Marketing for Architectural firms is not about budgets or the number of people involved. In reality, it boils down to choosing smart strategies and making them work. And these strategies aim at so much more than displaying advertising messages to as many people as possible. For to get new customers in big numbers and on a regular basis, architectural firms need first to educate prospects, gain their trust and build a relationship.
Finding these platforms and choosing the right way to connect with prospects is no easy deal. It requires testing marketing channels and efforts, tracking their performance and calculating the return on investment – quite a commitment, but a fruitful one.
We couldn’t help you with the marketing plan or campaign creation. As an architectural animation company, we specialize in creating top-quality photoreal cg videos for presentations and video marketing. However, we can suggest a few time-proven platforms and best practices successful architectural firms use to their advantage. So read up these 5 tips and find out new ways to improve your marketing.
#1. Social Media Marketing
With social media, marketing for architectural firms becomes more powerful and subtle than ever. For these networks allow Architects to introduce themselves to the market, build a relationship with the audience, share their work, and target prospects with relevant ads. All that internationally!
Which brings us to the real power of social media marketing: the ability to communicate with prospects at different awareness levels. Advertising campaigns usually attract people who are looking for architectural services, missing on those who don’t have a project yet but are planning a construction or renovation in the near future. And social media marketing allows architectural firms to connect with the latter group and build a relationship. And when the time comes, the choice is obvious.
The strategy is definitely worth consideration. So here are some of the best channels for architectural firms to include in a marketing strategy.
1) Facebook for Building a Community
The network is a goldmine with its 2.32 billion monthly active users and incredible targeting options, including such criteria as age, gender, parental status, interests, and more. Architectural firms can build a community there and gain people’s trust by providing valuable information. As for the advertising options, Facebook has a range of ads formats to meet the needs of any strategy.
As a website focused mostly on images, it’s an excellent choice for conveying the visual impact of architectural solutions. For the same reason, it requires that all the imagery, videos, and 3D animations look impeccable. In fact, nothing less than “gorgeous” will do in such fierce visual competition.
The unique feature of Instagram is that it allows for more lively and informal communication. Architectural firms can use the network to showcase their portfolios, start discussions and even speak from the construction sites through Stories.
Being the second largest search engine, Youtube is the first choice for video marketing. For this is the place where 1.9 billion monthly active users come for new ideas, inspiration, and advice. Moreover, videos and architectural animations allow targeting prospects at different awareness stages – by highlighting the competitive edge of the company, taking viewers to the construction site, sharing tips, showing how a project is prepared and many more.
The platform is a perfect place for architectural firms to build authority, share knowledge, show off portfolios and engage with the audience. Which is quite considerable: Houzz counts 40 million users and has 25 unique monthly visitors. For prospects, the platform serves as entertainment and a shopping case. For while looking for inspiration, people can add pictures of goods and projects into their ideabooks, make purchases or even contact the architectural firm who worked on the inspiring project the viewer saw.
Marketing for architectural firms should definitely include a presence on Linkedin. The platform caters to a promising audience of 590 million users, with 40 million people being decision makers in their companies and 61 million – senior-level influencers. Which means that a professionally filled profile with an appealing portfolio, plus systematic networking efforts can help to land major architectural projects.
#2. Raise Portfolio Findability and Impact
When someone needs products or services, he or she just looks for them in the search engine of their preference – Google, Bing or Yahoo. Naturally, the sites on the first 3 positions will be the ones the prospects will contact. In fact, according to MOZ, the top 3 positions in Google’s search results account for a whopping 55% of organic clicks, with the #1 spot alone netting over 30%. Hence the importance of search engines ranking for successful marketing for architectural firms.
Paid search is a fast way to achieve that. They get the ad to the top, as well as help to drive consistent and relevant traffic to the site thus improving its rankings. But that’s not the end of the story. Once the ads are out there bringing clients, it’s time to make sure the pages they lead to actually sell.
The basic requirements to the page are that it clearly state the offer, list its benefits, present social proof and have a clear call to action. None of this will matter, however, without a good portfolio. The latter should look professional, have a sufficient number of entries and present the project in a visually appealing manner. And if the construction isn’t over yet, so there aren’t any photos, cgi will save the day. Photoreal marketing visuals made for the project will do just fine. 3D renderings or architectural animations for presentation will capture attention and serve as excellent proof of expertise.
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Much like social media, a blog is an excellent way to communicate with people who aren’t ready to order yet but are already considering their options. Moreover, blogging has some heavy benefits to enhance marketing for architectural firms:
It allows to collect emails from subscribers for further nurturing;
Well-optimized and relevant articles boost website rankings;
The articles and videos may serve as sales, marketing, and advertising materials.
Blogs give Architects a wide range of means to deliver valuable content to the audience and deploy their creativity. The latter is another advantage – for blogging can be fun. It gives Architects an opportunity to build a reputation and try themselves at writing, video blogging and hone public speaking skills. Alternatively, architectural firms can hire someone to take care of everything and just track results. Whichever the case, here are some of the most practical blog formats to experiment with:
Case studies presenting previous projects and showing how an Architect handles a certain type of challenge – like the lack of space or light;
“How to”- articles helping customers to solve a problem, like finding a contractor or picking a color for the living room;
The lists of interesting tips or facts;
Useful resources that could help customers at a certain task. For instance, the links to the websites with inspiration or to shops selling vintage furniture;
Interviews with experts on the topics that would be of interest to readers. For instance, on arranging a perfect decor for the room or creating a Provence kitchen interior.
#4. Participate in Events
Another great type of marketing for Architectural firms is to go out there and speak at conferences and tradeshows. By giving the audience valuable information, the Architect can both raise brand-awareness and acquire new customers. Moreover, the speech or workshop can be filmed and thus become a marketing asset – to be used for social media promotion, in blog, or in email.
To get the same benefits, architectural firms may organize webinars on their own. This allows them to avoid travel costs, and still communicate with prospects – bring value, raise brand awareness, build trust and boost brand awareness. Moreover, in order to participate in a webinar, the customers will have to leave their email addresses, which can be further used for a nurture marketing campaign.
#5. Use Email Marketing
Email marketing for architectural firms is an effective way to get new clients and lucrative projects. According to ReachMail, welcome emails raise revenue by 320%. Furthermore, clients who make a request through email spend 138% more than those who don’t receive email offers.
Architectural firms can collect the emails addresses using webinars, blogs, white papers, tests or free consultations. With the prospects’ consent, one can send them personal letters, and in this way, start communication and lead potential clients down the funnel.
Bringing value is essential when it comes to email marketing for architectural firms. Merely sending advertisements will annoy readers and make them unsubscribe, so it’s vital to speak about topics that will be of interest to prospects. So once the compelling content strategy is planned, it’s time to create a welcome letter that would induce readers to subscribe for the news. This letter should welcome readers and tell them what to expect from this email – listing all the benefits the letters will bring them. Naturally, commercial messages will figure among these letters.
Marketing for architectural firms depends on choosing the right channels and using them to build relationships with clients. Social media, email, paid search ads, SEO and public events are all excellent means to use in order to do just that and to lead prospects down the sales funnel, toward a collaboration.
And interactive visuals are what can make all the difference and help the Architect stand out. Want to go further and literally mesmerize customers with your visuals? Then contact us for 3D animation services – and tell everything about your projects with no words. You can start by finding out architectural animation cost for your interactive marketing materials.