Over the past decade, the way buyers consume information, select brands to follow, and make purchases has changed. Where the use of off-line marketing tools like printed advertisements or phone calls were once effective, those antiquated marketing strategies have been replaced with digital marketing.
What is digital marketing? To some, the term is a bit confusing – mysterious and too technical for those who have not yet embraced digital capabilities. Digital marketing is essentially any form of marketing that exists online. To clarify further, its marketing efforts that exist on websites, social media, email, and even search engines like Google. Having the entire client interaction online allows businesses to engage and build relationships (and trust) with both current and potential customers.
Due to the convenience of usage, digital marketing efforts are being embraced by every segment of business. Within the construction industry, contractors are taking short videos on project sites and uploading to social platforms – where employees, customers, friends, and potential clients can get a “boots on the ground” feel for the work they do.
Others within construction are using digital media to gather contact information so they can continue to be digitally front and center to their ideal client. They strategically post branded content on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to coincide with blog posts (and other website content) to drive traffic to their website. Once a client is on the business website, pop-ups entice the consumer to input an email address to receive a “FREE” piece of content that solves a problem. The piece of content could be a 1-page white paper detailing how to extend pavement life with the use of crack sealing, or a questionnaire that helps the buyer select the best form of pavement maintenance for their parking lot. These digital marketing efforts are truly a win-win scenario, as the consumer gets a high-quality freebie that solves an issue they’re dealing with, while the business obtains the buyer’s email (and potentially other contact info) to send future digital marketing sales content to.
One of the most efficient ways the construction industry is utilizing digital marketing is for recruiting. For years, the industry has been hard hit by longer-tenured employees retiring, without the appropriate number of backfilled employees to step into those positions. By sharing job postings on company Facebook pages or submitting sponsored posts on LinkedIn and Instagram – contractors are getting more eyes on their job openings – meaning they receive more highly-qualified applicants for each job opening.
Simply posting a job description on a company website or social page is just the beginning, however. Contractors realize that current and potential employees are viewing the business social pages daily – which means having relevant content on their social profiles that is educational, positive, and engaging — is imperative. Current employees view the content as a way to connect with their employer and stay up to date on important company information – while prospective employees “creep” on business social pages to see if the organization is a good “fit” for them. The social presence of a company is now being viewed by some as a reflection of the company culture.
As much as we would like to think everyone in construction is utilizing digital marketing, many are not. Construction is a hard-nosed industry that is made up of many family-owned businesses. The downfall for many small to mid-sized family businesses has been their unwillingness to shift marketing and sales strategies. The concepts that have allowed many family-owned organizations to thrive for 30, 40, 50 or more years are quickly being viewed by many within the industry as outdated. For that reason, the industry is seeing many of those organizations experience high customer attrition numbers with diminished work backlogs.
It’s easy to understand why customers are gravitating toward the digitally-inclined contractors; particularly when a construction company that has embraced digital strategies is strategically targeting their clients every day with relatable and educational information, versus a contractor who is completely off-line and has minimal exposure to their potential client beyond word of mouth, phone calls, or print ads.
The days of digital are certainly upon us. Contractors are being forced to look at how to manage and grow industry relationships in an entirely new way. The social “like” has replaced a handshake. A chat bot now takes customer orders for cement or asphalt.
Trusting a digital presence can be scary for an old-school contractor who caters to offline capabilities. The tide has turned though, with contractors who choose to learn how to be more efficient and effective with digital marketing quickly becoming the same contractors who will be buying out their outdated counterparts who choose not to. The time has come, step into the digital age with Lead Revenue.