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The

Construction Marketer’s Guide to:

Social Media The Digital Marketing agency for the Construction Industry


Useful quality content for people starting with online marketing, even made me realise how much more I should be doing. Design is easy to read with good use of corporate colours overall.

Marketing Manager

I really like the way the e-book covers both wider strategic issues (like the importance of integrating and measuring your marketing activities) and smaller, practical points (like linking videos to FAQ pages). I also liked the way you list the benefits of social media, whilst not ignoring more traditional marketing methods. This gives a balanced and trustworthy view.

Editor

Full of relevant information that I can take back with me and apply to our business. I will definitely be recommending this ebook to colleagues in my office. Product Manager

This E-Book would not have been complete without the help from our friends: Benedikte Ranum (@ESIBuilding), Su Butcher (@SuButcher), Rea Cowley (@TinboxTools), Paul Wilkinson (@EEPaul), Jamie Parmley (@westgatejoinery) and Mark Rowland (@MarkBMJ)

Big thank you.


Contents

Contents

Introduction

page 4

Chapter One

page 7

Chapter Two

page 11

Chapter Three

page 18

Chapter Four

page 22

Chapter Five

page 26

Additional Resources

page 30

Reasons and Ways to Blog

Using Online Video

How Construction Companies Can Use Twitter

How to use LinkedIn to Build a Professional Network

How Construction Companies can Integrate Online and Offline Marketing

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Introduction

How to achieve your business objectives using effective social media and digital marketing strategies. Introduction Pauley Creative is the digital marketing agency for the construction industry. Our in-house specialists understand how to leverage online marketing for building product manufacturers, architects, developers, quantity surveyors and specialist contractors. This e-book describes why you should be using social media, how you can use it effectively and illustrates the benefits to your construction business. Taking this e-book as a guide, you will be able to fix a strategy and schedule for action which enables you to plan and integrate your online social media marketing with other campaigns to provide easily measurable results. There are many marketing tools and online platforms available but not every one of them is suitable for all businesses. It is therefore important, first and foremost, to look at your target audience and ask:

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Where are the architects, contractors and specifiers interacting online?

What content are they looking for to help them make better decisions?

Which platforms do they use most to engage with other colleagues or networks?

Where are your competitors engaging online?

With the answers to these questions in mind you can consult your company goals and objectives to see how you can use social media fulfil them and add to your bottom line. 4


Introduction

What social media can do for your business:

• Raise awareness of your company • Develop relationships with industry peers • Enhance brand reputation by creating a favourable online personality • Increase online visibility of you, your products and your services • Drive traffic to your website or blog • Increase PR opportunities with industry publications • Monitor brand mentions • Monitor competitor mentions and act on negative comments. The following chapters will discuss social media tools - blogging, video, Twitter and LinkedIn all of which can give you the opportunity to be a thought leader within your industry. Your blog may contain interesting and relevant industry content. You may have videos of your work or manufacturing facilities, or the processes involved in the installation of your products. It may be appropriate to join Twitter and LinkedIn to grow your network by engaging and participating in discussions with industry professionals and potential clients.

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Introduction

The importance of having a strategy First you will need a clearly defined strategy with which to approach your use of social media. So ask yourself: why are you doing it? You need to be clear about this because the last thing you want to do is to step into the world of public opinion and customer conversations and make a complete hash of things. The big three business goals for social media are: - increased revenue - lower costs - improved customer satisfaction

Those random acts of marketing that some ‘professionals’ are known for will not work; instead they drain company time and resources.

These three goals are all that matter in the long run in addition to the goals and objectives which you set yourself for each specific channel of social media. The challenges of using social media can appear overwhelming. So first it is essential that you draw up an editorial calendar or schedule to assist you to manage your time and activities. However, remember that digital marketing and social media do not stand alone. You will need to integrate these activities with what you are doing offline to ensure that you send out a consistent brand message.

The final important element is to track and measure everything you do. This will allow you to identify which activities are successful so you can carry on and improve them, as well as which ones that are not, so you can stop them. You can obtain useful insight from the data on returning website and blog visitors or the most read or shared content which will provide the in-depth knowledge of what your customers want and need.

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Chapter One: 5 Reasons and Ways to Blog

Chapter One: Reasons and Ways to Blog

As a construction marketer you can use blogging most successfully to connect, engage and educate your audience, to enhance your brand and to meet your business objectives.

Key Points: • Blogging increases reach • Blogs are a great way to demonstrate industr y expertise • Blogs provide added value • Blogs generate high-quality targeted traffic • Marketers become content publishers thereby lowering PR costs

Your marketing efforts should always be geared towards the business objectives, goals and targets which form your key performance indicators (KPIs).

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Chapter One: 5 Reasons and Ways to Blog

Many people say “my customers/clients don’t read blogs”. That response is often given by marketers who do not have a blog so they cannot know if anyone would read it. If you haven’t asked your customers whether they would read a blog don’t just assume they won’t appreciate and value one. Ask yourself how many people, including your prospects and customers, search the web for information - for content and, most importantly, for you or your competition. It will be a very high proportion and that’s why blogging is so important in raising your online profile.

You need to get your information and content on the web to increase exposure, raise awareness and increase your reach. Blogging is just one of the many ways of getting found on the internet and adds value to your audience.

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Show your technical expertise

Does your company literature and advertising claim that you are the ‘technical experts’ in what you do? If the answer is yes, then you need to prove it. You can do that by writing technical content and putting it on the web for your technically-minded audience to help them choose your business and your products. Support your technical datasheets, installation manuals or your CAD standard details with a series of blog posts on why you should design or install in a particular way and back it up with specific drawings or datasheets. If you ask for feedback from designers and engineers on new and clever ways of designing for construction you will then be able to blog about it. Share those ideas. If your products are tested you can write a technical blog post on the testing results and inform specification writers of the performance results of your products.

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Prove Industry leadership

Do your print ads state ‘we are the market leader in….’? Nearly every company claims to be. You can prove that you are the market leader in what you do by showing your readers the evidence. Use in-depth case studies to provide your blog content or describe ideas which solve problems that your prospects, customers and/or sector are having. Collaborate and engage with others to come up with new ideas (crowd-sourcing) for improving your products. Lead the way in innovation, design and guidance for your sector or area of expertise. Include a link at the end of each case study which tells readers “view our blog post on ‘design guidance’ by going to... It is very important to keep your customers and prospects engaged. Remember to pick topics of interest. For instance, you may be ‘environmentally friendly’ in your business operations. If so you can write about it and describe what exactly you are doing. Being sustainable and environmentally friendly are just the right sorts of big topics which you can use to show that your business is leading the way.


Chapter One: 5 Reasons and Ways to Blog

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Voice your opinion on upcoming legislations and regulations

You might use your blog to educate your audience or sector about upcoming regulations which will have an impact on their day-to-day jobs. Every piece of new construction-related legislation could be a potential topic allowing you to write informative blog posts on each specific regulation as it occurs and affects your sector or audience. Drill down and provide your audience with educational content which they can use and learn from. Keep them coming back to you!

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Provide answers

The sector in which you operate, whether it is architecture or ground-works, will be buzzing full of questions. How can we? How do we? How do I? What is the best way to? Answer these questions. Provide the supply chain with guidance and advice on solving these issues and problems. Writing blog posts that start with ‘Did you know….’ or ‘Here is what you….’ or ‘The importance of…..’ is an excellent way to engage your readers. By providing answers you will become known by your prospects and customers as a leading and memorable resource for construction industry knowledge.

The press love this sort of material, especially those who are willing to stand up and voice their opinions and collaborate with others as part of a bigger message or topic. This type of activity will also contribute to your profile as an industry leader and build your reputation as an authority within your sector.

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Chapter One: 5 Reasons and Ways to Blog

97% more

inbound links for companies that blog*

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Business benefits of blogging Marketing Campaigns

The most effective marketing contains different elements which are integrated. A blog is an ideal platform from which to announce your campaigns. If you are campaigning about a particular topic, issue or product, then support your print advertising campaign, microsite and email marketing campaign messages with relevant blog posts. Product manufacturers can use blogs for specific case studies which tackle real problems from a technical or supply chain partnership point of view. Your case studies could be written to target specific job titles or businesses to further increase your reach. By integrating your marketing messages you can give your audience multiple ways in which to find and consume your key marketing messages.

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Blogging can actually contribute to all three of the big business goals mentioned earlier. That is why it is probably the most valuable marketing medium you can adopt.

An increase in the amount of content you produce increases the likelihood of appearing in search engine results and therefore increasing the number of people who see your messages and visit your website.

More visitors means more traffic. If your website does a good job at converting these visitors into prospects then you will achieve an increase in lead generation. An increase in leads provides increased opportunities for your sales team to take orders and close sales and thereby increases revenue. Blogging also lowers costs. It lowers the cost of your public relations expenditure as well as generating the same, if not more, awareness of your company. The blogger becomes the publisher and that fact removes a whole tier of the process. If you provide informative and relevant content online and satisfy your search-savvy audience then you will also improve customer satisfaction. Customers who are involved in discussions through comments at the end of blog posts are more likely to be satisfied customers and this exchange will make you much more responsive to their, and the market’s, concerns. Blogging takes time. It requires the involvement within your business of knowledgeable and literate staff but it is extremely effective in creating success. Don’t try to do it all yourself. Carefully select a few ambassadors for your business and involve them in helping you to create and write compelling blog stories and articles. * Figures taken from Hubspot Blog (Inbound Internet Marketing Blog).


Chapter Two: Using Online Video

Chapter Two: Using Online Video

We now take a look at how construction companies can use online video - in particular YouTube - as the video tool of choice to connect and share with their target audience.

Key Points: • Video ranks highly in search results and is good for website visibility • Video is relatively cheap and easy to produce but a ver y effective marketing tool • Video can be either viral, conversion or educational • Videos are timeless, unlike brochures and magazines • Videos easily demonstrate product benefits and show installation processes It is a fact that online video use and consumption is on the increase. Forrester Research recently reported that videos were 50 times more likely to receive an organic first page search ranking than traditional text pages.

If you want to get some of your content onto the first page of Google very quickly then make sure it’s a video.

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Chapter Two: Using Online Video

A quick search on the web for ‘Rainwater Harvesting Systems’ returns a mix of video, image and text-based results. This is called ‘blended results’. The video (circled below) is produced by a company called ISW (Innovative Water Solutions) and yet they do not have a single text or image-based listing on the first page of Google. Nevertheless the video is there driving traffic to the YouTube channel. If viewers want to know more they then have the option to visit the company website.

Results page with videos

The video circled above has received 58,297 views to date and another video entitled ‘Rainwater Harvesting Explained’ has received 24,110 views. Online video is becoming a major factor in both search engine optimisation and content marketing strategy. Consider what you might do to promote your area of expertise. How might you increase your exposure and benefit from an increase in traffic to your website? Video production today is fairly inexpensive and posting video online is getting much easier. The lifetime of a video can be much longer than a brochure which requires frequent updating or a news article which disappears from your website altogether after a year or so. There are three main types of marketing video: • • •

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Viral video for increasing traffic to your website and increasing brand awareness Conversion video used to increase conversions or lead generation Educational video to increase loyalty, credibility and build trust

Viral videos add personality to your brand. They may sometimes include humour or lighthearted messages. After all, personality in a brand is considered as an important aspect of how people interact with your business. Viral videos are those which viewers will want to share with others so you can rely on your brand supporters and customers to market and promote them for you. A conversion video is one which aids the generation of leads or conversions depending on the goals of your site. An example might be a video of a seminar or event which you can use to increase conversions or sign ups to the next seminar. The third type of video is educational probably the most common and widely used to educate prospects on your products or services. Construction companies can use all 3 types of video (viral, conversion, educational) as part of their marketing arsenal in order to increase revenue, lower costs and improve customer satisfaction.


Chapter Two: Using Online Video

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Case Studies [Educational]

Product Demonstrations [Educational]

Just as case study blog posts are a great way to publicise how to solve specific problems, so video can be even more informative. You might film the technical representative who helped solve a particular issue. Your video could highlight how you overcame a problem by designing or specifying a specific product. Your choice of material will depend upon the type of audience you are targeting and their individual roles.

Product demonstration is an idea topic for an education video and enables the viewer to see how the product works and the technology it uses. You might make a video about the maintenance of a product once it has been specified. For example, a new home that meets Code 6 of the Code for Sustainable Homes is equipped with a rainwater harvesting system. But using video the manufacturer ensures that the homeowner knows about the advantages of the product and how to maintain and increase the product’s life. When linked to an online F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions) which answers common questions and provides the necessary customer support, a wealth of easily accessible information can be provided. Use of video in this instance will greatly enhance the value of the product.

Supporting case studies with online videos is a great way of communicating to those who prefer to watch rather than read. They want to hear and see people tell the stor y. Video is a great way of telling the story, showing off your expertise and convincing the viewer. It gives you the platform to prove your expertise. Forwarding video to others is extremely easy and by doing so your customers will carry out your marketing for you.

Reach out to architects and specifiers and show your product in situ and how aesthetically pleasing and beneficial your products are. Provide video content for the Site Manager on how to handle your products once on site and installation videos for the sub-contractor who may be installing your product or using your service. If a visitor to your website or blog can learn everything they need they are much more likely to come back for repeat business. So it makes sense to invest the time in providing educational video so that you customers know everything they need to know before and after purchasing your product. 13


Chapter Two: Using Online Video

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Testimonials [Conversion]

Seminars or Events [Educational/Conversion]

Testimonal videos are extremely powerful aids to customer confidence. A loyal customer may speak highly of your brand, promote your excellent services or products and reinforce your status as the market leader or a technical expert in your field. It is not just customers who can provide testimonials. Try asking supply chain partners or specifiers or even attendees from your previous continual professional development (CPD) seminar or event.

If you host seminars to educate your audience or industry you can increase the value of the event by making a video. This will also help to increase future attendees if you record the presentations and place links to short snippets (promo-videos) of each presentation on your web site or within your promotional emails. These serve to entice the visitor to register for the next event.

Find your brand advocates and continue to satisfy these loyal customer and partners. Their positive word-of-mouth marketing will prove invaluable for your reputation and profits.

Ensure your short videos can also be shared on social networking sites to increase visibility and awareness of the events. Another option is to place the videos of the entire presentation onto your website, behind a registration wall. Visitors who come to your site can be required to give you their contact details in order to gain access to the full video. Add any registrants who did not attend the seminar can be added to your events mailing list. This method will also grow your mailing list for other marketing purposes.

Construction Skills’ use of video

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Chapter Two: Using Online Video

Online videos are 50 times more likely to have a 1st page ranking in organic search results*

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Support Marketing Campaigns [Viral/Education] Video can be an important part of any marketing campaign, whether your campaign is focused on product benefits, industry legislation or brand awareness. More messages can be packed into three minutes of video than six months of ‘interruption’ print advertising. A video has a longer shelf life than a print advert in a magazine. ‘Stop the Unfair Building Tax’ is a coalition of large and small construction companies, trade bodies and other professional advisers opposed to government proposals to change the tax regime for self-employment in the UK construction sector. The website is heavily video-led and it works. It works because it is about the people who will be affected by these proposals and those who back the petition. It shows real people’s reactions, opinions and thoughts and demonstrates their passion for the cause.

Stop-Tax Website and Campaign

The web site has prominent social networking icons/links on the right of the webpage making it easy for visitors to promote it and raise awareness and exposure of the campaign. It takes very little action on the part of the viewer to add their support, for them to become part of the campaign and participate in viral distribution of the message.

* Figures taken from Nate Elliott’s Blog for Interactive Marketing Professionals.

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Chapter Two: Using Online Video

Using YouTube for the hub of your online videos YouTube remains the most popular video sharing site with approximately 400 million people actively seeking information on an estimated nine million YouTube channels every month. Your own YouTube channel can be customised to comply with your brand guidelines and contain relevant and important keywords for optimisation. Here is an example of YouTube channels for Mitie and Westgate Joinery, specialists bespoke joinery:

“

YouTube is also a search engine and is now the second largest search engine just behind Google with 2.9 billion searches performed every month. People search YouTube just like they use Google but with the intent to view and consume video information related to their search queries.

�

Westgate Joinery YouTube channel

Mitie YouTube Channel

The videos that you decide to publish can also be embedded within your own blog posts or web pages to give search engines an idea of what your videos are about. You can create your YouTube channel or ask Pauley Creative to do it for you.

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Viral Videos:

Viral videos are a good way to lower your advertising and PR costs by creating buzz. As more and more people share and pass on your videos, the reach of your marketing messages also increases thus enhancing exposure and awareness. Remember, videos have a longer life than your print adverts. A single three minute video can contain all the messages included in six or seven full page advertisements.

Chapter Two: Using Online Video

Business benefits of video

Conversion Videos:

Conversion videos can increase revenue. With any form of lead generation activity the entire journey must be well presented and easy for the visitor to access information, with necessary calls to action to carry the user on that journey. Your call to action might be: ‘download now’ or ‘sign up now’. Your focus for a conversion video must be on delivering relevant content with the aim of generating leads.

Educational Video:

Education videos are there to educate and they can therefore increase customer satisfaction, trust and loyalty. If your viewers are able to obtain answers to their questions or problems from a short online video they are more than likely to think of you as a thought or industry leader, or an expert. This makes them much more likely to come to you for repeat business. An education video can also lower or reduce the need for customer or service team support and free up time for bigger issues or important loyal customers. Educational videos linked to an online F.A.Q will reduce the amount of time your service representatives spend answering and dealing with small tasks, questions or requests.

Online video is becoming a major factor in both search engine optimisation and content marketing strategy.

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Chapter Three: How Construction Companies can use Twitter

Chapter Three: How Construction Companies can use Twitter

Twitter has become one of the most talked about social media platforms and can be used by construction companies for networking, broadcasting, engaging and listening to conversations online.

By creating and sharing content, construction companies can form long-term relationships, increase brand awareness and establish their presence in the social media world.

Key Points:

• Your clients and prospects are probably on Twitter talking about you and your products, so you should be too • Twitter is a valuable customer/client communication tool • Twitter can distribute and share relevant content to specific audiences • Brand mentions can be listened to and responded to via Twitter • Twitter will increase visibility and raise awareness of your brand and marketing campaigns

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Chapter Three: How Construction Companies can use Twitter

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By using Twitter you have the opportunity to interact with like-minded people who share your interests and passions. It is a two-way relationship whereby you and your followers both listen to, and learn, from each other. Twitter has huge networking potential through which you can make more people aware of your business, your products and services. This in turn may lead to future benefits of testimonials or peer recommendations.

Twitter provides an easy way to share instant links to videos and articles. It can be a constant stream of information which drives traffic to your website. You might distribute relevant news about your company and its services case studies, news stories, videos, white papers. Construction companies can also use Twitter to share industry knowledge by promoting their blog or newsletter to position themselves as industry educators.

Twitter networking is also a great precursor for networking offline because you can meet and follow prospects online, engage with them for a while in a way that may eventually lead to a business relationship offline.

Twitter is the ultimate viral marketing tool since it has the potential to push your message around various networks in a matter of minutes. Businesses just need to know what their target audience is looking for and interested in, so that followers will want to share the messages and refer them to others.

Networking and Building Connections

Build up your network and become an invaluable resource to others because the more people you know and the more people know of you or your company, the greater the potential for future business opportunities.

Sharing Company News and Content

By using Twitter you can establish your business as an industry expert and prove this leadership through publishing relevant and educational content in your blogs, articles and newsletters. This activity will also increase your website traffic as your followers will be directed to your blog or website through the links on Twitter.

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Chapter Three: How Construction Companies can use Twitter

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Building Awareness of a Marketing Campaign Twitter can be seen as the ultimate traffic generation tool by placing links to your website and campaign landing pages within company or personal profiles, and including links in conversations with your target audience on social media. You can instantly spread information to groups of Architects or Civil Engineers at the click of a button and before you know it, your marketing campaign becomes viral. If your company is working on a new campaign such as a product launch or wants to raise awareness of a scheme, Twitter can help by encouraging followers to share the message or campaign on their profile so that ever yone within their networks can also view it. However, be careful not to over-promote your business because Twitter users do not want to be bombarded with self-promotional, self-serving tweets so find the right balance between sharing your content and other news/articles. Most importantly, be personal, because Twitter users want to follow a person/ brand with a personality, not a robot.

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Listening to Brand Mentions – what people say or feel about your company The advantage of Twitter is that it provides you with the opportunity to listen to what people are saying about your company, your products and services and your competitors. Through this you will be able to understand their requirements and needs and how best you can meet these. Businesses are always looking for feedback and ways to improve. Twitter offers you this for free and without you even asking for it. All you have to do is look. Search tools are available to keep track of brand mentions and savvy companies will use this information to improve their products and services. Construction companies also can monitor and develop their online reputation. You might do this using Twendz, a Twitter tool that allows you to track brand sentiment. By finding what is being said - and intervening when necessary - you can regain trust and respect, particularly if you handle the situation or complaint in an appropriate and admirable manner. Brand mentions are important because they give you an idea of how people feel about your brand or company. Emotions rule most decision-making and it is important that the emotions associated with your business are positive.


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Internal Marketing Communicating With Employees Twitter also offers businesses the opportunity to communicate internally and share the latest company developments with their employees. It does mean that your employees must have access to Twitter and create individual profiles which follow the company profile. Using Twitter for internal communications is especially useful for collaborating on group projects when people are located in different offices, or letting staff know about product launches, events, training days or new project wins. Using Twitter for internal communication does not replace any form of existing method but instead just adds another communication channel. But remember to make your tweets private so that they are only available to staff.

Chapter Three: How Construction Companies can use Twitter

Research by Compendium (2010) found that 87% of B2B companies use Twitter, compared to just 28% of B2C companies*

Business benefits of using Twitter Twitter can contribute to all three business goals (lower costs, increase satisfaction and increase revenue) when used in the correct way. It is a great customer service tool for communicating with prospects and customers thereby increasing customer satisfaction. Using Twitter to engage with prospects and provide them with informative content, by directing them back to a blog post or article, allows you to increase your reach at a lower cost than direct mail, for example. Marketing yourself or your business through Twitter can be done at a very low cost (apart from your time of course) in terms of money but the benefits can have a positive effect on your company revenue. Leads can be generated through Twitter conversations. Trust can be built. By connecting with industry peers who will share your content and recommend you to others, your reputation will be increased. By sharing links to your blog or website you will be able to generate quality traffic and this will lead to more business enquiries. Other professionals or previous customers also have the opportunity to recommend your products and services to Twitter users who are looking for help or information. Become a resource.

* Figures taken from Business Wire’s news pages.

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Chapter Four: How to use LinkedIn to Build a Professional Network

Chapter Four: How to use LinkedIn to Build a Professional Network

LinkedIn provides a mechanism whereby construction professionals can connect with each other and increase their networks. It is also a valuable platform for valuable business tips and advice.

Smart construction professionals will avoid excessive self-promotion and instead sell themselves and their services by being a valuable knowledge source in the community which they serve.

Key Points:

• The LinkedIn audience comprises of professionals wishing to connect and form relationships • You can participate and start discussions to prove expertise • The groups feature allows for targeted marketing • The recommendations feature builds company reputation online • Links to your blog or website on LinkedIn will generate quality traffic

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Chapter Four: How to use LinkedIn to Build a Professional Network

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Demonstrate and Share Industry Knowledge

Reach Targeted Audiences (Groups).

Your knowledge can easily be shared on LinkedIn with industry peers and business prospects if you demonstrate expertise and provide valuable information. LinkedIn is full of professionals who want to network and connect with each other. By participating in discussions you can increase your visibility. The more people read what you have to say and what services or products your company provides, the more likely they are to approach you if they need help in the future. Regard it as a word-of-mouth tool where other LinkedIn users may refer your services or company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to answer other people’s queries because hosting and participating in discussions can be good for winning new business. You may well be found via your answers through LinkedIn’s advanced answers search option.

If you have a blog, then LinkedIn is an ideal place to share your posts with relevant groups. This activity will drive targeted traffic to your blog as every member of that group shares some similar interests. For example, the CIMCIG group on LinkedIn is full of construction business owners and marketers who want to further their knowledge on marketing to the construction industry. Therefore sharing information with the group members will drive targeted traffic to your resources.

A stimulating debate is a great way to engage with like-minded people and hear some interesting perspectives on topics that are relevant to your industr y.

LinkedIn helps you search and find targeted prospects. You can search for people, companies, groups and jobs so no matter what or who you are looking for, this segmentation ability should make it easier. You will need to join groups that are relevant to your industry and connect with the members by getting involved with discussions. If you start your own group then add keywords to the group’s description in order to increase your search rankings in LinkedIn’s search directory as well as other search engines like Google. Create a group around your company, its products or the industr y itself to give you access to a wealth of inside information. This will positively influence your reputation because you have created a community where architects, specifiers and contractors can all interact, discuss issues and generate ideas that are important to them.

* LinkedIn figures taken from Hubspot Blog (Inbound Internet Marketing Blog).

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Chapter Four: How to use LinkedIn to Build a Professional Network

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Analyse Your Competitors

From a strategic point of view LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to check out the competition. Most organisations have company profiles so you can use search results to reveal data on new hires, events that other company executives are attending or organising, as well as employee profiles. As the saying goes “keep your friends close and your competition closer”. You can use LinkedIn answers to find relevant discussions so that you can participate in them. This is also a good way to monitor what advice your competitors are giving to prospects. It may help you learn about issues within your sector and improve on your own complaint or customer services. This may all sound a bit sneaky but remember if you’re doing it your competitors will be doing it too. You have to stay ahead in this game and benchmarking your business against competitors is just one of many activities.

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Acquire New Customers Through Online Recommendations Testimonials are one of the most valued business tools and they speak louder than pages of self-penned content describing how great you are. Prospects want to know that others have had good experiences with you and that you deliver what you promise. LinkedIn is one of the strongest recommendation engines and it is all on an open platform. Potential clients can see what others have said about you and your business. But not only that, they can click through and check out the referee’s profile and in turn also view their own recommendations. Trust is important in any business relationship and it is easier to trust a company that has received various positive recommendations from other established companies. Remember to recommend others as well; it should be a two way process.

* LinkedIn figures taken from Hubspot Blog (Inbound Internet Marketing Blog).


Chapter Four: How to use LinkedIn to Build a Professional Network

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Locate Services That You Don’t Provide and/or Need to Outsource.

How many times have you asked employees and colleagues whether they knew a great web designer or experienced contractor? LinkedIn provides a way to locate other businesses and make contact. You can clearly see who else a LinkedIn member has done business with. You can gain access to their website, their blog and find case studies of their previous work. It is easy to establish whether they are right for your job or not. A great deal of time and money can be saved by having access to such a wide network of professionals from nearly every industry in one place.

Business benefits of using LinkedIn A slightly different approach for LinkedIn as it involves members of your business engaging on the platform and is focused more around increasing your networking base. Who are your company ambassadors? Will they actively promote your brand or products on LinkedIn? Joining the LinkedIn network increases your company visibility via your employees’ activities and establishes thought leadership for your brand. The benefits of networking with your target audience within LinkedIn groups can increase traffic to your website or blog as a result of participation and providing helpful answers to questions and starting good discussions. Customer satisfaction is improved by participating in relevant discussions and answering client or prospect queries online. Since it is a public space others can read your answers and if they are impressed by your expertise, they might be more inclined to know more about you and your company.

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Chapter Five: How Construction Companies can Integrate Online and Offline Marketing

Chapter Five: How Construction Companies can Integrate Online and Offline Marketing

This chapter provides useful tips and guidelines for integrating your online and offline marketing activities to ensure maximum impact and effectiveness.

There is no point having a social media presence and doing great work there if the messages you send out contradict your other marketing activities in print, TV and outdoor advertising.

Key Points:

• Integration avoids confusion by sending a clear, consistent message • Integration makes it easier to measure and track marketing activities • Offline activities can send prospects to the company website and blog • Online strategies can lead to offline meetings and relationship building • Integrated marketing takes less time and money and is more cost effective than random marketing activities

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The basic requirement for establishing your online presence is a website that is professionally designed, user friendly, contains content which is of value for your audience and has inbuilt search engine optimisation to increase visibility to those who are searching for a solution to a problem. If architects and specifiers cannot search for you or your information online they will not be able to find the relevant technical information to help them evaluate your products and services and determine whether these satisfy their needs. Some businesses forget that online activities often lead to face-to-face interaction, especially when scoping for projects. A face-to-face meeting can further cement a business relationship. So you can employ online marketing - email campaigns, social media and display advertisements - to promote and create awareness and visibility of offline events like workshops or seminars.

Chapter Five: How Construction Companies can Integrate Online and Offline Marketing

By integrating your activities you will provide a much more measurable strategy for marketing and selling company products and services. Every click or visit from an offline channel can be tracked and measured and therefore should not be treated as a separate entity. Internet marketing can help you save vast amounts of your valuable budget because online marketing is generally a much more cost effective channel than print and can be more relevant and targeted to niche audiences.

But this does not mean you should neglect traditional media like print in your efforts to market to your audience and engage with them..

Architects and specifiers will often be exposed to various messages through many channels. They may pick up a magazine which contains your advert or visit a website with your banner advert displayed on the homepage. So always put your website address in the print adverts to lead them there or to a specific landing page.

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Chapter Five: How Construction Companies can Integrate Online and Offline Marketing

Integration is key If the logos, colours, imagery, fonts or key marketing messages that you promote offline are different from the online content or promoted adverts, then your prospects may get confused. This reduces the impact of the campaign or message.

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The main purpose of branding is that your company should be instantly recognisable and unique. Inconsistency can lead to poor performing marketing campaigns and key marketing messages not being properly understood by your target audience.

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Online and offline marketing must work together to drive sales and improve brand reputation. Think about how your prospects move from the research phase through the awareness phase to the consideration stage, and ensure you have campaigns and content to move them along.

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Separately both online and offline methods are effective at bringing customers to your business. But a combination of the two working in synergy will keep your business fresh in their minds and make them want to come back for more.


• Consistency and constancy are the key to successful marketing integration. Make sure that your strategies work together and complement each other. If you are conducting a sales promotion offline, ensure that your website is up to date and is promoting the same deal. • Put your website address on all marketing material to increase visibility. • Launch a teaser campaign and ‘tease’ your prospects about a web based promotion in printed adverts. Direct them to a relevant landing page to find out more about your products. • Optimise website landing pages for search on your business name, catch phrases or any slogans used in offline marketing material so that your site is easily found within search engines. • Interact on social media and discover what your target audience is talking about. Find bloggers and influencers who write or tweet about similar products and who could help raise awareness about your business. • Add links to product landing pages on offline marketing material and this will help increase traffic to your site. Soon your company will become associated with the products your prospects are looking for. • Have the same goals for online and offline marketing so that it is easier to track and measure campaign success. For example, if you are a roof tile manufacturer you might set up specific landing pages for certain types of tiles and put the website address of those pages in your print adverts. You can then track and measure the leads generated through that campaign and analyse the increase.

Chapter Five: How Construction Companies can Integrate Online and Offline Marketing

How to integrate:

Integrating online and offline marketing efforts can help companies in the construction industry strengthen brands and ensure that they are present wherever prospects are looking for their products and services. Marketing strategies will be successful if they are implemented in a consistent manner and work together, not against each other.

So integrate both your online and offline marketing activities and observe the positive results when you combine the two.

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Additional Resources

Additional Resources 10 of our most popular blog posts • How are the top 15 construction companies in the U.K using social media?

http://bit.ly/constructioncomps

• A collection of iPhone apps for the construction industry

http://bit.ly/constructionapps

• Using LinkedIn as a Relationship Marketing tool

http://bit.ly/linkedinforconstruction

• How are the top 15 house builders using social media?

http://bit.ly/socialbuilders

• A list of UK Architects on Twitter

http://bit.ly/architectslist

• CIMCIG ‘Social Media Marketing to Architects’ Presentation

http://bit.ly/marketingtoarchitects

• What makes a blog successful?

http://bit.ly/benefitsofablog

• How social is your construction company?

http://bit.ly/howsocial

• Why construction companies should register their brand name on Twitter

http://bit.ly/registeringyourname

• Social product marketing for construction product manufacturers

http://bit.ly/productmarketing

5 popular MDI articles • 10 ways construction companies can use QR codes

http://bit.ly/QRconstruction

• Social media marketing for construction companies

http://bit.ly/socialmedia4construction

• Measuring marketing campaign performance

http://bit.ly/measuringcampaigns

• What is digital marketing and how do I choose the right agency?

http://bit.ly/choosingagency

• Content marketing for construction companies

http://bit.ly/content4construction

Subscribe to our monthly MDI articles for advice on social media and digital marketing in the construction industry – www.pauleycreative.co.uk/my-digital-insider

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This e-book has been brought to you by Pauley Creative, the digital marketing agency for the construction industry.

Nick Pauley

Pritesh Patel

Ayaan Mohamud

Managing Director

Digital Marketing Manager

Marketing Assistant

If you would like help with social media and/or digital marketing strategy development please contact us on 01908 671 707 for a chat or send an email explaining your requirements to talk@pauleycreative.co.uk


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Construction Marketers Guide to Social Media Marketing