Even if factors like efficiency or functionality have been recently highlighted as the elements specifiers seek within a brand, construction professionals keep driving their research by a particularly human feeling, trust.
Specifiers find themselves looking for specifications of over 5,000 products for each project they lead, spending countless hours online waiting for the perfect fit. A building product brand that aligns with them and that is worth sticking with can save them from having to find a new project to specify for every project they have. In this post, we help you make sure that your content marketing plan has the essential key elements you need to build that trust.
#1 Define your Specifier Persona
Your construction marketing plan should have a clearly defined main character. A common mistake is thinking that you should take that protagonist role but, truth is, specifiers do not necessarily care about you. They care about how your product can make their lives easier.
Not all specifiers look for the same construction solutions and it is essential to gain deep understanding of the core challenges your specifiers might be facing when designing your construction marketing plan. Whilst you should not be afraid of having multiple specifier personas, it is important not to go overboard and define a maximum of 5 personas to cater for. The more time and research you devote to developing your specifier personas, the more accurate your marketing efforts will be.
Due to their remarkable attention-to-detail, architects are thought to be hard to impress and, if possible, even harder to convince. But it is precisely because of their rigorousness that they will be loyal to a brand when it has shown to be the right fit for their project. For architects, your product is only as attractive as the available data about it. Ensure that the information available about your products is easy to find and accurately describes its main capabilities.
If they were featured on a James Bond film, it will most likely be called “Licensed to Specify”. Even though they tend to have worked as architects in the past, the professional background of specifiers can vary, leaving them to be defined by one particular characteristic: they are exclusively trained to advise their team on the product that best fit their project. They focus on function and how your product stands out from the crowd.
Despite frequently being left in the background when designing a construction marketing plan to attract specifiers, contractors can completely change the course of a specification process and, most often than not, they tend to have the last word when a product is specified. Rather than details, contractors care about efficiency and seek a product to be practical over anything else.
Even if not part of all specification processes, catering for design professionals can open the gates to high-end projects that do not only seek a product, but a thought-leading brand. As we entered 2021, designers involved with the construction industry shifted their focus towards sustainability, prioritising products made of recycled materials and with a high energetic efficiency. Clearly stating how you contribute to making the construction industry more sustainable is key when speaking to design professionals.
#2 Optimise Your Website
After a carefully planned research and with the right specifier persona in mind, our construction marketing plan starts taking shape. Construction professionals aim to be self-sufficient and conduct most of their research online, becoming familiar with your building product brand before they interact with a salesperson. Your efforts to build an educational, informative, and compelling website can, in contrast, be in vain if your brand lacks visibility and specifiers struggle to find you.
Audit your SEO Periodically
In 2017, a solid 98% of specifiers reported heading to Google when seeking construction solutions for their specifications, which has translated in over 40% of the revenue of building product brands coming from purely organic traffic. With the pandemic having digitalised the construction industry even more, it has never been more pressing to ensure that your website maintains a robust search ranking and that you are consistently reviewing and improving your SEO.
Build your Links
Together with including on your website the right keywords, building your backlinks is one of the most effective SEO tactics to implement. Building product businesses can particularly benefit of this strategy when working together with well-known product directories. Conduct a thorough research of your industry and consider how you can link your site and contribute with your expertise, products and services.
Ensure a Remarkable First Impression
Detail, function, efficiency… Each specifier will be looking for clear, affordable, and easily available information. Their exigency and high standards, however, will also expect a visually impressive first impression that catches their eyes and makes them feel checking out your brand is worth their time. Your interface should be uncluttered and intuitive, with high quality images and thoroughly curated content.
Make Everything Accessible within 1-2 Clicks
Speaking to a remarkably technical audience, falling short on providing accurate and sophisticated data is not an option. If your specifiers feel that they do not quite understand your building product or if they are unable to gather the information they would need for a rendering, they will likely be discouraged to specify you. Create detailed content available within 1-2 clicks that can also be downloaded and shared. Consider including digital files like CAD, Revit and SketchUp.
Add Case Studies and Testimonials
Once you ensure your website is effectively positioned, your content is easily available and your products are clearly described, there is one last thing that specifiers would like to see from you. Whether you present them on your home page or you gather them on a section of your site, adding successful stories, case studies and testimonials are particularly helpful when demonstrating what your building products can do.
#3 Create Relevant Content
Your website should gather all the information specifiers might need, guaranteeing that technical characteristic, performance data and details about the materials used are readily available within your site.
Architects, a type of specifier that we certainly want within our audience, are required to undertake at least 35 hours of CPD a year, equating to about 45 minutes every single week. CPDs are the best way to demonstrate your expertise within an industry. With the main purpose of educating your audience, specifiers are more attracted to content that does not want to actively sell them a product. A well-structured CPD can allow you build trust with potential clients while showing them the uniqueness of your building product brand.
Blogs can be the perfect tool to not only create more relevant and high-ranking pages on Google but to also force a consistent relationship with your specifiers. Search engines recognise your authority in a particular area depending on the amount of relevant content your produce on that particular topic. That content should be helpful, showing how your building product can make the life of your specifiers a little bit easier.
Like any industry undergoing digitalisation, construction businesses are witnessing how the channels through which their audience wants their content delivered are changing and your construction marketing plan should keep that in mind. Among the most promising content channels, video content has been reported like one of the most successful, allowing you to get your message to a greater audience in a professional, sophisticated, and yet accessible way.
#4 Automate Your Interactions
As we mentioned above when describing the different types of specifiers that should consider catering for, only a small part of the construction professionals leading specifications are exclusively specifiers. Most architects, contractors, and design professional balance specifications with up to 15 projects every year. At least once a month, specifiers dive into the construction industry, search the 5,000 building products needed for the average construction project and decide on the perfect fit for not only their plan, but also their team and budget.
Make yourself Available
If anything, specifiers are lacking time. With a carefully designed website that ensures construction professionals can easily access all the information they need for their specifications, it is crucial that, should specifiers want to get in touch, we get back to them immediately. For specifiers to contact us, it is also essential to have a rich and active online presence on our site as well as our social media.
Invest in the Right CRM Platform
Easy ways to guarantee specifiers can find you when they need to is installing a live chat on your website, setting up a meeting link or making sure that your phone number and your email address are visible on your page. As HubSpot partners, if your construction marketing plan wants to focus on improving your availability, we recommend adopting a marketing automation software.
HubSpot can automatically sync your calendar when a meeting is booked, create compelling records of the specifiers that get in touch with you and allow you to gather all the information in a solid CRM platform. But the reason HubSpot is known as an all-in-one marketing package is due to its automation tools that manage the entire marketing process, from the moment a specifier is attracted to your website, to the confirmation message they receive once they have completed their purchase.
Improve Your Follow-Ups
Marketing automation can improve the frequency of our interactions with a specifier and the speed with which we move through the conversation. Time is a limited resource among specifiers, but they will not hesitate to devote their time to you if you show you respect their time, get back to them in a timely manner and provide them with the right information without them having to insist too much. The workflow feature offered by HubSpot can be the difference between a lead left to dry up and a successful partnership.
Continue the Conversation
Your construction marketing plan should not end with the specification or the purchase. Ensuring that your after-sale interactions continue the conversation can improve their opinion of your building product brand, provide them with reasons to reach out to you for future projects and encourage them to refer you to partners and colleagues. Put particular care in keeping in touch with past clients and make sure they are the first ones to know about your updates.
At Insynth we deliver a predictable flow of leads, customers, and specifications for building product brands through our inbound marketing approach, proven to reach a technically demanding audience.
We use the latest marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to equip building product companies to grow sustainability in this era of digital transformation.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major in construction marketing. We have a proven formula of bringing a variety of functionalities together including CRM Implementation, Web Design, Sales Automation, SEO, and Email Marketing to achieve your ultimate aim: Growing your business and gaining new specifiers and customers.