You’ve heard that nearly all construction industry trends for marketing, increasing sales, and getting more ROI from your efforts center around inbound marketing. Want more proof of the value of inbound? Get our report!Maybe you’ve started executing some inbound deliverables such as:
- Doing social media.
- Blogging often.
- Getting help with SEO.
But you’re starting to say, “I'm doing all this work! Where are all my new leads?” According to our friend Mike Lieberman, if you’re going to get the numbers from inbound, you need the strategy to do so. A good strategy should always come before you touch one deliverable.
Tactics (like blogging, etc.) to inbound are like gas to your car. The tactics keep everything running. But where did the car come from? Somebody had to develop a blueprint, a design, and then a strategy to build it. Without the car the gas is worthless.
What's a Strategy?
A strategy is simply a plan of action with finite goals and the actionable items and timeline to achieve them. Let's see how to get going with an inbound strategy:
1) Your Audience
Say you want to capture 100 new leads this year. What kind of leads? If you’re just doing blogging, some social, and have a decent website, you’re doing inbound “shotgun style.” You’ll get leads, but most won’t be qualified leads.
To get qualified leads you need to know your audience and do things that will target that audience.
Steps to Identifying Your Audience
- Who is your market? Are you B2B, B2C, or both? If both, then you have two audiences.
- Focus on your market. Do you define your market by demographics, geography, or niche?
- Example of target audience: Construction projects in the eastern U.S. that are valued from 5m to 50m.
- Establish who the decision-makers are and find out as much as you can about them.
Each of your audiences or personas will have differing buying habits. You need to find out where they spend their time online and what kind of questions they’re asking.
How do you do this? Spend time online. For example, while you may glean some information from LinkedIn groups, it’s hard to get into many groups because group leaders simply won’t respond to requests. Better: try doing some Twitter hashtag searches.
For example, do a Twitter search for #ResidentialConstruction. Then, check out some of the tweets that are posted. View a few profiles to see who they’re following and how the interaction goes. From that little amount of research you’ll glean a lot about that persona.
You simply need to get in on the online buzz. You find all the construction industry trends right on social networks. Just tap in and focus down on what you discover.
Now that you know your audience and their online habits, it’s time to address why they are coming to the Internet in the first place.
From your research maybe you noticed the thread of some of the conversations that tell you:
- What is your key audience asking?
- What are they trying to solve before they contact you?
The issue here is that more and more potential leads are gathering information first before they reach out to you. Your current customers will do that. It’s dangerous to think you have this awesome, secure customer base because two things are happening: 1) your customers are more and more informed and, 2) your competition is after them.
Your task here is to identify their needs and create a list of those needs. You then are going to publish content to address those needs. Is this way different then what you’ve been doing? If so, get ready for some nice wins.
4) Start Publishing
You’ve been publishing already? Good! Let’s change the pace a little. Here’s how to get going:
- Focus on one segment of your audience, one persona.
- Key in on one particular need, question, or pain point.
- Decide on a keyword. A keyword, used properly, will boost your ranking. A keyword will be one specific but very short phrase pertaining to a need or pain point. Another way to think of a keyword is that it is a search term. For example, “commercial office building construction” would be a keyword.
- Write 12 blog articles using that keyword and addressing that one pain point.
- Publish them over a span of 3 months.
What I just outlined is the simplest way to get headed in a strategic inbound direction. If you stay on track and be consistent, you’ll see noticeable improvements in your inbound results.
The last and very important of construction industry trends for marketing and sales is watching the farm. And watching your business with far more scrutiny than ever before. If you have good marketing software like Hubspot's, watching metrics will take very little of your time.
How does this relate to inbound? As a whole, inbound strategy is not static. While your customer base may not change, the ways they find information will and your competitors will make changes also.
There are a number of metrics to watch at least weekly. For inbound, things like CTA conversion rates and of course your overall conversion rate should be monitored. The basis for any good inbound campaign is taking website visitors and turning them into leads. At New Destiny, we like to apply some common benchmarks to these metrics. So if the alarm bells go off, we’ll want to re-strategize to address what’s not working.
You’ll want to do the same. Metrics result, to some degree, are predictable. If you follow my process above, you’ll see an upward tick in your performance results for a while, at least until you hit critical mass in publishing—50 or more optimized, inbound blog articles that follow the inbound strategy above. After that, you'll want to tweak some things to keep your waterfall graph heading in the direction it should. We wrote our “blueprint” to help you do all of these inbound practices so you can get the leads you want. Check it out!