A well developed, kick-ass construction marketing plan is critical to your success as a contractor. A lot of you just don’t know where to start developing your plan, which is probably what brings you here. So I’m going to lay it out for you in a way that describes every part of a construction marketing plan and explains how and why to leverage the power of social media.
Understand Marketing vs. Advertising
This is the first big part. Marketing and advertising are different creatures. Advertising is a part of a marketing plan, but a true marketing plan will have you analyzing your business, your customers, yourself, and your methods. You can pretty easily throw a sticker on the truck, buy hats and shirts with your logo on them, and hand out business cards. That’s advertising.
Spending your time rediscovering what it is you love about your business and developing a plan to showcase those parts – that’s marketing. Marketing your construction business involves analyzing the business as a whole, discovering your strengths and weaknesses, determining your pricing structure, public outreach methods, and finally building something for someone.
Here’s how it works…
Set Your Ultimate Goal for Each Year
Set an ultimate goal for your business each year. Your goal could be to remodel 7 kitchens, work more with your highest grossing service, improve your lowest grossing service, or even specialize in a single area.
You’re seriously doing yourself and your business a disservice if you’re not familiar with what a SWOT analysis consists of. This is where you really step back and look at your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). What do you do best? Where is your business the weakest and can you drop that particular part of the business or work to improve it? What opportunities are in your immediate area or areas you service? And what threats or challenges does your business bump into on a regular basis?
Construction Market Analysis
Analyze the current market, and focus on a few surrounding counties. Where is your competitive advantage? Is your business better-known in a specific area than other construction companies in your service area? Would your business flourish more if you take it in one direction or another? This is where you may consider adjusting your ultimate goal to meet the requirements you’re discovering during the SWOT analysis and market analysis.
Create a Budget for Marketing
I just mentioned that advertising and marketing are different creatures. Your advertising budget should cover all of your print signs, business cards, painting or stickers on the company vehicles, company clothing, hats, etc… Your marketing budget should include consulting and development time for your website, blog, pay per click (or view) ads, and all of your social media outreach initiatives. I don’t expect you to be able to develop an entire construction marketing plan on your own. Most of the contractors I work with don’t have the experience needed to update their website, write successful blog posts, and choose the best wording and photos for online marketing. That is the primary reason they come to me.
Develop a Construction Marketing Plan
Okay, so you’ve finished setting your ultimate construction business goal for 2017. You’ve performed a SWOT analysis. You’ve completed a construction marketing analysis for your area. You’ve created a budget. Now it’s time to focus on your actual marketing plan.
You need accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Create them in your business name if possible. My Twitter handle is @DarrenSlaughtr if you would like to look me up.
After all of the analyzing you’ve done up to this point, you should know your target market pretty well. Target your marketing efforts to reach those people in your target market and in your target areas.
Keep an Eye on Your Results
Monitor the results of all of your marketing efforts. Ask potential customers how they heard about you while you have them on the phone during that first phone call. Compare your sales from last year with your sales for this year and see if you can determine where your marketing has paid off the most. Let’s say you blogged about kitchen and bathroom remodeling on a regular basis and you’ve seen a 35% increase in sales of kitchen and bath remodels. You know where that revenue has come from and what part of your construction marketing plan is working as intended.
Modify as Needed
Don’t be afraid to modify your marketing plan as needed. If you see that your efforts aren’t paying off by the middle of the second quarter of the year, shake things up a bit. Change blog topics, modify your social media marketing strategy, and continue to monitor what seems to be working as well.
Leverage the Power of Social Media
I often get asked, “Why do I have to use social media?” You don’t. I’m not here to force this down your throat. I’m only offering advice as a construction marketing consultant. I want your business to succeed because I believe that’s what small town America needs more of. Small businesses are the backbone of a good economic situation. The more small businesses I can help achieve success, the better I feel about the job I do here.
Social media is very popular because it allows people to share their ideas, opinions, and information. Simply put, you use social media for the social aspect. All business owners know that the best advertisement is word of mouth. That type of social interaction is what social media is all about.
The bottom line is that people love to talk. They love to share their opinions whether good or bad and the most common type of opinion shared online is one extreme or the other. People are ecstatic about something and showing it off or pissed about something and really letting the world (or their circle of friends) know about it.
Be the reason someone has a positive impact on social media.