In this blog, we offer the construction and design industry the master plans for constructing the Eiffel Tower of dazzling digital content, avoiding the Leaning Tower of Pisa of disastrous design…
Does the building and construction industry really need digital marketing?
OK, enough of the building metaphors, but does the building industry need this digital marketing stuff? After all we’ve already got a website and some glossy brochures and really, the projects sell themselves – right?
Research by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) revealed just how architects and designers choose products and manufacturers. The survey from 2015 revealed that even back then 85% of RIBA members primarily searched online for product information, demonstrating how important it is to have an effective digital strategy connecting customers with your brand.
OK fair enough, so we’ll give it a go: but in the construction industry this should be easy, right?
- Assemble some clever people in a room – all with lots of letters after their names (tick),
- Draw up some great looking plans (easy),
- Get some hard hats on (not strictly necessary, but OK – if you must),
- Build a massive model out of matchsticks (piece of cake),
- Eat some cake (well deserved), and:
- ‘Voila!’ A beautifully constructed marketing plan that will tell everyone how great you are (told you it would be easy),
- Result: company sells more projects, builds more stuff…..etc. etc.
How do you build an effective digital strategy in the construction business?
The thing is, it’s not that easy anymore is it? In a world of fake news, growing social media distrust and Brexit uncertainty, simply saying things and expecting people to believe them is no longer sufficient.
Add in the tragedy of Grenfell and the travesty of Carillion and now even solid building and construction companies have to re-prove their credentials and overcome distrust.
So how best to do this? How best to communicate with and convince the customers that we want to reach? The answer lies in the realm of content marketing.
So, what is content marketing exactly?
A good place to go for a definition is the Content Marketing Institute, who define content marketing as:
“a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Or in other words:
“Instead of pitching your products or services, you are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.” See more here.
So, providing useful and targeted information and unwrapping detailed technical specifications which solve potential issues for customers is the key, rather than self-promotion. It is obvious that content marketing becomes even more crucial in industries where specific technical knowledge is an essential part of delivery and demonstration of value add.
Providing useful and targeted information and unwrap detailed technical specifications which solve potential issues for customers
A wide variety of firms exist within the construction industry: building contractors, building merchants and supplies, planning and building regulations consultants, architects and CAD designers. All would benefit from demonstrating and sharing in-depth industry knowledge that is current, relevant and useful.
Content marketing stats:
Industry data supports this the supposition of content marketing. Industry research reveals that 87% of B2B buyers give more value to content generated through industry experts. 68% also said they apportion value to peer reviews and user-generated feedback and a further 60% give credence to content written by industry analysts.
Content is king in the world of construction
A good digital marketing strategy uses content marketing intelligently and effectively that implicitly positions you as an expert; a far more powerful position than simply telling the customer that you are an expert.
The digital strategy that you create will then outline what tools and methods you will use in order to provide this expertise to your customers.
Offering this support will encourage more targeted leads by positioning your construction business as trustworthy, knowledgeable – the ‘thought leaders’ in your particular field.
So what type of content do you need to use?
There is a wide variety of subject and methods that can be used from industry to industry. The choice of which may depend on the overall strategic aims of the company and the specific industry segment.
Construction industry content marketing starter pack:
Each firm will have their own specialities, but here are our top six suggestions for delivering content marketing for the construction industry:
- Demonstrate your in-house technical and industry knowledge: Remember all those people with loads of letters after their names? Show them off! A major strength of your team will be their years of training dedicated to obtaining professional qualifications and in-depth technical knowledge. Highlight their knowledge through relevant technical briefings and instructional pamphlets posted on your site and social media channels. Use short videos with product demonstrations that demonstrate the range and depth of knowledge within your team.
- Publish views and news on industry developments and regulatory change: One industry guaranteed to change week by week is construction and design. Help your customers keep up with current trends by writing blogs, press releases or tweets on technical, regulatory and developments in your industry. This is a great example of how you can provide a useful service to clients who will start to use you as a reference base and position you as an expert in your field.
- Offer Product FAQs: This type of content offers quick answers to common questions and places you in the position of expert through your answers and advice. Sales reps will be a good source of common questions – and answering them will provide your team with a useful knowledge base. An additional benefit for shorter, FAQ posts, is that they increase your chances listing in the ‘Google Snippets’ box, which appears at the top of Google search…
- Publish ‘5 steps to’ or ‘how to’ lists and tips: Position yourself as expert on products that are useful in the construction business by writing ‘5 steps to installing product Y’ or ‘5 top ways to use product z’. If your customers want products explained or need a useful guide on how to do use/install products, then this is the best way for your content to be found online.
- Conduct industry surveys on current topics: Content is useful if it offers a wider view than just yours, especially if the third-party industry views support your own! Survey results are often shared because people are interested in what is happening and these days love to share information through a variety of social media channels. There are free survey tools available, such as Surveymonkey, which are easy to use and position you as a company that is all over the latest developments in construction and design.
- Write reviews on industry conferences and events: You no doubt will be attending lots of technical CPD conferences and training type events in order to keep your staff and business up with current trends and regulatory change. If so, write about them! This will let your customers know that you invest time and money in being at the forefront of your industry sector. Give your opinion of the events – they may have attended the same event themselves, so your critique should be fair but firm – if the events could have been better then say so! Do a ‘Vlog’ at the event and post it on your site.
So what next?
Achieving great content marketing first requires an idea of where you want to go and a clear minded version of how to get there. Your next move should be to assess where you are now, then formulate a strategy of where you want to go.
Once you have a strategy and some great content ready, you will also need to ensure it can be found! Google Analytics is a great tool to use to ensure that all your great content comes high up in search rankings. While there’s no time to explain it in depth here, if you need a starter point, visit our recent blog on Google Analytics .
Need some help keeping up with the competition?
Has our blog inspired you to create some fantastic content? Do you want to match the breadth of Balfour Beatty, readiness of Redrow, or multiplicity of Morganstone? If you are not sure where to start, then we can help.
In the innovative and ever-changing world of digital marketing, Webadept have been producing award-winning web-design and digital strategies for the last 20 yrs. We also offer the benefit of our experience through ongoing mentoring and digital marketing training services.
Get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
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