There are some challenges that we regularly see architecture and construction industries face with their presence online. The most prominent of these are dated websites, a lack of social media presence, and a notable failure to differentiate and tell their brand story. The good news is there are lots of simple, and relatively inexpensive ways, to stand out from the crowd and get ahead of your competitors. Having a fulsome strategy behind your online presence is just as important as defining your offline business plan.
Your industry is specialized, and its important to position yourself as the expert within it. However, this should not be at the expense of your prospective clients. It is important not to alienate potential customers with jargon and industry-specific acronyms. Use open language across all your communications, including your website, marketing and print materials, and try not to make presumptions about your audience.
The Building Blocks
A content rich website and promotional materials (both on and offline) will educate and inform existing and prospective customers—ultimately with the goal of acquiring and retaining them. Choose what formats work best for you and your business; from news updates, videos, whitepapers infographics and how-to-guides. As consumers, we’ve developed “ad blindness” – an unconscious block towards overly promotional or salesy materials – so providing true value is an essential element of your marketing mix. Understand your audience and identify what information they are searching for, then provide it to them. It may not appear as though this will directly influence sales, but by positioning your company as a trustworthy, accessible and reliable source of information in your industry, you will be top of mind when it comes to choosing a partner for a project. A good content strategy also has a plethora of other benefits - such as improved search engine optimization.
Use your website and your marketing to highlight your very best work. Showcasing your projects and partners gives you instant credibility, but remember that you also need your website to be informative and give visitors a reason to come back. Use engaging and informative content and a clear call-to-action. The user experience on any website gives your customers an indication – whether accurate or not – of the type of company you are and what you are like to work with. So, if the imagery used is low resolution or outdated, if copy is complicated or if the site is slow to load, it will not reflect well on your business. Sharp and interesting design, relatable copy with a clear call-to-action and a fast, responsive website will leave a positive impression.
The Finishing Touch
The final element to consider to is – you. Ultimately, people trust people - not businesses. Word-of-mouth continues to be the most effective advertising tool that there is, and by giving your company a personal touch, you immediately have a unique selling point. Be inclusive, welcoming and share your expertize with prospective clients in a welcoming way – so that they can understand not only what you are doing and your reasons for doing it, but why their dollar is best spent with you!
For further advice on how to execute these recommendations, get in touch!
Author: Sandra Moffatt