Construction marketing involves online and offline relationship-building. In many cases, finding construction clients requires maintaining a solid network of customers from past builds whom you can tap for referrals. You can also source clients using online ads targeted to industry associations. For help with these and other strategies, we reached out to construction marketing pros.
Here are 39 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 that 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 and supporters advertising and marketing resources at low or no cost!
Jeremy Levine, Business Development Manager, Fit Small Business
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3. Follow Up With Leads & 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 customer relationship management (CRM) tool 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 traffic streets, specialist school construction, or perhaps work-live properties in major cities. By rooting a strong proposition and niche, construction companies are then able to talk to new and potential customers about their unique selling proposition, 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.
Miranda Paquet, Marketing & Operations Manager, The Close
Email offers a non-intrusive way of providing useful information to existing and potential customers, thereby becoming their trusted, go-to construction expert. As such, my tip is to make sure you’re reaching out with engaging email marketing so that you’re top of mind for referral and repeat business. To do so, consider an email marketing provider like SendX. Starting at $7.49 per month, you get intuitive and affordable email marketing software. It includes tools for starting email newsletters and drip campaigns, pop-ups and forms, and other email automation. Click here to get started with SendX.
6. Connect With Building Material Companies
Geoff Hoesch, CEO, Dragonfly Digital Marketing
From a search engine optimization (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
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 of conducting an expo is that various kinds of people approach you who may have different requirements and outlooks. People may sometimes be looking for good interiors, modern facilities, and so on, 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% more than non-phone customers, according to Forrester. When someone calls, it is a powerful signal as to 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, retarget them with the right ad campaigns for the right cost.
Extend your reach by targeting new look-alike 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 toward 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 modifications are huge right now. You can 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). You can market using direct mail as well since seniors are more willing to give your offer a shot because they are used to receiving offers in the mail.
Nicholas Thomas, Business Development Manager, Fit Small Business
All the marketing in the world won’t do much good if a customer gets sent to voicemail when they decide to call you. Nearly half of calls to small businesses go unanswered, leading to many missed opportunities. Read this short ebook from CallJoy and you’ll learn how to never miss a call again, how to analyze calls to make better business decisions, and deliver a best-in-class phone experience for your customers.
11. 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.
12. Sponsor a Home Sports 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 Targeted Ads
Vladimir Mirnii, CEO, ContentAdore
One of the most common 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 a 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 in time. Running uber-specific ads exponentially increases the conversion rates and lets a larger number of people become your customers.
For example, let’s say 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.
14. 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 a 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.
Marc Prosser, Fit Small Business
No matter how good your marketing is, an amateur website can hurt your credibility and turn away new clients. A professional website shows that you’re legitimate, clearly describes your services, helps you market online, and lets you showcase your best projects. Dreamhost lets you host your website starting at just $2.59 per month. You get a free domain, powerful online marketing tools, and an easy-to-use website builder with pre-made templates to give your business a professional look.
16. Use Hoarding Signage on Your Construction Site
Stanley Tan, Digital Marketing Specialist, Selbys
A lot of our construction clients use hoarding signage (signage on temporary structures at 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!
17. Produce Content That Can Be Sourced by Wikipedia
Max Robinson, Founder, 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.
18. Utilize Direct Mail Marketing
Al Levi, CEO & Founder, The 7-Power Contractor
The keys to construction marketing 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.
19. Run a Facebook Promotion
Chris Pontine, Publisher & Owner, Creating a Website Today
A fun and unique spin I do for clients is run a Facebook campaign to homeowners in targeted cities. 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.
Jeff Steen, Marketing Editor, 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.
21. 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.
22. Try Google’s Custom Intent Audiences
Eagan Heath, Owner, Get Found Madison
Google recently rolled out new functionality called 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 that our clients start with search engine optimization (SEO) and Google AdWords, but this is another, lesser-known way to target people who are likely in the market for your services.
23. Create a Success Story
Michelle Garrett, Writer & Public Relations Consultant, MichelleGarrett.com
Having worked with clients in this sector, success stories can work very well. A 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 employees and customers about the new facility, and so forth).
Then, those answers would be used to create a success story for their website. A photo of the finished building or property could also be included.
24. Advertise Using Technology Customers Already Use
Kayla Hunt, Marketing Coordinator, Iversoft
Instead of recommending traditional marketing strategies, or even social media marketing, we prefer to address construction marketing 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—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, such 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 in the renovating experience—from addressing frequently asked questions (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.
Maggie Aland, Writer & Review Manager, 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. Their on-staff experts help you critique and polish your press release, then distribute it to handpicked journalists, as well as the PR Newswire and Associated Press (AP) Newswire networks, for between $299 and $499. In the end, your press release reaches thousands of websites, journalists, and nearly every newsroom worldwide. Click here to get started with eReleases.
26. Create DIY Content That Goes Viral
Brandon Maciel, SEO & PPC Specialist, New Dimension Marketing & Research
When attempting to generate buzz around an industry such as construction, I have found success with “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.
27. Go Mobile
Aaron Norris, Founder, 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 or less. 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.
28. Alert Google to Website Reviews
Ata Khan, Partner, Xoobo
Incentivize current and past clients to write reviews on the construction company’s website. Then mark that text up with schema tags so that Google and other search engines display those reviews next to your business listing. Having reviews associated with your brand on search results pages is one of the most important things you can do, as it will increase the likelihood of visitors clicking on your link vs your competitors.
29. Optimize Your Map Listings
Daniel Ashton, Digital Marketing Manager, BrainSpin
Generally, when a potential client is looking for a company, they will do their research online to find a construction company. Whether they are searching on PC, Mac, or mobile, one of the first things they will see is a map listing. My first priority if I were to do marketing for a construction company would be optimizing map listings. I would add as much information to the listing as possible; this includes your address, website, photos, and services. After the listing has been completed, I would run a campaign asking customers for reviews on the map listing. It makes a company look much more reliable and established to have a 4.9 rating with 1,000 reviews, and it will definitely bring in future customers.
30. Create an Industry-resource Blog
Jorge Fontan, Owner, Fontan Architecture
Anyone in the construction business can start a blog where they provide helpful information on the specific types of projects they work on. In this industry, people often do a great deal of research, and you can have a blog to become part of someone’s research process. Having a website that is a resource for people in the preliminary steps of planning can lead to potential clients who want to work specifically with you after getting help from the information you post on your site.
31. Run Google Local Services Ads
Matt Bermudez, Marketing Manager, Yael Consulting
One of the things Google is pushing for is Google Local Service ads. This is a type of paid-search marketing that actually appears above the rest of the ads. If you search for “plumbers near me,” you’ll see the normal expanded text ads above the map. However, above those ads, you’ll see a few company names along with their reviews, a “Google Guaranteed Badge,” and their phone number. These are the local service listings. One of the really cool things about this is that you only pay for leads, rather than per click. Also, the leads go directly to a call.
To rank better on these listings, you need to do things such as keeping the most up-to-date information on the page, collecting and having good reviews, always answering the phone and being responsive to these leads, and marking the status of the leads to keep Google informed.
32. Use Webinars to Educate People
Jeremy Knauff, CEO, Spartan Media
Focus on sharing useful content that your audience can use, even if they never become a customer. The construction project management software company, Procore, does an amazing job of this with their webinars featuring industry experts sharing their knowledge. The idea here is to tell stories about your industry and the people in it rather than just shouting for people to buy your products or services.
33. Use Online Quizzes & Calculators
Michelle Frome, Co-founder & CEO, Shark Branding Solutions
One tactic in particular is online quizzes and calculators. We’re using that right now for a client offering crane certification training. It can be difficult to find potential students, so we are utilizing fun calculators and promoting them through paid social media ads. The quiz could cover how much money you can make as a crane operator. The user answers several questions and receives the results when they provide their email address. Based on the way they answer specific questions, it helps to qualify them as a potential candidate for the school.
Now that we’ve qualified the lead and received their contact information, the sales rep can reach out to the candidate directly. We also use their contact information to serve them specific ads based on their responses to the calculator. This increases the chance of the sales rep getting a call or email back if they are unable to reach the candidate on the first contact attempt.
34. Get Referrals With Great Customer Service
Dillon A. Mitchell, PE, Founder & CEO, KowabungaStudios.com
Word of mouth is going to be a great asset for you. Finding people who do a great job on a project, aren’t crazy expensive, show up on time, and treat everyone well on the project is the best marketing that you can do. That homeowner will then refer you to their friends and it will expand from there. This takes time, but will grow your business and reputation.
35. Dig Into Visual Media
Wendy Manganaro, Founder, Social Abundance Marketing
At the end of the day, most people love a good HGTV show. Not every company has the ability to be on HGTV to get more business, but they do have the ability through a smartphone to take “before” photos, take pictures during the progress of the project, and then go back when finished and do staged photos. Have those pictures combined into a short two-minute video with the story of the family, why they chose you, and the finished project. Once you have your content and story, send it in an email blast, post it on your social, and create a print story book for the family to use as a coffee table book so they can share their story with their friends and family.
36. Optimize Your Website for Local Search
Victoria Christensen, Marketing Assistant, Ormí Media
Do not neglect your website—it does need to be optimized for local relevance and your content should be optimized with local search in mind, incorporating local keywords, your address, and your phone number. If you have a team that can assist you, should discuss schema markup to further boost your online presence.
37. Collect Local Info to Inform Email Campaigns
Elliot Hall, Email Marketing Executive & Mailchimp Partner, StrategiQ
As a small business, your local community is your lifeblood. Understanding who that community is, including their interests, needs, and buying habits, is integral to good email marketing. Try to capture this data and record it in your mailing list to create personalized campaigns that provide additional value to your customer’s experience with your brand. Free resources, tips, discounts, and reports are great places to start.
39. Spring for Dinner & Cocktails
Bonus Tip: Implement Drone Photography
Bottom Line: Construction Marketing Ideas
Construction marketing is a collection of both online and offline efforts to build relationships with consumers and convert them into customers. It begins offline with positive customer experiences, then continues online as prospective customers search for your business on internet directories, review sites, search engines, and via social media. For the most success with your construction business, leverage these tips and the additional tips above.