How the AEC Industry Uses Inbound Marketing to Grow Relationships and Capture New Business

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 13, 2013 7:30:00 AM / by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda


To grow your business, marketing has to be as effective as your sales and project planning.  Businesses, particularly those in the architectural, engineering, and construction industry, are increasing their use of inbound marketing principles and tools to connect with individuals, increase awareness, generate leads and to create positive relationships with prospects and customers. They use inbound marketing because it is never pushy.  It does not employ the in-your-face tactics of traditional advertising, but rather helps potential customers find the business. It also saves time and money and is easily measured when correctly implemented.

How many of your AEC competitors use inbound marketing?

A recent survey by the Construction Marketing Association found that 82% of respondents employed inbound marketing. 

How do your competitors use inbound marketing?

The most-used channels and tactics were Facebook, Search Engine Optimization and Twitter, with 61-65% of respondents utilizing these tools.  News announcements, blog posts and videos topped the list for types of content developed, while blogging and SEO were tapped as the most effective inbound marketing.

How do AEC firms measure inbound marketing efforts and ROI?

While 77% of respondents used website analytics to measure inbound marketing success, only 3% utilized brand awareness, inbound calls, or keyword ranking.  And 10% don’t measure inbound marketing at all!

What does this mean for your firm?  To remain competitive, you need to harness the power of inbound marketing to reach your audience, and there is great potential for you to do it better than your competitors

Inbound Marketing is about making it easy for people to find you by tapping into appropriate channels and content to attract new customers.  This is accomplished with a strong web presence, accompanied by monitoring and adjustments to ensure success. When done well, it brings customers to you. 

How do the best firms employ inbound marketing?

The most successful firms that use inbound marketing:

  • Create a consistent image and presence across all channels (be it their website, social media pages, or blog)
  • Establish a professional and polished online presence that positions them as thought leaders within the industry. 
  • Appropriately craft content to raise their ranks in search engines like Google and Bing, allowing people looking for their services to easily find them. 
  • Use a professional, inviting website as their calling card to the digital world, including components such as targeted video or picture portfolios to show their capabilities and past work. 
  • Provide helpful information across all channels to attract new business. 

How to Get Started

Any marketing efforts start with your audience.  Who are they? Where are they (both on and offline)? A good understanding of your audience means you can create content that truly speaks to them and their problems. 

Not sure where to start? 

  1. Look at your clients, past and present, for a better picture.  
  2. Then identify where these folks visit, be it Twitter, Facebook, your website, etc.  
  3. Next, identify your goals.  Do you want to increase website traffic by 20%? Increase brand awareness and reach on Twitter? Obtain 10 qualified leads every month? 

After you have a clear picture of your audience and set goals, you can create a marketing plan.  A targeted, measured approach works best, so choose the pieces of your marketing plan that make the most sense for you and your audience.  Maybe you want to revamp your website to support your strategies, establish a presence on specific social media channel, start a lead nurturing email campaign and blog weekly.  Set up goals for these components and track progress.  Don’t have the time?  Many of your processes can be easily automated with software (such as HubSpot’s) that tracks progress for you, in addition to offering tools and templates to simplify processes and save you time.

Bottom line: Your customers drive your business.  And an increasing amount of them are online.  Reach out to them where they are, and start the conversations that turn into relationships.

Inbound Marketing for AEC Firms

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.

Topics: AEC marketing

Katrice Svanda

Written by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda is a Founder and CEO for Digital Impact Agency, a Houston-based digital media and inbound marketing agency. Her background includes over 15 years of experience in the technology industry from marketing emerging technologies to participating in several technology spin-offs. Katrice has created successful marketing campaigns for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and business-to-government.