What to Avoid When Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

Working with a successful, experienced digital marketing agency can be critical to helping you build marketing infrastructure and scale for your company down the road. However, if you’re considering hiring a digital marketing agency that isn’t a good fit or can’t get the job done, it could be a very costly mistake. To help you avoid any chance at finding out the hard way, we’ve compiled a few tips about what to avoid when you are searching for and hiring a digital marketing agency.

WHAT TO AVOID WHEN WORKING WITH A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY

Research Phase

Don’t believe all agencies are one-size-fits-all

Your business is unique; therefore, the results you are looking to obtain will be unique. You’ll need to have an idea of what you’re looking to accomplish from working with an agency prior to going into the search. You don’t have to know specifics as you will eventually create a definitive strategy with the agency you choose, and they can help guide you in understanding what kind of results you should be able to achieve. However, to start, you’ll want to know some basics on your side

Download the How to Pick the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Company essential guide here.

Do you need serious help with your SEO or paid advertising? Does your website need an overhaul? Do you need a major boost around content? Are you looking for a quick fix or would you like to work with someone more long-term? Do you want to work with a local agency that you can meet face-to-face?

Decide what is most important to you prior to starting any kind of search activity for an agency so you at least know where to start looking.

Avoid choosing an agency based solely on location, pricing, or shiny promises

If you are pinching pennies, you may be enticed by the cheapest option you find, or you might be tempted to just find the firm that is closest to you. To be successful in the long run though, you’ll want to look into the capabilities of any digital marketing agency before you dive in and hand them your money. Marketing is a saturated market, there is a massively varying scale of capabilities and ability to produce results. Keeping this in mind, you’ll also want to be careful of being lured in by shiny messaging or promises that are right on the surface. The main point is to do your homework before spending a dime and hiring a digital marketing agency.

Did you know that they are different types of digital marketing agencies? Click here to learn more and find the best fit.

Evaluate more than just the surface

Check out the websites of your prospective agencies. For each one, consider if it clearly describes what they offer. Is the blog (assuming they have one) well-written and informative? Are there any customer case studies or online reviews? Narrow your list of potentials down to between 3-5 and get ready to have some conversations.

Prior to getting on the phone with an agency, have a rough idea of the budget you’d like to stay within. It may be difficult to find upfront pricing online because most agencies do custom pricing based on your objectives and the deliverables required to hit goals. That being said, though, if you have a budget range, a good agency should be able to demonstrate what can be done at that level.

In addition to a budget range, go into your conversations with a few set questions that you will ask every single agency you speak with. It can be easy to get sidetracked or a little lost in initial conversations because there is typically a lot of ground to cover. So, write down your questions in advance and make sure you get to all of them. You may want to save the pricing conversation until near the end of the initial call so the agency representative has an understanding of what you might need from them and can give you an accurate estimation. Here are some questions we recommend asking your prospective agencies.

Overall, hire a digital marketing agency who is transparent, quick to share examples and results, easy to talk to, knowledgeable, and experienced. You should never feel talked-down-to. Especially if you are going to work long-term with them, you’ll want to make sure your communication styles are a good match.How to Pick the Best Digital Marketing Agency for Your Company

Implementation Phase

Don’t allow work to start without a clear plan from the very beginning

Any agency should have a proven, repeatable process framework they can walk through with you. They should also have the ability to customize their typical processes to your specific needs and situation. They should make recommendations and tweaks to their processes based on what you are looking to accomplish and where you are with your marketing today.

Before starting the real work, a Service Level Agreement or some kind of full layout of the plan to get the project up and running should be presented for your approval. (Read about our Sales and Marketing Alignment SLA here!) Once you’ve signed off on it, persona work will likely begin with your agency. All of the work the agency does moving forward will be based on these personas, so you want to make sure they are accurate in order to target the correct audience with all marketing efforts.

At the start of the project, the agency should do a full walk-through (or Kick Off) of their plan with you. They should lay out their strategy and tactics and communicate the expected results. This should typically happen in a conversation that includes some kind of documentation for you to follow along, maybe it’s a slideshow presentation or a handout, but they should walk through it with you before jumping into the actual marketing communications.

hiring a digital marketing agency

It’s also important to note that inbound marketing can take 6-12 months to gain traction and upwards of 18 months before making a major impact. An agency that promises immediate results might be blowing smoke. Similarly, be wary of any agency that seems staunch in their plan. Inbound typically requires fluidity as data are gathered and knowledge gained. The ability to pivot as needed is key.

Project Phase

Avoid confusion later on in the project

Before getting off of your Kick Off call with your chosen digital marketing agency, you should have, at the very least, your next call scheduled. Ideally, you should set up a weekly or bi-weekly recurring time to meet and review progress. Even if you don’t end up needing or using the time every week, it’s great to have it on the calendar just in case.

Another thing you’ll want to establish right away is clear and set definitions of everyone’s role in the process, both from your own company and the agency. Who will be in charge of what, who will provide and receive updates, who has action items prior to the next check-in, etc.. Knowing these answers will help manage your relationship through its entirety. 

Finally, you should have a good understanding from the beginning of what kinds of metrics are important, how they will be tracked, and how they will be reported on, as well as how you can view and understand those reports.

Ready to have a conversation with Lake One? Request a free consultation.

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Six Questions to Ask Your Prospective Digital Marketing Agency

Hiring a digital marketing agency is a big decision. It’s the decision to bolster your existing marketing efforts with outside agency resources coupled with which agency will be the best fit for your organization. Picking a marketing partner to work with can be risky because of the time and effort that go into kindling that relationship. You can, however, reduce the risk by asking the right questions up front when selecting a digital marketing agency. Learn how your prospective agency will work, how that will align with your needs, and if it makes financial sense before you engage in a partnership.

Here are six questions to ask your prospective digital marketing agency during the interview process to help ensure a good fit.

Questions to Ask Your prospective Digital Marketing Agency

1) What is your typical scope of work?

The most important part of asking this question is that it allows you the opportunity to align your needs. Digital marketing is a very broad term that encompasses many elements- blogging, social media, paid media, etc. How each agency scopes digital marketing and the areas they focus on will vary. Find an agency who does what you need. If you only want somebody you post on social media for you, make sure you find somebody who specializes in social and not Google Ads. If you aren’t sure what you need, a full-service agency might be the ticket.

2) What does a partnership look like to you?

Asking your prospective marketing agencies what a partnership looks like will help align your needs with how the agency normally operates. Are you looking for a strategic partner to help guide and implement your marketing? Or perhaps your marketing is on lock, and you need somebody to simply put your own marketing plans in motions? Find an agency that operates that way you need them to operate.Questions to ask your digital marketing agency
This is critical because if you don’t have alignment here, your relationship will ultimately implode. If you desire a marketing partner to create a full strategic campaign with persona insights and specific tech recommendations (*ahem, Lake One*), you’ll be disappointed if the agency you contract with only does exactly what you say. The inverse of that is absolutely true as well; you don’t want to be fighting over control of strategy if it isn’t something you’re willing to partner on.

If you’re running into issues with your exisiting marketing partner, here are some tips on how to mange your relationship.

3) What is your billing structure and fees?

This one is self-explanatory, but you will, of course, need to talk to your prospective agencies about money. How much will it cost you to work with them? What’s the duration of a retainer? And really, do they even work on retainers or do they go by another structure like an allocation of hours, by campaign cycles, or something else? Next, ask about their invoicing structure. Some agencies will bill monthly while others will expect payment to be made at the start and completion of a sprint. Consider what will work best for your company and be transparent about the budget you had in mind.

Typically, when it comes to retainer amounts, the scope of work can be scaled to meet your budget. Work can be slimmed down if your budget is small or vice-versa. Keep in mind that a large budget usually generates more results. This is simply because more work- meaning things like blogs, additional paid ads, workflows of greater complexity- can be completed in a given timeframe when the budget is greater.

4) Can I see examples of results?

It’s perfectly reasonable and expected to ask your prospective agencies for examples of success stories and wins they’ve accomplished. The hard numbers tend to speak for themselves. Don’t forget to consider the softer wins like website redesign, sales team enablement success, and increases in website traffic, as well. These things are sometimes hard to quantify and measure specifically but can be incredibly impactful to a business.

Six Questions to Ask Your Prospective Digital Marketing Agency

5) What technology do you use?

Will working with an agency require you to change your current tech stack or CRM? If so, is that okay? Perhaps it’s better to find a tech-agnostic agency that will make recommendations but can work with any platform. Consider what you currently have, if it’s working, and where you’d like to go. Then ask your prospects how their tech will fit into that equation.

6) Can you provide references?

Lastly, when you’re about ready to make your final decision, you can ask your prospective agencies for references from current or past clients. Ask for references from businesses that operate similar to yours and have the type of relationship with the agency that you’re seeking. Here are a few questions you can ask the references provided:

  • How long have you been working together?
  • What has been the most impressive and disappointing?
  • Is the agency’s team easy to work with?
  • Are you happy with your results so far?

By asking these questions to determine marketing agency fit, you’ll be able to align your company’s needs with an agency who can create results. Think Lake One might be the agency for you? Request a consult!

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Why Lake One

You’ve got plenty of options to choose from when beefing up your marketing capabilities. When you’ve made the decision to get some outside help, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between all the consultants, agencies, and firms.

When I started Lake One, I thought about my experiences as an in-house marketing and sales leader. I remembered the experiences with partners that stuck and the ones that stuck in my craw.

Between the two, they shaped our values, process, and differentiators as we continue working to be a different kind of marketing partner for growth driven brands that have a diverse mix of experiences and resources in-house.

Why Work with Lake One

Our Core Values

Our core values are the foundation behind our modern marketing manifesto. Dripping all over that manifesto that drives our process, is a set of beliefs that extend beyond the work we do, to the culture we live including:

  • Outcome Driven – We relentless pursue outcomes. We’re not bound by hours or scope, while we understand those things are important to put up directional boundaries for our business relationship together. We value our clients’ business as if it were our own (see why we’re different below). As a result, we’re willing to be flexible and adjust as we need to and as the market, data and program performance guide us.

Lake One Testimonial

  • Embrace Failure – We understand that marketing is a long game. As a result, we embrace the failures because we realize behind all the hockey-stick growth success stories out there are a string of failures and determine marketers and entrepreneurs who kept moving forward adjusting as they went.
  • No Jerks – in 2004 Stanford professor Robert Sutton wrote a Harvard Business Review article that would become the basis of a bestselling book. The premise of all of the writing is building a civilized workplace and surviving one that isn’t. We spend a lot of time with the relationship we build in business and at work. They should be good ones that build us up and don’t tear us down.
  • Solve Problems –  part and parcel to being driven by outcomes and embracing failure, LakeOners are problem solvers. We seek perpetual learning by not being afraid to say, “ We don’t know the answer to everything, but we can help you find a solution to that problem.” Be wary of people who say they have all the answers. In digital marketing, where the landscape is shifting constantly – it’s impossible to have all the answers.

Think Lake One may be a good fit for your company? Request a consult!

Our Process

Everyone has a process. And everyone thinks their process is the bomb dot com. But we’re pretty fond our approach to building a plan of attack, getting your marketing and sales stack up and running and operating marketing programs that are consistent but also flexible to your business needs and insights from data we’re seeing from marketing activity and market feedback. Here’s our process at a high level.

The Lake One Process

The Digital Marketing Plan – Build your FieldGuide

Leveraging Lake One’s modern, measurable process, we’ll research and document a plan to grow awareness, drive demand and increase prospect contacts for your organization. Putting your organization’s ideal customers at the center of our content, messaging and channel strategy.

The Sales & Marketing Technology – Build your Basecamp

Once we have a plan to attract and convert demand, we’ll work with the rest of your team to identify the best sales and marketing stack to support the handoff of marketing opportunities including documenting a sales & marketing SLA and identify right-sized technology like marketing and email automation and CRM.

Demand & Pipeline Activation – Marketing Sprints

Marketing sprints are the ongoing, 90-day campaigns implemented to attract, convert and nurture prospects all the way through the buyer’s journey. We provide support from program and project management all the way to full campaign execution and implementation depending on your internal resource capacity and needs.

Lake One Testimonial

How We’re Different

With values and process in place, at the end of the day, our difference from other agencies and consultants comes down to three uniques.

  1. We believe marketing is a business partner in growth:  deep inside us is a belief that marketing is best served when it is viewed as a business partner, not an order taker. Our values and our process are structured to always drive business forward, uncover insights and align to your goals, not chase shiny objects.
  2. We act like owners: don’t take our word for it – see what our clients have to say. We truly value our clients’ businesses as if they were our own. The wins, the losses, we feel them all alongside you.
  3. Capabilities of an agency, flexibilities of a consultant: We’re structured in a modern way, not bound by traditional agency thinking. Every time you call us and email, the clock isn’t ticking. We also are focused on keeping our overhead low while still building a rockstar team of marketers to drive your growth without the bloated rates.

Lake One Testimonial

If you like what we’re all about and are interested in learning more, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today!

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7 Signs it’s Time to Work with a Digital Marketing Agency

Whether you sell B2B or B2C, digital is a growing piece of your marketing pie. More than 81% of the B2C buyer’s journey and 94% of the B2B buyer’s journey includes some form of online research which means your digital presence plays a starring role. When it comes to turning your website into a lead machine, there can be a lot of levers to pull and often it can be helpful to have an extra hand knowing which levers to pull and when.

Whether you’re just getting started in your online marketing program or your well down the path, there are a few telltale signs that it might be time to outsource some, or all of your digital marketing.

How to Know When to Partner With a Digital Marketing Agency

Sign #1: Your Only Conversion Point is a ‘Contact Us’ Form

Making sure there is an easy way for your website visitors to get in touch with you is great! But more often than not – most website visitors aren’t ready for that level of commitment. The reality is around 98% of website visitors aren’t going to convert. Which means in order to make your website perform better, you need make it easier to become a lead. Sign up for an email newsletter, download a premium piece of content, get a discount. There are all sorts of low friction offers you can provide that lets your website visitor take baby steps on their way to becoming a customer.

Sign #2: Your Sales Team Thinks All Your Leads Suck

There have been volumes written about the battle between sales and marketing. You can read about this tortured relationship here, here and here if you’re inclined. But at the end of the day, sales and marketing need each other to be as successful as they can be and in return drive growth for the organization. At Lake One, we bridge the gap between these two functions with a  Sales and Marketing SLA – an agreement of what constitutes a lead, how they are handled by the two teams and what roles and expectations are in place for both functions in support of lead generation, nurturing and the close. In addition to the SLA, having regular sales & marketing feedback sessions on what’s coming in from sales and what marketing is working on can go a long way in getting the two teams to work together towards the same goal.

Working with a Digital Marketing Agency can Align Your Sales and Marketing Team

Sign #3: You’re Not Really Sure What to Track

If your reporting dashboard is a 15-page conglomeration of random metrics, it might be time to get an outside perspective. Setting SMART marketing goals that align with your business objectives is critical to setting the direction marketing should go. It defines the most important metrics to monitor but it also helps you focus your resources.

If You Lack Marketing Strategy, It's Time to Work with a Digital Marketing Agency

Sign #4: You Struggle to Quantify Marketing’s Impact

If you can’t identify the impact marketing is making on your organization, it can be easy to decide to just stop it all together. That’s risky business. Often, the inability to measure marketing’s impact is an effect of #3 above, a misunderstanding of what to measure. Once you have a marketing program aligned around your business goals with metrics that follow, it becomes much easier to see how marketing is contributing to the overall momentum of your organization.

Sign #5: You’re Budget is Basically a Shrug Emoji

When marketing budgets are a moving target, it’s often a result of not knowing where the biggest bang for the buck is going to come from. Numbers 3, 4 and 5 are all related. Bad metrics and goals lead to a lack of quantifying impact which leads to difficult budgeting cycles. If your organization isn’t able to identify the opportunity and allocate dollars, it might be time to get an outsider who can help you quantify.

Sign #6: You Lack Marketing Muscle

One of the easiest signs your organization is in need of some outside help – is your organization lacks internal marketing muscle. And we’re not talking assigning marketing as a fractional role to someone who is kind of good at social media in your organization. We mean someone who gets to know your buyers and their research patterns, your competitors and can identify opportunities. Someone who can consistently execute marketing, reviewing performance over time and adjusting as you go. One of the biggest pitfalls organizations make is holding out for a marketing unicorn – those rare marketing generalists who can do a little bit of it all.

Signs Your Company Needs to Partner with a Marketing Agency

Sign #7: You’re Not Sure of the Right Tools and Technology for Sales & Marketing

In 2011 there were around 150 pieces of marketing and sales technology – martech. In 2018 that number ballooned to around 7,000. There’s a tool for everything and for every business. It can be really overwhelming to wade through that and not end up with random acts of technology getting thrown at marketing and sales problems with the belief that the technology will solve your issues. Outlining a sales and marketing stack starts with identifying your sales and marketing process and identifying the tools and technology that are right-sized for your needs and your organization. If you’re not sure about where this process starts – an outsider can help you document a marketing plan to attract and convert potential new customers and architect a sales process to nurture them through the buyer’s journey. Then and only then should you select and implement the technology to drive efficiency in the sales and marketing process.

What You Really Get From an Outside Perspective

There are all sorts lists like this on the internet, the reality is you probably know if you need an extra set of hands with or without this list. Ultimately it comes down to resources – human and financial. An outside perspective can help you align your goals, execute consistently and get scale without the investment in building an entire marketing team as you’re just starting to get the marketing momentum going. Over time as the program is successful  – you’ll naturally bring pieces of the program back in-house to build the muscle internally.

No matter where you are in your growth journey, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today!

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Why Inbound Marketing Works: It’s all About Your Buyer

You’ve likely heard the term, “inbound marketing”. Broken down in its simplest form, it’s the idea of attracting your buyers with valuable, helpful content vs pushing product and leading with a sale.

In this post, you’ll learn the definition of inbound marketing, the buyer’s journey, the methodology behind inbound marketing, and why it’s so popular with not only marketers but buyers.

Inbound Marketing Defined

Inbound Marketing

It’s nearly impossible to talk about inbound marketing without mentioning HubSpot. Brian Halligan, the CEO of HubSpot, coined the term “inbound marketing” back in 2006. Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content by adding value at every stage in the customer’s buying journey. HubSpot says we need to nurture our customers from the time they are “strangers” to our business all the way to equipping them to be our “promoters.”

Already running inbound marketing? Download our Inbound Marketing Campaign Checklist. Never miss a critical campaign component. 

Buyer’s Journey

Okay, so what’s the buyer’s journey? The buyer’s journey is the active research process a buyer goes through to become aware of, consider, and then ultimately purchase a new product or service. The buyer’s journey is categorized into three steps:

Awareness Stage: The buyer realizes they have a problem.

Consideration Stage: The buyer has been able to name the problem and begins to search for a solution to their pain.

Decision Stage: The buyer decides on a solution.

“Inbound Marketing is the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business. ” [Click to Tweet!]

Inbound Marketing Methodology

There are four main phases of the inbound methodology all moving towards the goal of using content to draw consumers toward your website where they can learn more about what you sell on their own terms. Their own terms meaning someone searching a question on Google vs. a tv commercial in the middle of their favorite show. Each step of the way requires tweaking of tactics to achieve the overall strategy. In order to do this, we closely follow their Four Phases of Inbound Methodology.

Phase 1: Attract

The first part of the inbound marketing methodology is to attract the right visitors to your site at the right time. Inbound puts your brand in front of prospects when they are actually in the process of looking for what you have to deliver which in the case of inbound, comes to them through meaningful, helpful, relevant content that helps them along their buyer’s journey.

Some crucial tools in attracting the right users to your site:

  • Buyer persona development
  • Search engine optimization
  • Keywords/content strategy
  • Blogging
  • Social media marketing

Social Media Inbound Marketing

Phase 2: Convert

The convert phase is where you have already attracted your ideal buyer persona to your website (through content) and now, you need to convert them into a qualified lead by having them submit their contact information on your website via a form. Once they submit their contact information, they can join your marketing sales funnel. The key here is matching the information requested with the value of the offered content. It should be an equal exchange.

Key elements in converting users on your site:

  • Premium Content Offers (ebooks, white papers, checklists, how-tos)
  • Optimized landing pages
  • Calls-to-Action (CTAs)
  • Forms to capture user information

Phase 3: Close

This stage is critical. Essentially you are closing the sale, money in the bank. However, closing a lead and converting them into a customer can be a long process and varies from industry to industry so there isn’t a magic formula that can be applied. We can though, take advantage of some important tools to better ensure success.

Important tools to close leads into customers:

Buyers Journey - Inbound Marketing

Phase 4: Delight

Just because you get the sale, doesn’t mean that the inbound process is finished and that your is work is done. It’s quite the opposite. Inbound marketing calls for the continuation of customer engagement, delight, upselling, and ultimately growing your customer base into happy promoters of your company.

Must-have tactics for delighting your customers are:

Do customer’s coming to you, sound too good to be true? It’s not! It’s real and it works. The inbound methodology is quickly becoming a popular strategy as audiences are changing and so are their buying habits. Customer’s expectations are higher than ever before as they are demanding a more personal, tailored relationship with the company they purchase from.

Inbound Works with the Modern Buyer

With inbound marketing, you aren’t blasting a one size fits all message on an overcrowded channel. Instead, you are crafting helpful relevant content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers.  Thoughtful content creation builds trust and boosts your business’ overall creditability with your consumers.

Inbound consumers have changed their expectations of how they want to interact with marketing material. Consumers have a lot more control than they used to with changing technology. There’s now ways consumers can block and avoid unwanted marketing tactics fairly easily such as tv commercials, pop-up ads, mailers, and telemarketers. If customers are actively avoiding your outbound tactics, it renders them useless.

via GIPHY

Given the state of the state, targeting specific personas with well-researched content tailored to their problems and pains is way more likely to be effective and earn their attention.

Inbound marketing at its core is a process, which is designed to be easily scaled, replicated, and optimized. Attract, Convert, Close, Delight, and Repeat.

Ready to get to work planning your next digital Inbound Marketing plan, but need a little inspiration? Check out our Free Ebook – 32 Enviable Inbound Marketing Examples.

Enviable Inbound Marketing Examples Ebook

Secrets of Top Construction Company Websites Revealed

From residential to commercial, the buying process for building and construction trades is changing. No matter your role in building, whether you are a contractor, designer or vendor, at the heart of mapping out your construction marketing strategy sits your website. It’s time to rethink the critical role it plays in attracting, converting and retaining construction customers, B2C and B2B.

Top Construction Websites

Your domain is the hub where research is done and your pipeline funnel gets filled up. It’s no longer enough to just have a portfolio or brochure style website. But what are the must haves? Instead of telling you, we’ll show you. Here are three examples of websites from the building and construction industry that are doing it right. We’ll break down who they are and why their websites are something to aspire to for brands looking to up their marketing game.

Why do websites need to be updated? Because most people visiting them aren’t ready to buy. Digital media has put buyers in the driver seat, completing an overwhelming majority of their research before they ever reach out to a brand through their website or sales team. That means in order to connect with prospects, websites need to be refactored to provide value early in the buyer’s journey, and opportunities to convert prospects beyond “contact us” or “request a quote”.

Websites need to be refactored to provide value early in the buyer’s journey and with opportunities to convert prospects beyond “contact us” or “request a quote”. #ConstructionMarketing #ContentMarketing  [Click to Tweet]

Superwarm

Superwarm is a UK based gas boiler and central heating systems installer. As a home services vendor, they need to compete with a sea of other heating vendors – so being found, building brand and building pipeline is critical.

What their website does well

Superwarm is a great example of a full funnel, modern marketing journey to emulate. First, their website is fine-tuned for conversion driving visitors to “get a free quote”.

But as we established in our opening paragraphs, it’s not enough to just make it easy for people to reach out for a quote. Only a small percentage of your visitors are ready for this stage. To build a scalable, forecastable marketing machine, we need a marketing strategy and website that maps to your buyers’ needs throughout their journey. Here’s how that looks at Superwarm.

First, they create blog content that addresses various questions buyers may have at various stages of the buyer journey. As a refresher, we think of the journey in three segments: awareness, consideration and decision.

The blog posts attract traffic from organic search, social media, email and potential paid media (search, social and display ads).

As a reader scrolls through the post, they are offered an opt-in, a bonus piece of content from a library of resources, also mapped to their stage in the buyer journey.

These offers help educate the buyer, providing value but also help Superwarm build a marketing database of prospects they can market to and nurture.

how to build a website that converts

PorchCo

The Porch Company is both an online store, offering porch components for building as well as a construction team.

What their website does well

The Porch Company is a prolific blogger. I mean – prolific in focus and volume. Just look at their category structure and number of posts.

Yes, 52 posts on blog design, at first glance I’m already sold on their authority on porches.

But here’s where this gets really awesome. If you dig into their content – it’s really really focused. So often we run into the “I’ve blogged for 6 months and nothing has happened so I give up” syndrome.

Here’s the deal. Your blogging tactic is failing as part of your overall digital strategy for 1 (or all) of 3 reasons.

  1. You don’t stick with it. Blogging and content is about the long game. Each month builds exponentially on the month before in terms of traffic and lead generation capacity. Here’s what that looks like in terms of growth over time based on research conducted by HubSpot.
  2. Your content is haphazard. Blogging for blogging sake isn’t helpful. It needs to be tied to your buyer personas, their buying journey and the topic you are trying to rank for. That means you have a lot to think about as you plan out your content strategy. You can’t just pick topics to write about willy-nilly.
  3. Your content isn’t supported with promotion. The Porch Company didn’t just grow a strong organic traffic channel by publishing consistently. They have a ton of backlinks to help the content rank. Backlinks come from creating great content – but also active promotion and digital outreach. Reaching out to influencers and others who will carry your message for you.

The Korte Company

Korte is a design-build construction company with a diverse set of industry experience and expertise. They are another great example, like Superwarm of a website that works, for today’s buyer.

What their website does well

One of the best things Korte does well is showcase expertise and thought leadership within their verticals. Let’s walk through one example to see how this plays out. Let’s say you are a project manager assigned to work with your local city on building a new hangar at your regional airport. But you’re not sure where to start. Like most people, you might start with a search.

There may not be a ton of monthly searches for this phrase every month, but those searching it are pretty good candidates for a firm like Korte. Look at that, they have some content where they share their expertise. Let’s click through and see what we find.

From blogs to resources, Korte has everything I need at this early stage. This guide, start to finish looks promising.

Before I get my copy, I share some information about myself. Korte uses that to follow up with me.
construction marketing guide

Construction/Building Website Best Practices

What all of the examples show, is that building modern marketing programs require a website that does more than just showcases your latest work. The three key themes from these case studies are: conversion, content and user experience.

Construction websites that convert

Make sure your website is built to convert. It’s not enough to just have a contact us or a request quote. We want multiple conversion paths so we can build a marketing database and sales pipeline of active prospects.

Marketing content throughout the journey

The best way to build websites that convert, is to host marketing content throughout the buyer journey on your website. Provide resources when people are early in the process of research all the way up to the point where they are comparing you to the competitors and need a final nudge.

User experience that’s concise

Make sure users can get through your site to the goals that best suit them. From research to contact, make the flow intuitive and helpful, don’t bog down their journey by cramming everything about your company – on every single page.

Final word

We’d love to hear from you. What construction sites have you found that are built for the modern buyer? Leave us a comment with a link and why you think it works well for today’s buyer.

4 Signs Your Construction Company Needs a Marketing Strategy

When it comes to construction, it can be easy to fall into the “when people need us, they’ll find us” mentality. Whether you sell your services direct to consumer or B2B as a subcontractor or direct to commercial project managers, there are a few sure-fire signs it might be time to revisit your construction marketing strategy and to invest in building a modern marketing strategy for your construction company.

4 signs your construction company

It’s feast or famine when RFPs come

If the flow of RFP requests feels a little too boom and bust for your tastes, building a marketing plan can help you flatten out the peaks and valleys. Building a more stable, steady and scalable flow of business opportunity will help with employee retention as well.

 

If your marketing strategy thinks about the needs of your buyer before they pick up the phone, you’ll be doing yourself a big favor.  CLICK TO TWEET.

Tapping into inbound marketing can help your construction company build a pipeline of prospective clients that marketing can work on nurturing and getting sales-ready.

When you Google yourself – nothing happens

Virtually every need we have  – starts with an internet search of some sort. Have a weird symptom, Google it. Wondering about the last minute gift idea for someone – Google it. This applies in the construction world too.

If you Google your company name and nothing comes up – you definitely need to think about mapping out a marketing strategy, particularly to tackle local search opportunities through Google and Yelp listings.

But if you’re looking fill up that pipeline like we just talked about. Google a symptom someone might have that would lead them to hire a construction company – maybe they need to do a kitchen remodel. What kind of question would they have? Google it and see what shows up on the first page.

These kind of searches are also important to your construction company and your new, modern marketing strategy too.

You’re not really sure how many leads you get from your website

A modern marketing plan should be measurable. If you’re not really sure how many leads you got from your website last year – it’s probably time to think about a marketing strategy – and an update to that website.

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A modern marketing strategy should seek steady improvement month over month, quarter over quarter and year over year. But if you’re not able to give a benchmark – don’t fret. Make sure you have a website with landing pages built to convert, then make sure you have a way to measure the views and conversions you’re getting. It could be as simple as a spreadsheet to start. Pull views out of Google Analytics, check how many submissions you received and then check in with sales and talk through the quality of the leads.

It’s not clear from your website why clients should pick you over the competition

Why do you get up every morning? What inspires you to go to work. Why does your construction company exist? These questions are a few that author Simon Sinek poses as he helps people and brand get to their Why – the Why do we exist. Every brand has a why. The why is what makes us buy from one company versus another. If it’s not clear on your website why someone should work with your company – it might be worth revisiting your marketing strategy starting with brand and starting with why you’re all there in the first place.

Last word

There can be many reasons you might be thinking about building a modern marketing strategy for your construction company. These are just a few of the highlights. No matter your reason – modern, scalable marketing is intended to help your construction firm weather the ups and downs of the industry by building a pipeline.

What reasons do you have for building a marketing strategy? Leave us a reply or contact us if you’d like to talk about getting started on your plan. 

 

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Three modern marketing strategies your business needs now

Happy new year! as we head into 2017, we have 12 months of opportunity ahead of us. With all that runway, and lots of goals to accomplish, how do you plan to move the needle this year? Consider adding a few modern marketing strategies to your game plan this year. Here are a few to consider whether your goals are to drive awareness, leads or revenue. If you’re wondering what modern marketing is, in a nutshell, it’s marketing that is measurable, scalable and accountable. But you can read more about how we define what modern marketing is here.

modern marketing strategies

Beef Up Lead Gen With Inbound Marketing

If one of your goals for 2017 is to drive more quality leads to your sales team, then inbound is the name of the game. Inbound marketing is the process of attracting your target buyers to you. Once you do, you convert them with educational content. Over time, you provide extra content. As you do, you move them through the buyer journey and get them sales ready, increasing sales success.

On our home page, you’ll see the stages of the inbound process: attract, convert, nurture and delight.

Adding this modern marketing strategy beefs up efforts to attract leads and grow revenues. Inbound works kind of like a snowball. In other words, the work done each month builds on itself, creating momentum.

Want to learn more about inbound marketing? Download this inbound marketing checklist and see what an inbound campaign looks like. 

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Double Down Modern Marketing With Remarketing

More than 95% of site visitors are not ready  to buy. Are you just going to spend all this time and money to attract a visitor and let a majority of them fall through the crack? I don’t recommend it.

We can use inbound marketing to increase conversion and provide content to aid a prospect in their shopping journey.

We can also leverage remarketing to increase the rate of conversion.

A site visitor who receives a retargeting ad is 70% more likely to convert than a visitor who  isn’t.

Retargeting is a modern marketing strategy that let’s you double down on your investment. It allows your brand to stay top of mind during your target audience’s  research phase of the buyer journey. This is a critical time to get them to sign up for a demo, email list or piece of content.

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Find Incremental Growth Via A/B Testing

What drives more opportunity for your business, free demos or instant access to webinars? What kind of call to action is more provocative, get started now, or free sign up? Do you know?

Welcome to the world of A/B testing. What was once left to the highest paid person’s opinion, is now left to data to decide. Creating a testing culture is a modern marketing strategy that can help your organization see incremental gains all over the map.

No matter the kind of business you’re in, testing should be on your road map for 2017. Wondering where to start?

Look at you primary call to actions or landing pages and put a couple alternatives head to head.

As you start to see results, you can become more sophisticated in your testing. For example you can focus testing just pre (ads, emails and marketing tactic)  or post click (website, landing page or sales follow up).  The key is to isolate what metric you want to change and if it will affect your business.  If you’re looking to drive leads, what gets more in the door. Looking to grow sales, does a call to action or different set of product specs increase AOV?