Design and Construction Firms Need Consistent Digital Content Marketing Methods to Attract NEW Clients.
There are not enough hours in the day to manage, design and market your Architectural design, Engineering, and construction practice let alone grow the firm. Agree?
The Marketing Director in architects, engineering, and construction firms are struggling to stay on top of all the sales proposals; the Principals and owners are orchestrating the design and construction teams. The right content attraction marketing partner can make all the difference.
Content Branding Solutions has created Five (5) practical attraction marketing solutions for your firm to use to reposition yourselves at the top of the market.
Use your Architectural philosophy and background to create or refresh your unique website.
Your website is your portfolio to the world, your 365/24/7 General Sales Manager, and prospecting machine. Potentially it will be your client's first impression of your firm. So, how does it compare to your competition?
No SSL Certificate! If you do not want to be listed by Google, don’t bother with the SSL Certificate. If you are ready to be a powerhouse, the knowledge experts, this is the first place to begin.
Is Your Marketing Director Overrun with Proposals? Get Them Expert Support to Help Meet Todays Challenges!
SEO. Think of it as your materials library indexing system. Or the Dewey Decimal System used throughout the world for library book classifications. If you have no SEO, they will not find your portfolio of work.
A Snapshot of What Makes Up Your SEO?
- The Meta description is a one-sentence description of your specialties and core income generating services, including the targeted states and cities for your services
- Meta Keywords persuasively reinforce your meta description in your content and are search engine keywords
- If you have a great portfolio, you need to optimize your images, so they load as fast as possible
- Image description, core service area description, location, and company name.
- Device friendly and mobile responsive. Your website must display properly on any device. Does your website pass Google’s mobile-friendly test? Find out here: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly If not you need to refresh
You Can Not Ignore Mobile Marketing!
Global Digital Future in Focus 2018. - (Martin, 2018)
- “Smartphone usage has doubled in the past three years...”
- “Mobile now represents 7 in 10 media minutes.” In other words, “69% of all digital media time is spent on mobile.”
- And, “Nearly 1 in 8 U.S. internet users are now mobile-only.”
- Your website should scale for all devices
So let's Drill Down to Detail
Get the meta description right with great content that is keyword rich, and you are well on your way to developing great organic SEO.
For example, a one-sentence Book description. FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley – An ambitious, misguided, science student creates a human from cadavers, then abandons the creation, who then kills everyone in creator’s life.
An example Meta description. SQUARE UPON THE HYPOTENUSE a 30-year-old Denver, Colorado-based architecture, planning, and urban design firm specializing in healthcare, research, science, & technology buildings.
Meta Descriptions are the same. Tell your potential clients: who you are, where you are, and what is your specialty.
The when, why, and how can be in the details.
The number of characters in the meta description should be 160 max. Abbreviating your firm's name can make sense. HOK – Formerly Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabau or PCL, formally Poole Construction Company Limited. But be careful, people are unlikely to search for a lesser known firm by abbreviation. IYKWIM (if you know what I mean).
Lots of firms have won awards, so unless it is an amazing award that will immediately resonate with your clients leave it off the description and put it in the copy as meta keywords: Architects, Architecture Firms Denver, Colorado Architects, Denver Architects, are all great long-tail keyword searches.
Make Sure You Have A Stunning Portfolio with Persuasive Detailed Content and a Powerful Call to Action.
- Easy Navigation. Many sights get over complicated with search bars at the top and sides, when you are working on the mobile phone, a simple menu is all you need.
- Image is Everything. Your site should be designed with a clean fresh-look, professional photographs, and videos with strategic copy messaging, that demonstrates your core services and areas of expertise.
- Make sure your slider tells your story. g., Jenkins Architects recipients of The National Healthcare Design Award from the Academy of Architecture for Health, with a Call-to-Action (CTA) or Turning your community’s Civic + Cultural vision into reality, with a CTA.
- Make sure the images have a file name and meta description that includes your firm's name, location, and project type, g., hospitality, and lastly, a project name.
- Do not name your images like this. Deb’s Day Care Center_ Architects _ Denver & Dallas _ Award-winning architectural design firm in Denver, Colorado, and Dallas, Texas. Who are the Architects? Put your firm's name into the images! Do not use unnecessary repetition of location, e.g., “Denver & Dallas.”
- If you want your firm to turn up in Google images, you must label your images clearly.
- Share your core services, advertise your talents on your homepage slider and above the page break. Many firms show a wonderful image that takes up the whole landing page, not recommended. Take a page out of Perkins + Will and use the landing page wisely to showcase your talents.
- Copy, the written word, makes up most of your SEO from meta keywords and long-tail phrases to attraction marketing and calls-to-action (CTA) you must have content that outlines your firms value proposition to the Internet and your potential clients.
- Content that connects persuasively. Sure, your square foot descriptions are interesting, but what makes that project special, why would a client hire your firm? What unique value do you have that they need?
- Check Your Content. Hire a Design + Construction Industry Expert copywriter and editor to check your content, page by page. In the same way, your project architect and principals check each drawing in the CD set.
Use Occam’s Razor “simplest solution tends to be the right one.” Keep it simple stupid as a rule for your pages. Six great images are more powerful than an assortment of images where you can't see the wood for the trees.
Have multiple “Calls-to-Action” (CTA) to drive engagement and to get visitors to take the next step in the sales funnel. Yes, you should have a sales funnel.
Make sure your 365/24/7 General Sales Manager and prospecting machine is attracting and calling clients to take action.
Why else would you spend money on your website?
Make sure you include at least one “Call-to-Action” (CTA):
- “Sign Up for Our Quarterly Trends in Healthcare, Architecture.” We will not sign up for anything anymore unless it is beneficial. We have all been blasted with atrocious company employee updates. Try sending out something that will benefit your clients and has value and is of interest to them. Be professional. If you build trust with a great piece of thought leadership content, your clients will come back to you. Make sure you include a call-to-action, etc.
- “Read our Latest Article about XYZ.” These articles should be Thought Leadership articles; white papers targeted to your core service income generating areas and cross-linked to other relevant
“Contact Us for a FREE Website Analysis.”
Give us a call: 303-362-0498
Make sure each of these CTA’s go to a specific landing page on your site that provides more information.
- Create Thought Leadership Articles, that attract clients, by sharing knowledge articles on a regular basis. Share case studies, architecture industry trends and news your customers will find beneficial and valuable to position yourself and your firm as the industry leader in your area of expertise. Always use a Design + Construction Industry Experts niche writer
- Show you are a thought leader with podcasts and webinars.
- Attend and speak at the places your clients gather, post recordings of those presentations on your website and YouTube Channel for ongoing exposure. This process will attract new clients to you.
- Ge a Coach to be sure that you and your team are at the top of your game
A Thought Leadership Article provides you with the opportunity to establish yourself and your company as the knowledge experts in your industry.
Need or help? Give us a call Now 303-362-0498
Your attraction marketing website copy should be working 365/24/7 as your General Sales Manager, and prospecting machine.
Visitors always leave a trail that the Marketing Director and Principals can follow if you have the right tracking software.
Architects and Designers Need to Think Of Their Designs As Products, Not Just a Portfolio of Work.
Large Design and Construction firms can afford all the bells and whistles. They benefit from having dedicated marketing positions, Principals, and Associate Principals who specialize in a field of design. This specialization’s make it easier to delegate leads from the website and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and develop thought leadership and marketing plans to attract clients and boost sales.
Even if you are the only member of your firms’ sales team, you can benefit from tracking prospects earlier in the prospect sales cycle plucking the low hanging fruit and then react quickly to visitors of interest. You can do this on a simple excel spreadsheet.
If a prospect is researching your website for information on your products or services, you will see their interest before they even decide to contact you for more information! Better yet, cost a lot less, have a powerful call-to-action that encourages them to set up a call. With this valuable information you can:
- Create a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) you can use it to interact with your clients. I know that many professional consultants have in-house CRM’s and are dubious about one attached just to the website… A professional CRM can be easily integrated; the benefits are huge.
- Create a website squeeze page to Capture qualified prospects information for the team to follow up. Cold calling Joe Blog’s is extremely time-consuming and very unrewarding, cold calling is a waste of time.
- You can also use the captured qualified leads to segment your leads into your service areas to provide them with beneficial content that matches their interests and provide inbound marketing content to move them through your sales funnel.
- Engineers and Suppliers to Architects Inform your Sales Team, who can contact the interested Architectural party right away, rather than waiting for a lead conversion event.
- Use Great IMAGES ▪ GRAPHICS ▪ INFOGRAPHICS to tell your story.
- If you have a tracking app loaded on your website, you already know who they are and the pages they visited on your website.
- If you utilize Google analytics, you can see which pages attracted views the most, etc.
Not ready For A CRM use an excel spreadsheet to capture and research your website squeeze page captured qualified prospects. You can research a wealth of information about their needs and level of interest by searching and reviewing them on the internet.
You can also use the captured qualified leads to segment your leads into your service areas to provide them with beneficial content that matches the and provide inbound marketing content to move them through your sales funnel.
The following responses come from a recent survey conducted by Marketing Charts (Hubspot, 2018)
“Which digital marketing channel is perceived as the most effective?”
Which Is Best? Website Content Marketing… Email… SEO… Or Social Media? The Answer Is All four, Working in Unison.
The various survey findings revealed a pattern in the top channels working today? They all involve COPYWRITING.
TIP: Understanding and focusing your efforts on the marketing channels that give you the best possible results from your website can increase your conversions of qualified prospects.
4. Stay Engaged - Nurture Your Client Relationships
Pick up the phone, go for a coffee, stay engaged and track those meetings on your CRM or spreadsheet. Email is not a substitute for face-to-face and personal calls.
Email blasts to a brief list of thousands twice monthly become annoying and stale with time and repetition over saturating their interest. It’s the fastest way to get opted out of and diminish your list.
For most Design and Construction firms, once a month to quarterly cycle emails with brief bulleted descriptions with backlinks to beneficial information, with a value that your clients are looking for is enough.
- Contractors: Construction Market Trends. Built point pricing trends, materials shortages along with labor trends are interesting Construction market predictors of value to potential clients and the architecture Design and Construction industry.
- Cost Consultants: Architects and clients always underestimate costs often basing it on the last project they did years ago- it is not today’s cost we care about it is where the costs will be in one and a half years from schematic design (SD).
- Suppliers and vendors: Tell us about your new materials and products in one sentence with backlinks to more detail
- Architects: Share an earthshattering market changing project. We Architects get inundated with mediocre content that shows the latest project. Tell your clients and me why we should click on your information?
- Develop your thought leadership by sharing a presentation, or feature an employee and showcase their expertise
If you are using a “Funnel Email Series” keep the hook lines concise. Use bullet points with backlinks.
- Feature your company holiday party, no one cares. If shared at all, it is for your Facebook page, if you have one.
Tips for Your Email Blasts
- Don’t Blast them out, consider the content and your targets
- Define your list into multiple lists of clients whose interests vary
- Add sharing buttons to the email and your website white paper/article pages
- Include both Opt-In and Opt-Out options to receive your emails on your website, social media, etc.
5. The Social Media Connection for Design and Construction Firms
Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. It has become the shadow of a false rumor, the mainstay of our instantaneous communication and news. Many firms live or die on and through social media.
Professional firms in the Design and Construction industry have ventured into the quagmire of social media and got burnt. Tired of shouting in the wind of the twitter feed? Firms retreated to the safety of a website and sat waiting for Google+ to flourish.
Many small design firms sort the shelter of Houzz and Expertise. Small Homebuilders and plumbers’ sort Angie's List and Home Adviser. Catalogs, or more directly, internet yellow pages that connect professionals with clients, just like a dating site. All third-party services you must pay for.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn has blossomed into the professional network for networking, thought leadership and attraction marketing that Architects, Engineers, Consultants, and Contractors should be using consistently.
From Hootsuite’s “A Long List of Social Media Statistics that You Need to Know in 2018” (DeMers, 2018)
“94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often (they also say it’s the most effective social media platform).”
- Create a company “business” page on LinkedIn
- Join LinkedIn. Make sure your Leadership group is on LinkedIn
- Join LinkedIn Groups where your clients might gather
- Share Knowledge articles on LinkedIn groups directly or from your website back linked
- Facebook is for Friends and Family its where you post fun social things like company parties, river races, and the office darts tournament.
- For specialized suppliers, Facebook has a lot of members who are potentially ideal targets, Architects, Architectural firms, and Construction Industry professionals who broke away from the pdf brochure-ware website ten years ago to try Facebook. Unfortunately, many of these sites are neglected and now rarely visited.
- For radio and media stations Facebook is a wonderful place to communicate with fans
- Facebook is great for advertising webinars that focus on improving your life, job, and independence from the corporate world
Twitter is like shouting in the wind, and unless you use hashtags, your reach may be small. If you advertise on Twitter use it for:
- Attract New followers
- Driving traffic and conversions: Drive traffic to your website and generate conversions on a squeeze page such as a book launch or email signups for product orders.
- To generate and capture Leads. Run a “Leads on Twitter campaign with a Lead Generation Card,” with a sign up now; people can opt-in with one click. Twitter already knows their name and email address, their details auto-fill when they click on your tweet. The lead generation card technique is great for pre-sales on items similar to a book launch.
- To set create a new campaign, go to the drop-down menu and choose “Leads on Twitter.” Choose your target audience, customize the ad visibility, and set your budget. Create the tweet on a lead generation card, save and launch.
Create a company YouTube channel. YouTube has a huge audience reaching 81.2 percent of all US internet users with a targeted audience age of 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54 demographics, this number then falls off as people get older. (Blattberg, 2015)
As YouTube has aged its audience has followed, and fresh eyeballs have joined to upload and watch blog content.
Video continues to grow on social media.
Is YouTube for you? Yes, if you have thought leadership presentations to share, and want to advertise to a predominantly male audience. We like the simple HTML in-bed tools for websites which unlike some alternatives do not require a double-click, and are free.
Vimeo is an alternative, but you pay by the GB, and the Business monthly plan provides all the tools you may need to get going at $50 per month.
Before you start, you must have at least 1,000 followers on your Google+ page, to set up a +Post ad.
- Note you can merge your Google local business page with Google +.
- Utilize Live Videos in Google + hangouts. Provide Tutorials, webinars, live podcasts, and broadcast it out for free.
Bypass Social Media with Google Pay Per Click
Adwords Campagnes can help you reach your targeted markets and potential audiences by py passing social media and utilizing the most powerful search engine presently available
Tips for Utilizing Social Media:
- Choose your social media wisely, targeting the social media that best fits your core income client category
- Choose to join groups where your clients gather to chat LinkedIn is great for the Design and Construction Industry
- Share Thought Leadership content on a regular basis, from white papers to case studies
- Do not join groups full of your competitors; they are your rivals, not your friends
- Share valuable content from Article posts, videos, and industry facts that establish you and your firm as the go-to experts in your industry
- Use Backlinks to pages on your website that offer beneficial
- Use an engaging image combined with a persuasive caption that attracts peoples attention
- Spend time on your company description and about us information on your social media pages, be sure to include keywords and phrases
- Professional’s search for jobs through LinkedIn
- Connect with clients on LinkedIn, and ask them to write you or your firm a testimonial
- Build your positioning in the marketplace organically and advertise till you own the first page
Potential Customers Research Online - Make Sure You Show Them Your Best.
Ensure that your brand dominates organic search results.
6. Targeted Marketing Opportunities for Architecture and Engineering Firms
Successful A&E firms have multiple marketing channels. The big firms can afford to market aggressively across the board utilizing all the tools available.
The secret is to utilize content marketing wisely on multiple channels to attract a constant flow of clients to your firm at a budget you can afford. It all starts with your website and its SEO.
Tips for Creating Prequalified Marketing Leads:
- SEO your website to attract your target market. Use a SEO Copywriter
- Be the keynote speaker at conferences and tradeshows. Look for places your clients gather as a captured audience and present there. For example, if you specialize in research facilities, University facility design or healthcare design and construction attend and speak at Tradeline. It is worth the money to shake hands with the owners and potential future clients
- Provide webinars and podcasts as the knowledge expert in your field
- Author White papers in your area of expertise
- Find Referral Partners. They can play a significant role in referring business your way, and vice-versa
- Ask previous clients for an introduction
- Network, where your clients gather. For example, if you specialize in designing performing arts centers you might attend the North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA) or the International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) receptions. Choose your networking venues carefully, make sure you are networking with people who have influence or are the decision makers
- Author articles for online publications, or local/industry publications
- Write a book, not just any book. Write a book that defines your market. In 1977 Theater Design, by George Izenour was released. The Book was a major success; it defined the market for a decade until Richard Pilbrow led Theatre Projects to redefine the industry. Richards book, A Theatre Project is a great read.
“Triumph, Disaster, and Renewal that changed Stage Lighting and the Shape of Theatre….”
A Theatre Project by Richard Pilbrow
Do not wait for the next RFP or RFQ. Promote and attract clients to your architecture, construction, engineering, or design firm, with thought leadership content that is utilizing online media and strategic events to increase engagement and grow your business as the knowledge experts in the industry!
Have Questions? Get in touch!
Blattberg, E. (2015, April 24). The demographics of YouTube, in 5 charts. Retrieved from Digiday: https://digiday.com/media/demographics-youtube-5-charts/
Martin, B. (2018, March 5). Global Digital Future in Focus 2018. Retrieved from comScore: https://www.comscore.com/Insights/Presentations-and-Whitepapers/2018/Global-Digital-Future-in-Focus-2018
Content Branding Solutions, Denver, Colorado – Refresh Your Brand ▪ SEO
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