2018 Tactics + Strategies [In-depth Guide] 14 Effective Construction Marketing Tips

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by on May 31, 2018

From Direct Mail to Google

If you’re looking to market your construction company and do it yourself -take heed! I’ve done it for 10+ other construction and home services companies and I will give you every last secret I can extract from my head! I’m not a genius, and you don’t have to be either – what it does take is 10-20 minutes to sit down and study these hard-fought construction marketing secrets.

What you'll learn the basics / solid strategies for using

Whether you specialize in 'Roofing'or are a general contractor - get weekly short construction marketing video tips:

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

Do you like the way it looks when you Google your companies name?

Try it now

If you don’t love it (not enough reviews, other company’s with a similar name come up before you), don’t worry! There’s ways to improve the way it looks when people Google you.

It all starts with reputation management-take control of your reputation! These 3 steps will help you do it yourself-Enter your e-mail to the right to get the perfect script for sending to your happy customers.

Do it now: Take control of your Reputation

  • Do good workIf you find yourself getting negative reviews online – the first strategy is the most important. Do better work – even if you have to charge more. That's why it's best to get your processes down, have clear communication with clients and stress good relationship before working with someone. If expectations are clear, you charge enough to offer top-tier service, and wait for good clients you know you can exceed expectations.
  • Hit up people you did good work for and have them write reviewsYou can even provide links for where to leave the review - I suggest at least Google and Facebook. Extra credit for Houzz, HomeAdvisor, Angie's List and Yelp – but always let people know they can copy and paste a brief review to all of the above.
  • Respond to all reviews (even negative ones)There's evidence to suggest positive reviews on Google are even good for your ranking on Google... and will help you get more traffic. But even for just the optics of the situation, responding to all reviews - negative or positive in a measured, positive tone is important for the reputation of your company. Let your best self come up when responding, and don't get mad when someone leaves a negative review – ask what you can do to fix it, and remember everyone that finds you online will look at reviews, so don't be an idiot.

WEBSITE DESIGN

Should you use a website template or have a custom site made?

Try to go it alone – until it’s time to crank up the professionalism

Even though we make websites – I don’t mind telling people to try something like Squarespace or Wix, if they’ve never had a website before (and perhaps are under 200k revenue yearly) – if you can’t hire a team yet it might not be the best time to be spending 5-25k on a website.

The next step up from Squarespace or Wix is a WordPress theme – sometimes you can get lucky and find a cheap freelancer or a certain savvy someone to wield a theme for you quickly (from anywhere from $500 – $5,000) or find a theme you like on ThemeForest and some basics about setting it up.

 

WordPress theme setup

 

You’ll want to set up dedicated WordPress hosting on GoDaddy (more basic at $3.99-$13.99 monthly) or WPEngine (premium at $35 – $290). What I really like about WPEngine is that there’s a staging site you can make changes on before rolling them out to the main – and there’s a lot of elements in place for uptime, and speed.

The best part about WordPress is that there are a lot of awesome tools for SEO – meaning you’re more likely to be building for the future, not just people you send there with your business card. Also – if you need something custom – even the most professional marketing companies and developers will be able to build onto a WordPress site. Squarespace and Wix are awesome for getting something quickly (and to start with them you really don’t need alot of ‘How to’ content) but have a limiting ceiling of what you can do with functionality because they are a closed system.

How to get started with a WordPress site today

If the theme doesn’t have placeholder or sample content – it’s a little harder, so it might be something you look to make sure the theme has it before you purchase. Without it, you’ll need to play around with theme settings from scratch and try to reproduce the way their demo site looked – or tweak to your desired effect.

(Pro-tip just pay $49 for the theme setup if you’ve never set one up before, because it can kind of be complex if you’ve never done it before. In total you’ll spend $100-$120 but it will likely save you some time in the rest of the setup.)

But what if you want your website to get the most leads possible?

Custom website design will allow you to leave it to professionals.  (because being a pro in your industry – a business owner, or the rest of your work is hard enough already.) If you’ve past a certain revenue mark – your time is becoming more valuable, and perhaps you’ve tried making a website before and you came up against road-blocks to making it exactly like you’d like it. At a certain point – it’s smart to have a professional design your website. Some things that may make paying a pro worth it:

  • They’ve been through the process before many times – so they understand certain pitfalls and opportunities in the process and thus can help smooth those out.
  • They’ll provide an outside perspective – sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in your companies own internal politics, and an outside perspective can ask important questions to clarify what really matters like what really makes you special, and bringing you always back to what the main action we want people to take on this site is.
  • Ideally – they’ve been monitoring sites after they were made as well – so they can help guide you to what’s going to help drive traffic too. If a company has helped many companies drive traffic to many sites through Google organic traffic, paid ads and social media – they can help guide you to make good decisions for the long term as well.

Having a business is stressful - I'm 45 and feeling great meme

Search Engine Optimization

The Magic Bullet for Turning Your Website into a Traffic Magnet

Have you heard of Search Engine Optimization?

No – I’m not talking about the shitty auto-dialer people that tell you you’re Google listing is about to get taken down.

Search Engine Optimization – or SEO, is the process of making technical tweaks to your website to make it more attractive to Google and other search engines, getting links back to your site from elsewhere on the internet, and building on content on your site in key areas (otherwise known as ‘content strategy’.)

It’s the #1 strategy I’d suggest for construction companies that service local areas, because it allows you to compete with the big boys (because they often can’t tend to local areas as heavily as you – you has only one or a few geographic regions you can push on with LOCAL SEO.)

Local SEO – means, creating landing pages – using your google maps rankings, etc. and everything I outline in the next 2-3 sections you can do yourself, and can do in a few days if you really push on it. SEO is a long game, but you can also get some serious gains quickly if you do the right things.

Construction SEO

Do It Now: Go heavy on Search Engine Optimization

  • Spy on what your competitors are ranking forThis tips is incredibly invaluable. All you do is pop your competitors website into a tool like Ahrefs.com, or SEMRush.com and take a look at what is getting them the most traffic. Ask yourself – if I got traffic for these terms, and the page gave people reasons to work with me, would I make money for ranking for these terms in the first page or two of Google?
  • Create landing pages and blog posts going after those topicsIf there's enough traffic for that term – and the answer is yes (to the previous question,) create a blog post or a landing page for that term.
  • Get links back to your site – here's 5 ways to do it quick:The big heavy-hitter tip to really rank fast on Google and stay there is to get links from around the web.
     
    But how do you do that?
     
    1. Use Yext.com or Moz Local to get 100+ local directory listings that link back to your site quick.
     
    2. Write a press release for SEO purposes, and distribute it cheaply and get 350+ links back to your site.
     
    3. Get a verified profile on Inc.com for a nice solid link with a 91+ Domain Authority quick. (Domain Authority or DA is a SEO metric that says 'how trustworthy is this link', and although it's not perfect, it's an easy way to check how effective a link might be quickly. (you can use Mozbar. to check sites on the fly.)
     
    4. Write 3-5 Guest posts on decent 'domain authority' sites in your niche with links back to your site. It's as easy as e-mailing people in your industry and asking if you can write a blog post for them!
     
    5. Let us do 1-4 for you. Our first 3 months of SEO covers all these linking methods + an initial competitive analysis of 7 competitor websites - 3,000 words a month written for your site on your behalf / and all of your technical SEO / and on-page SEO.
     
    (We have a limited number of slots available for this deal at 6k for your first 3 months - just use the words 6KSPECIAL and message us now to get on the waiting list)
     
    Get on the waiting list now
     
    Otherwise, keep reading!
     
    We're going to explain in detail, how to implement every single one of these methods, in detail for yourself now.

D.I.Y. Search Engine Optimization

There are tons of ways to take steps in the right direction without a pro SEO specialist.

First you have to recognize the value of SEO.

Any worthwhile marketing effort – is going to take time (and/or resources.)

But if you get that being higher on Google in the organic search results will get you more customers – it’s pretty motivating to regularly be making tweaks and be experimenting with SEO. Especially when the leads start to come in more regularly from seemingly simple changes.

Here are 3 Beginner’s guides to SEO I might check out:

  1. Moz – Beginner Guide to SEO
  2. Snap Agency – Crash Course to SEO Marketing
  3. Backlinko – SEO in 2018: The Definitive Guide

If you studied these 3 guides and experiment with the techniques inside, you would be a pro.  SEO really is somewhat ‘magical’ – in that it works seriously well. But I suppose the trade-off is that it takes a good amount of time. That’s why I want to share with you 6 easy ways to get started with your SEO today. 

6 Easy ways to get started with your SEO today

Google Paid Ads / Pay-per-click

Quick results for when you need leads A.S.A.P.

Google PPC is a beast…

..even still to this day, when it may feel over-priced to people that have used it for a long time.

You can get nostalgic for the good old days – or check out these powerful ideas for getting more out of your PPC ads in 2018.

Don’t get mad – get scrappy.

Remarketing: The One PPC Strategy to Implement for sure today

No matter what – I think contractors (and all small businesses) should be doing remarketing – or ‘retargeting’, which you’ve likely noticed before.

An example is when you went to buy a pair of shoes or another item, and then that whole week you’d see paid banner ads trying to sell those shoes to you.  The best part about remarketing – is that the clicks you get from it are super cheap, because people are much more likely to click your ad when they’ve already visited your site. Here’s how to get started with re-marketing today:

Construction PPC Tips / Adwords for contractors

Principles for Effective PPC Campaigns for Contractors

  • Dive into your customers mindset for keyword researchReally think about what your ideal customers are looking for.
     
    Make sure you're choosing keywords with high volume.
     
    Make sure you're choosing keywords that would indicate an actual intent to buy (not just D.I.Y., or looking for products you don't sell.)
     
    Consider of course, the affordability of the keywords you choose.
  • Look at your competitors ad copy, take what's goodEspecially if you see a competitor spending alot of money on Adwords, take a look at what landing page they are sending people to – the nature of their ad copy, and what they are spending the money to get the top slot on, and what they spend less money on.
     
    Copy what's good about their campaigns - and leave the rest. Likely if they are spending alot of money on certain PPC keywords, it's paying them back significantly, but you have to do the math for yourself as well.
  • Compare your costs with your budgetYour max cost-per-click depends on the percentage of people that actually submit a contact form or call on your site, profit per customer / job , and your profit margin on your jobs on average. If you don’t know the exact numbers on these things yet, you need to come up with general estimate for each and do a little guess work. Track your campaigns - and soon you'll have more precise numbers. In the meantime, here’s the formula you should use: Max CPC = [(profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)]/100 Suppose your profit per customer is $200, with a profit margin of 50 percent and a conversion rate of 10 percent. By using the above formula, you can easily calculate the Max CPC: Max CPC = [$200 x (1 – 0.5) x 10]/100 = $10
  • Get clear on your Unique Value PropositionIf you are the fastest contractor in town – if you get in and finish a roof job in 24 hours – say it. If you have the friendliest staff on this side of the Mississippi – or the best relationship with insurance estimators, be CLEAR about your 'unique value proposition.'
     
    Being really explicit about what it is that you do that's so special in your ad, will attract eye-balls, clicks, and the right customers.
  • Make an offer they can't refuseYes – this might be somewhat generic occasionally - like 'Get a Free In-home estimate'.
     
    But take your best shot. make sure it's clear and to the point.
     
    Offer value.
     
    Make it believable.
     
    Reduce risk.
     
    Give a clear call to action. (Call now - or -submit a form) Make it dead simple, and obvious. Put it front and center on your site, don't make people dig around.

Social Media Marketing

Stay top of mind, by posting value on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Actually – choose 2 that you feel will be the most effective for your company, and post regularly.

If you’re under 35, you may already be addicted to social media – and so, this will just be a reminder that you need to be putting out content regularly too, not just consuming it.

If you are a little older, or perhaps just didn’t get hit with the social media bug – know this..

People are ADDICTED to social media, and if you’re not posting there regularly, you are MISSING OUT on tons of eyeballs.

How do you put together a social media strategy?

You don’t want to just jump on social media every 12 days and throw up something miscellaneous. You need an actual social media strategy – which can start with these 4 simple guiding principles.

  • What is your tone of voice? Write down a list of adjectives you want to describe your company on social media, and keep it around to help guide your team in posting on social, without getting too disjointed.
  • How often will you post? 3 time a week is fine! Once a day is even better – but it is weird when a company posts 3 times in a row, and then doesn’t post again for a month. If you have a schedule for how often you post – that’s perfect. Use the tool Buffer to make it easy to stay more consistent (and post at the best times of the day on auto-pilot!
  • How often will you ‘pitch your services’ vs. just share value? I strongly suggest a ‘Jab, jab, jab, right hook,’ strategy meaning 3 times sharing value for every one time you pitch your services, but you need to find out what the best strategy is for you.

Social Media without a strategy meme

How to get more social media followers and likes for your construction company

You’re going to need some people that have liked your page, or followed you on Instagram and Twitter!

But where do you start?

I’ve built our agency’s followers to OVER 50,000 on twitter, and over 10,000 on Instagram – but to be honest, it’s all vanity.

Why? Because what really matters is ENGAGEMENT. So I strongly suggest working on posting amazing content AND systematically growing followers by following others, and engaging regularly across social media.

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#construction #generalcontractor #remodeling #cityname #remodeler #interiordecoration #kitchen #bathroom #renovation #homes #constructioncompany #subcontractor #building #smallbusiness

And then I’ll post this in the first comment after a Instragram post – the dots allow the hashtags to be out of site, but still include the image in discovery tools for those hashtags. I tend to get 10-30% more engagement on my Instagram posts when I use a well-curated list of hashtags on the first comment like this.

PAID SOCIAL

Boost your posts, and put serious Paid ad money behind your best social pitches

You should be using Facebook’s promoted posts.

The best part about Facebook’s ad platform is how granular you can get with your targeting.

You can say you want to target new mothers with a home value over 500K for instance.

You can also use re-marketing on Facebook (which I love), or say you want to promote to ‘People who like your page, and their friends’ – meaning ideally similar people to them as well!

Ways to get started on your paid social ads today

 

 

Video Marketing

Build rapport with prospects with video: the closest thing to face to face

Why is video persuasive?

Because it’s so easy to consume!

It barely takes any thought to sit down on a couch, open a bag of potato chips and flip on the T.V.

Now people are staring at their phones more than their television!

So Youtube, Facebook video, Instagram and Snapchat / Instagram Stories are taking over some of the space that T.V. use to occupy.

With a little bit of work, you can be that content that they sit down to consume. With a combination of useful / educational series, and pure fun (when appropriate), you can be the content provider.

It’s all about shooting the first video… (Stop resisting, this is going to be massive for your business!) then getting systems in place to put out video regularly.

Shooting your first video

In the end – you want to consider your first couple videos (or maybe your first 10) as practice, in a discipline that will be super useful for your business long-term if you can make it a habit.

E-mail Marketing & Automation

If you don't have an e-mail list – start one now

E-mail marketing is still up at the top of the list for perceived R.O.I. in marketing

Meaning people feel like when they put money into e-mail and automation, they feel like they are getting a significant return back.

The easiest way to get started is by giving away a white-paper, a guide, or your favorite suppliers on your site – in exchange for someones e-mail. If you can make the giveaway good enough, you can make it once and not have to switch it out all the time. You can use a plugin like ‘Hustle‘ for slide-in e-mail captures and make a little mockup of your giveaway cover, so it feels real / valuable.

Experimenting with the right kinds of e-mail captures (besides contact form submissions), will lead you to find the ones that work for you – but the clincher here, is that you should be collecting e-mails, and have a list in Constant Contact, or my favorite – Mailchimp for sending out newsletters.

Creating your newsletter

What do you do when you get all of these e-mail addresses?

For one: You can write an awesome monthly or weekly newsletter (it’s super easy to get this hooked up with Mailchimp, and use their templates.)

Remember – you’re landing directly in someone’s inbox so your message has to be:

A. Super interesting. From the headline, down to the last sentence – you want to make sure you grab people’s attention, and give them at least one undeniable piece of value, or a laugh.

B. Totally about You – with a capital Y, as in the other person on the other end of the e-mail. Don’t try to talk about why your company is amazing. Give them the information that can help them now. Tell them what about your services that will make THEIR life better.

Don’t add random unsolicited e-mail addresses to your list – that’s how you get marked as spam.

Don't get marked as spam

Creating automated follow-up e-mails when you have regular leads coming in

Using a tool like Drip, Emma – or my favorite, InfusionSoft – you can create a sequence of automatic useful e-mails that go out to people that subscribed, downloaded a free resource or submitted a contact form.

Why would you want to do this? Well… people work with who they remember to think of, when it comes time. Sometimes they are checking in with 5 companies, forget about their construction project or something else comes up.

If you’re the company that is always giving them value, like clockwork – every 3-4 days… then you’re the one they’re more likely to call back or move forward with.

What I love about these programs is that you can plan out – 5 key things you know are helpful to your ideal prospects and keep giving them value (though you only have to write the e-mails once (and make them epic.)

Let’s say for a home remodeler – they could be:

You could also use your knowledge of what stage they usually come in as a contact form submission (early, middle, late) and pace out your e-mails in accordance with where you think they’d be 2 days after, 4 days after, 10 days after, 20 days after and 45 days after they opted-in.

As long as you focus on the value to them you should be good – but you can end the e-mails with a sign-off, and a compelling call-to-action like ‘If you’d like to get started on your project – we offer a free no-obligation consultation, respond to this e-mail or call us at XXX-XXX-XXXX.’

Direct Mail / Brochures / Yard Signs

Spend money on having really professional materials made when appropriate

Anything you buy for your company that you’re going to print your logo on – you want it to be somewhat high-end.

Because the product and service is currently invisible to a prospect, if you’re in person – or staking a yard sign out in someone’s yard, you want to be the ‘representation of quality that you are committed to.’

Some tips for particular paper product routes:

Direct Mail

Brochures

Free Construction Brochure Templates

Yard Signs

From a contractor: “Yard Signs are an easy inexpensive marketing tool. I would recommend putting them out at all job sites. Treat them right and you can have them for a while. One order and it more than pays for them.”

Partnerships and referrals in Construction Company Marketing

5 Tips for Referrals + Partnerships

  • Creating several regular, systematic approaches to getting more referrals is the holy grail of lead-generationCreating regular systems for referrals is one of the most overlooked ways to earn new business - because some people still think of marketing as separate from our humanity. But if you're a small business owner, you understand very quickly – it's a great idea to start with your base of power. The people that already like, know and trust you. Regular systems for referrals means for instance- every Saturday you reach out to 5 happy customers you've had and see if they could give you 2 names of people that might need some work done. You support that system by putting a reminder in your calendar that alerts you every Saturday at 10pm. That's one system – if you can get to 3-5 you are waaay ahead of the pack, and I strongly suggest it.
  • Find the people that own your ideal prospects attention and partner upIf there's a magazine, blog, podcast, or organization that people that buy what you're selling pay attention to... that is the organization you should be buddying up to, talking to their leadership + devising some kind of mutually beneficial partnership with that allows you to have access to their audience's attention, and in some cases sell directly through them.
  • Offer an incentive where appropriateThe old 10-15% referral rate may not apply to your particular niche - particularly when cost of goods is high, but finding some non-superficial way to monetarily reward them - so they want to refer business to you again and again. This is why it's important to have profit margin – so a small percentage of a job's fee going to to a referral partner doesn't kill ya!
  • Honor those relationships, feed themNo seriously – actually feed them. Take people out for dinner every chance you can. If they are legitimately referral partners, you can take a new one out to lunch every day and pay for it legally within your business and decrease that taxable income while getting fed. ;)
  • Practice makes perfect - it's not immediateNEVER think that you're going to nail it on your first couple go-arounds with referral relationships and partnerships. Always assume you're practicing – but learn your lessons, and get better. The principle is sound – if you have other people out there, who want to bring you business, it's way better than being the sole promoter. Wield other people respectfully, but learn how to do it, and honor those people – over time, you'll get better and find some partnerships that actually stick and bring in consistent business.

Should construction companies be on Houzz, HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, Angies List, etc?

You betcha.

Just keep in mind:

Wrapping up: The only thing you need to know about construction marketing.

You have to work at it.

Stop acting like you’re going to find the magic bullet. I’d absolutely love you to hire me to do web design and Search Engine Optimization for your construction company – but I’m not a magic bullet either.

You have to get obsessive about your own companies lead generation – try a ton of different things, and find and hire or contract smart people to help fill in your ‘knowledge gaps.’

But stop looking for the magic beans. That’s how you get suckered into paying Houzz 30k for almost no real value. The hard stuff is usually the most effective stuff… and yes, if you’d like us to do some of that hard stuff for you (since our specialty is web design, SEO, and social for construction companies), feel free to send us a message!

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