Regardless of the industry, customers no longer want to be pursued, cold called or sold to. They want to be in charge and go online to find the information they need. The construction industry is no different.

Whether a business is selling a construction-related product or a specialty construction service, it needs to reach its target audience online by embracing digital marketing. This includes any marketing efforts done online: blogging, social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), website development and more. It’s expected that digital will account for more than 75 percent of marketing budgets in the next five years.

Following are four ways to boost a construction business’ digital marketing efforts.

Get Found With SEO
The internet is a vast ocean of data filled with businesses all trying to do the same thing: sell their construction services. As a result, getting found means having the company’s SEO game in top form.

SEO requires companies to think about the words and phrases that people would put into a search engine and use those words and phrases throughout their content. The key to good SEO is the audience. Companies must have a certain degree of knowledge about the people who would potentially need their services, and then they need to create content that will attract that audience. Once the website, blog, and social media pages are filled with the phrases that the targeted audience is looking for, they will have a much easier time finding you.

Position the Company As an Expert
Customers don’t like offering their information without getting something in return. By providing valuable content on the company’s website, it is establishing itself as an expert within the construction industry. Even if site visitors aren’t ready to purchase the firm’s services, they will remember the business if it has impactful content.

Build an Audience
Each time a new visitor finds a website and gleans valuable information and content, they are more apt to come back. Each piece of a digital marketing strategy is put in place to attract new visitors and build an audience.

RIBA looked at how architects and designers choose products and what they want from manufacturers, and found that 85 percent of those surveyed prefer to find product information online. Give the people what they want, which is online content.

Generate Leads
Visits to a site don’t guarantee a sale, but they do provide an opportunity to gain contact information and create leads. By digitally optimizing a website with lead boxes, landing pages, contact forms or even a live chat, businesses can start a conversation with their customers and begin the sales process—on their terms.

Long story short, without a great website, customers will leave before they make contact. And without great content, potential customers won’t know which company can get the job done.

Stay focused on the target audience’s needs and concerns. And given that consumers want to conduct business online, businesses should be ready to meet them there.

Jim Foucher is vice president of RBV Contracting, an 8(a)-certified minority and HUBZone construction contractor specializing in site development and infrastructure. Since investing in digital marketing six months ago, the company has increased its social media following by 40 percent, leading to potential customers reaching out regarding employment and project oppotunitites. The company also has received 12 new contracts and doubled its revenue from the last calendar year. For more information, email jim@rbvcontracting.com.