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Beyond Digital: A Seminar To Grow Your Building Products Brand

Beyond Digital: A Seminar To Grow Your Building Products Brand

This week, Insynth met with marketing and sales executives from construction companies across the UK for a seminar hosted by CEO, Leigh Simpson, on transforming digital marketing strategy for business growth. Sponsored by Barbour ABI, Insynth's seminar gave insights into content marketing, promotion, video, SEO and ever-evolving technology, sparking conversation amongst guests. Here's an overview of the digital marketing lessons covered in the seminar.

How The Internet Has Changed Specification & Buying
The pace of change online is quicker than ever, and it's only getting faster. This is down to technology. By 2020, Gartner predicts that customers will manage 85% of their relationship with businesses without talking to a person. This is why your online presence needs to be stronger than ever. The construction sector often isn't quite as quick as other sectors to use new technology, yet technology opens the door to where your customers are; there are countless ways to reach out to them online and maximise your sales.

In the modern world, buyers want information on demand. Research can be done anywhere on a smartphone. In fact, over 60% of research is now done on mobile devices, potentially away from the office. If you don't adapt to the digital shift, you'll find that your products or services become irrelevant in the marketplace. You need to keep up with your surroundings: what are people looking for today? Will they be looking for the same thing tomorrow? Look at what happened to Blockbuster, Nokia, Yahoo....

The company that will be the biggest in the world in 20 years' time doesn't exist yet. That's how quickly markets move. Netflix, Apple, Uber, Amazon? None of these companies existed 20 years ago. This is why the role of sales teams is changing. Buyers no longer need so many face-to-face interactions when making buying decisions. Too much face-to-face interaction can now actually inhibit sales. Customers don't want to be 'disrupted.' They will look for your solution when they're ready.

In this on-demand culture, time has become your biggest competitor. With the rise of online marketing and online payment systems, we're surrounded by high service level expectations and the ease of engagement. Friction is your enemy. If anything slows your online process, you're more likely to lose customers.

Getting Noticed
Getting found on Google is getting harder every day. Competition is constantly growing, and it's easy for your content to become a needle in a haystack. Many overcome this through pay per click strategies, but this can be particularly expensive. Although PPC provides a short-term boost, it's rarely an affordable long-term strategy.

Content and SEO strategies are long-term implementations that can consistently grow your online presence.
Your content is more likely to rank when you optimise it with
• appropriate keywords
• tagged images
• page titles
• h tags
• meta tags
• internal links
• markup
• backlinks
Your website will be more likely to rank highly if you have a strong domain authority. This is a signal of your online authority and is determined by the number and quality of websites that link to your content. The highest quality linking sites belong to
• universities
• news media
• trade media
• suppliers
• major clients
• charities
The higher your domain authority gets, the harder it becomes to increase it further. However, the higher it is, the more likely you are to get noticed.

Quick Tips To Get Noticed Online
Ensure that your website is secure, with a HTTPS certificate. 18% of construction company websites are missing this. Invest in a mobile responsive website. Over 50% of traffic comes from mobile devices, so it's vital that your website is accessible from these. Use the internet to drive your business not only widely, but internationally. You'll always be competing internationally for online search.

Content Is King
When you develop the right website content, you can develop qualified leads. Encourage your team to create the following content:
• website content
• email marketing content
• downloadable content
• how-to videos
• online training content
• white papers
• social media content
• SEO-driven content
• CRM systems
• blogs and vlogs
• live chat
Your content needs to be created in line with the specifier's journey. Are they researching options? Considering your products/services in particular? Making their final decision? Provide them with content that fits their current position. Your content needs to achieve one of four ambitions:
• To attract
• To convert
• To close (a lead)
• To delight
These are the four stages that specifiers and customers typically progress through in their buying journey. Content should be angled for each.

Where To Start With Content
Start with a website audit. Is all of your content up to date? Is your technical data correct? Is it open and accessible, secure and responsive? Is it logically structured? Have you tailored your content to your buyer personas? This preparation will help you to plan your future content.

Map your buyer's journey to consider the steps your prospects take that are core to their purchase decisions. Where do they start their research? Where do they go for additional information? At which point would they like to discuss with someone face-to-face? You can apply this journey to the way that you operate your marketing and sales strategies. Write educational content: white papers, research, printed literature, specification/design guides, collaborations with industry authorities. You may want to throw a few discount codes in too.

Gated Content
While you can gate the content listed above to gain information about your visitors, don't gate technical literature, BIM objects, technical drawings, price lists and specification clauses. Most visitors won't provide their email address for this content and will look elsewhere if expected to. Anything that will help a specifier or customer to specify or buy must be easily accessible, else they'll go to your competitors' websites.

For gated content, create thank you pages to follow downloads. Thank your visitors and explain what will happen next (will they receive a copy in an email?). You could link additional relevant content and relate your overall message to the buyer's journey. Follow up with an automated email response based on the visitor's stage in the buyer's journey. You may want to enrol them for further emails or add them to a workflow. Only 13% of businesses follow up downloads at the moment.

Are You Ready For Video?
While email is still the most favoured method of communication of business, video is on the rise. It's already the preferred method of consuming information. Video increases recall, response, engagement and email open rates. There's more to video than words. Communication is 7% words, 38% tone of voice and 55% body language. Video allows you to harness the vocal and non-verbal aspects of communication. You can use it to project your sincerity and authenticity. Video humanises your digital sales and marketing.

There are three types of one-to-one video:
• sales presentations
• product demonstrations
• personal video messages

Use these in every context of your online communications, whether on your website, in your blog content, in your email marketing or on social media.

Implementing Your ‘Technology Stack’
There's loads of room for automation in the construction sector. Known for being labour-intensive and inefficient, it's no surprise that robots are being built for construction work in Japan. Is digital transformation in your sight?
Technology can broaden your understanding of where your customers are and what they need. With website tracking, workflows, email software and live chat, you can virtually follow your visitors around your site and understand what draws their attention most.
A good stack will:
• provide a website platform
• convert visitors into qualified leads
• help you to turn leads into customers
• track visitor movements on your website
• automate manual tasks to improve sales productivity
• manage your sales pipeline in a CRM
• improve visibility and ROI

Conclusion
When you tailor your digital marketing strategy to the latest Google algorithms and understand how these impact SEO, to A.I so that you can improve customer experience, to optimised content that's primed for visibility, and to video marketing so that you can engage your prospects on a variety of platforms, you'll be on your way to growing your building products brand in all the right directions.

About Insynth
Insynth Marketing is a leading UK construction marketing consultancy based in Shifnal in the West Midlands. Insynth employ the latest inbound marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to help building product manufacturers grow their businesses by aggressively driving sales lead generation activity.

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