The big shift taking place in construction marketing is from outbound to inbound. Outbound or traditional marketing includes everything you did for marketing prior to the advent of the Internet.
The success you'll see, in terms of ROI from outbound with its push and interrupt tactics, is not what it used to be. Because inbound tactics result in an average of 61% lower cost per lead (CPL), inbound should be viewed as a marketing investment rather than as an expense.
According to Marketing Technology Insights, the construction industry is beginning to embracing digital marketing with its greater lead-generation results.
Even though inbound is beginning to take hold in the construction industry, overcoming some of the transitional hurdles from outbound to inbound can be challenging. Every phase of the transition requires a new mindset. Here’s how to begin:
Challenge #1: Analyze your Key KPIs
I always like to know what something’s going to cost and what kind of return it will produce before I buy it. For our clients, this is the first thing we look at and we have a nice tool to do it on.
The value of inbound is not only that it works but that it produces marketing ROI. If you can get more new customers at lower cost per customer, you win, right?
So have a look at your current customer acquisition cost (CAC) to see where you’re at. You’ll want to include line items like how many FTEs are working in marketing along with your annual program spend on marketing.
Once you have your CAC, weigh that against your customer lifetime value (LTV). You then can do some revenue planning off of that. What if you were to cut your CAC in half? What could you do with inbound then? If you have a high LTV because each sale is a big ticket sale, your opportunities for inbound should be outstanding.
Challenge #2: Identify Your Persona
Here's the first step to actually doing inbound. Inbound is most effective when you target your most desirable customer. In fact, in our experience conversion rates using targeted personas are about triple that without the persona research. Outbound or traditional ad agencies all will say that outbound is targeted, that “ads are created for a certain audience.” True to a point, but the main point is while outbound’s campaigns may be targeted, but their delivery methods are not.
Outbound is about mass everything: Mass mailings, T.V. (where everyone sees the commercial), radio, etc. Inbound, by contrast, is designed to attract leads through organic search. Leads have to find you; you don’t push out promotions to them.
Let’s work up a persona:
- A persona is a semi-fictitious representation of your ideal customer. It is that person you really want to walk through the door or call you.
- What is a day in their life like?
- What is their job title, pay grade, and responsibilities?
- Where do they go to find information? What kind of information to they digest once they find it?
- How do they make decisions? What do they need to know before they’ll buy?
The best way to work up a personal profile is to collaborate between sales, marketing, and C-level management. Then you can compare your average sale to the ideal sale. You are shooting for the ideal. Aim high because you always can settle for something other than the top if you want.
Challenge #3) Plan Your Funnel
Overcoming construction marketing lead-gen challenges requires planning. Because inbound is so new, so much of it is done shotgun style. Someone learns about digital marketing deliverables and they go to war. Content marketing is not inbound marketing. Doing generic blogging is not inbound marketing.
Any deliverables within the context of digital marketing will produce results, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to win against your competition. Winning requires planning. Sales today is like a war. What kind of battles are won without strategic planning? Few to none.
You need to prepare for each stage of the funnel. Leads will show up at your website in anything from a curiosity stage to a ready-to-buy stage. Most will arrive not knowing exactly what they want. They’ll realize they have a need or a pain point but won’t know how to solve it. If you can solve it, you'll probably have a lead.
Challenge #4) Execute
Once your planning is complete, you’re ready to execute some inbound tactics. If you’re doing everything in-house, you’ll want to take your strategy and publish. Publishing will attract organic inbound leads to your website. Here’s how to start as a basic plan for deliverables:
- Take one need or pain point your persona has and write it down.
- Strategize 12-15 blog titles that address that need or pain point.
- Make sure the titles solve but don't promote. It’s not about you.
- Write one article per week and publish on your website.
Once your planning is complete, you’re ready to execute some inbound tactics. If you’re doing everything in-house, you’ll want to start by taking your strategy and publishing. Publishing will attract organic inbound leads to your website.
If you’re still not sure how to being or what to do, then you have a two more main choices: contact an agency or do a lot more research. If you’re still researching, our blueprint ebook greatly will help you!