This expert round-up for general contractor marketing / construction company marketing will dive deep into several strategies that will help your company get more traffic to your website and more business from your website. Study it, bookmark it – and don’t take it for granted – because, with the seven experts strategies below, you construction/contractor business will grow by leaps and bounds.
Ideas for construction company marketing online:
- Overview of Construction Marketing – Tim Brown – Hook Agency
- Integrate your Newsletter – Monica Pitts – Maye Create
- Join an Association – Mark Buckshon – Construction Marketing Ideas
- Use Local SEO to Rank in Maps – Alex Genadinik – Problemio
- Invest in Your Branding – Dennis Michael – Wake Creative
- A Contractor’s Perspective on Marketing – Robert Robillard – ConcordCarpenter.com and ToolBoxBuzz
- Get Local News Coverage – Maggie Aland – Fit Small Business
1. Overview: Some Key components of General Contractor/Construction Company Marketing
Tim Brown – Hook Agency
Effectively marketing a construction company online requires an overarching understanding of how your website, social media, and search engine traffic all play together.
The general principles are as old as when the first service business passed the first brochure. It’s all about giving people the right information about your services, reasons to trust you, and showing some interest in them. This is the strategy.
But yes, the way those things manifest themselves on your website, written content, and social media marketing – may be a bit different these days when doing construction company marketing. These are the tactics.
You can’t just pass out 500 brochures to 100 prospects these days and expect to see a serious return, the print is dying – dead, or just much less individuals because it’s not the way most people make purchase decisions these days. You need to be available for them on Google – when they are searching for you, or someone like you. That’s why my number one strategy is building out content on your site and links to that content.
Build out Content on your site about your construction services, and earn links to that content elsewhere on the internet.
Google prefers web pages and articles with 500+ words, and I shoot for 700+ words on individual service pages, your home page, and about page. It’s silly not to write this out because it also helps customers understand all of the services you offer and what those services entail. Win – win.
- Write 700+ words for each of the services where you want to get more business
- Create local directory listings
- Create a press release and distribute it
- Reach out to niche websites in your industry and guest post on their website and link back to your site
- Continue sharing useful content on your blog for commonly asked for information related to your industry
We also handle this when we do SEO for construction companies.
Share useful tips around do-it-yourself aspects of your construction work, and entertain people with your social media content.
Not everything is meant to create a sale – half of being seen on social media is just curating the best of your industry, positioning yourself as the expert, and reminding people that your construction company or general contractor company exists. Be helpful, be seen, and be available.
- Do Instagram Stories with “in process” shots from your work sites.
- Share the best tips in your industry, even from other blogs, and use a service like Snip.ly to add a call to action to the posts you share from others blogs.
- Post regularly and systematically with a tool like Buffer.
- Add your logo in the corner of shots of your work with the tool Pablo.
We also handle this when we do social media for construction companies.
Set up remarketing with paid ads on Google Adwords, and promote your best content with Facebook promoted posts to specifically targeted demographics.
Remarketing is the low-hanging fruit as far as paid ads go. (Learn how to do it here.) I like to set this up with 5-10 dollars a day because it helps remind people that have visited your website that you exist. Plus, the chance of someone who’s already visited your site coming back is much higher than someone who never has visited. Facebook promoted posts are the other form of construction company advertising that I feel are a no-brainer. If you share useful content to the people that follow your page, you can also just throw 30 dollars at each of the best posts you put out and target the types of people most likely to work with you. Another form of this that I use often is just promoting to people that follow the page and their friends to drive up interaction or remind past customers to potentially do repeat business with your company.
- Set up Google remarketing
- Set up Facebook remarketing
- Promote your best posts on Facebook
If you don’t evolve to sell your general contractor business better, or neglect your construction company marketing because you’re busy – you might find yourself in a period in the future where you don’t have the amount of business you want or the kinds of business you want. Effectively marketing yourself as a construction company, means positioning yourself to get ideal customers more often, and being more particular in the kinds of business you’re getting.
2. Integrate Your Newsletter with Your Construction Website
Monica Pitts – Maye Create
You do great work. You pave roads, build buildings, plan out structures to make them stand the test of time. You put just as much effort into your construction company’s website as you do your business.
And you may be asking yourself, “Does anyone know it’s there?” How can I make sure people see it?
Do something about it. Check.
Maybe you’ve gone as far as to set up and maintain an email newsletter system. If so, the odds are good you’re manually sending emails with your new projects and blog posts to your prospects and clients. Let us just stop to say, go you! Pat yourself on the back for understanding the value of email marketing!
Though with all of the template creation, the content development, the copying and pasting, the photographing, the scheduling…it’s a process. It takes forever. At the end of the day, it’s yet another thing on your list of crap you have to get done.
What about that thing called automation?
Your equipment uses GPS, and you are manually creating emails? That’s so 1998.
So what if you could add something to your website and have an email newsletter that generates automatically and sends to your list? An automated system, like GPS for your website that takes your email and BAM makes it for you? Now that’s 2017.
Drum roll please….there is a way!
You should have seen the happy dance we broke into when we discovered this capability. It was intense. We employed a human intern whose whole job was dedicated to manually building our email newsletters. After implementing the magic of automated newsletters, all she had to do was get us coffee, like a real intern is supposed to do.
Just kidding. We make her file…and spellcheck things, gotta earn your keep around here. Get your own coffee.
Invented by brilliant humans, or possibly monkeys.
Some brillaint person who must have been as pained as you are with the labor intensive task of creating email newsletters must have thought, “Maybe we can create an email system that pulls in information from RSS files and adds it to an email, so humans don’t have to do it themselves!”
These smart people are employed by MailChimp. And man did these guys pull it off. Well, it’s possible they’re not guys or even people. They might be monkeys. Really smart monkeys. Either way, kudos to you, MailChimp. Kudos.
So how does the magic happen?
It begins with your RSS file.
If you have blogging functionality incorporated into your website, it has what’s called an RSS file. (Real Simple Syndication) The file is essentially a text output of the content on your blog that automatically refreshes as the site is updated. Sort of like GPS does for navigation. GPS navigation can’t tell you where to go next if it doesn’t know where you are. The RSS feed tells the email system the most recent movements on your website so the email can tell everyone else.
Right now you’re probably thinking, “but I don’t have a blog, so this is not for me.” Don’t stop reading yet. Stick with it! If your web developer isn’t a total tool they likely set up your Completed Projects or Portfolio section using a blog like system, because that makes it easier for you to update. If this is the case, your Portfolio information is added to the RSS file everytime you update your site.
Do you want the magic?
In an attempt to skip over the long-winded explanation of what RSS files are and how you can use them, you can tell your RSS feed what to include and automatically generate into your email newsletters using MailChimp’s RSS campaign feature.
This is all sounding pretty unbelievable, right? You’re about ready to do this thing, and we don’t blame you. There are a just few things you’ll need to do to capture the magic for yourself.
Access your website’s RSS file.
Your feed may be located at www.yourdomainname.com/rss/, check there first. It could also be at www.yourdomainname.com/feed/ give that a try, then if you’re still not sure it’s time to talk to your web guru. Ask your web developer for a link to your RSS feed. If that scares the living daylights out of you, your web developer should be able to take care of this whole email integration deal. Just outline for them what you want to include in your automatic emails. If your web developer doesn’t know how to do this, we know a good one who can give you a hand.
Make sure your projects and blog posts are added to your RSS feed.
Make sure when you add a project or make a blog post it’s added to your RSS feed. Remember earlier when we talked about the potential relationship between a tool and your web developer? You’ll need to do some detective work to uncover their tool status.
Look at your RSS feed, search for a tag that looks like this: <title>. The title of your most recent blog post or project name should be next to it. If this is the case, you’re in business.
If not, your blog posts or projects are not being added to the feed so they also can’t be included in your newsletter. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever automate your newsletters; it just means you have to adjust that part of your website first so you can.
Sign up for a MailChimp account.
This part’s easy. Go to MailChimp and get started with a free account. What’s great about this service is you can use the RSS email newsletter feature with all their subscription plans, even the free one.
When you’re in MailChimp building your campaign, there’s a button, you click it, add your RSS and recipient information, and you’re done. It’s that simple and bonus, they have step by step instructions on their website. Here’s to wishing there were more vendors out there doing this, but we hear it’s hard, so hard humans couldn’t even do it. We had to rely on a group of monkeys to pull it off, once again kudos monkeys.
Harness the magic.
Handling website code of any kind in conjunction with starting a new service is enough to unhinge most people and send them off into the deep end. That’s why we’ve included a handful of useful resources to guide you through integrating your email newsletter with your construction website.
- RSS-to-Email Feature in MailChimp
This page provides a general overview of the MailChimp feature you can use to automatically share your new blog posts and projects automatically via email.
- Share Your Blog Posts with MailChimp
Here’s a step-by-step guide for using an RSS campaign to email your latest blog posts and projects to your subscribed contacts.
- All the Merge Tags Cheat Sheet
This lovely page features all of the merge tags MailChimp offers for pulling in all kinds of dynamic information into your emails. Grab a snack and prop your feet up–there’s a lot of good stuff in here.
- Featured Images in RSS & MailChimp Email
If you’re on WordPress, images aren’t going to be pulled into your email automatically the way the text is pulled. We use a plugin called Featured Images in RSS Feeds. Check it out, because pictures make things pretty.
Additional useful resources for RSS tags:
Get GPS for your email, and you won’t regret it.
Automation. It’s where the world seems to be headed, isn’t it? Don’t get left behind by letting website and newsletter integration become another task for another day. We get it–change is hard. We’ve been in this place, remember the human intern who just made newsletters?
Say goodbye to hours spent each week gathering content and updating your email newsletter template with new words and pictures. Say hello to gobs of time opening up on your calendar, which you can use doing more important things for your business.
3. Joining a Client Oriented Association
Mark Buckshon – Construction Marketing Ideas
Looking back over more than 25 years in business, one common and simple theme for marketing and business development success emerges. It is elegantly simple, and on the surface, entirely selfless.
Your voluntary contributions to the community and individuals in your marketplace will pay dividends for decades.
How does this work?
Consider joining and actively participating in a client-oriented association. If you are wondering which association(s) to join, consider the groups closest to your best current clients.
In our case, since most of our clients are engaged with relevant construction associations, we participate in several of them. You’ll quickly learn that virtually every industry and client group has an up-market group. If you are a residential contractor, you’ll also find neighborhood/community groups, sports leagues, and other community organizations relevant to you.
You may also find online groups or communities relevant to you and your potential clients.
The next stage is to put your self-interest aside and purely focus on how you can contribute to the group and its individuals. Usually, this involves volunteering your services/time, ideally by applying your specialized knowledge and experience.
If you are into sales and business development, often the group will appreciate your help in membership attraction/retention. I’m a writer by trade, so I often volunteer to help out with the group’s newsletter and publicity.
Then, when the time is right, the business will almost drop in your lap.
It’s almost crass for me to brag about the biggest marketing and business development wins, but consider the magazine contract I won by actively working with the local home builders’ association (easy enough to do because through earlier contributions, the association granted me the contract to publish its internal newsletter.)
I was given the opportunity to do some business with the relevant committee chair, and after completing a project with him, he decided that I — and not an outside competitor — should get the magazine contract. I initially declined the job, because it was outside my scope of experience at the time. He insisted, and I finally accepted; and set up a separate joint venture corporation to draw in the relevant expertise and deliver the contract.
Here is the bottom line: Over seven years, the project has netted my business more than $150,000 — and this is without spending massive hours of time or energy to fulfill the responsibilities.
As your involvement grows, you’ll likely get invited to participate in relevant committees, and then become a member of the board of directors. You can take things further, and be elected to the regional and national executive committees.
In another example, a good client asked me to help volunteer for a cycling event for cancer research at the local hospital. I accepted instantly. (The client gets the community/voluntary service concepts, of course, and has done really well in business as a result.)
Various business/sales opportunities have cropped up through the years of voluntary work here, resulting in many thousands of dollars in revenue. I also discovered I rather enjoy cycling and the exercise has certainly helped my health.
As a final example, a few years ago, I started answering questions on a Google help forum focused on the company’s ad serving program, AdSense. A year later, after a nasty crisis, I received a fateful email asking if I would like to become a Top Contributor (moderator) on the help forum. Then the invitations to expense-paid meetups and summits at Google headquarters started and I discovered I had been invited to a rather influential international networking group.
Are there any rules for the voluntary contributions?
I could summarize three:
- You must start the process with selflessness and not worry about business results. If you are expecting immediate reward/gratification and results, you will likely be disappointed (though sometimes the results are truly rapid).
- There are times when the concept doesn’t work. This happens when competitors have already entrenched themselves with the group/association. They are insiders, and you are an outsider. However, the story here may be more nuanced. I connected and ended up on the board of a local construction group and have earned business as a result but could not make progress at the national level because of the competitive barriers. Still, there have been tens of thousands of dollars in local business.
- It is best to contribute time rather than money and, if you are providing time, to support the group with your sweet spot where you combine passion and talent. If you don’t enjoy your time volunteering, it will be painful, and that isn’t good.
This idea obviously isn’t a magic bullet or quick fix. I can recount many stories where we brought in the biggest and easiest sales by applying the concept.
The reason for its effectiveness is simple: If you actually contribute to the community and get known for your passion and support, you’ll earn the trust and access to the people and organizations who can give you business. And they will.
4. Use Local SEO to Rank in Google Maps
Alex Genadinik – Problemio
Since construction is a local service, you must leverage local SEO. A local SEO search is something like “construction company in Boston.” There are only four types of results that come up in local searches.
2) Google map listings
3) Local service listing sites like Yelp
4) Construction company websites
It is effortless to do the first three. In fact, for most businesses in most areas, it will only take a few weeks to begin showing up highly on the first page of Google. Your website will probably take the longest to rank.
In the very competitive construction industry, perception is everything. How you market yourself visually is essential to attracting the clients you want but to also build trust, credibility, and charge what you are worth.
The best piece of advice I can give ANY construction company is to invest in your image. That means you hire someone good to create a logo and identity for your business. All of your supporting materials – brochure, business cards, folders, vehicle wraps, etc. – are consistent in look, feel, and messaging.
The construction clients I have worked with have seen increased profits due to their investment in branding themselves the right way. I cannot stress the importance of visuals. Humans are visual creatures, and they will pass judgment on you in a matter of seconds. So if you are running a business with no logo (or a terrible one), a bad business name, poorly designed support materials…you are hurting your bottom line in a big way.
Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter, and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of, and a has a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”. Contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org
As a remodeling contractor who has been relatively busy during the economic recession I can attribute my good fortune to a good work ethic, reputation, and pro-active marketing efforts.
A huge reason I have been able to stay busy is I have a plan in place to generate consistent lead opportunities. You can sit back and wait for the phone to ring but it just will not happen. Having a marketing plan does not cost a lot of money, but it does take work. Effective and pro-active marketing plan will give you steps to take to help with lead generation.
- Get a website, a business Facebook page, and LinkedIn page up and running. I use Wordpress as my blog platform.
- Take progress pictures of your jobs and post on Facebook several times a week. Make sure there are links back to your website.
- Write a minimum of four times a month and send out links to your clients and circle of influence. Write about how you are solving a current client’s problem or something unique.
- Update your website monthly with new and relevant content. If you are not inclined to do so outsource this work to a professional.
To be successful generating leads you need to have a marketing plan, be pro-active, and put yourself out there. The phone will not ring on its own.
7. Get Local News Coverage
Maggie Aland – Fit Small Business
As a local business, one of the best ways construction companies can market themselves is by getting local news coverage. One great way to get press is by giving back to your community. People love a feel good news stories, and construction companies have the perfect skill set to help around the community — whether that be helping a family rebuild their home after a storm, helping the elderly with chores around the house, or by fixing up a neighborhood playground.
By offering your services for free, you can help people while at the same time getting press and spreading the word about your business. Consider hiring a photographer or videographer to capture the project so you have good quality videos and photos that journalists can use as part of the story.
Thank you for reading this Expert Roundup “Ideas for Marketing a Construction Company Online”! Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or other ideas for effectively marketing general contractor or construction companies! If you need help marketing your construction company, let me know by contacting one of the above experts at their respective websites or myself – at email@example.com.
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