Contractors have a tougher row to hoe these days. In the past, experience and a solid reputation - combined with a few Yellow Page entries and some print add - were enough to keep a business strong. These days, you need a website and a bit of digital marketing know-how to ensure potential clients find you when they search online. But who are these potential clients anyway?
One of the most important and valuable things you can do to benefit from your website and social media marketing is to define your target market. In the world of digital marketing, defining your target market involves one-part what you know and one-part intuition in order to create buyer personas. In most cases, you will have more than one buyer persona and once you have identified them, it's your job to get inside their heads and create the content they're looking for online.
Define Your Target Construction Market Using Buyer Personas
Like we mentioned above, identifying your target market is part fact (based on data you know or have collected) and part fiction (based on what you and your staff can piece together). When you combine this information, you will have uncanny insight into your prospective buyer personas - or archetypes, if you will - which will help you to create interesting and informative content for your website, blogs and social media. It will also help you to craft your email newsletters and special offers or discounts throughout the year - all of which are good marketing strategies.
Keep in mind, your buyer personas will come in two basic forms: the market you already serve (your bread and butter) and the market you would like to serve more often. Creating personas - and content to match - will ensure that all of their needs are met when they're searching for you and your services online.
Here are some tips for identifying your typical target market.
Collect Information. If you haven't already, talk to your marketing team about collecting information. You may be able to do some of this based on what you already know but, more likely, you will need to send an email or letter to your current and previous clients telling them you want to learn a little more about them. The more information to include the better. Include things like:
- Marital status.
- Annual household income.
- Where do they live?
- Do they have children?
The answers to these questions help you to get a better feel for your customer persona basics.
Collect More Information. Now that you have an idea of who uses your services, find out more about them. At this point, you want to find individuals (maybe 20 to 30 or so) who meet those similar criteria. Choose non-clients (friends, families, colleagues) and begin to ask them questions:
- What are their goals?
- What is their average day like?
- What problems do they need solved?
- What are their pain points as they apply to construction, remodeling, their house's function, etc.?
- What do they value most?
- What are their goals?
- Where do they go to find your products/services?
- What are their expectations about your products/services?
- What are their biggest points of contention/worry about your products/services?
Now you have information that will help to fill in the blank spaces in your buyer persona outlines.
Start Analyzing. If you do your own marketing, set aside time to review all of this information and see where the commonalities and differences are. Begin to see how the data skews in one direction for one type of person and the other direction for other types. Now you have the information you need to create more rounded buyer personas.
Create Your Buyer Personas. Get creative. The best way to create your buyer personas is to make them in print. We recommend gathering the people who create your web content together around a table with a huge pad of paper. Draw a rough body outline for each of the main personas you've come up with. Write the basic information around the outline and give him/her a name. Then, start talking about what that person wants when it comes to your products and services.
You are creating the characters that you'll be marketing to from here on out. You may find you have a niche you never knew you had, such as eco-minded clients regardless of income. Or clients that are interested in aging in place or universal design concepts that will make their homes more functional in the long run. These tidbits of information can also help you to hone your marketing prowess.
Create the Content Your Target Market Wants
Armed with this information, you will be able to craft content your target market is looking for, which will bring them directly to your website. Enjoy the new leads!