At Sea Salt, we could write a book on digital marketing…but by the time we finished it, everything would have changed anyway! The world of digital marketing moves at lightening speed, with the technology that supports it evolving at such a pace that if you’re not keeping a constant tab on the changes, they may pass you by completely.
The principles behind marketing have remained similar for decades, but the tools in which we achieve success have shifted and evolved over time. We have moved from traditional newspaper print advertising and billboards to the world of social media, an invention that didn’t exist 20 years ago – Facebook first launched in 2004, Instagram launched in 2010 and TikTok didn’t hit app stores until 2016. Just think what AI could do…
There are always new digital marketing tools or trends, but keeping track can be difficult, especially when the building and construction industry is looking elsewhere. This is where we come in – we’re keeping a close eye on developments in order to keep you ahead of the curve.
Read on to discover the six tech trends that could affect your marketing strategy in the next 12 months and beyond.
1. Long-form blogs
While the word on everyone’s lips might be ‘short-form video’, long-form educational content holds its place in the digital marketing mix. Google’s Helpful Content Update, released late last year, prioritises content that answers common questions and guides readers to finding the information they need.
A consistent blog strategy that addresses common questions from your clients will help build brand awareness and position you as a leader in the building and construction industry. Blogs are also a great way to build a SEO strategy – more on this here
2. Short-form video
We’ve already alluded to it – short-form video is a key asset in your digital marketing portfolio, helping to build your social media presence.
Both Instagram and TikTok’s algorithm favour educational, entertaining or inspiring content, best presented in videos that are between 15-60 seconds long. These types of videos are a great way to get your business’ message across without a sell, demonstrating your knowledge, skills or ways of working. For example, are your clients anxious about the potential mess during a build? Show them how cleanly your team works with a behind-the-scenes walk-through through one of your current projects.
The visual nature of both platforms works in the favour of the building and construction industry – now’s your chance to show off your finished projects, introduce your team, demonstrate your skills or go behind the scenes.
You won’t need a professional set up for TikTok and Instagram either – the algorithms prefer authentic content, so content filmed on your phone is set to be the best-performing!
It’s absolutely essential that all your marketing efforts are designed to be mobile-first. Your website should be mobile-optimised, loading quickly and cleanly when on the go. All of your call-to-actions should be able to be completed on a smaller screen – this could include submitting a form, sending an email, calling or even getting in touch through WhatsApp for Business.
Your email marketing needs to be easy to read on mobile, while any content you capture should be suitable for social media platforms. For example, if you are filming a walk-through of a new property for YouTube and Instagram, it’s best to capture it twice – once horizontally, and one vertically.
Automation is set to be the busy builder’s new best friend, offering a new way to engage with customers with little or no effort. The traditional customer journey in the building and construction industry can span years, so maintaining interest and contact is more important than ever.
An automated email series can help to engage with customers over a long period, ensuring that you stay front of mind. Best of all, with the right CRM or email marketing system and a little initial work, you set and forget, leaving it to do the hard work for you.
5. Chatbots and AI
AI is digital marketing’s current buzzword and rightly so – the technology has exploded into the mainstream with the likes of Chat GPT and Google’s Bard. While it is constantly evolving, there are already a number of uses for builders that you can integrate into your digital marketing strategy.
ChatGPT can be used to come up with blog ideas, or even give you the foundation for the blog itself – it’s not a copywriter just yet! With the right prompts, it can help develop ways to connect with customers, give you an idea of what your competitors are doing, or even write scripts for your next Instagram Reel voiceover.
AI can also help you respond to common questions through a chatbot or virtual assistant, reducing the administration time for your team and ensuring that you’re getting back to the client with speed. You can program the software to answer questions like ‘which areas do you service?’ and ‘what construction services do you offer?’, which can also help to qualify any potential leads.
6. Social media marketing
As we’ve already mentioned, the world of social media moves quickly, so it’s important to try and stay ahead of the curve. Early adopters are often early winners!
More than 4.26 billion people use social media worldwide, making these platforms an essential part of any marketing strategy. However, the key lies in knowing which ones to use, and how to get the most out of each one. Understanding where your target market may be most engaged and what content they respond to the most will help focus your social media marketing efforts and encourage higher returns.
Keeping an eye on social media trends will allow you to stay ahead of your competitors and get your brand in front of new eyes, which in turn may translate to new business!
Not sure where to start when it comes to digital marketing? Talk to the team at SeaSalt, the experts in digital marketing in the building and construction industry.