In the construction industry, you’re constantly dealing with fluctuating costs, heavy competition, and cyclical demands. The best way to keep your business on solid footing is by continually building relationships with new clients – and the way to achieve this is through a multi-faceted marketing strategy.
Marketing a construction business holds its own unique challenges, so we’ve assembled a list of the top ideas for getting the word out about your business to help you put together your own perfectly-tailored strategy. Review these 20 construction marketing ideas from the pros, and you’ll be ready to implement a marketing plan that gets your name out there.
Max Carter, Chief Marketing Strategist, Toronto Business Mastery
From my experience, the key to successful marketing for construction businesses is being super specific with an offer when advertising. Most companies position themselves as do-it-all, but what I found is that creating separate landing pages and ads for different services yields a much higher conversion rate.
For example, promote an ultra-specific, cheap, and high perceived value offer, such as a one bedroom painted in a day for $50 or a toilet or faucet installed for $25. Most people need other work done, so your job is to get as many people to sign up to your small offer, then see if there is anything else you can help them with. Your goal is not to make money from this introductory small transaction. Your goal here is to build genuine relationships with your customers, educate them, and be helpful and you will get many phone calls from these customers asking for help on their next project.
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3. Utilize Non-Competing Businesses for Referrals
Robert Robillard, Founder and Editor, A Concord Carpenter
Building referrals should always be on the top of our minds. We recently surveyed our clients and came up with some interesting information. In our survey, people were asked what would prompt them to contact a particular contractor 95.5% selected, “referral as the most important factor.” I’m sure this response is no surprise, but who’s really doing the referring?It’s not our clients, they don’t think of us every day! As a result, they are not our best chance for a referral. The best referral sources are the businesses that sell to the same target customer. Non-competing businesses like my sub-contractors; electrician, plumber, architects are my best chance for continual referrals. We should be investing, educating, motivating and soliciting referrals from our business peers.
Maggie Aland, Fit Small Business
Sending out a press release about your project is a great way to get media attention. We recommend using eReleases, because they offer the best distribution for the price. However, many marketers write a press release and are unable to get any journalists to pick it up. Read our article with 28 examples from the pros that will give you ideas for how to write a good press release.
James Sinclair, Trade Finance Marketing Manager, Trade Finance Global
From a proposition perspective, niche construction companies are deeply embedded and focused in delivery of a specific type of project – be that residential property for high streets, specialist school construction, or perhaps work / live property in major cities.
By rooting a strong proposition and niche, construction companies are then able to talk to new and potential customers about their USP, and that is what they are known for in the market. Therefore, when it comes to marketing their services, the construction company would find it much easier.
Taylor Ryan, Head of Marketing, Geniebelt – Project Management for Construction
These days the feel-good marketing campaigns tend to reach the most people. If you clear an entire forest to put up a new building, then consider making a sign that stands outside your site. For every tree we cut down in _____ county, we planted one. It takes very little effort to get someone from state owned or private land to agree to allow a contractor or student to go out for a weekend with 1000 seeds and spend some time planting new trees. You could also team up with a charity organization to do this type of work as well. If you’ve got a little extra in the budget try to get a videographer to help you capture the narrative.
Brandon Maciel, SEO | PPC Specialist, New Dimension Marketing and Research
When attempting to generate buzz around an industry such as construction, I have found success in “DIY/Idea/How To” sites like YouTube and Pinterest. Creating good video content or a creative how to post explaining how to build or fix a given thing can help build trust and interest in your company.
It is also a chance to showcase your expertise, as well as amplify the content with ease. The ability for you and the viewer to easily share the content goes a long way. At the end of every DIY video, you can provide a call to action such as, “for expert help with your next project, call 555-5555” or “visit our site for more helpful construction tips today” and begin gathering new business leads and building overall buzz around your company.
Check out our guide on how to create pro-quality videos with just your phone.
Gisela Hausmann, Author and Concept Creator
Owners are always worried about construction taking too long and possible setbacks, so we utilize photos that show action. It assures future owners that hiring this construction company means action/progress/hard working people. Pictures can relay these emotions subconsciously. In my capacity as pre-construction service coordinator, I took all pictures of ongoing construction and completed buildings for the website, marketing brochures, etc. I staged all pictures as action pictures rather than pretty building-pictures. It made us look like a very dynamic company.
Dennis Michael, Brand Builder/Visual Problem Solver, Wake Creative
I have worked with two construction companies and the most successful marketing idea they implemented — that made the most impact for their revenue and increase in work — was creating a brand. They took the time and invested money into creating a logo and brand that stood out from their competitors. Overnight their company changed. They were attracting the right clients, can now charge what they are worth without anyone balking, and lastly, they are far more confident about their company and future direction.
Check out our guide to forming a brand and creating a logo. It’s written from a real estate perspective, but very applicable to construction businesses as well.
Perryn Olson, Construction Marketing Strategist
My best suggestion for generating buzz is to have a specific niche. It streamlines your operations and training, and more importantly, prospects and press come to you for your expertise. Niche expertise wins over commoditized generalist because your expertise means you’re a safer bet than someone cheaper. You can promote your niche via thought leadership (blog, presentations, articles, etc).
For construction companies, this might mean marketing yourself, for example, as a specialist in historical residences or a specialist in floor or plumbing installation, instead of as a generalist.
David Mitroff, CEO & Founder, Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc.
Most construction companies do not consider the benefits of using LinkedIn. The most powerful decision-makers regularly use LinkedIn to maintain a public profile for their professional brand, so it is critical for construction companies to effectively maintain their page and content to increase chances of inquiries. By posting articles or creating content about their project, the company can increase their visibility by appealing to possible business partners. This is also extremely effective for the leaders of the company to get more exposure and to be asked to be on boards or part of charities, etc. all leading to more brand awareness and opportunities.
Steve Wright, Vice President of Information Services, Whirlwind Steel Buildings, Inc.
In his Whirlwind Steel blog, Steve Wright gives some pointers on using video to reach your target market:
You can use video to increase revenue, lower costs, and improve customer satisfaction, all while showing off your products or services, engaging about industry news, or showing a little company personality. Create a video that addresses the problems your customers want to solve. Dive right into the subject matter to begin engagement immediately.…Many people prefer watching a video rather than reading a paper. You will save marketing costs and effort with a set of short videos your prospects can watch, share, and use to help them with their new building.
Levi Ball, Owner/Operator, Call Levi: Eugene’s Finest Handyman
One of the best construction marketing ideas is to volunteer within the community. Since I’m a one-man show for the time being, I partner with local churches for charity. I was raised by a single mom, and my grandmother recently lost her husband of 65 years, so taking care of the single moms and widows is near and dear to my heart. Because of this, the community just knows who to call when there’s a need- they know Levi will come and do free work for single moms and widows of all kinds. You can partner with churches or homeless shelters even. Not only is this good practice just as a person, but word spreads fast because the need is so great. And of course, this is a great way to earn trust among the community.
Steve Twomey, Founder, MasterMind SEO
My advice would be to find a local charity that you can apply your construction skills to. Find a Habitat For Humanity chapter in your city. Sign up your crew (yes, you should pay your guys if it is during the weekday), and get your top notch building crew working on whatever project is going on near you. Of course, you want to promote this a bit. Reach out to your local newspaper. Tell them what is going on, in advance. Then they can send a reporter who can get a quote on how your construction company is giving back to their community. Then, run a Press Release. Stories like this can get picked up and syndicated to hundreds of ABC, NBC, and CBS local affiliate markets. That press and goodwill will help bring traffic and links back to your site, which can in turn help your website rank higher for building related terms in your area so you can land more building contracts.
Alex Genadinik, Founder, Problemio
If you want an unusual idea for local marketing, since construction companies are usually a local service, why not get a local celebrity to sponsor it? You can put the local celebrity’s endorsement on your homepage to help you seem extra successful and authoritative since you have the endorsement of that celebrity.
Max Robinson, Ace Work Gear
We decided to produce a guide that provided detailed information about cordless drills. After publishing the guide, we submitted it to Wikipedia and it was accepted immediately. This guide now receives steady trickles of traffic every month through Wikipedia, much of which converts into sales for us. Having content on Wikipedia shows that your business is trusted, and is a great trust signal for customers to see.
Al Levi, CEO/Founder, Appleseed Business, Inc.
The keys are to use things like oversized postcards or priority mailers that get looked at. And it’s best to pick a targeted area to test your mailing, which need to be sent at least 3 times typically over a 6 week period to know if it works or doesn’t. Why 3 times? Think about where you are when you open your mail. Probably in the kitchen with a garbage can close by. It’s not till you keep getting it do you finally stop and look. There’s a reason Bed Bath & Beyond and other smart retailers do all that mailing.
Check out our guide on the best direct mail services: VistaPrint vs. PSPrint vs. Every Door Direct Mail.
Chris Pontine, Creating a Website Today
A fun and unique spin I do for clients is run a Facebook campaign for targeted cities to homeowners. I then create a Facebook ad stating if you call us for your home improvement estimate, it’s totally free same day and the first 5 get a $10 gift card. It’s a great way to generate buzz for our company and great for the area because you can get likes and shares generating.
Check out our Fit Small Business guide on how to run a Facebook advertising campaign.
Tabitha Naylor, Small Business Owner, Tabithanaylor.com
One idea for your marketing strategy is to solicit reviews because positive word-of-mouth is one of the major drivers of business for construction companies. And that’s probably truer in this industry because these projects are so time-consuming and expensive, and happy customers create less doubt in prospective consumers about hiring you to handle their projects. One caveat here: platforms such as Yelp have strict regulations about how you can solicit and post reviews, so make sure you read the fine print before using these popular review platforms And also make sure that you respond to any negative reviews immediately and in a way that resolves the customer’s dispute because that is the best way to show that you’re a company that is responsive to a consumer’s needs and will do whatever it takes to ensure satisfaction.
When a homeowner is looking for a construction company, they may bounce around from site to site. More often than not, they will land on sites that aren’t construction company websites but rather directories such as Yelp or Angie’s List that help them find construction companies in their area. To ensure that your construction company has the best possible online presence, it needs to be on those directories. It isn’t necessary to be on every single directory but you will want to have profiles on local directories and industry relevant ones too.
Set up a dinner and cocktail reception for your former clients, and encourage them to bring their friends along. Peter Danis, a contractor in Ontario tried this and said, ‘To my surprise, out of the 32 friends that came in for cocktails, 26 of them signed a total of $464,000 worth of work.’
Fortune magazine recently noted regarding the use of drones in the construction industry, “For builders, the case for return on investment is straightforward. Drones are cheaper to fly than manned aircraft and faster than human surveyors, and they collect data far more frequently than either, letting construction workers track a site’s progress with a degree of accuracy previously unknown in the industry.” Drones do more than track progress however – they can provide detailed photographs of large-scale sites that allow you to show more clearly what kind of results you offer.
To learn more on drone photography, click here.
Aaron Norris, The Norris Group
Get a mobile friendly website yesterday! You can buy a beautiful mobile friendly template that can get you a functional and easy-to-update site for $500 and under. No excuses. Don’t point your online leads to a website that doesn’t show off your work. It makes potential customers feel like you don’t care.
Check out our guide on how to build a mobile-friendly website in 4 simple steps.
Over to You
Try putting some of these tips into action for a more robust marketing strategy that sets you apart from your competition. What construction marketing ideas have brought you success? Share in the comments below.