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Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Whether you want a steady stream of leads or a flood that can quickly expand your construction business, advertising and marketing are the keys to running a successful business.
Agencies and professionals specialize in marketing for the construction industry, and you may want to hire someone to develop a marketing strategy and implement some of the ideas. However, to keep costs down, you could also learn about and take on some of the work yourself.
There are many ways to get your business in front of potential clients, including traditional marketing options for construction companies like mailers, banners, trade shows, and fencing around job sites — and new forms of advertising, like paid web ads and social media marketing. With a nod to the modern age, here’s how to advertise a construction company and five ways to help you get started.
While a handyman service stands apart by being a jack of all trades (and master of none), a construction business is often better off building expertise and a reputation for specific types of jobs. Consider what you already do well, and where you’d like your business to go in the future, as you narrow in on your niche. This is an important part of marketing for construction companies, and other small businesses, because it will define how you frame your marketing material and who you target.
One of the best ways to advertise construction businesses (or any business really) is to delight your customers with an exceptional product or service. Recommendations from current and past clients can be a source of high-quality leads, but you need to earn their endorsement.
Sometimes, these referrals happen naturally. However, you also prompt referrals by following up with previous clients and asking if they need any additional work done or know someone who might. An occasional email, letter, or phone call may be enough — don’t go overboard and become a nuisance.
Additionally, ask clients to write reviews of your company on directory websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Home Advisor. This tactic is especially important when marketing for the construction industry, as these platforms may be potential clients’ first stop when they’re searching for a construction company, and having a lot of reviews can help you build trust and stand out from the crowd. You may also be able to repurpose these testimonials and put them on your website.
Particularly for small construction businesses and general contractors, offering your services to your community can go a long way toward building name recognition and goodwill.
You can do this by advertising, perhaps by sponsoring local sports teams or youth groups. Or, you can volunteer your time by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or a similar charitable organization. You may even want to pay your crew to join in and then send out a press release covering the project and impact.
Another way to get involved and that’s among the best way to advertise a construction business is to join your local chamber of commerce, where you can meet other local business owners, share marketing ideas, exchange referrals, and build a reputation as a go-to contractor for small business projects.
Construction businesses have a big advantage when it comes to social media—the work you do every day is a gold mine of great content. Think of the success of all those house hunting and remodeling shows on TV, and it’s clear that people love to watch the building and remodeling process in action.
You can set up cameras to capture time-lapse videos of your crew working, post before and after pictures, or even slow down and explain what you’re doing to create how-to videos. With proper planning, you can do all three at the same time and add just a little extra work for a potential big pay-off.
All the content can be posted on Instagram, Facebook, and the videos can go to YouTube, and each account can have your company’s website and contact info on it. The intent of social media marketing for construction companies is to build a following and be top-of-mind when one of your followers needs to hire a contractor.
Additionally, you want to consider paid campaigns as part of your social media marketing efforts. Buying Facebook ads or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on other social media platforms could be a worthwhile investment because you can target specific demographics.
For example, if you do a lot of renovations for growing families, you could target people in a specific area who are in their late 20s or early 30s. Or, perhaps you want your ads to only be shown to seniors who need aging-in-place remodels. You can even set up a time-sensitive campaign, such as advertising storm restoration services following a flood or hurricane.
Whether you run a small business or major construction company, you almost certainly need a website. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but a website is an essential piece of marketing for the construction industry, and a clean graphic design can make a strong first impression. You’ll also want a few basics, such as pictures or videos of your work, a list of your products or services, and contact information.
Social media and paid ads can send people to your website, but you also want to build organic (i.e., free) traffic directly from the search engines’ results page. For example, when someone searches “construction company in Your Town,” you want your website to appear high up in the results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a complete industry in itself, but you can apply it when marketing for construction companies by building links to your website. There are many ways to do this, including writing guest blog posts on other business’ websites, getting media attention for your community engagement projects, and reaching out to your suppliers. Sometimes, companies that sell building supplies and materials create lists of construction companies that use their products.
Figuring out how to advertise a construction company can take time, and there isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll want to tailor your marketing strategy to match your business’ size, specialty, and the types of customers you’re trying to reach. Just as you would carefully plan how to allocate funds from a construction loan in order to grow your business, you should plan your marketing strategy to be revenue- and/or lead-generating following the suggestions above.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.