To achieve long-term business success, you need a thoughtful growth strategy tailored to the specific needs of your business. Digital marketing is an incredibly varied field, and what works for one business may not work for another. In the construction and engineering sectors, sustainable growth is not dependent on specific digital tools. Instead, it is based on the creation and implementation of a well-crafted strategy.
From how you present your business to the people you communicate with, smart branding is about showcasing your capability in order to inspire trust and motivate action.
Google rankings are not everything
If you've ever looked into online marketing, you're probably aware of search engine optimisation (SEO). This huge field is often heralded as the be-all-and-end-all of digital marketing. SEO is about improving the quality and quantity of website traffic coming from search engines.
While this is obviously a big deal, it's not important for all types of businesses. Just like the local high street, not every business relies on organic foot traffic to bring money through the door. For example, if you operate a B2B construction business or run a large-scale engineering firm, SEO is probably the least of your worries. Instead, it's much more important to focus on credibility, reliability, and capability in order to win contracts and build long-term relationships.
Online ads will only take you so far
Just like SEO, Google Ads are often presented as a silver bullet marketing solution. Previously known as AdWords, these pay-per-click ads are displayed in search engine results, websites, mobile apps, and videos. Google Ads are based on specific keywords and are used to display service offerings, product listings, videos, and text.
Once again, online advertising is not the be-all-and-end-all of digital marketing. Using Google Ads is akin to waving a sign outside your store. While this can be effective for many consumer-facing businesses, it's far from ideal for many B2B operations. If you're involved in civil or commercial construction, large-scale engineering and infrastructure projects, or any tender work, there are better places to invest your energy.
Buying leads is not the only way
When you use commercial SEO or Google Ads, you are effectively buying leads for your business. Based on the following two extremes, this is not always the best way forward:
- In one business, every person is a potential customer. This is the case for many food and healthcare operations, where audience attention is worth the same amount regardless of its origin.
- In another business, there are only a limited number of potential customers. This is the case for many construction and engineering firms, where audience attention is worth vastly different amounts depending on its origin.
While both businesses benefit from leads, the second example requires a more considered approach. Instead of attempting to reach everyone via SEO and Google Ads, it's much more efficient to focus on the credibility of your business in order to attract attention from specific markets. While online marketing tools can still be effective, they work best when they highlight an underlying position of strength and integrity.
How to make your marketing budget count
Just like every other aspect of business, marketing is not just about results. Instead, it's about maximising results while minimising spending. In the construction and engineering fields, a professional capability statement is the single most effective marketing weapon in your arsenal. When you define your capability in print and digital format, and present your value with clarity and confidence, you will inspire trust in your market.
How many contracts do you really need?
While SEO and Google Ads fulfil a basic purpose, they generate results via anonymous consumer relationships. While a one-to-many ratio works for some businesses, it is inefficient and ineffective for many B2B companies. If you operate a large construction or engineering business, building one-to-one relationships makes a lot more sense.
When you stop selling, you can start communicating. When you understand the limits of attention, you can position yourself more effectively among specific markets. Instead of shouting endlessly into the digital void, you can make an effort to resonate with the people who really matter. Not only is this more effective, but it also helps you to build authority and present a more exclusive brand image.
Social media and relationship building
Social media is everywhere in modern society, from personal pages to celebrities, politicians, and businesses. Behind the glitz and glamour, these tools are a great way to connect with your market and share information with your partners. Social media offers benefits on multiple fronts:
Perhaps you want to connect with other industry players in your field. Maybe you need to collaborate on a project, keep an eye on major developments, or build a business profile. Without a social media presence, you risk getting left behind. From tools and equipment to talent and investment, social media enables industry sharing and community involvement.
While social media won't win you contracts, it might help you to convert your leads. When prospects are checking you out, they will click on your social media links to see who you are and what you stand for. This allows people to gain an insight into your business culture to see if it aligns with their values.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon that helps to describe patterns of influence and behaviour. When people feel like they know you, they are more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. This can be priceless, with social media posts affecting how people approach your business. With the power of social proof, you can define your ideal customer and lead them to your door.
Social media tools are a great way to build relationships. There are many ways to communicate with your audience and build a community around your brand. For example, you can offer knowledge, share your work, or promote team values to a wider audience. You can also share stories, promote community projects, or simply list your achievements. In addition, B2B operations can benefit by talking about industry regulations or regional issues.
Inconsistency has a cost
Marketing is a year-round commitment — not a now and then activity. If you fail to engage your audience on a regular basis, you are likely to miss new opportunities. In order to grow, it's important to build on what you have by defining your capability and creating a community around your brand. If you funnel your messaging properly, you can make sure that every word and dollar counts.
Instead of trying to be all things to all people at all times, you simply have to highlight the intrinsic value of your business. When you're established in your field, you already have so much capital to work with. From the partnerships you’ve forged to the projects you've completed and culture you've created, effective marketing shines a light on all the things that make you great.
If you would like to ignite your business from the inside out, please contact Living Lines today.
For more information and branding advice, contact article author and branding expert, Susan Jones, director of Living Lines branding agency on 0410 590 737.
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