In the increasingly media-intensive world of marketing, the old adage, “he who gets there first wins” is truer than ever. And I’m not talking about “brand grabs” or acquisitions.
The Construction Company Inbound Marketing Marathon
Inbound marketing for construction companies is like running a marathon. What if you were able get a jump on the starting gun? You’d be running totally alone for a while. After the gun goes off, it’s possible that some really fast runner could catch you, but not without expending a huge effort that could jeopardize his or her finish, and not if you maintain your pace. The race would be a guaranteed win. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to business, I like to play to win.
Okay, but how does this work in the real world, for my business?
Here’s how this works: Take four companies, all in competition for the same customer. One of the four adopts a thorough Internet marketing strategy. That one company is like the marathoner who gets the early start. It’s exactly like that. It’s so vast of a win, it leaves the other runners jaw-dropped.
Hint, hint, hint: There are very few construction companies running the Inbound marathon right now. 5 or 10 years from now that won’t be the case. Today, most construction companies have a nominal marketing budget that’s spent on a few trade shows per year, some conventional marketing, some email marketing, and depending on the sub-segment, some PPC advertising.
The Cost of Doing Nothing
Construction companies spend very few dollars on digital marketing, e.g., a website, and most aren’t doing any lead-gen blogging, and maybe a few posts on social (e.g. Facebook). PPC is paid advertising—whether it’s Adwords, Facebook, or something else. PPC is not Inbound because Inbound relies on attracting customers naturally, through organic search.
The funds that are allocated are spent on sales, where most of that effort is spent on nurturing bottom-of-the-funnel leads. Very few dollars are allocated toward top or middle of the funnel lead generation. This leaves all of those not-quite-ready-to-buy leads up to chance.
With no plan, there is only room for chance.
What is Inbound Marketing?
- A potential lead types a search phase into Google and they find you. (They’re looking for some solution. 50% to 90% of buyers start their journey via an online search.)
- They like what they find and they convert.
Point #1 above, is achieved by content marketing with good SEO.
Point #2 is the core of Inbound marketing. Without a conversion path, there is no marketing, only content. Without an intentional means of attracting leads, there is no marketing of any kind, no Inbound, no anything, only chance (cf: American Marketing Association).
The Absolute Best (and Only) Place to Start
Are you thinking of heading to the starting line and running that 26.2 miles? If so, let’s start with a little self-assessment:
- Goals. Do you have growth goals? How much would you like to grow your company? How many of the right kind of new leads would you like to have? What ROI from marketing are you looking for?
- Plans: What are your plans to achieve your goals? Have your current plans helped you achieve them?
- Challenges: What obstacles do you think you’ll uncover? What pain points would need to be solved?
- Timing: What results do you expect for a given timeframe? What do you want to achieve for the next year?
- Consequences: If you are trying to go in some direction, what would happen if you didn’t get there within your timeframe? How important is it for you to achieve your goals? Do you have a personal investment in the future of your company and thus are driven to see your goals met?
Why the change in marketing tactics? Why can’t you just go on for another few decades with what you’ve been doing? Because customers have changed. They are less attracted to interrupt advertising, less attracted to having someone try to sell them (if I cold-called you, would you answer the phone?), but more attracted to being offered value.
Inbound is all about value. You create content that has value. Your content helps guide your potential customers through their buying process. And your end goal is not just to make a sale, but to make a delighted customer.
Key take-a-ways from this blog article:
- If you get a head start on Inbound, it will be difficult for most competitors to catch up.
- Inbound is an organic means to get found; conventional marketing pushes and interrupts, rather than attracts.
- Before launching an Inbound strategy, take a look at your marketing or sales goals to see if you are on track to achieving them.