As a company in the AEC industry, you face some unique challenges for gaining new and repeat business. Finding and connecting with people who need and want your services can be difficult in a busy world characterized by an increasing amount of communication channels, in addition to the high number of advertising messages that the average person is bombarded with on a regular basis. Time and budget constraints present additional obstacles. The question is, how can you effectively and efficiently establish and develop business relationships? The answer is inbound marketing. A recent survey by the Construction Marketing Association found that 82% of respondents used inbound marketing. Why? Inbound marketing achieves results, especially for those with a limited marketing budget who are short on time.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Most of us have an idea of what inbound marketing is, but not as many have realized the power it has to drive lead generation and grow business. In a nutshell, it’s the antithesis of advertising. It’s not about pushing your messages on prospects, but rather helping them find you. It translates how we establish relationships in person to the digital world to exponentially increase our reach. This is accomplished through tools such as
- A Strategic Website
- Video Testimonials
- Branded Social Media Channels
- Informational Blogs
- Newsworthy Press Releases
- Targeted Emails and Lead Nurturing
- Project Portfolios
- Ebooks and Whitepapers, and
- Search Engine Optimization
The goal of marketing is awareness: People cannot utilize services they don’t know exist. The goal of inbound marketing is creating relationships: people work with individuals and companies they know, like and trust.
Your Digital Presence and Strategy
Inbound marketing mirrors the parts of in-person communication that work and translates those into a digital strategy. For example, you work off of referrals. Someone liked your work and recommended it to a colleague. You show someone a physical portfolio – they like what they see. Someone visits your office and is greeted by a pleasant, knowledgeable and experienced team that answers their questions about design and construction happily. Inbound marketing does this in a virtual world to exponentially increase awareness of your firm and its services and to foster these types of positive (not pushy) relationships.
Your website is the virtual home of your firm. It has design and content elements that reflect your company’s personality, expertise, professionalism, and past experience. It invites people to learn more about who you are, what to expect from you, and what you can help them accomplish. Content, such as videos or images, illustrates your firm’s capabilities and experiences. Your blogs offer helpful and insightful information. Your social media channels create a community for them to be a part of. Not only can they connect with you, but they can also interact with your other happy customers – establishing credibility and trust. SEO and key word strategy ensure that they find you online.
When someone is trying to find your office, you give them an address and a map so they can find you. Inbound marketing does much the same thing. It says, oh you’re looking for construction services? Hi my name is Jim, my firm is ABC and this is what we can do for you. If you’d like to learn more, turn this corner (e.g. follow this link, click on this picture, read our blog).
The best part of inbound marketing: It is measurable. Your efforts are easily tracked and measured with appropriate processes and software. You can monitor and identify the tactics that work best for you and your audience by looking at page visits, click-through rates, and a variety of measurements that signal whether you’re reaching, engaging and capturing new business.
Inbound marketing is a network of 24/7 employees that attract, connect with, and provide information to your audience. They can visit you anytime on your website, check out your online portfolio and receive helpful emails with educational or informational content and suggestions. Marketing processes, such as emails, can also be automated, saving valuable time and effort that can be spent writing proposals or on other tasks. And, it bears repeating, it works for you 24/7 – no vacation days necessary.
About Digital Impact Agency
Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.