Another year, and more soul-searching for new ideas to achieve marketing success! Last year we suggested content marketing planning and using marketing analytics. This year the team at the Construction Marketing Association is recommending: 1) Smarter prospecting, 2) Paid search and paid social, and 3) Marketing self-improvement.
So what is smarter prospecting? Sounds like a sales initiative. Well, marketing best practices is all about revenue growth and new customer acquisition, right? So marketing should take the lead when it comes to lead generation and tee those prospects up for business development or sales because we can do it better!
How? Start with market segmentation. Analyze existing customers, revenue, or even profits by distinct market segment. Certainly rank segments, and identify what segments are driving business. Use government NAICs or SIC codes to define segments. Next, identify titles of decision makers for your products or services. Often there are multiple decision makers and influencers that should be identified. With this information, research and identify companies and contacts that are similar, and build a contact list with email addresses and telephone numbers. Introduce your company to these prospects via email with educational information and offers.
Another excellent tactic is LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is a premium account upgrade, but offers robust search queries to hone in on markets, companies, and decision makers. Build a database in Sales Navigator, request connections, and InMail offers with links (not possible with non-premium LinkedIn profile. Once connected you can obtain email and telephone contact information.
Supplement Sales Navigator with old-fashioned Google and website searches. You can find contacts, emails, and more with some quiet time and a lot of searches. Plow all of this new information into a spreadsheet, email service provider list, or CRM system.
Another aspect of smarter prospecting is managing website form-fills, and reviewing IP-tracking reports. Of course, this requires multiple offers, call-to-actin (CTA), and registration forms to achieve form fills. IP-tracking is a (low cost) subscription service that reports anonymous website visitors by IP address, and can be a cold lead that requires additional qualification. Services include Leadlander, Visual Visitor, and Leadformix.
Paid Search and Paid Social
With over 100 billion global searches being conducted each month and 75% of search engine users never scrolling past the first page of search results, the search war is heating up (SEJ)! How can you leverage search to drive traffic to your website?
Paid search, also known as pay per click (PPC), is one option for your construction company to drive traffic and leads to your website.
Paid search can be used to achieve your short-term results, due to its immediacy, while organic is a more viable option long-term. Consider supplementing your website traffic with paid search while you are building your organic search presence. Also, paid search can be extremely flexible, targeted, and measurable. For example:
- Target based on keywords — your company’s services
- Target based on location — your company’s service area
Paid advertisements on Google typically appear at the top and bottom of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). As of February 2016, ads are no longer being shown on the right-hand side of the SERP. Paid search results are served according to the keywords used by the search engine user.
Another related strategy we recommend is Google AdWords remarketing, which is conducted through the Google Display network. Remarketing is a powerful PPC strategy that allows you to target and reach people who have previously visited your website by showing them ads across the web. It is estimated that only 2% of website traffic converts on their first visit, so remarketing, especially in combination with paid search, can help you win back the 98% that didn’t convert.
According to our recent Social Media Summit, 60% of construction marketers reported that they have never used social media advertising. Of those who did, Facebook was the most popular social media advertising channel.
While paid search is a great way to drive website traffic based on user intent (their search), social media advertising offers an alternative way to get your company in front of users and drive action based on their interests or other specific, demographic information before they search. Targeting options vary by platform, but some relevant examples include:
- Job Titles
- Purchase behavior
- Company size
So what about Marketing self-improvement? Well first step is to join the Construction Marketing Association. Become a member. Participate in our training webcasts. Volunteer to run a local chapter. Next, read the book. Tools of the Trade: Modern Marketing for Construction Brands. For a limited time, you can get the PDF version free when you join CMA, or you can purchase the hard copy here. Finally, consider professional certification. The Certified Construction Marketing Professional (CCMP) program from CMA is a study guide and web-based examination, with the license to use the CCMP designation after your name, for your whole career.
To great success in 2017! What are your 2017 marketing resolutions? Please comment below.