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What digital marketing technologies are best for the construction industry

Ben Spray

Ben Spray

Managing Director of We Are Marketable

The rapid pace of martech (marketing technology) innovation provides new opportunities for construction companies to engage prospects digitally. However, with limited budgets and expertise, builders should focus investment on proven platforms driving the highest ROI first. These well-established technologies provide the core infrastructure to cost-effectively jumpstart digital marketing activities.

After analysing the largest global survey of construction technology adoption alongside martech revenue and usage data, five key categories emerge as ideal starting points:

  1. Website Builders
  2. Email & Marketing Automation
  3. Social Media Management
  4. Online Review Management
  5. Search & Display Advertising

While additional innovations like live chat may deliver extra benefits later, mastering these five fundamentals provides the digital footprint for construction brands to compete. Here we break down the leading platforms in each category that construction companies should consider initially.

Website Builders For Construction Companies

A centralised website remains the foundation for all digital activity across the construction sector. Without a branded online presence optimised for conversions, other marketing technology cannot perform to its full potential.

89% of builders still report a website as their main digital investment. However, only 12% develop fully responsive designs despite mobile traffic dominating. Outdated, clunky websites fail to achieve design and conversion metrics on par with the broader small business segment.

With limited web development expertise internally, user-friendly website builders now empower DIY creation using drag-and-drop interfaces. WordPress tops surveys as the most beginner-friendly option unmatched in theme and plugin customisation options to add advanced functionality later.

Leading website builder WordPress benefits include:

  • Over 55% market share of all websites globally based on open-source CMS platform
  • Requires no coding knowledge using intuitive editor
  • 100% responsive mobile-optimised designs
  • SEO optimisation features including metadata editing
  • Built-in image sliders, blogs, and contact forms
  • Extend functionality via plugins – eCommerce, appointments, reviews etc.
  • Scales to enterprise-level sites with huge traffic volumes
  • Detailed built-in analytics to optimise pages
  • Free basic package to test with upgraded pricing for addons
  • Ability to migrate to self-hosted platform

With quality website builders now freely available, construction companies must allocate budget to either build in-house or engage specialised developers to launch properly mobile-optimised, on-brand sites. Treat this as a revenue investment rather than cost centre to enable digital commerce and engagement.

Email & Marketing Automation For Construction Companies

Once established online, actively collecting and segmenting prospect contact details becomes vital for construction brands. Building owned marketing lists creates reliable direct communication channels to nurture leads without relying solely on intermediary channels like social media.

Email marketing specifically continues generating the highest ROI both globally and for small construction businesses specifically. Surveys reveal email conversion rates around 4X higher than equivalent social media spending amongst builders.

Construction email lists segmented by service interest or project types allow personalised lead nurturing. Automating sequences where possible maintains cost efficiency even at scale.

The most popular platform with a user-friendly interface is industry leader MailChimp.

MailChimp key features helpful for construction include:

  • Lists up to 2000 contacts free on entry tiers
  • Custom sign-up forms to embed on your website
  • Drag and drop template builder with mobile optimisation
  • Advanced segmentation options by location, purchase history etc.
  • Automate multi-email campaigns with triggers
  • See email open rates to gauge engagement
  • Integration with CRM and finance systems
  • Abandoned cart functionality to retrieve lost conversions

As construction prospects rarely convert first contact, setting behavioural triggers to automatically follow up completed website actions delivers results. Perfecting email engagement before rushing sales conversations converts more cold traffic into customers over time.

Social Media Management For Construction Companies

Although 94% of construction brands actively use social platforms now, most rely on inconsistent manual posting rather than optimisation for return. Streamlining workflows via social media management systems saves administrative time while expanding audience reach.

Construction companies underutilise platforms like Facebook and Instagram most compared to other sectors currently. However, their visual nature provides authentic peeks at project progress unmatched by traditional channels.

Linking website analytics with leading social media tools also tracks conversions generated to demonstrate tangible ROI – crucial for ongoing executive buy-in.

One platform purpose-built for small business users gaining strong adoption is Hootsuite. Advantages include:

  • Publish and schedule unlimited posts across networks
  • Indepth analytics of post reach, clicks and engagement
  • Monitor brand mentions and optimise response times
  • Create social advertisements and dark posts
  • Secure approval workflows with team collaboration
  • Manage multiple networked business pages from one dashboard
  • Direct messaging capabilities to convert page followers
  • Integration with popular digital marketing apps via Zapier

With Hootsuite, construction companies better leverage social platforms via saved admin time and deeper audience targeting capabilities. Paying to promote owned content generates more cost-effective exposure than relying solely on intermittent organic posts.

Online Review Management For Construction Companies

User-generated reviews significantly influence construction purchasing decisions today. Impressive 97% of buyers report reading reviews first before contacting contractors. This only intensifies as more customers research options digitally, especially for significant property projects. Unfortunately, 60% of builders admit to taking little proactive action managing their online presence across rating sites.

Monitoring review activity should become a standard operating procedure. Construction brands responding thoughtfully – even to negative critique – are perceived as more trustworthy by onlookers.

Dedicated review management systems like Podium streamline the process for resource-stretched contractors to leverage positive sentiment at scale.

Benefits Podium provides construction brands include:

  • Review monitoring dashboard across 100+ sites
  • Review link and badge generator to showcase ratings onsite
  • Automated review requests via email or SMS post-project
  • Response assistance including suggested comments for context
  • Competitor review analysis revealing gaps
  • Integration with other martech systems used by contractors

Actively managing reviews across the customer journey – from initial research to post-completion support – must now become ingrained in construction operations. This relatively simple process improvement pays exponential dividends.

Search & Display Advertising Platforms For Construction Companies

Scaling digital advertising reach across channels represents the fastest growing martech expenditure amongst mid-sized construction firms. Once project lifecycle stages and typical trigger search queries are better understood, promoted ads generate remarkably effective results.

Search advertising returns over £2 for every £1 spent within the building sector on platforms like Google Ads. Retargeting subscribers via display networks also improves conversions by reminding cold website visitors.

Yet with confusing dashboards and opaque performance metrics, many contractors struggle implementing paid search and display at first. Therefore consolidating activities into simplified all-in-one platforms removes barriers preventing adoption.

One leader taking the construction niche by storm is GoHighLevel.  The can be designed for trade experts, their end-to-end software centralises core digital capabilities for contractors including:

  • Google/Facebook ad management
  • Call tracking and lead routing
  • Customer database and messaging
  • Email and text marketing
  • Custom reporting and scheduling
  • Team oversight controls and collaboration

In Closing

Construction companies acknowledging digital marketing and technologies as revenue drivers rather than just costs to be minimised gain significant competitive advantage. Starting by building high performance websites then layering in automation, social amplification, reviews and paid advertising converts more prospects cost-efficiently over time.

Monitoring both online and offline conversion touchpoints via unified platforms illustrates true ROI. This helps justify increasing budgets allocation to scalable digital strategies based on hard return data rather than vague intuition.

With by far the highest digital potential still largely untapped, the time for construction to implement the core marketing technologies outlined is now if brands want to sustainably grow market share.

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