The key to growth and success in the construction and property industry is delivering high-quality projects, in scope, and within projected timescales. While word-of-mouth referrals can be a reliable way to drum up new business, we’re seeing increasing numbers of businesses in the industry building an online presence to expand their reach. Much like domestic customers, commercial clients, developers and landowners are now searching online to seek quotes and find the most suitable contractors to work with at the best price.
It’s important now, more than ever, to establish an online presence. From brand identity to client testimonials, here’s how you can master your online property development marketing.
Developing your brand identity in the construction and property industry
According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer, over 81% of consumers say they need to trust a brand in order to buy from them. Whether you’re a small family-run business in a small town or a larger organisation in the city, your brand needs to stand out as one that is well-established and trustworthy. These days, your brand is much more than your logo, colour palette and slogan. Instead, the term ‘brand identity’ encapsulates how a client or customer experiences your company, including:
- Your backstory. How long have you been established? Were you set up as a family business? What problem were you set up to solve?
- Your brand’s niche in the industry. What is your expertise, what makes you or what you sell, different?. Making this clear will make your brand stand out.
- Your company values. In other words, what matters to your business? If you’re known as a safe, trustworthy and quality service, make this known to elicit trust from online users. Ideally, you would sum this up in a powerful company tagline.
- How your business operates. If you’ve got a history of completing projects on time and within budget and with exceptional customer service, make this known.
- Your people. Who are your leaders? Who are the individuals that clients or consumers will likely encounter? Their experience and expertise should be publicised so people know they’re in safe hands.
Investing the time in painting a picture of your brand online can be well worth it. Are you a family-run business with over 25-years of experience in providing quality roofing? Make this information front and centre on your website, perhaps with an ‘About us’ page that clearly explains who you are, what you do, your expertise, and brand values, using professional imagery to enhance authenticity. These messages should also be evident on your brand’s social media ‘About’ pages, too. This will help satisfy website users seeking evidence that you’re a reputable company.
Drive traffic to your site with optimized blog content
SEO is the art of engineering your site to rank for the keywords that your target audience are searching for online. Typically, the higher you rank for a keyword, the higher the volume of traffic (visitors) that will land on your site. There are many Google ranking factors but, to start with, you should focus on your ‘owned’ media by producing high-quality, relevant content for your audience. Setting up a company blog would be a great place to start.
Follow these steps to start producing data-driven blog content to engage with your audience:
- Conduct keyword research. This is the most important step – conducting thorough research will help you make data-led decisions on the type of content you produce and share on social media and beyond. Keyword research helps you understand what people are searching for online and when, so you can track trends. This in-depth guide explains exactly how to do this. What you’re really looking for are longer keywords, including phrases and questions, that you can answer within an article.
- Create a content calendar to plan what content you’re producing, who the target audience is and when it’ll go live. This should map out which relevant keywords and topics are being searched for the most each month. You should also input key industry and market-relevant dates, such as trade conferences, awareness days and events in the area you operate in. Here’s a great content calendar template to try.
- Segment your target audience and the topics they’ll be interested in. For example, as a construction firm, you may provide services for both domestic and commercial customers. If this is the case, both audiences should be considered separately, with content ideas developed to appeal to both. This is because the type of information they will be seeking will be different. For example, if you’re a company that provides roller shutter doors for residential and commercial properties, you wouldn’t want to post one blog post titled “How to upgrade your security with roller shutters”. Instead, two blog articles, one tailored to home security and another to securing a shop front, for example, would make more sense.
- Identify timely and topical content. If you have done full keyword research and run your list of keywords through Google Keyword Planner, then exported the CSV file, you’ll be able to see which keywords are searched the most and in which month. If you’d like to produce content for the following month, you could filter this list to identify keywords that have the highest search volume in that month. You should focus on longer keywords and questions because these are users looking for information. Your content should aim to answer their questions. You can also wrap in industry, market and cultural events, for example by sharing a social post about recent changes to building regulations.
- Consider the best way to present this information and explore the topic in full. Do you require a longform blog article, or would a more concise listicle work best? To enhance your content, you can also include other content formats such as video or infographics.
Once you’ve done your planning and produced your content calendar, you’re ready to start producing your blog content, following SEO best practice to ensure it’s as optimised as possible. We also recommend that you aim to publish content one month ahead because it can take a little while for Google to crawl your site and recognise your new content. Producing one month ahead of schedule will increase your chances of being able to capitalise from that month’s keyword search peaks.
Engage with your target audience on social media
Social media is a great way to interact, in real-time, with target audiences that promotes brand awareness and can also be a source of new business. From delivering client or customer support via Twitter to sharing images of construction projects on Facebook or Instagram, you should consider where your target audiences are and ensure you cultivate a following on those social networks. Generally speaking, for commercial audiences, LinkedIn is the best platform to reach prospects. To reach consumers, Facebook or Instagram should be your go-to platforms, the latter requiring video or image content.
Posting a regular stream of content that appeals to your target audience is the key to leveraging social media to cultivate an audience, build relationships and grow your business. Your existing keyword research and Content Calendar should be used to inform the content you share on social media.
To support this, you can also research topical and trending topics directly on social media platforms. For example, you can delve into trending topics on Twitter, or explore content which shows up when you search for key hashtags like “#renovation” or “#NewBuild”, for example, on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Savills is a company that does this well – the senior leadership team have active profiles on LinkedIn and regularly feature in high-quality video content shared through the company’s profile. This technique puts a spotlight on the skills and expertise of the company’s key decision makers and also works to bolster its credibility. In this example, Savills have posted a short video showcasing recent research into whether developers are overlooking key demographics for the properties they are building. This is timely as the UK government has recently renewed emphasis on the need to fix the UK’s ‘broken housing market’ for first-time buyers. This piece appeals to the brand’s audiences of landowners and developers, offering interesting insight and an opportunity in the market, while promoting Savills’ industry expertise and services.
Publishing content on social media isn’t the endgame. Once you’ve posted it, you should keep checking back for comments, likes and shares. If conversation picks up, make sure that you respond and encourage your audience to engage with you. The more engagement your post has, the more visible it will be to other users.
Adopt a proactive approach to feedback and case studies
Adopting a proactive approach to collecting feedback and testimonials from happy clients and customers will enable you to produce trust-enhancing case study content for your website and social media profiles.
Whilst marketing your services, products or solution is important, showcasing the end results that you achieved for your client base is even more so. The construction and property industries lend themselves well to imagery, videos and work-in-progress documentation, and prospect consumers will seek out evidence of your past work.
Here are the key bits of information that you should collect and keep on file about your work:
- The value of the contract
- The project’s scope and requirements
- The project’s estimated and the actual duration
- Positive client feedback, in the format of quotes, about their experience of working with you.
However, before you feature them in your marketing materials, you should seek written consent from your clients or customers. Once you’ve got the information to build your case study, you can feature it on your website in a dedicated ‘Projects’ or ‘Case studies’ hub, on social media and on any print marketing materials.
For more information about our construction and property marketing and PR services, you can find out more here. If you’d like to talk more about how we can help improve the digital presence of your construction firm, get in touch.