Things have changed. In a competitive time where there are less jobs to bid on and more companies bidding, it’s no secret that the business development environment in building, construction and other industrial verticals is different now than in years past.
It’s time for construction advertising to follow suit
Traditionally, construction advertising has been a world of trade shows, printed ads, project sheets and leave-behind binders. I won’t discredit the value of these tactics (they certainly have their place), but the reality is that the world is evolving, becoming more digital and people are consuming information in new ways. Marketing a construction company, like all industrial marketing, has changed. The opportunities that come hand in hand with this shift are tremendous. As a marketing strategy firm that specializes in generating and nurturing leads for industrial, hard-hat-wearing businesses, we’ve experienced the power of this new era marketing approach first hand.
“My customers are not looking online for my services”
We’ve heard this statement time and again in the industrial space. And time and again we aggressively challenge it. Why? Take a look at the following data that I pulled today from Google’s Keyword Tool. This list displays the volume of actual Google searches in the United States (every month!) for the following key phrases.
- top general contractors: 1600 searches
- bank construction: 14,800 searches
- concrete repair: 60,500 searches
- roof repair contractors: 8100 searches
- electrical engineers: 60,500 searches
This is real data and these are just a few examples. Not only is there demand for construction and industrial services, but your audience is looking for information about these services online. I often pull up the following two stats because I think they’re so telling on the subject:
81% of B2B industrial sector buyers research online before making a purchasing decision.
– Global Spec study
96% of website visitors are not ready to buy.
– KISS Metrics study
So what does this mean for your advertising approach?
It means a few things. First, it’s time to start giving your audience – that 80% who is researching and that 96% that’s not ready to buy yet – information and answers to the questions they seek. When a protective customer’s search in Google for “concrete repair” pulls up 4 different pages from your website on the first page of search results, there’s a pretty darn good chance they’ll click through to your website rather than your competitor’s site.
Secondly, if the content they find on your website qualifies you as a potential partner, asks them to join your email list and encourages them to call you about a consultation when they’re ready to talk, you’ve built a machine for converting website visitors into qualified leads. In the meantime your competitors are busy printing out project sheets from Microsoft Word and mailing them to cold call prospects who probably don’t want to hear from them in the first place.
How to get started
Content is the foundation of today’s online marketing environment. Think about the questions you get from prospects and customers all the time. What do they want to know to help them make a buying decision? Get inside their brains. What qualifies you? And what’s different about what you do vs. your competitors? Then answer these questions on your website. This content can live in many forms:
- Articles about targeted, niche topics for your specific audience
- White papers that dig deeper into your philosophy and process
- Online tools that help them learn the value of your offering
- Case studies that outline problems you were hired to solve and the results you achieved
- Project portfolios showcasing the beauty and breadth of your accomplishments
These are the things your audience craves. Develop the content and they’ll find you. Develop GREAT content and they’ll trust you. Earn their trust and they’ll hire you. Still unsure if inbound marketing can complement your industrial marketing efforts? View our case studies below to see real results we’ve delivered.