Are you struggling to attract and nurture leads for your home builder or construction company while also trying to manage and grow your business at the same time? Finding the time to sift through the wealth of information on the web can seem like more trouble than its worth. And you're already pressed for time in your workday, right? Not to mention, marketing a company isn't exactly easy. So where do you start?
With a track record of success marketing for the home construction industry, we understand the work that goes into creating a marketing strategy that helps you establish your brand, boost awareness, attract leads, and grow your revenue. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we discuss how to jumpstart your home builder marketing efforts to establish an online presence and start attracting leads. Now, let's get started.
1. Identify your Ideal Clients
The first and most important step in developing a marketing strategy is identifying who your target market is. While you may have some well-informed notions about your buyer persona (aka your ideal client), understanding who they are, what frustrations they have, and how they research before making a purchasing decision is important. It can help you create content your clients actually want, and establish a presence where they are - online. And with the right messaging at the right time, which is a very important thing. But first, you need to identify your personas. Here are a few ways to do that.
Start with what you know
There's no need to reinvent the wheel. As a professional in your industry, you know generally who your audience is. Take the time to write down what you know about them. Are they predominately male or female? Do they tend to live in the city or the suburbs? How old are they? Are they single or married with kids? Starting here can help you establish a baseline for further analysis.
Interview existing clients
Your best resource to identify your buyer personas is your existing clients. Flip through your contacts list and reach out to those who you feel best represent your ideal customer. Be sure to sample a wide variety of personas - those who sing your praises all over town, as well as those who may have experienced a few hiccups. That way, you can get a more complete picture and better understand how you are perceived, as well as how you can improve. Ask them how they found your company, whether online, through word of mouth, print, etc., how they researched other companies, and why they ultimately chose you for their project. Record their answers, as well as demographic information to segment your list.
Identify their pains
Knowing the pains and struggles of your potential clients can help you create messaging that speaks directly to them. Making a purchasing decision may be difficult for clients looking for a construction project, as they typically involve a large quantity of time, plus monetary commitments. Additionally, choosing a contractor for a personal or professional project can feel overwhelming. It's important to address their concerns and any others you may discover in your buyer persona research. It will help educate leads and hopefully move them to a buying decision.
2. Know Your Competition
Knowing who you're up against in the industry is vital for creating branding and messaging that stands out against your competition. That's where competitor research comes into play. Conducting competitor research is key for any construction company marketing strategy. In your research process, make sure to answer these two questions:
Who are they?
Make a list of the competing construction companies in your service area. Look at their websites, social media presence, advertisements, and reviews to understand what they offer and how they market themselves.
What are they doing differently?
Do they have a newer, modern-looking website? Do they have a big social media following? Identifying how your competition is marketing themselves will help benchmark your current efforts and set goals. Additionally, knowing what they are doing better or worse will help you create a strategy to stand out and attract more leads who are considering their options.
3. Develop your Brand
Now that you know who you are targeting and who you are up against, you can start to establish a brand that will stand out and speak to your ideal clients. By developing your brand to tell the story of who you are, you're making it easier for potential clients to choose your construction company over the competition.
Here are three things to consider when developing your brand.
Having a defined mission statement can not only help your company identify its goals and grow, it can also help give your clients a clearer image of your values.
Your brand statement is meant to tell clients what you do in way that's memorable and repeatable. Think of Nike's "Just Do It" slogan. This brand statement is evocative and actionable. When you hear it, you know it's Nike. Developing a brand statement can be a creative challenge, but can be priceless in helping raise brand awareness.
People are innately problem-solvers. It's engrained in who we are as a species. This is especially true when it comes to our own problems. We are driven by solving the issues we are faced with in life. For instance, when you're hungry, you look for something to eat to solve your problem of hunger. That's a really basic example, but essentially paints the picture. So, how does that relate to your construction or homebuilder business?
Your ideal client has a problem - their kitchen is too small, there isn't enough bedrooms for their growing family, etc. You need to communicate how your company can solve their problem, and do it well. That is your value proposition.
4. Design Your Website for Success
Your website is often the first interaction a new lead has with your brand. So, it's important your website design is on point.
When visitors come to your site, ensure they are met with a pleasing design that accurately and efficiently answers their questions, plus delivers the information they need. A well-designed website can be invaluable to your success, not only for new clients discovering you online, but also for clients in your pipeline who need a little more support while doing research trying to solve their problem.
With the majority of searches being performed on mobile devices, you need to have a responsive design that preserves the look of your website, yet transitions smoothly to the size of the device screen.
When it comes to website design, there are also some common mistakes to avoid, including:
- Too much text - Don't overload your website visitors with a novel of text to read. Keep it simple and get right to the point.
- Not enough white space - White space on a web page visually splits up the text. It gives your eyes a break while reading. Plus, it looks nice and clean.
- Use of random images - The images on your website should be compelling and related to your construction or homebuilder business and the services you provide.
While design ensures a good user experience, search engine optimization (SEO) is what helps you get found. While there are many many factors that impact search ranking, you stand the best chance of appearing in a Google search when your website is optimized for SEO. From page titles and meta descriptions, to on-page text, image alt text and page length, there are many factors to consider when building a website for SEO.
Wait, let's back up for a second. If you're not totally familiar with all the SEO lingo, we have a blog article that may help. Click to learn more about the basics of SEO.
Using the information you collected from your buyer persona research, you can create messaging for your website that identifies the viewers' pain points and questions, and offers solutions. Knowing how to speak to your client can help improve conversion rates. A conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors that submit their contact information to get access to help or more resources.
5. Grow Your Online Presence
Having an online presence for your construction business is important. Like we said earlier, it allows your company to be where your ideal clients are - which is online. In fact, according to PC Magazine, "the average adult spends 5.9 hours per day with digital media." That's a lot of time, and a ton of opportunity to engage with potential customers. So, how can you do that?
Google My Business
Having a Google My Business (GMB) profile is essential for any business, including those in the homebuilding or construction industries. Acting like a virtual business card, GMB allows you to share contact information, location, reviews, and more at a glance in a quick Google search. You can add enticing photos, share blogs, and include thoughtful descriptions that give potential buyers a snapshot of your services without having to dig around for information on your website or social profiles.
At this point, theres no denying the power and influence of social media. More and more, people are using sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to research companies they are interested in and inform their buying decisions. Establishing profiles on these sites is paramount for your brand identity online. It can also:
- Help potential clients find you
- Allow you to share media like pictures or videos of completed projects
- Serve as a forum for communicating with future and past clients
- Act as a home for client reviews and feedback which you can leverage on your website and in marketing
After Google and Bing, YouTube is one of the most used search engines. With over 1 billion people watching YouTube, yet only 9% of U.S. small businesses posting to it, this is a bandwagon you should definitely hop on. Shooting simple videos of home tips, or filming video tours of projects are two ways that potential clients can get to know you, without ever meeting in person. And because YouTube is a Google channel, posting videos can also help increase your search ranking. Sounds like a win-win!
Developing and executing a marketing plan can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. With a trusted agency partner, you can focus less on the day-to-day marketing and more on growing your business. To learn more about how Laire Group can help your construction or homebuilding company increase leads and grow revenue, schedule your free marketing audit.
And, make sure to check out part two of this series for even more marketing tips!