Tag Archives: general contractors

Building Contractors Finding Jobs in Today’s Market [Infographic]

Anything that breaks ground, from roadways to vertical structures, needs a team of construction professionals to get the job done. For a construction project to move forward it starts with a land developer or a land owner. The owner or developer will then bring on various professionals such as project managers, land-use developers, realtors, and engineers to create preliminary plans and determine feasibility from a legal, geographical, and financial standpoint. Once the first step is done, architects create the blueprints which are then rendered by a team of general contractors and subcontractors.

These building contractors that vary in trade type are located all across the United States and occupy both local and national markets, forming an interconnected web of construction professionals. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in January 2016 alone there was an estimated $1.1 billion in construction spending. This makes the construction industry a serious stakeholder in the American economy. With so many major players in the construction industry and a vast need for multiple construction specialties on every project, there are several methods to connect contractors with construction jobs; one of those methods is plan room services.

Plan rooms are platforms provided by construction industry organizations or service providers for building contractors and product vendors to gather information for jobs. Plan rooms offer a variety of services including access to building plans, project status, and most importantly information for bidding. Some plan rooms are managed by municipal outlets, while others are privatized corporations that offer the services through a paid subscription. Despite the availability of plan rooms, the construction industry follows the same motto as most businesses – it is about who you know. Many building contractors find work through referrals as well as invitations to bid on projects. Relationship building and networking is a strong force within the construction industry when it comes to finding work. To find out exactly how building contractors are finding jobs to bid on, qSample conducted a survey with our Building Contractor Panel.

We surveyed over a 150 building contractors from a variety of trades including: general contracting, electrical, carpentry, and roofing just to name a few. Over 75% of the respondent work with small companies that had no more than 10 employees. About 94% of respondents do not subscribed to a plan room service and  50% of those respondents indicated that they would not consider a subscription or have subscribed before and did not like the service. The building contractors also were asked the reason behind not subscribing to a plan room service; majority of contractors felt they find enough work without the plan room services (37%) or considered the cost (20%) as a factor. Another poignant data point that resulted from the survey was  27% of the respondents were unfamiliar with plan room services. This percentage speaks to a lack of brand awareness when it comes to branding efforts for subscription based plan rooms services.

Although there were very few respondents who indicated that they use plan room services, the respondents who do subscribe provided their opinions. The respondents were asked to rank their level of satisfaction with the availability of project information, bidding projects,and cost of service, which was scored a 3.8 out of 5 on the scale.  The building contractors’ overall rating for the services was fairly divided between neutral (34%), satisfied (33%) and very satisfied (29%). The building contractors also indicated that the most attractive features in choosing a plan room service are the direct contact information for the bidding parties, availability of plans and specifications, and bidding privileges within the contractor’s local region.   

Whether the building contractors are plan room subscribers or not they are using networking to find bidding projects. Over 60% of the building contractors who subscribed to plan room services indicated referrals and bid invitations as another source to find projects. For building contractors that are not subscribers but bidding on up to 20 projects per a quarter, invited bids and referrals were where most of their project leads stemmed from. So clearly, building relationships within the network of construction professionals earns contractors a seat at the table when it is time to bid. Construction plan room services need to develop marketing strategies to attract subscribers and ultimately develop loyal relationships with their customer. This could be done by investing in market research on building contractor’s bidding behaviors and implementing the finding within their platforms.

For more information about this survey or to learn more about qSample’s Builder Panel, please contact ellandrea.mckissack@qsample.com

 

How Content Marketing Can Supercharge The Construction Industry

 

Content marketing has become increasingly attractive to many businesses and brands seeking to expand their web presence. But what is content marketing and how does it work—beyond being a sleek buzzword in cyberspace? Can it work for those in the earthly construction industry?

In essence, content marketing is any marketing involving the creation and sharing of media content to help and inform customers—ultimately with the goal of acquiring and retaining them. It takes a variety of forms including news, videos, white papers, ebooks, infographics, how-to guides, and blog posts.

Content marketing is viewed as solely functioning on the internet, but that’s not necessarily the case. One of the primal forms of content marketing would be the famed Michelin Guide, published over a century ago.

And yes, content marketing can be beneficial to those in the construction industry seeking to expand their online branding and generate traffic.

One of the main reasons content marketing is beneficial is because it’s currently seen as an essential aspect of any internet marketing and its continual paradigm changes. After all, it was marketing guru, Seth Godin, who said, “Content Marketing is all the marketing that’s left.”

Those are bold words, but these are bold online times. As examples, 88 percent of B2B marketers in North America already use some form of content marketing, while 76 percent of overall marketers are increasing investment in content marketing in 2016. All trends point to the financial rewards of content marketing.

Centering on the construction industry, a prime example of content marketing success can be found in a case study by Delta Marketing Group involving commercial contractor company, North Country Mechanical Insulators (NCMI). By using a sound inbound marketing strategy, NCMI increased its organic web traffic by an astounding 200 percent, as well as rank in the first page of Google under its preferred keyword (“mechanical insulation”). NCMI achieved this by optimizing its pages for local keyword search, rebranding its online persona via content as an “energy advocate,” and escalating its social media presence, among other strategies.

Adding to this, our research reveals that only 26 percent of general contractors utilize any form of online marketing. In other words, the internet is wide open to fill with traffic-generating content.

Content marketing is the future now, and construction companies should further pay heed for these three reasons:

 

1. CHANGING CONSUMER PSYCHOLOGY

 

 

It’s no secret that everyone is flooded with more information than ever before. The average American is bombarded with five times more information than he or she saw 15 years ago. It is more of a secret, though, that consumers have become anesthetized to unwanted information. Furthermore, mobile technology has shrunk the space to advertise in and Ad block technology has made it easier to expel intrusive advertising from screens.

Look at it this way: Once banner ads were ubiquitous across the internet, and the investment paid off for many companies. That’s no longer the case. According to recent data from marketing company HubSpot, the average click-through rate of display ads is merely 0.1 percent.

Content marketing is the answer to this, bringing the buyer down the sales funnel by adding value, education, and entertainment in their purchasing journey.

 

2. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

 

 

Just as consumers have become more nimble at avoiding traditional marketing, they have also become more cynical as they navigate a vast field of brands wanting their attention on the internet. It’s just not enough for companies to explain how great they are—they have to show them.

This is where thought leadership comes in. Company heads can highlight their knowledge and expertise via articles, videos, infographics, and other elements of content marketing. This not only improves a brand, but it also assists and educates consumers—ultimately making them more grateful, trusting, and potentially closer to the contact form when it comes time to make a buying decision.

 

3. SEO

 

 

Search Engine Optimization remains key in any form of internet marketing. A good construction company craves the highest possible ranking on Google and other search engine providers (and the case study mentioned above made it a reality with NCMI). One way to rank is to spend inordinate amounts of money to remain on the first page of a search engine. The other is to utilize content marketing.

Content marketing is, at its core, about creating relevant content. The more valuable content created with relevant keywords, the higher the chance a website has of being indexed by search engines. Furthermore, more videos created can be noticed on YouTube, more infographics drawn can be shared on Social Media, and more guides published can be downloaded from a site into the hard drive of potential customers.

 

BEYOND THE CONTENT

 

 

Beyond the mentioned, content marketing is useful for branding, public relations, and even networking. This type of marketing is traditionally more cost-effective than other internet marketing, although distribution depends on a company’s needs (AdWords, Social Media displays, etc.). A construction company does not need an agency to successfully content market—simply a dedicated staff and owner that want to share their insights and passion with the industry.

At the end of the day, content marketing benefits consumer needs and forges a bond between brand and customer. That’s never a bad form of marketing …

 

Article originally appeared in Modern Contractor Solutions

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