Architect Marketing: Five Digital Innovations
The digital age continues to change everything. There are seemingly unlimited digital technology options and trends promising to make marketing better or easier. For an architect, it's enough to keep up with the impact digital transformation has on your daily work, who has time to consider all the new marketing possibilities?
Yet, when it comes to marketing, the reality is clear: Embrace digital innovation or die.
Architects can take advantage of digital innovations and trends to enhance marketing and improve customer acquisition.
Read on to learn about five digital innovations you can use to transform how you market your architecture firm.
1. Instant Communications
Growing up surrounded by technology and social media, the Millennial generation is known to expect instant communication. But it would be a mistake to attach this expectation only to the younger generations. The desire for instant contact and answers crosses all generations and all areas of business, even architecture, design, and construction.
An immediate response is now the baseline when people reach out to interact with companies online. Reputations are tied to how quickly a business answers messages or questions submitted online, responds to posted reviews, or acknowledges comments on social media.
Architects should be prepared to manage and even take advantage of instant communications. A few of the instant options to consider for your firm's marketing:
Make sure you receive alerts for comments, messages, and reviews left on your firm's social media pages, and have a process in place for responding.
Try including a call or chat feature on your website, and be sure someone is available to chat during business hours.
Consider using live video to engage followers and share progress on projects (see below).
2. Live Streaming Video
When Facebook launched Facebook Live in 2016, it caused a massive rise in user engagement. Facebook reported that viewers were 10 times more likely to comment on Live videos than pre-recorded videos. Digital marketers noticed too.
Facebook Live video is a great way to show your personality and passion for your work. It can help humanize your architecture brand.
How can you use live video as a marketing tool for your architecture firm?
Share a project update, such as a walk-through on location as a project nears completion, or introduce your team during a tour of your studio. Or, show off the inspiration for a project you are just starting.
As you build up a following, use live video to get a conversation going. Have a specific topic or theme, or start by asking and answering a frequently asked question, before opening to audience questions.
After the live portion, you can repurpose the video for further use, such as a Q&A or explainer video on your website, and re-share the video on your Facebook page.
Be sure to announce ahead of time to let people know when to tune in for your live video. This also helps create a sense of urgency and importance with your audience. They know they'll only have one chance to view the content in real time.
As followers start to arrive and "like" your video, take a second to thank them. Invite viewers to post questions to give you a way to virtually engage them in conversation.
3. Native Advertising
For architects wanting to get exposure in front of the perfect audience, native advertising is the way to go.
Attention spans are shorter than ever, and users find obvious, interruptive ads irrelevant and frustrating. Native ads solve this problem by presenting ads in a way that blends in with the online environment and is less disruptive for the viewer. In fact, viewers may not realize (at least not initially) that what they stop to read are actually paid ads.
For example, Facebook provides a powerful and effective platform for native advertising. The ability to narrowly define your perfect audience by demographics and behaviors, means your ads show up only for those people who are already inclined to like or be seeking what you are doing. Coupling native advertising with retargeting helps you reach people who have already visited your website or searched for your services.
Add to that the powerful visuals of architecture and design, native advertising—especially with social media—can be a very effective way to grab the attention of your audience.
4. Content Marketing
Content marketing is essential to maximize the effectiveness of online marketing for your architecture firm. Focus on content that is tailored to the interests and needs of your key audience. Great content supports your digital marketing with website page copy, blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, and more.
But first, you must get inside the mind of your ideal customer. This is primarily achieved through the creation of customer personas (or avatars) to help understand exactly who you are creating content to attract.
Then consider what questions they ask about architecture and create content around answering those questions. The idea is to write content, such as a blog post, rich in the keywords they search.
Don't worry if you're not a writer. A good digital marketing agency can help you tackle content with professional writers who are skilled at writing about a variety of topics, and may even specialize in architecture and design.
Once you have content to share, get the biggest bang out of it by promoting it to existing and potential clients to help them keep coming back to the website to learn more.
5. Mobile Marketing
We now keep our mobile phones tethered to our sides throughout the day. More searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktop or laptop computers.
Think about what happens when you want to inquire about something? If you reach for your phone, you aren't alone. In fact, 96% of people will reach for their smartphones and start their online research right away.
What does this mean for the online marketing of your architecture firm? Three things are critical if you want to take advantage of mobile marketing.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile viewing and one-touch access to call or email.
Make sure your business listing is up-to-date across the many online directory listing services.
Make sure your firm has a consistent brand identity across all your online platforms — website, social media, business listings, and more.
When potential clients pick up their phone and start searching, they expect to quickly find relevant and reliable information—regardless of the location and time.
With your marketing designed for mobile performance, you'll be right where they are, when they search, with the answers they want. And that's the first step in building positive client relationships.
Put Digital Marketing Innovation to work for your Architecture Firm
It's easy to begin adapting your marketing efforts to take advantage of the innovations in digital marketing. Evaluate the technology and trends against your situation and needs. Which are most likely to help you connect with the right audiences, the best prospects, your ideal clients?
Innovation-driven digital marketing can help you "wow" your customers, and it can also help you future-proof your business. Partnering with a forward-thinking digital marketing agency is the answer.
Ready to transform your architecture firm with digital marketing?
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