So which way should you go when you are planning your marketing strategies: Search Engine Optimization or effective use of leads services? You can discover passionate arguments against prioritizing (or even thinking of using) the leads services — at least in the residential sector — if you read Brian Javeline’s perspective. Or you can weigh in and say that SEO is badly over-rated, and leads services really have value, as outlined by Corey Philip Czyz.
Here’s another perspective, which straddles both of Cory and Brian’s outlooks. This is from Justin Jacobs, of Hudson, Inc.
Contractor websites clearly aren’t like online retail giants, where a few clicks can get the product of your desire shipped to your home within a two-day timeframe. However, there are still lots of ways you can serve customers and prospects through your online hub.
Namely, you can provide them with resources that will help them run their homes and make decisions about household improvements. This includes useful how-to content and helpful tips that can give them an inside scoop.
To build your content, you can follow the threads of one topic into several formats. For example, you might start with a topic (indoor air, energy savings, bad weather preparation, etc.). You can list several facts related to that topic to create tweets. As you collect your tweets, turn them into a blog. Take the blog and use that as the basis for an online video. Then, going back to the tweets and blog, create a tip sheet that accompanies the video.
The more online content you create with relevant keywords, the better your search engine optimization can do its work – drawing more visitors to your company’s website, plus giving them a reason to stick around.
I don’t think anyone will argue against the value of solid content — either as a framework for SEO or to provide the relationship-building core behind social media marketing.
But great content, in itself, is only part of the picture. You need a more integrated, thoughtful and comprehensive approach to marketing, that transcends any single magic bullet/solution.
This doesn’t mean doing everything — you’d burn yourself out with the confusion and lack of focus. Rather, the approach you take time to think through the various stages in client acquisition/retention, and then you need to frame your strategy in a sustainable manner. And this need for sustainability probably causes the greatest challenges for AEC marketers, because generally we deal in long-cycle, low-volume, and high-priced services. We aren’t selling to the mass, and generally we cannot succeed primarily by trying to fulfill instant gratification emotions.
The exercise then becomes one of figuring out a course of action that is reasonably likely to be predictable, results-generating and profitable, and a progression to achieve the results you are seeking, while producing immediate profitable cash flow. And that will lead to some suggested marketing models for different types of AEC business/practices in the next few posts.