This month we are focusing on construction marketing because we have noticed some opportunities that could be game-changers for companies in the residential and commercial construction fields. This includes all skilled labor trades from general contractors to electricians to plumbers to HVAC.  

Sure, we know that construction is booming right now and every firm is busy, but things always change and most of the industry is struggling to find skilled labor. Acting on the four insights and three tips that follow could radically improve your construction company’s lead generation and ability to attract new employees. Read on!

Insight # 1 Construction Marketing Is Still In Its Infancy  

A large percentage of construction companies don’t know how to market themselves effectively. Most do very little marketing and what they do attempt is typically poorly executed. 

This is significant because while virtually every other industry has made considerable strides in marketing themselves online, construction is one of the few industries around that hasn’t fully made the transition to digital marketing successfully. 

Insight #2 Construction Marketing Typically Falters Digitally

It seems only the largest construction companies have robust digital marketing assets. Typically, small to mid-sized construction companies have poor digital footprints which creates a significant opportunity for the construction company who wants to improve their digital marketing. 

With even modest digital marketing efforts, a construction company can overtake their competitors online in pretty short order. In most other industries, there is so much digital competition, that it takes huge investments of time and money to gain the kind of traction you can gain in the construction industry’s online space. 

There is an enormous opportunity for small to mid-sized construction companies who dedicate resources to a proper marketing strategy. They will find it comparatively easy to dominate in online lead generation. 

Insight #3 The New Generations Are Not Relying On Word-Of-Mouth Referrals

One of the reasons construction companies have been slow to move to online marketing is because business owners typically rely on word of mouth referrals to get business. In truth, much of the construction business still runs on referrals. However, the new generation of construction company owners is far more digitally connected than the previous ones. Millennials and Gen Z business owners look to the Internet, social media, and analytics to drive their businesses. They are more likely to text than phone, and their comfort zone is online. As these generations take over the construction industry, online marketing will become more critical for growth. Construction marketing has to change to accommodate the new generations’ behaviors. 

Insight #4  Rethink Your Website & SEO  

Small to mid-sized construction companies rarely have good websites. Take a look around, and you’ll find that most look like they were either built in the early 2000s or they were made hastily by someone’s high-school-aged kid. The content is generally pretty poor and sparse as well. 

Our aim is not to knock construction companies. Rather, we want to point out that there are significant opportunities for construction companies who want to prevail digitally. Getting your construction company’s website to rank in search engines can be fairly easy if most of your competitors are not doing SEO correctly (or at all). 

Here Are Three Tips To Improve Your Construction Marketing and Create A Better Website

Tip #1 Do keyword research–or, pay someone to do it for you. Find the keywords that your competitors rank for and for which you can rank higher in search engines.

Tip #2 Write search engine optimized content for each page of your website that features those carefully researched keywords. Write at least 500 words per page–more if it is particularly competitive in your area.

Tip #3 Pay a professional to build a website for you that is easy for users to navigate, has professional photos, and that clearly communicates your value proposition.

Just by understanding what your competitors are and aren’t doing in their construction marketing and taking the steps outlined to improve your website, you will be miles ahead of most of your competitors in the construction industry, so when the economy cycles through, you’ll have advantages to leverage. 

Looking for construction marketing strategies or a marketing plan for your construction company? We can help. Contact us to discuss your goals.

 

Marketing is, unfortunately, an area of business that has trust issues. More specifically, people don’t trust marketers. 

There are three reasons business owners distrust marketers. The first reason rests squarely on the shoulders of marketers. The second is a consequence of the explosion of technology, and the third culprit is a human psychological quirk that just about everyone falls prey to. 

Advertisers Have Historically Been Shady

First, marketing is associated with advertising, which has a reputation for being pretty dodgy. Here are the top lies advertisers thrust on the public in the last hundred years. (My personal favorite: Rice Crispies will save your children from swine flu.) It’s a checkered history that has resulted in a well-earned distrust of advertisers. Unfortunately, marketers are deemed guilty by association. 

 

Marketing & Communications Technology Has Exploded

Second, marketing is confusing. Consider that there are over 7,000 marketing technology platforms, and thousands of social media, TV, audio channels, and other digital publishing sites available. Thirty years ago, there were three broadcast channels–print, radio, and TV. It was so much easier for a business owner to make marketing decisions then. 

 

Today, the average business owner doesn’t have time to sort through all the options and typically, their understanding of all the fragments is limited so they have to hope that whatever a marketing vendor is telling them is true. Having less knowledge of all the marketing technology available creates more avenues for distrust of the industry as a whole. 

 

Humans Want The Quickest Route to Comfort

Third, our brains are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. A business with anemic sales is painful. So, understandably, when a myopic marketing vendor tells a business owner that their whozeewhat’s marketing program is going to be the solution to their pain, the business owner will often jump on it despite fully understanding why they are in this situation in the first place. Their desire to avoid pain assures them that this shiny object will make the company’s profits soar, their leads multiply, and their sales pipeline overflow with prospects. It’s easy to understand why business owners are taken in by this. If you’re in pain, you want the quickest, easiest solution. 

 

 

We want things to be easy. We want to believe we’ll win the lottery, that lightning never strikes the same place twice, and that if you build it, they will come. In her book, LieSpotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, Pamela Meyer asserts that lying takes two people. The liar must have someone who will believe their lie for it to work. Often, even when evidence contradicts the lie, the recipient will still choose to believe it. Why? Because overworked business owners are human, underinformed about marketing, and want the quickest means to stop the pain.

 

Any business owner who has bought the quick marketing solution and learned later that it didn’t live up to its claims feels the sting of lost time and money. If you have, you’re ready for the truth about marketing. Great marketing is not quick, easy or cheap. Our white paper, What Every CEO Needs To Know About Marketing distills the truth about marketing your business into six easy-to-understand tenants. Read it, and you will have the knowledge to never be taken in by a marketer’s glossy promises again.  

 

Last month, I wrote about corporate content marketing solutions and the history of content marketing. Hopefully, you now understand why companies that use content marketing are more successful than companies that don’t. But good content marketing doesn’t just happen because you write some white papers and make an infographic. There is more to it than that. To win raving fans who evangelize your brand, you have to start with a content marketing strategy.

The Six Steps Of A Content Marketing Strategy

1. Formulate Your Goals

Let’s say you want to get more customers to buy your music software, so you decide you need a great content strategy. You calculate that you want at least 10 new people (unique visitors) to download your content every week and at least 10 unique visitors to read your blog and stay on the page for at least 2 minutes. Now you have measurable goals.

 

2. Examine Your Audience

Next, learn everything you can about your audience. They are professional musicians and amateurs. They are weekend wedding band warriors and music teachers, accountants, and college students. They all use your music software in different ways. And they all love it for different reasons. Survey them. Interview them. Host focus groups with them. Learn about their goals and dreams, the ways in which they interact with your software, and why they love music in the first place. The more you know your audience, the more you can create content that they will really care about.

 

3. Cater To Niches

In getting to know your audience, you will examine their beliefs, values, fears, and desires. It’s likely that you also identify some common themes among your audience’s thoughts about your product. In the case of our hypothetical music software, let’s imagine that you discovered that some of your customers have been letting their pets plink out tunes on a piano or keyboard, only to create loops of the melodies. Others have been playing live to scenes from hit series like “Game of Thrones” and record their orchestrations for playback later.

Discovering these unexpected commonalities (niches) are where the gold is. If you use this knowledge to create consistent, compelling content, you will tell your audience “we get you, we really get you,” without actually having to say it. And people will form an emotional connection to your brand because of it. (Think Starbucks and how cultish people are about the place.)

Now you know you need to write a “pet music: blog post, as well as establish a “Game of Thrones” blog where people can upload their music clips and chat with other musicians about them. Essentially, you can make your content marketing platform the go-to place for musicians interested in these niches.

 

 

4. Measure The Outcome

As you progress and more people visit, upload, and chat on your platform, you can look at the analytics of the engagement. How many views, downloads, shares, mentions, tweets, or other relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) does your content receive? Use this as feedback to strategically optimize your efforts.

 

5. Adjust & Augment

Perhaps as you measure the chatter and listen, you discover some common questions the audience has about your music software. In response, you create a how-to video with step-by-step instructions that address all their questions. You can monitor their conversations and discover other shows they are creating music for, or learn that songs by parakeets get four times the engagement as dog or cat composers. You make changes and optimizations to your content based on what you learn. This takes your content marketing solution to the next level where you can engage in an ongoing conversation and feedback loop with your customers.

 

6. Promote Your Content

The first five steps have given you a relationship and emotional connection to your audience. Now do the digital equivalent of shouting it from the rooftops. Let people know about your awesome “Game of Thrones” and pet song blogs and how-to videos. Post it on social media. Guest blog in music mags about it. Invite famous and not-yet-famous musicians to take over the blog with their songs for a day. (Instagram-famous Jiffpom and Nala the Cat might be prolific songwriters.) Find every avenue available to let musicians know about your song blog.

With those six steps, you have completed a content marketing strategy and are on your way to content marketing solutions that will bring you more customers and raving fans.

 

Contact Content Marketing Pros

Don’t want to go this alone? Inciting Marketing Solutions creates content marketing strategies for some of the most successful companies in Colorado. Contact us to discuss your goals and content marketing needs.

Corporate content marketing solutions may sound very fancy, but it is nothing more than telling customers your story and giving them the information they need, when they need it. And, hooray! In our digital age, there is no shortage of ways to tell customers your story. From videos to infographics to white papers to skywriting, there are many formats available for narrating your brand story. Regardless of the technology available, corporate content marketing is, at its heart, good storytelling (and it’s been around for a long, long time).

 

The First Content Marketer, Circa 53–54 CE

Though content marketing is a relatively new catchphrase, I’ll argue that you can see evidence of the practice as far back as St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, written somewhere between 53 and 54 of the Common Era. After all, the letters reiterated the words of Jesus, answered the Corinthians’ common questions about immorality, marriage, celibacy, etc., and included strong calls to action. (Paul asked the Corinthians for contributions to assist the poor of Jerusalem.) Inspiration, information, and calls to action. Sounds like content marketing to me.

 

If you think about how those letters became part of the New Testament canon that has been read for thousands of years by billions of people, you can begin to see just how persuasive, pervasive, and amazing content marketing can be.

 

The History of Corporate Content Marketing Solutions

There are thousands of companies that use content marketing to sell their ideas, products, and services. This infographic, from the Content Marketing Institute, shows the surprising history of content marketing.

 

Image source: Content Marketing Institute

 

Content marketing solutions garner pretty impressive results, right? The Michelin Guide was initiated in 1900 by Andre and Edouard Michelin for the 300 motorists that were in France at the time. The guide itself was printed to boost demand for cars and, in turn, their tires.

 

Today, the Michelin star rating system has become the standard by which the best restaurants around the globe are rated. Wouldn’t you like your corporate content marketing solution to gain that kind of notoriety and acclaim?

 

How To Harness The Awesome Power of Corporate Content Marketing Solutions

 

 

Use content marketing to make yourself indispensable to your audience. Use it to snag people who are searching for answers to questions your product or service can answer. Use it to differentiate yourself from your competitors. But, most importantly, and whenever possible, use content marketing to become the industry standard against which all other competitors are compared.


Next month, I will explain the mechanics of content marketing and creating a content marketing strategy.

 

Contact Us

Looking for a corporate content marketing solution for your organization? Contact us. We are one of the best content marketing companies in the West.

 

Your positioning statement is an internal tool that infuses focus, direction, and power into your marketing. Done well, it ensures that you are in the right place, at the right time with the right offer. . . for the right clients.

Consider your customer’s perspective. Before purchasing, they need to know that your solution is a great fit, solves their problem and has specific advantages over other solutions. However, as a small business owner, writing a positioning statement can be intimidating. It doesn’t need to be.

Start With a Template

There are a number of templates out there to help you get started. I’ve found that this template provides the best fit for most small businesses.

[Point of differentiation] makes [business/product name] the best [point of reference/category] solution for [ideal clients] [with this problem.]

The positioning statement for my business is:

A focus on strategy and measuring results makes Inciting Marketing Solutions the best digital marketing consultancy for Denver area small businesses struggling to develop an effective digital marketing system.

This template may not be right for your business, so consider other options. Greg Head of Infusionsoft does an excellent presentation on positioning statements in a video called The 5 Keys of Small Business Marketing Strategy.

Key components of your positioning statement:

Your positioning statement should contain all of the following elements, but don’t stop there. Once you write the statement, gather and write out the details of each of the following areas.

  1. An ideal client
  2. Your solution
  3. Benefits of your solution
  4. Your competition
  5. Why you are better

Ideal Clients

As you write your positioning statement, keep both your best and worst clients in mind. If you understand your best clients, you know where to meet great prospects. They might be out networking or on Facebook, but if you don’t understand them, you won’t be in the right place. A large part of marketing success is making the right offer to the right people. This all starts with understanding your ideal client.

Good marketing creates lots of enticing (for the right people) paths to your door. Great marketing identifies prospects that are a poor fit and pushes them away. It really comes down to ensuring that your initial offers will be a good fit for the right person, but a horrible fit for the people you don’t want to work with.

Your Solution

Your solution should be designed as the best possible solution for your ideal clients. As you improve your service or product, you should always focus very carefully on making your service or product a better fit for the right people. Be sure that your positioning statement communicates the benefits of your solution.

Unique Benefits

Benefits boil down to solving a problem. People don’t want a plumber, they want faucets that don’t leak at night. Few people want to file their taxes, while many people want to avoid problems with the IRS. You need to understand the problem that your product or service solves. You can take this one step further by exploring the emotions that prospects feel when facing this problem and after having this problem solved. If you want to learn more about benefits and features, click here.

Analyze Your Competition 

Understanding your competition is key to your success. Look at their website and social media messaging. Who are they targeting? How is this different than what you are doing? Firepole Marketing has an excellent guide on competitive research. You might start there. Ensure that your strengths and competition’s weaknesses are reflected in your positioning statement.

Why you are better

You don’t have to be the best in the world at everything. You just have to be the best for your slice of the market. An ideal solution for very specific customers makes powerful marketing easy.

Note: Avoid focusing on all of the great features you have built into your products or services. You are excited by the features. Your customers are excited by their problem disappearing.

Now put it all together

Take the time to put the components together right. Soon, you will begin to notice a difference in your marketing efforts. Decisions around marketing spend, efforts and communication will become simple. You will know how to make the right offer to the right person, in the right place, and with some luck, at the right time.