Construction firms today waste lots of time and money pursuing marketing advice that often turns out to be complete malarkey. Malarkey, also known as bullshit, baloney, exaggeration, etc., seems like an appropriate term in the wake of Saint Patrick’s Day since it is believed to have Irish American roots.
The mission of the Construction Marketing Straight Talker is to deliver a no-holds-barred analysis of what types of strategies and tactics really work. With that said, the following offers a brief summary of some common construction marketing advice that is either complete or partial malarkey.
You Must be on Every Social Media Channel
If someone tells your construction firm to build a presence on every social media platform, put your checkbook away and run…quickly. It’s likely that the advisor stands to gain if you follow that advice, of course.
There is absolutely no reason a construction firm should feel compelled to juggle social media pages. Develop a meaningful presence on and master one to three platforms that make sense for your firm. Build a following that matters.
Branding is Only for Big Firms
Construction firms don’t need to be branding experts, but you do need to understand that every firm has a brand regardless of size. Global consumer products firms like Procter & Gamble will take branding to a higher level, but you need to at least be aware of the basics of your brand values. If you don’t establish the ground rules for your brand, your customers will.
Advertising, Print, Etc. is Dead
Pundits are quick to predict the death of advertising and all things print. “You’re wasting your money advertising in that trade magazine or printing that mailer,” they say. Ironically, the crystal ball is often held by those with a vested interest in the digital realm. Remember that old idiom, “what’s old is new again?”
Many of us have been around long enough to realize that incredible opportunity exists in the smoldering ashes of disaster. Vehicles such as advertising, printed brochures, newsletters, and collateral still matter for the construction industry. While there is no question the Internet has diminished the effectiveness of these tools, predicting their demise is complete and utter malarkey.
It’s All About That SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been a lucrative space and has been home to some shady firms that have bamboozled unknowing clients with fancy terms and concepts. They continue to claim that SEO is the most important factor in improving website search results.
While this is not complete malarkey, the truth is that quality content is even more important. Google’s bots are constantly crawling your construction website, looking for the presence of current, relevant content.
Everyone Can Be a Writer, Designer, Etc.
There is no question that software, apps, and websites have given construction firms the ability to self-perform such tasks as graphic design. That’s a positive for firms looking to self-perform, but bad news for firms like Fraley Construction Marketing that offer these services. The problem is that it has given us a false belief that we can all be designers and writers. Total malarkey.
General contractors often sub out scope items like milling, demolition, and HVAC, primarily because they realize the importance of hiring experts. There are times to self-perform and times to call in a specialist. Make sure you know the difference.
You Need to Go Viral
A woman in a Chewbacca mask went viral, but it doesn’t mean your construction firm has to follow suit. While going viral certainly wouldn’t hurt, it shouldn’t be your number one goal.
Your primary social media marketing objective should be about quality, not quantity. In other words, don’t worry about hitting a mass audience; hit the right audience.
No One Reads Your Content
Construction firms that monitor social media metrics or Google Analytics data are likely to be disappointed by the lackluster numbers. The results may even discourage you from participating and writing content for your website. Why bother, right?
It all starts with construction firms benchmarking against performance metrics based on Internet articles and marketing consultants that don’t understand the construction industry. Demolition will never attract the same amount of interest as the iPhone. Keep creating.
Professional Video is History
There was a time when a polished professional video was the norm in the business world. A firm would have frowned upon the use of fillers and shaky camera footage. There is a movement underway that espouses authenticity and doesn’t hesitate to break out the smartphone to capture raw footage, and publish it under the brand’s name.
There is still a place for professional video. The choice should be determined based on the objectives and the use. Raw video clips of your jobsite work on social media, for example, but a corporate video to be embedded on your website should be done professionally.
Big Data is Bulletproof
Whether you’re an actual contractor, or someone like me that knows hundreds of them, let me ask you a question: do you really think a contractor would reveal accurate information to an unknown surveyor? There is no question that data and surveys provide a major marketing advantage, but I strongly recommend that you scrutinize the source and the method of collection, especially if its qualitative research.
It’s also important to make the distinction between words spoken or written and action taken. If someone clicks on a button or an ad, for example, you know that execution took place. If words are spoken or written, consider that there many variable that can affect the soundness of that data. Regardless of the data collected, the one constant is that we usually can’t be sure of the intent behind the action. Seek data and measurement, but exercise skepticism as well.
Construction firms, while shrewd by nature, often buy into the aforementioned malarkey spewed by jargon-spewing marketing people. It’s an easy trap to fall into when the result is that you will save money.
Further complicating matters is that the internet is like a fire hose of information coming from many sources; it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction. The Construction Marketing Straight Talker will continue to expose the construction marketing advice that’s a bunch of malarkey and bring you the facts.
Need help with marketing strategy? Click here to learn more about Fraley Construction Marketing’s services.