The best way to keep your business on solid footing amidst heavy competition and fluctuating cost is by continually building relationships with new clients through a multi-faceted marketing strategy. 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.
Here is our list of 31 construction marketing ideas from the pros.
1. Join an Industry Association
Andrea Smith, Marketing & Communications Manager, Southwest Washington Contractors Association
The best way to gain traction in your marketing efforts is to join an industry association. These are resource hubs and can offer quality connections that will lead to business success. This is especially true in construction because all work is built on relationships and reputations. Added bonus: Associations often allow their members/supporters advertising and marketing resources at low or no cost!
Jeremy Levine, Fit Small Business
We all know how important social media marketing is for small businesses, but are you really using your platforms to their full potential? With Hibu, you can save time and keep your social media presence active by letting the experts schedule your posts and curate fabulous content across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They also monitor page performance for you, so you always know how your interactions are performing. Click here to get a free consultation.
3. Don’t Forget About Your Existing Leads and Customers
Jonathan Weinberg, Founder & CEO, Builder Prime
One very simple, but often overlooked way of marketing your business is simply to follow up with your existing leads and customers. Many contractors are extremely busy trying to stay afloat and things fall through the cracks. You can be missing out on great opportunities if you fail to keep following up with the leads you already received. You should also be following up with your existing customers a few months after completing a job, just to check in and see if you can help them with anything else.
The customer will be impressed that you called and it could lead to more business. If the customer is happy, you can even ask for referrals. A good CRM that is designed for small construction businesses can help you make sure nothing slips through the cracks and that you can always provide great service to your customers.
4. Focus on a Niche
James Sinclair, Trade Finance Marketing Manager, Trade Finance Global
From a proposition perspective, niche construction companies are deeply embedded and focused on 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.
Marc Prosser, Co-founder, Fit Small Business
When a potential customer is looking for a local construction company, most will search online. Make sure your business is listed in as many online directories as possible so more customers can find you. Localworks is a tool that lets you scan and update your local listings on maps, social media sites, search engines, mobile apps, and across 60+ directories. Click here for a free scan and save 20% on updating your listings with code LOCAL20.
6. Connect with Building Material Companies
Geoff Hoesch, CEO, Dragonfly Digital Marketing
From an SEO perspective, one of the best ways to quickly strengthen a small construction company’s keyword rankings is to reach out to building materials companies and ask for links. Many materials companies have pages that list construction firms that use their products. The emails should be brief and simply state that you enjoy using their materials and want to know whether they’ll list you on their page.
7. Experiment with Running Expos
Karthika, Marketing Manager, PVS Builders Calicut, Kerala
When it comes to trying different methodologies in marketing, one must always be updated and adopt the latest strategies. Bringing in changes and introducing innovative measures will attract better coverage and attention. What is of most importance to a construction company is that whatever strategy is implemented, the reach must be wide spread. This is very challenging, as it is a highly competitive industry.
A recommended marketing effort that can attract more customers and increase sales is conducting an expo. It is one of the best and trusted methodologies. The biggest advantage in conducting an expo is that various kinds of people approach you that may have different requirements and outlooks. People may be sometimes looking for good interiors, modern facilities, etc., so you have to have ample scope to captivate them. The challenge is that conducting an expo can incur huge expenses, but if you look at the potential returns, these efforts could pay off in the end.
8. Target the Leads Who Call You
Blair Symes, Director of Content Marketing, DialogTech
Target those likely to make calls with the best search, social, or display ads. Customers who call a business spend 28 percent more than non-phone customers, according to Forrester. When someone calls, it is a powerful signal as to both their overall value and how they want to interact. Construction marketers can use data on their callers to improve their digital ad targeting and show the right audiences the right ads to convert to customers. When someone calls and is a good lead, re-target them with the right ad campaigns for the right cost to get them to re-engage by calling.
Extend your reach by targeting new lookalike audiences that resemble customers who called. Exclude callers who aren’t good leads or who became customers from seeing digital campaigns meant to generate new leads.
9. Introduce Yourself to Older Adults Aging in Place
Darren Slaughter, Owner, DarrenSlaughter.com
Market towards older adults looking to stay in their homes. Aging in place (AIP) construction modifies existing homes to make them more accessible to people having trouble getting around. Things like ramps, stair lifts and kitchen and bath modification are huge right now. You market to them using Facebook since older adults are one of the bigger demographics on Facebook (it’s a great way to stay up to date with grandkids) and direct mail as well since seniors are more willing to give your offer a shot since they are used to receiving offers in the mail.
Allison Potts, Fit Small Business
Building a relationship from first contact to closing the sale can be a difficult process, especially if you don’t have a good way to stay organized. Use a client relationship manager (CRM) to make sure you stay on top of things as leads progress through the sales funnel–there are many options, but we feel that Freshsales is the best.
In each client profile, you get an at-a-glance view of when you last spoke, what service they are interested in, and what upcoming actions need to be taken. You can even make calls and send emails directly through the software, creating a contact history that can be easily referenced in the future. Freshsales offers a completely free version of their software, and more features can be added for as little as $12/month. Click here to sign up for free.
11. Work to Develop Your Brand
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.
12. Root for the Home Team
Cara Moroze, Communications Manager, King Rose Construction (NYC)
Most likely, there is a local school, organization or community group that has a sports team of kids needing corporate sponsors. Offer to outfit a team for prominent logo placement, and watch your company’s name score a home run. If you have enough personnel to field a team of your own, you can score big with a fun team-building activity while inviting opportunities for good spirited competition with your channel partners or customers. Consider making it an annual tradition so you can become a Proud Sponsor over the years.
13. Run Uber-Specific Ads
Vladimir Mirnii, CEO, ContentAdore
One of the most popular errors I regularly see in construction marketing is trying to be everything to everyone. If your billboard, landing page or homepage are just a list of the services you provide, you don’t make the difference. You should stand out from the competition. People don’t remember a construction company just because it offers all the services you can think of. But they do remember a company if it offers the exact service they need at that specific moment of time. Running uber-specific ads exponentially increases the conversion rates and lets a larger number of people become your customers.
For example, I need to renovate my basement, and your company says it can do that in 10 days and shows me the quality of your work. Other people may ignore your ad, but I, and other people who need that service, will go right away to you. And guess what? The next time we need a construction job done, you’ll be our go-to guy.
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.
Marc Prosser, Co-founder, Fit Small Business
Having a personalized logo goes a long way when it comes to brand recognition. One only needs to see a silhouette of the “golden arches” to have the image of a juicy cheeseburger spring to mind. Create a similar powerful association with your company by hiring someone at Fiverr to design the perfect logo for you, starting as low as $5. Click here to see examples.
16. Engage with Your Local Community with Word-of-Mouth Marketing
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 even homeless shelters.
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 within the community.
17. Give Back to Charities
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.
Afterward, 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.
18. Use Hoarding Signage on Your Construction Site
Stanley Tan, Digital Marketing Specialist, Selbys
A lot of our construction clients use hoarding signage in their construction sites. One of the biggest benefits to hoarding signage is it provides free advertisement for the construction company during the life of the construction. If the construction lasts two years, they get two years’ of free advertisement. Imagine paying for two years of advertising on a billboard!
19. Produce Content That Can be Sourced by Wikipedia
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.
20. Use a Press Release to Promote Your New Construction Project
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.
21. Utilize Direct Mail Marketing
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 needs to be sent at least three times typically over a six-week period to know if it works or doesn’t. Why three times? Think about where you are when you open your mail. Probably in the kitchen with a garbage can close by. It’s not until 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.
22. Run a Facebook Promotion
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 five 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.
23. Solicit Customer Reviews
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.”
26. Try Google’s Custom Intent Audiences
Eagan Heath, Owner, Get Found Madison
Google recently rolled out new functionality call Custom Intent Audiences. These allow advertisers to target web users with banner ads and YouTube videos based on their recent Google searches and even website visits. We always recommend our clients start with SEO and Google AdWords, but this is another, lesser-known way to target people who are likely in the market for your services.
27. Create a Success Story
Michelle Garrett, Writer/Public Relations Consultant, Michelle Garrett.com
Having worked with clients in this sector, success stories can work very well. The company would interview a happy customer, using a list of questions about the project, including outcomes (did they meet the completion date, what was the feedback from their employee/customers about the new facility, etc.)
Then, those answers would be used to create a success story. A photo of the finished building/property could also be included.
28. Use Technology to Supplement Traditional Marketing Strategies
Kayla Hunt, Marketing Coordinator, Iversoft
Instead of recommending traditional marketing strategies, or even social media marketing, we prefer to address it using tech that a consumer actually wants to engage with. The marketing ideas that we have traditionally used include tech-based solutions, such as mobile applications and touchscreen product viewings and customizations, as well as virtual walk-throughs.
We also employ beacons—proximity marketing, Bluetooth-enabled devices that target mobile devices—to attract new clientele and increase brand awareness.
Lately, our company has been leveraging other tech-based tools as marketing tactics in targeting home buyers, builders, and renovators. One app, MyReno, was built specifically for the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) and is a tool that immerses home renovators into the renovating experience, from addressing FAQs to material sourcing and locating a contractor. Consumers can also be upsold on a product, making the app valuable for construction companies’ profits.
We are also currently building 4D and 5D environments with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for construction companies so that interested clients can take part in an elevated brand experience that results in product sales and upgrades.
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 the kind of results you offer.
To learn more on drone photography, click here.
30. Create DIY Content That Goes Viral
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.
31. Go Mobile
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 four 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.