This article series is primarily intended for managers of construction companies, but self-employed workers will also find interesting ideas therein.
The bouquet of tactics presented here will help you gain this valuable notoriety. Marketing is both a science and an art. We, the authors of these articles, do not pretend to be able to cover this vast discipline completely in a few articles, but we hope to offer you a concrete, achievable guide without unnecessary complexity.
To thrive, we must communicate and collaborate with other humans.
We need to connect with members of a broad professional community (workers, contractors, associations, suppliers, etc.) who share our interests.
If we are INVISIBLE in the eyes of this community, business and employment opportunities will become scarce, and the sustainability of the company more fragile.
Therefore, we must invest in our visibility. This task, which is part of the marketing discipline, must be a company priority, just like operations or finances. By performing it rigorously and consistently, we make sure:
- To fill our order book
- To avoid slow periods
- To be able to discard unprofitable offers
- To retain our workforce
- To confidently plan our investments and labor needs
Today, there are many ways to make yourself known. This mission can be entrusted to a member of the management team or to a communication agency. In the latter case, the information presented here will allow us to interact effectively with the selected agency.
The Web Site
The corporate website is now a must. Without a website, you don’t exist!
Anyone looking for a new supplier, or simply for your contact information, will use an internet search engine.
Think of your website as your storefront. Passers-by must grasp in an instant what you offer, feel concerned by this offer and wish to discover more about what is behind this window.
Your site must be dynamic, i.e., adapt to different device formats, from desktop computers to smart phones.
In order to capture the visitor’s interest, a home page needs to be streamlined. We suggest a structure with four levels of information:
Level 1: The welcome banner, in permanent display; it contains your logo and the titles of your tabs.
Level 2: Your sector of activity, your main specialties, the region in which you are active; for example: interior systems contractor, multi-residential specialist in San Francisco and its northern suburbs.
Level 3: Why should a customer choose your company? A short list of the advantages of doing business with you; for example: respect of quotes and deadlines, experienced team ensuring tight quality control, experienced in scientific buildings, etc.
Level 4: A call to action action; example: a ‘contact us’ button that directs to a simplified form in which the potential customer enters his contact information and the best time to reach them.
The other tabs on your site allow you to know a little more about your offer and your company, but always favouring clear information and short texts. We suggest the following tabs:
- Your recent achievements, with photos of the projects.
- A presentation of your management team and a few words on the values that drive it.
- Some testimonials from satisfied customers.
- Your contact information and a contact form that includes a few questions to find out more about the reason for interest; examples: request for estimate; available jobs.
If your business has reached a certain maturity, you might consider adding additional tabs such as ‘company news’.
If you entrust the realization of your website to an external company, the key to avoid budget overruns is to be well prepared beforehand. Don’t hesitate to consult the websites of companies similar to yours in order to identify good practices. Present the agency with examples of sites that appeal to you. Make up your mind about the graphic style and content you want to see on your website. Prepare your texts and images, identify them well so that the developer knows where to integrate them.
On the other hand, today there are many tools that allow the manager without experience in web programming to develop his own website with a minimum of effort. An internet search will identify several inexpensive design and online platforms. But be careful, make sure to choose an offer that allows you to use your company URL, and not the one of the platform (example: www.mybusiness.com instead of www.platform/mybusiness.com).
A word about web search engines. Your goal is to appear among the first proposals submitted by the search engine, at least on the first page of search results. To achieve this, you must, through the information contained on your site, ensure that keywords and expressions related to your field of expertise AND likely to be used by an individual conducting a search appear. For example, for an interior systems company: the content should include in the site description, in the titles and subtitles, the terms ‘interior system’, ‘drywall installation’, ‘acoustic ceiling’, ‘multi-residential’ (if this is your specialty), ‘your region’, etc… This technique of keyword selection and use is known as ‘search engine optimization’ (SEO) and helps to improve the visibility of your website. Again, basic and free online tools are available.
The visibility of your company must be a constant concern.
Your website is essential.
Its consultation on smartphone must be adapted and fluid.
A clear and streamlined communication is more effective and memorable.
A clearly visible ‘contact’ button and a simplified contact process are important.
Well planned in advance the structure and content of the site, a bit like a movie script, will save you a lot of trouble and allow you to meet your schedule and budget.
In the next newsletter, always in the spirit of being a dynamic player in your business community, we will discuss the importance of getting involved with professional associations.