerned, Facebook’s new Live option allows you to stream your footage live while users view it and comment in real time. Afterwards, you can repost the recorded version as often as you like, or download it and use it again in other locations.
The Green Building Guarantee
The trend towards green building has gained momentum over the past few years, both in commercial and residential construction. The majority of young families these days are aware of the issues facing the planet, and they are especially likely to look for homebuilding contractors who make use of sustainable building materials wherever possible. Chances are good you may already be doing so, but here’s the kicker:
Do your potential customers know that?
A big marketing trend this year will be communicating the sustainability and reduced environmental impact of your building activities, so don’t get caught napping on this one. Assign a chunk of your digital marketing budget to promoting the message that you’re focused on reducing your footprint on projects, and it could become a major selling point for 2017.
Tech Talk – Let’s Get Interactive!
While content marketing shows no signs of going away, it is becoming harder to keep users entertained once you’ve attracted them to your website or social media profile. Artificial intelligence apps like Siri and Alexa, live chat windows offering instant help and streaming video are all interactive ways to engage with your prospects. You can expand on these by offering similar options to those available on sites like Houzz.com, where users can log in with their social media profile and save designs to an “IdeaBook”. That might be impossible for your construction website, but perhaps interactive floorplans and colour palettes could work.
With web marketing trends changing regularly, there’s no time to lose if you want to benefit from these while they are still hot. Start mapping out your new marketing strategy for 2017 right away.
Andrea Butterworth is the owner of Dyggz Marketing; a company focused specifically on websites and marketing for construction (AEC) and trades. With over a decade in corporate leadership roles in web publishing and marketing, Andrea started her own company helping businesses big and small develop and implement successful online strategies. After working with varied companies in the construction industry she decided to support this segment explicitly and constantly work to deepen her understanding of the most effective ways to market them.