Words: Corey Adams
Anyone else’s social media feeds filled with people trying to sell them the next great system? Of course, they are. It is one of the biggest digital trends right now. Selling business owners marketing, training, systems. My favorites are the paid ads that state you do not need paid ads.
It is more than a little frustrating for me. I watch many good companies fall victim to the piranhas in the digital world. Locking into monthly contracts, or not having a valid way to calculate and track their investment. In the following, I will cut to the chase. Here is what small construction companies really need to know in the 2021 digital age.
First, have a plan. It does not matter if you are searching for residential or commercial, have a plan. Know who you want to target, when you want to target, how you want to target, and why you want to target. Define your audience as specific as possible and learn their tendencies. Then do the same for your projects. What type, when, where, how, etc. Defining your target audience and project type is essential before anything else can even be discussed.
Next, realize that every option for marketing is a tool. Each tool in your company has a different function. Use the tool for the correct application, have better results.
Here are some free tools:
- Social Media. Create social media profiles for your company. Make sure all profiles have the same contact, about, logos, and up-to-date information. Post photos of your work constantly. Also, most people forget to invite friends and family to like or follow the profiles. They will help you tremendously by liking, sharing, commenting, etc. That is how social media works. Create engaging content that focuses on your plan.
- Google my Business. This is the most overlooked free listing, and maybe one of the most important. You can claim your business profile, optimize it with photos, address, hours, services, and more. This is the information Google uses to formulate the local pack. (The three businesses that come up in map format search at the top of the results) If you do not have this setup, do it today. After it is set up, you can post your photos and content the same way you do on social media. Google loves to see active listings.
- Commercial Listing Sites. There are some great options for free commercial bid invitations. Blue Book Construction Network comes to mind. They have a free option that will get your foot in the door with some GCs. Again, build your profile correctly.
Some thoughts on paid marketing:
- Social Media. Social media, especially for residential contractors, is still the best bang for your buck. It has tons of audience-specific features, and paid ads can be turned on and off at your command. Facebook still reigns supreme for this type of ad.
- Pay Per Click (PPC). This is a wonderful tool if you have a good website and a high dollar ticket service to sell. I am not a huge fan of it for all marketing efforts, but used the right way can get your phone to ring for the right reasons. Google AdWords is the king in this market.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Now I am going to let you in on a little secret. SEO is a dying strategy. SEO has become so simple and mainstream that it will take years to cut through and drive results. Small companies need some basic SEO on their website, but nothing extravagant, or costing $500 per month.
- Website. The only reason to have a website is to get your potential clients in a controlled environment. One that you control all the information that they can see. Giving them reasons to become your customer. Instead of spending your resources on SEO, use social media, Google my Business, and PPC to drive potential clients to your well-designed site.
Marketing small businesses have never been easier. Most owners can figure out the basics themselves. Astoundingly, most small businesses do not need paid marketing at all.
Marketing does have a function. It can be used to target higher profit projects, specialty projects, or grow your company to the next level. The multitudes of free listings available to small businesses at least give us a way to showcase our work, and at best allow us to give potential customers away, and a reason, to trust us.