Are you curious about the construction company marketing plans that make the most money?
Perhaps you’re even looking for ways to effectively increase leads and sales so you can grow your own construction business – if so, you’ve come to the right place!
In the past, I’ve talked a little about what makes a good marketing plan for a construction company, but I’ve never written down from start to finish exactly what needs to be done – despite it being something I get asked about quite a lot as an inbound marketer.
So now, for the first time, I’m sharing the exact plan that I use to double, even triple the revenue for our private clients here at Stargazer. Why? Because I want to help you get a head start, so unlike other ‘plans’ out there, if you follow along, you’ll actually start seeing results. I’m sure other marketers will be keen to read this, too!
This 9-step process is what construction businesses like yours need to get ahead of the competition, so I hope you’re sitting comfortably…
1. Set some S.M.A.R.T goals
The very first step to building a successful construction marketing plan is to decide what you actually want to achieve, and set reachable goals – and they also have to be S.M.A.R.T.
S.M.A.R.T stands for:
For example, think realistically about how much you’d like to grow your revenue over the next 12 months. If you decide you want to increase it to £50 million, what sort of timeframe can you realistically achieve this in, and what are the challenges that will get in your way? What about budget limitations?
Don’t forget to be realistic about your market; for instance, if the market is only worth £100 million, can you really expect to claim half of that market? Maybe, maybe not.
If you’re just starting out with your plan, you might not have much data to help you with the numbers, such as your conversion rates, how much traffic you’re currently getting to your website, and various other bits and pieces; basically, the bigger the picture you can build up, the smarter the goals you can set as a result.
Most of the time, you won’t have this data ready to use at your fingertips – I get that – so this plan will help you acquire all the info and figures you need to help grow your business.
Any good marketing agency should be able to sit down with you and come up with some solid marketing goals that you can use to move forward with your marketing plan.
2. Understand your buyer personas
Next, you really need to take the time to understand as much about your ideal customers as possible. These are known as your ‘buyer personas’, and represent the people you’re going to be trying to reach – so, the more you understand them, the more likely you are to succeed.
When I say ‘buyer persona’, I’m not only talking about your ideal customer’s age and location, it goes a lot deeper than that, and includes things like:
- Their professional job role
- What their average day looks like
- Who they report to at work
- The types of industry blogs and magazines they like reading
- What their daily goals and challenges are
- Their communication preferences (do they prefer phone or email?)
The sad fact about buyer personas is that most businesses have them, but a lot of the time they work on creating them and then just leave them gathering dust in a file somewhere. Instead, you should be constantly learning and adding to these personas, giving you a rich background of data you can learn from and work with.
TIP: To help you get started creating detailed buyer personas – or improving on your current ones – we’ve provided a couple of quick, practical resources that we particularly recommend:
- A free HubSpot template to help you create buyer personas for your business
- free buyer persona templates from the Buyer Persona Institute
3. Pinpoint the questions your customers asking
Next, you need to think about the key questions your ideal customers are asking, as you’ll be using these once your plan starts to take shape later on.
I like to do this in the form of three main triggers – think of these as the root problems of the questions your customers are asking. So, one trigger could be: “I don’t have enough space in my home” or “My home doesn’t suit my current needs”.
Questions that could stem from these two triggers alone include examples such as:
- What’s the best home extension solution for me?
- Who can offer home extensions?
- How long will a home extension take?
- Will I have to take time off work for a home extension?
- What is the process involved in home remodelling?
- Which materials are used when remodelling a home?
- How do I find the best home remodelling company for me?
- How much will professional home remodelling cost?
I usually go through three main triggers with my clients and they come up with at least eight questions for each trigger, but I also recommend they go away and get the rest of their team involved – especially anyone who talks to customers on a regular basis, as they’ll be most familiar with these questions.
If you were to sit down with your entire team (sales, customers services and anyone else who deals with clients), and write down every question they come up with, you’ll provide have all the potential topics you need – plus more besides.
In fact, doing this for even just 20 minutes could leave you with an entire year’s worth of potentially great content for later on in the process (when you begin the content marketing phase, and I’ll explain why you need it in step 5. and 6).
However, I’d stick to the three main triggers and eight questions for each to begin with, as you need to gather data before going too much further ahead.
4. Conduct a keyword analysis
Now that you have your three main triggers, and a good idea of the questions your best customers are asking, you then need to carry out a keyword analysis so you can use the exact terms and language your customers are using when they search for your products and services.
For example, you may have your own industry phrases and terms you refer to when you’re talking about the solutions you offer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your customers are using the same language.
Replicating their language in your content and on your website will mean you’ll be one of the first results they’ll find when they type these words and phrases into search engines such as Google, so it’s important to get it right.
TIP: You could also try looking at one of your competitors’ trust pilot accounts and reading the reviews people are leaving behind – this is a bit of a sneaky way to gain massive insights to your ideal customer’s needs and gripes.
5. Develop some premium content
Next, you need to come up with some free premium content that you can offer for people to download on your website – this part is important because it will a) help you capture leads and b) help to establish authority early on.
So, by clicking on the offer at the bottom of your blog content, they should land on a specially-designed page (known as a ‘landing page’) that explains more about the content, as well as a form to fill in – it can be as simple as just giving their name and email address – before downloading the premium content you’ve promised them.
Your premium content should ideally be matched to your main triggers mentioned above – so, the subject should relate to them somehow – but it can be anything from a free ebook, guide or whitepaper. As long as it’s helpful, informative, and something people will want to download and read.
For instance, if your business involved selling conservatories, you could use your own expertise to come up with a resource on five of the most popular conservatory designs, based on the designs your customers buy the most. You could have sections on the most popular colours, finishes, materials and types of glass used.
If possible, come up with a premium content offer for each of your three triggers, and place clearly labelled buttons (known as ‘call-to-actions’) where you want people to see them – in this case, at the bottom of the related content – which brings me to my next point…
6. Write helpful, quality content
Remember those questions we came up with earlier? It’s time to start writing content that helps answer them! As I mentioned very briefly above, this is called content marketing and involves taking your buyer personas, questions/topics and keywords, and mapping them all together.
The content will be published on your blog around two to three times per week, and the focus should be on helping your potential customers by answering their questions and addressing their challenges and concerns – WITHOUT selling!
This is because buyer behaviour has changed dramatically in recent years, and people like to do their own research in their own time. Providing them with a learning centre will help them a) make a buying decision faster b) trust you as a business.
TIP: Here’s a great example of a learning centre from the Rivers, Pools and Spas website.
When possible, give them practical advice and address topics that others may shy away from, such as:
- Cost and length of time the job will take
- The types of materials used
- Product comparisons
- What your competitors are offering
- How to find the best company for them
Remember, they’re looking for answers and if they don’t get them from you, they’re going to be finding them elsewhere, so it’s best that they find what they need on your website or blog.
Find out why content marketing pro Marcus Sheridan states these topics are so important these topics are so important in any content marketing strategy.
TIP: You can even use your eight blog posts on one particular theme to put together another ebook at the end, and call it an ‘ultimate guide’ on that topic. This is called repurposing content.
7. Nurture leads with email marketing
Now that people are reading your blogs and downloading your premium content offers to become leads, you have to remember that not all leads are going to be ready to buy right away. That’s where email nurturing comes in, and it’s actually really simple.
Nurturing your leads with what is essentially email marketing is a great way to move them further down your sales funnel, by offering them even more helpful content that will help them to make a decision. They can also sign up to your email newsletter or subscribe to the blog and become leads that way.
It’s all about foreseeing what your leads will be thinking in any particular point of their sales journey, and answering their questions and concerns at every stage of the process.
So for instance, perhaps someone has downloaded the beginner’s guide to conservatories – what next? Perhaps you could send them some helpful blogs over the next few days, addressing things like cost, or comparing conservatories to other solutions.
Or perhaps if they’re further down their buyer’s journey, they’d benefit from reading helpful case studies on how your company helped overcome issues such as budget or trust for customers in a similar situation to them? You could even do this in a fun and engaging email series over the course of a couple of weeks.
8. Attract and engage with social media
There are two important stages I want to talk about when using social media as part of your construction marketing campaign. The first is the one you’re probably most familiar with, and involves using social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) to build a relationship with potential customers.
Social media is great for sharing your content, establishing brand awareness, engaging with people and answering their questions. However, it can soak up time you simply don’t have if you’re running a busy company, so I’d set aside a small amount of time every day to do this – up to about 20 minutes.
The next stage comes in the form of retargeted ads, and is only for people who have already visited your website and are already familiar with your products or services – just be sure to match your ads with the content and pages you’re sending them to.
Think of this as the smart way of advertising, as you’re only appealing to one very specific group of people – the ones who already know about you – making it much more cost-effective than say, Google Adwords – especially in this early stage.
Of course, you’re not getting as many clicks, but for those specific people, you’re the product or service they are familiar with, and it keeps you in the forefront of their minds.
You can go on to use a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign later on if you feel it’s necessary, however it can be very expensive which is why I’d only recommend sending traffic to a page once you know it converts, which means getting some solid data behind you, first – and if necessary, using that data to optimise your pages.
9. Analyse your data and adapt
Finally, you should be analysing your data carefully and using that data to help fine-tune and adapt your marketing and content strategy going forward – it’s the final essential ingredient to any campaign, as no-one can expect to get it 100% right first time.
For instance, a good marketing platform or software should be able to tell you the type of content your visitors are most interesting in, the emails leads are responding to, and the Facebook ads people are clicking on. All of this helps you to make your campaign the strongest it can possibly be.
In my opinion, there’s no better software to help you do that, than HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing platform.
The above plan you’ve just read is the perfect example of inbound marketing – an entire methodology – at its best. Inbound marketing focuses on taking your offline sales process (which you already know works) and adapting it to the digital age, to fit in with the online shift in buyer behaviour.
Your customers like to do their own research these days, and inbound marketing helps encourage them to come to you – rather than the other way around. So, you end up chasing less sales and delighting more customers!
TIP: For more about inbound marketing, read my blog post ‘5 Reasons Why Construction Companies Need Inbound Marketing’.
Thanks for reading our 9-step process to successful construction marketing – I hope you’ve enjoyed it! Businesses can use this template to create the best construction company marketing plans out there today – and if you do it right, you’ll start to see results in just a few months.
If you have any questions, or need help putting together a construction marketing plan of your own, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly – I’m here to help companies just like yours!