Construction Marketing: How to Stop Relying on Friends and Referrals
Is your construction business still relying on friends and referrals to get by?
Many construction businesses come to me looking for new ways to increase their leads and sales, and I usually hear the same, worrying story; that each month it’s becoming harder and harder to find new customers to engage with.
If that sounds like you, I feel your pain – I really do.
But what if I told you there was a way your business could stop relying on friends and referrals – for good? It’s called inbound marketing, and it’s all about creating a powerful sales engine that will generate you leads and sales for years to come.
And below, I’m going to detail exactly how you start today.
Step 1: Create valuable content
You’ve probably noticed that most people do a lot of their own research online these days – in fact, by the time they speak to you, they’re probably a lot more informed about your products and services than they used to be in the old days.
This is because buyer behaviour has changed dramatically over the years, and your business must adapt to meet the needs to this new breed of informed customer. This means answering their questions – you know, the actual questions your best customers are asking you on a day-to-day basis.
You can then come up with helpful, quality content that helps answer these questions. The value of doing this? Priceless.
Some of the most common questions your customers probably want to know include:
- How long will the job take?
- Which materials will you use?
- What are the common problems with this solution?
- Will I have to move out of my house?
- How much will it cost?
- What are your competitiors offering?
Some of those questions above may seem tough, but by answering those all-important questions your competitors are shying away from, you’re doing what no-one else in your industry is prepared to do, and distinguishing yourself from the competition.
After all, they’re going to find out sooner or later, anyway, so it’s also a way of making sure you don’t waste time on leads who aren’t qualified.
The content you use to answer these questions can be in the form of blogs, videos infographics, slideshares, and more – as long as you’re giving impartial, practical advice and telling them the answers they want to know.
Don’t forget to use the same phrases and keywords they’re typing into Google, and the amount of traffic your website draws in from search engines will gradually accumulate over time (this can take up to six months or more). Update your blog regularly (at least twice a week) for the best results.
Finally, premium content offers such as ebooks placed at the bottom of your blogs (and in other key places on your website) are a great way of turning these visitors into leads – simply get them to fill in a form with their contact details before downloading your content. This is known as a landing page.
Step 2: Carefully nurture new leads
Now that your visitors have become leads, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to buy yet. It also doesn’t mean you should be ignoring them – instead, nurture them along their buyer’s journey with emails and helpful content that addresses their questions, pushbacks and challenges.
Depending on the type of content they’ve downloaded, you may want to be helpful by asking them their thoughts, or sending further related content that addresses their concerns throughout each stage of the process.
Perhaps they’re not sure if your solution will work for them, so one way to combat this is by sending detailed case studies proving that it will. Or, perhaps they are put off by the potential costs, which is why a blog post explaining the costs and why they’re necessary might help.
Customers who are further on in their journey may not be sure about what to expect from working with your company, so a good idea is to link them to an ebook that details the entire process, so they’ll know exactly what they’re signing up for before they do.
It’s all about predicting what your customers are going to be thinking next, and coming up with ways to help them overcome their fears, challenges and pain points throughout their buyer’s journey.
Step 3: Use social media to share your content
Now that you’re coming up with brilliant content on a regular basis, a great way to attract even more visitors to your website is by sharing and promoting that content on social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest).
This is a great way to amplify your content to a wider audience, but it’s also a place that allows you to build new relationships with potential customers who may find they enjoy following your posts – they might even have the occasional question about how your services can help them, so don’t forget to engage!
Of course, just like anything, social media can soak up your time, so dedicate most of your time to one or two platforms that you know get the best results – this may come down to your target audience and where they spend most of their time, and it may take a bit of trial and error to get it right.
Don’t forget to make your posts fun, bright and engaging, and actually put some effort in so it doesn’t look like you’re a robot who only posts links with no text. Colourful photos, and posts that ask a question usually attract the most attention.
Step 4: Encourage traffic with Google ads
Finally, once you know everything is working and your website and blogs are converting, it’s time to introduce paid ads. My advice here is only to implement this step once you already know that you’re getting results – never send traffic to a page when you don’t know its conversion rate. That is, unless you’re testing.
Remember to be careful when setting your budget, and first consider whether paid ads (such as Google and Facebook ads) are really going to be worth the investment.
For more information, read my blog post ‘How to Tell if Google Ads are Worth the Investment’.
My final thoughts
Running your own construction business can be tough, especially if you’re constantly having to rely on friends and referrals to keep your head above water. However, like I said above, it doesn’t have to be this way, and I hope this blog post has given you something to think about.
Use my tips above to create a successful sales engine that will mean your website will start generating you a steady stream of leads in no time, so you no longer have to stress over where you’re going to find your next customer.
How do you feel about trying out some of these tips on your own? If you have any questions, or need some help, feel free to get in touch – I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.