Pamela Herrmann and Patty Dominguez co-founded CREATE Buzz, an online training experience that helps business owners and their employees develop powerful, positive and practical customer engagement habits that build loyalty. Herrmann and Dominguez co-host the “Customers for Life” podcast and “The Morning Would Show,” providing daily motivation. Visit createbuzznow.com.
Marketing your construction business can be difficult. The challenge often lies in allocating marketing budgets strategically to ensure the highest potential return. Marketing efforts should always create awareness for your business. It’s how prospective clients are exposed to your business and ultimately become buying clients.
According to Forrester’s “Focus B2B Marketing Budget Gains on Business Outcomes to Succeed in 2014” report, B2B product and service marketing budgets range between 13 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Interestingly, B2B companies with less than $25 million in revenues represented the higher end of the scale with 13.9 percent marketing spend. Regardless of where you fall within this scale, it is important to note that allocating a marketing investment budget is essential to create awareness and relevancy.
Current marketing investment trends continue to evolve, but within those executional tactics, the tried and true remain, which include the following: content marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing and allocations to upgrading websites. The following are 10 ways to make your marketing dollars work smarter.
1. Upgrade Your Website
Your website should be your marketing home base. It is essential that the site is user friendly and responsive, meaning it is viewable on all digital platforms, such as mobile, desktop and tablet. Features that were once recommended are now required. In fact, companies are not guaranteed to have a presence in mobile search results if their websites are not mobile friendly. An investment in an adaptive and responsive design for your website will ensure that it appears in search results when someone is looking for your company’s service or solution.
2. Invest in Cohesive Branding
Think about how easily we recognize major brands by their logos. We even connect colors with particular brands, such as green and gold with John Deere equipment. Regardless of your relationship with these brands, they show up cohesively across all customer touch points in a professional manner. Remember that a professional appearance not only builds recognition online and offline, but it also builds trust. An additional benefit to having cohesive branding is the ability to build brand equity over time, one that can be monetized in multiples of your revenue.
3. Build a Content Marketing Strategy
According to Smart Insights, which polled more than 600 marketers, the lion’s share of focus for marketers in 2016 is on content marketing (53 percent). Providing quality content online to build apparent authority and expert insights is the objective of content marketing. The name of the game is adding value, which builds subject matter expertise—something your customers want from you.
4. Foster Community Management & Social Listening
An often overlooked component of marketing is community management and social listening. Monitoring what is being said online is critical to not only protecting your brand, but also to creating engagement with your customers.
Additionally, by closely monitoring online engagement, you can mitigate the compound effect of bad reviews.
Instead, you can turn it into an opportunity for client recovery, a very powerful strategy to help gain visibility and show that you are a brand that cares. But the most important reason for managing your reputation online is because many people take their customer service issues directly to social media.
5. Invest in Video Marketing
Last year was the tipping point for video marketing as the go-to medium for engagement. Daily video playbacks on Facebook totaled 4 billion videos per day in early 2015. By the end of 2015, views had doubled. There is no doubt that incorporating video into your marketing outreach is an effective way to create engagement.
6. Consider Strategic Partner Marketing
A strategic partner plan offers the ability to cross promote and potentially accelerate market penetration. Partnerships come in a variety of ways, whether they are financial, marketing focused or supplier relationships. The optimal scenario is one in which you complement your strategic partner to the extent that you gain a competitive advantage with your aggregated offering.
7. Plan Guest Blog Posting
Blogging is still a relevant way to find your audience. Guest blogging is a great way to drive traffic back to your website, increase sales and grow your brand.
The important thing to remember is that your guest blogging outreach should be carefully targeted toward blogs that your perfect customer is likely to read and that are credible.
8. Look into Podcasts
One of the newer outreach methods is podcasting. There is a very low barrier to entry if you are interested in starting a podcast about your corner of the market and offer expert advice. By including a social syndication backend to your podcasting, you can ensure that your content will circulate through the web on a consistent basis. Don’t want to take on another marketing task like podcasting? Research the top 10 podcasts in your field. It’s a great way to connect to influencers in your space.
9. Pay Attention to Google AdWords
Google AdWords can be a great complement to your social media strategy. By leveraging keywords specific to your specialty, you can be the solution to your perfect customer’s problems. One of the big benefits is that, unlike direct mail or print, Google AdWords results can be closely monitored and measured.
10. Research App Marketing
Resource apps are a great way to establish credibility. There, you can do searches for keywords in your industry and provide answers to your prospect’s most challenging situations. It is also a good source for market research as a way to test a potential idea or marketing campaign.
Tapping into the power of digital marketing, your company can gain relevancy that is not only cost effective, but can also leave a blueprint online to further build brand equity.