01. Design a Professional Logo
Before you do anything else, you need to design a logo. Luckily, construction logos are generally easy to create so your web developer might be a good enough designer for your construction logo needs. But please, no matter how great your Microsoft Word skills, do NOT create your own logo.
Potential clients WILL see glitches in your design on a subliminal level and it WILL reflect your professionalism.
As branding experts, our advice to you is to consult with a logo design expert and utilize their feedback. Too many times we’ve seen a client use a panda in their logo simply because “we like pandas”. Or they use purple because they like the color. But purple signifies royalty and expensive items and might not be appropriate for a construction company. Remember – a logo doesn’t represent you and your personal taste — it represents your business so it needs to be RELATABLE to potential clients. Start with what you think THEY need to hear (trust, expertise) and then convey that.
Find a trusted branding expert and listen to their feedback. You’ll know you’ve found a professional logo designer when 1) they present a portfolio of logos that you love, and 2) they ask you a minimum of 25 questions about your brand (ex: what demographics you’re targeting, what kind of thoughts or emotions should your logo to represent, what price point should your logo to reflect etc.)
02. Turn your Logo into a Brand
Your credibility is only as professional as your brand. From us to you, trust us when we say that having a professionally-branded company can make all the difference to your online marketing success.
Have a designer create a brand standards guide, set official colors (with hex codes and CMYK colors), list out the fonts you will use, and create a professional business card and letterhead to go with your logo. Once you have that look and feel ironed out on those simple print materials, it will be easier to convert into a website later. Since websites are so much harder to customize it will be 10x harder if you try creating the website as the 1st piece of your brand puzzle. Do it in the right order and you will get more professional results.
03. Determine your Marketing Strategy
You thought the next step was to build a website, right? Well, before you invest in building a website can we all just PAUSE for a second and make sure that that is going to translate into an ROI for you? (Betcha didn’t think we were going to say that…)
80% of the construction professionals who call us are interested in Social Media Management….
Social media can be a great avenue for SOME facets of the construction industry, but not all. Construction businesses are rarely profitable from Instagram marketing, where high-powered decision-makers are less likely to be.
So first, we need to figure out who you’re marketing to, and whether they’re more likely to call you when they’re killing time on Facebook or they’re in desperate need of a plumbing contractor and are doing a search on Google.
Most of your business is likely to come from the latter – construction professionals searching on Google in their time of need. (This is what we call inbound marketing.)
Let’s pause for a moment and go over this key distinction that will forever shift your marketing strategies.
04. Decide Between Inbound & Outbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is marketing that stays online and is ready and available to pull someone IN towards your company – when they are ready. By aligning your ads/content/articles with your customers’ interests, they naturally come in towards you.
Inbound marketing says “we’re here and available, and we’ve positioned ourselves online so that when you’re ready YOU will find us.” In other words, “You will come IN to us.”
Examples of Inbound Marketing:
- Subscription-based Emails
- Keyword Targeting
- Landing Pages & Blog Posts
- Social Media Management
Outbound is where you are reaching or positioning yourself OUT towards a potential client.
The hope with outbound marketing is that careful planning and intelligently-placed ads will attract attention and incite interest that wasn’t necessarily there.
Outbound marketing says “Hi, sorry to disturb you. We’re looking for new clients, and we’re reminding you that we’re here in case you’re interested some day.”
I always liken outbound marking to those old Coca-Cola ads that were persistently on TV throughout the 90s… reminding us of the brand in case we happened to get thirsty. I wasn’t looking for a drink. The ad just happened to be there to call OUT to me.
Outbound Marketing Examples:
- Direct Mail
- Cold Calling
Unfortunately for outbound marketers:
- 45% of direct mail never gets opened
- 200 million people are on the do-not-call registry
- 85% of people fast forward through commercials
Now that we know what inbound and outbound marketing are, consider if you’re more likely to captivate a potential construction client and close the deal when A. they’re actively searching for a plumber on Google (Inbound) or B. they’re having their leisurely browse on Facebook (Outbound).
Bearing in mind that Facebook is a great way to maintain relationships with existing clients, as a new business you’re likely better off spending your marketing budget on people who are in dire need of your services (inbound.) In other words, Google, Website, Google Ads.
If, given the above information, you determine that Facebook is the best avenue for your construction marketing, then you probably still need a website, just not a very expensive one.
05. Develop a Marketing Budget
We know you’re excited to get to the fun stuff, and probably anxious to start doing SEO and Google ads. But any trustworthy marketer will tell you not to put the cart before the horse. At The Shift Marketing, we’ve always prided ourselves on doing the right thing for clients and building long-term relationships by delivering strong ROI for clients. That’s why we never take on more clients then we can intimately manage and oversee are generating an ROI from their marketing strategies.
So as much is you might not want to, let’s talk about budgeting.
Before you dive headfirst into SEO, you need to know what you’re in for. You need to know how competitive the local SEO marketing is for your particular kind of construction business. How many other electricians are marketing on Google? How robust are their websites? How many blog articles do they have, how many Google reviews, what keywords are they targeting, how many Google ads do they have up, and for what keywords and what are their placements, and most importantly, how much work will you have to do to compete with them?
Luckily for plumbers, contractors, electricians, and handymen, the South Florida SEO market is not crazy competitive. But we still need to research, given the strength of your website, how much SEO work it will take in order for us to get to first-place page placements. Don’t you want to know before you even build your site how many months of SEO services it will take to get on page 1? And then, once you’re on page 1, how many people are currently searching for those keywords per month? For example, if your keyword is very specific and only 100 people are searching for it per month, we need to do a little math and figure out how much revenue you generate per lead in order to figure out how much we can invest in SEO over a short period of time and a long period of time, and what kind of ROI we can expect to generate.
Our SEO specialists will happily do a complementary SEO evaluation for your construction business. Just shoot us an email for a free SEO consultation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
06. It’s Finally Website Design Time
Now that you have a brand and you’re sure about how you’re going to market your construction business you’re ready to take your business online with a professional website design. But not just any website design – you need a website that is mobile-friendly and SEO-ready. Imagine you meet someone in the construction field and they want to see samples of your work; they’re not going to remember to look you up once they get back to the office after a long hard day. They’re going to whip out their phones and look for your construction portfolio right then and there. Thus, everything from the homepage to the portfolio of your construction website needs to be mobile-friendly.
- Strong Calls-To-Action
- Visible Phone Number
- Easy-to-navigate Portfolio
- Pages for each service
When looking for a website designer for a construction company, search for someone who (1) has experience in the construction field, (2) is local to be able to assist with taking photos or hiring a photographer or videographer to generate website content, (3) understands how to not only build a good-looking site, but also a google-friendly SEO-ready website, (4) someone you trust to deliver professional results, on time, and (5) can design your site within budget.
The Shift Marketing is a great option for website design for the construction field and can be reached at 954.780.6080.
07. Make your Website SEO-Friendly
Now you’re ready for Online Marketing and SEO. As an undoubtedly offline business, small to medium businesses in the construction industry have been one of the slowest to merge into the online world. Which is great news for construction companies, as it signifies lower competition for Google rankings. Both fortunately and unfortunately the online world has become THE place to market businesses, and the construction industry is no exception.
If you hired a great web developer they have already made your website SEO-ready. This means creating strong navigation with keywords, building unique pages for each of your keywords, writing custom, SEO-heavy content, fleshing out a blog, labeling your images and files appropriately, ensuring quick page-load times, and creating powerful Calls-to-Action to entice people to reach you.
08. Develop a Rockstar SEO Strategy for your Construction Business
Now that you’ve got the brunt of the work handled, it’s time to let your SEO experts take over. An SEO agency like The Shift Marketing will compile a list of target keywords to rank for, create SEO-friendly navigation, articles, backlinks, call-to-actions, and more.
09. Invest Some Time on Additional Marketing
Additional marketing can include social media marketing, blog writing, paid social (Facebook ads work particularly well for construction professionals who have an extensive email list), building relationships with non-competing but related businesses (referrals are still key and always will be), and developing client retention plans (retargeting previous customers).
Once you’re an expert in your field of construction offering free information to people within your industry via DIY videos, blog articles, press releases, white papers, or speaking at expositions and conferences are all great ways for potential and existing customers to build their confidence in you. If your tips and tricks help your customers solve their small problems on their own, they are sure to come to you when they need something big to be done.
Email marketing can also be a great strategy for larger businesses with email lists of 5,000+ active recurring customers once you have a lot of website visitors. (It would not make sense for 1-off projects like kitchen cabinet marketing).
So there you have it, your 9-step plan to marketing your new construction business. At The Shift Marketing, we use cutting edge digital marketing strategies to improve Google rankings so that potential customers find you before they find your competition. You can learn more about us here and here. We can schedule a call to discuss your needs or meet in-person if you prefer.