In recent years, the spread of IT has been remarkable in the construction industry, and the web has come to be used as a means of acquiring new customers. However, it is necessary to take strategic measures as in real marketing, rather than simply creating and operating web content.
- From analog to digital in the small and medium-sized construction industry
Even if it is called a small and medium-sized construction industry, it is divided into various industries such as a prime contractor’s construction company, a subcontractor specialist, and a private construction company. There are too many vendors to list here. But all industries are consistently saying that businesses are changing from analog to digital.
Until now, in the construction industry, offline introductions such as leaflets and telephones and business development by subcontracting have been common. However, with intensifying competition among peers and an increase in multiple subcontracting structures, the profits of the vulnerable small and medium-sized construction industry are steadily declining, and conventional business methods are struggling.
Therefore, in addition to the existing offline business, an increasing number of companies are entering the new genre of “Web” in order to acquire new business partners. In recent years, the number of construction companies searching for business partners using Web search is increasing, and it can be said that this genre has infinite possibilities depending on how it is operated.
- Web marketing is an essential business:
Until now, if there is almost no connection with the Web, it is easy to shy away from saying, “Business on the Web may be difficult.” However, it is expected that businesses that utilize the Web will continue to expand, and even in the small and medium-sized construction industry, operations that use PCs and smartphones will become essential. However, even if you enter the Web business with a close-out departure, you cannot expect the desired number of customers and effects.
Especially in the small and medium-sized construction industry, which is not well known, the chances of getting the created content to be viewed are overwhelmingly small, and it is expected that it will be more difficult to attract customers. What is needed here is strategic “web production” and “web marketing” that includes analysis of customer needs and SEO measures. If it can actually lead to the acquisition of orders and incorporate it at the management level, it will be possible not only to acquire new customers but also to efficiently create and develop prospective customers. In other words, it is an inevitable way to increase the growth and profits of a company.
- Small and medium-sized construction business partners:
Before conducting web marketing, you must first clarify the target of your business partner. This is because it is necessary to change the method of attracting customers on the Web and the content according to the trading partner. Transactions in the construction industry are basically divided into three categories:
- BtoC (business-to-consumer transactions)
- BtoB (business-to-business transactions)
- BtoG (business-to-government transactions)
- BtoC (business-to-consumer transactions):
First of all, BtoC is a business that deals with general consumers. This applies to construction shops and contractors who perform interior work, and on the Web, we place importance on differentiating ourselves from our competitors by using tools such as advertising on SNS. As an extension of that, content marketing that utilizes SNS such as Blog, YouTube, Instagram, etc. with videos and shot images, such as construction results collection, customer feedback, the introduction of tricks during construction, etc., is now very effective.
Ideal for BtoC transactions targeting individual customers, such as small and medium-sized residential construction, renovation, and interior work.
- BtoB (business-to-business transactions):
BtoB is a project that is subcontracted by a private real estate developer or a medium-sized construction company and is an opportunity for the small and medium-sized construction industry to aim for transactions as a subcontractor.
- BtoG (business-to-government transactions):
BtoG is a business that deals with local governments and government agencies, but in addition to local construction companies, many small and medium-sized construction companies also promote BtoG transactions, but with government agencies and local governments.
- Acquire customers through web marketing based on BtoB theory
“Web marketing” that appeared in the first half is a marketing method that revolves around the Web. Of course, knowledge about the Web is essential, but it is even more important to come up with measures based on the theory of BtoB. BtoB is a corporation/organization as a customer, and there are several points that are clearly different from BtoC as follows.
- The transaction amount is high:
In the construction industry, we do not only deal with finished products and services. A large number of materials and parts are traded, and in the small and medium-sized construction industry, we may carry out operations according to the requests of our business partners. Naturally, the transaction amount will be high, and website content creation will be required to be more business-like.
- Individuals do not have the right to make decisions:
Incorporations and organizations, transactions are not decided by a simple flow such as “buy because you want it” like a general consumer. We share and verify information on services and products among multiple people, and make internal decisions only on what we think is most suitable for our company. In addition to the large flow to transactions, personal sentiment theory is not allowed, and organizational logic and rational perspectives are required.
- Consideration period and transactions are medium- to long-term:
As mentioned earlier, in BtoB, in addition to deciding to purchase and use services by multiple people, it is common for the examination period to be medium- to long-term because it is introduced to the organization at the expense of company expenses. The longer the period, the more options and approaches from competitors, and even if you are a prospective customer of your company, there is no guarantee that the transaction will be successful. In the small and medium-sized construction industry, which is not well known, it is possible that it will be buried in the approach from large companies.
In order to strengthen the connection with customers, it is necessary to regularly send out useful information to the other party and win their trust. Furthermore, branding factors such as corporate image and added value become important when looking at the transaction until after it is closed.
- “3C” which is the basis of Web production and marketing strategy
A web marketing strategy is a comprehensive strategy for achieving goals such as “selling your company’s products and services” and “acquiring new customers.” As mentioned above, the small and medium-sized construction industry is easily buried in large and medium-sized enterprises, so it is important to carefully formulate concepts and tactics after analyzing the construction market and customer needs. It is a “3C” analysis of customers (Customers), in-house (Company), and competitors (Competitor), which draws from the upstream of Web production, which is the start, to the acquisition of customers for Web marketing, which is the goal and is the basis for building the scenario.
Perform 3C analysis:
In web marketing, getting to know your customers is key. Therefore, we carefully collect psychological characteristic data such as the worries and benefits that customers may have and the information acquisition route. Based on the information obtained, Web production will be equipped with content text design that deeply pierces customers, as well as systematic functions.
Furthermore, in site production, we will pick up the strengths and uniqueness of our company that can differentiate us from our competitors. If you can’t see it, it is effective to conduct a careful interview with the customer and conduct a questionnaire. If you are already delivering some kind of web content, one way is to use various tools such as Google Analytics to sort the content into effective content and ineffective content. By comparing the two, issues and strengths of the company can be clarified, and measures to be implemented can be seen.
Since the battlefield of web marketing will be the web, it should mark cyber competition rather than the real market. In the small and medium-sized construction industry, which has been doing business offline so far, it is a point that is often overlooked. Since it is a very important process in web marketing, be sure to search for the word you want to target the influx of customers and pick up and investigate cyber competitors that can be a threat. We will narrow it down to about 3 to 5 companies and analyze it from various perspectives such as content, advertisements, e-mail newsletters, and logic.
- Creating a high-quality homepage that can be used for BtoB
Of course, a homepage is indispensable for web marketing, and it plays an active role as a great force. Especially for the small and medium-sized construction industry, which is not well known, it is a great opportunity to convey the achievements and technological capabilities that our company is proud of for many business users. Because it is a part that affects management, we have to consider whether to leave the homepage as it is, renew it, or create a new one.
If you are going to proceed with the homepage that you are currently operating, please pay attention to whether the content quality for BtoB is maintained. In BtoB, the services you deploy and the products you purchase have some impact on your entire organization. Therefore, the target screening criteria are more severe than BtoC, and in addition to the quality of products and services, they are scrutinized from the following perspectives.
- Added value
- Specialty / Differentiation from competitors
- Usefulness of information
In other words, unfortunately, we cannot expect to attract customers with content that only pushes products and services. In addition, Google’s search engine has algorithms that deliver unique, specialized, and high-quality content to users. As with BtoB users, homepages that post thin content or general information cannot be evaluated, and you cannot expect an increase in search ranking. It is necessary to consider the content, keeping in mind whether the homepage is evaluated by search engines as well as the target.
- SEO measures that are the key to web marketing
No matter how good the content is and the content is tailored to the customer, it is meaningless unless it is viewed. What is needed here are SEO measures. As you know, SEO is called “search engine optimization” and refers to making adjustments to make your site appear higher on search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.). The most important thing in SEO measures is the selection of searched keywords.
What is important when selecting is what factors to optimize, such as industry, service, motivation/purpose, etc. In the small and medium-sized construction industry, we especially want to avoid “industries” that are easy to line up with large and medium-sized companies. Avoid major and mid-level customers, and aim for niche keywords that can only be understood in the industry in order to attract the influx of customers you want to target. However, are you aiming for a higher ranking with niche keywords, or are you optimizing by combining large single keywords with other related keywords? Strategic planning is very important.
If construction companies want to stand out from the crowd, they must be innovative and clever in their marketing efforts.
These initiatives should attempt to accomplish three goals: grow their brand, attract new leads, and demonstrate how they add value to the world. If your marketing efforts accomplish all of this, your income will reflect it.