The Construction sector has seen a rapid adoption of new technology in recent years e.g. BIM and 3D printing, and digital marketing is no exception. Building product manufacturers, contractors, architects, engineers and other professionals are embracing digital marketing techniques to help build brand awareness, developer closer relationships with customers and ultimately increase sales.
But what digital marketing trends should you be considering for 2019 and which will have the greatest commercial impact on your business?
Yes, you’ve probably heard a lot about content marketing and perhaps you’re not sure how investing capital in content will earn you a positive return-on-investment?
Simply put, creating engaging content provides your business with a purpose and a voice in a crowded marketplace. For example, the content on your website will determine whether that potential customer takes action and contacts you. Whether they trust you. Whether they think you have the skills and expertise to solve their problem.
Quality content will help your business with improved Google rankings (especially with the growing trend for conversational content and thought leadership articles) meaning more users will visit your website for you to convert into enquiries. And through good distribution online it will provide better brand exposure and better backlinks to your site (again improving your Google rankings).
Action point – Create a content schedule and make sure it aligns with your business goals. For example, if you are looking to increase sales for a particular product line, think about how you can write about the particular product?
Are there any case studies you can feature? Write about how your product can solve a problem for your customers and prospective customers, rather than simply stating its features and specifications.
As a final piece of advice, make sure the article is personalised for your audience. Personalising your content ensures it is relevant for your intended audience, which in turn builds trust, which in turn builds long-term business relationships.
Video usage is increasing year-on-year and that includes informative, educational product and brand videos, not just videos about dogs playing football or people twerking.
The nature in which humans interact with content is changing, users are more likely to watch a video rather than to read paragraphs of text. They are also far more likely to engage with it too, whether it is a simple like, comment or share it with their followers.
This means your video content is more likely to have a greater reach with new audiences and potential new customers.
Action point – Video should form a part of your marketing strategy, and importantly doesn’t have to be costly. Live video streaming will continue to grow in 2019, greatly helped with various social platforms offering the facility.
People do business with people, and if you record a series of videos explaining various projects you are working on, what you learned, any mistakes you made, what you would do differently, users would engage with your video content and buy into your brand.
3. Email Marketing
After we all survived GDPR in 2018, this year will show that email is more relevant and important than ever. Or should we say, targeted, relevant and high quality emails are more important than ever.
Personalisation is key in emails. Ensuring the content is right for your audience and that it is timely, contributes to a successful email campaign and proves the difference between a good and bad campaign.
We’ll also mention data here as well. The use, management and interpretation of data is crucial for email marketing, as it is for larger more organisation decisions too. But for email marketing, ensuring that you have users’ permission or that your communications have a legitimate interest is now the law.
Action point – It is good practice to go through your email data, to ensure that you have the correct permissions and that it is valid. A good service to use is Kickbox which verifies your email addresses, which will in turn reduce any chances of being blacklisted or having any flags against your domain. This is important for many of the emailshot platforms available out there e.g. MailChimp, Mailing Manager, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact and many more.
Make sure the email you are sending is relevant to the recipient, and that its function is to act as a purposeful ‘touchpoint’ to either influence, inform, educate or engage. Also, keep them simple in design ensuring they are easy to ready and clear to act upon.
4. Social Media
We often get asked “will social media really work for my business?” The answer is, yes. And trends in 2019 will show that it is more important than ever to be active over social media channels.
Importantly though, it isn’t just a case of setting up a Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest account and posting occasionally about new products or company news. It is much more about channelling your business’s values and content over the channels that your target audience is using.
There is no right or wrong answer here, the best way to go about it is to research it. Where can you find your customers? Competitors. Industry peers. Find them, and then provide them with valuable content for them to engage with.
Integrating social media marketing into your plans for 2019 will not only benefit you from increase brand awareness, but also increased customer engagement and retention, ultimately increasing sales with long-standing relationships.
Action point – Research your industry, competitors, customers and industry peers. See what they are actively using and then focus on these channels. Then tie-in your content schedule (mentioned earlier) or a programme of tweets and posts. This way, you will communicate great content at the right time to the right people, building your brand and acting as a lead generating source.
5. Customer Experience
The best way to define customer experience is controlling your customer journey and how it affects their perception of your business. Things like what do customers think of your website? Does it look professional and is it easy to use? How did the customer feel after reading your thought leadership article in an industry magazine, did it influence them in a positive way? Did the emailshot you sent your customer reach them in a timely manner? was it relevant and did it solve their problem?
Customer experience is crucial for business success and a positive experience promotes long-term business relationships and increased sales.
But why is customer experience important in your digital marketing strategy? The nature of the Internet means that information is at the fingertips of any user. If they don’t find the information they need within seconds, they will simply search for an alternative supplier.
With this in mind, it is crucial to have a professional, slick, good-looking website. It has to be easy to navigate for the user. It has to be responsive for any device. And it has to solve the problem of your visitor.
Action point – One of the easiest ways to evaluate your customer experience is to measure it and ask for their feedback. Either speak with them, email them or create an online survey for your customers to fill in.
Use this data to ensure your digital presence, whether it’s your website, emailshot campaigns, social media presence or any other digital touchpoint is satisfying your customers’ needs.
Understanding and interpreting your website analytics is a great way to analyse your customer experience. Does a particular page have a high exit rate? Does a page have a high engagement rate? By using these metrics, you can shape your digital marketing strategy for the year ahead.
If you have any questions on the above feel free to get in touch.