From our previous articles in this series I hope I have got you excited by the various options and intriguing content you can create for the Architect or Design Industry. And you are probably asking the question, well is this is fine and dandy, but where to we start?
Without a budget no one knows.
Setting a budget is the crucial first part of the project and one of the most challenging. This is not an arbitrary guess, but requires discussion and debate by the key decision makers involved.
Obviously it varies between firms, but I suggest look at the existing marketing budget and see if any can be apportioned to digital marketing. If possible, cut some of your print advertising and the marketing activities you have done for years and have ceased to question why you do them?
If not cut them at least test them. We are now in a world where collecting data on advertising effectiveness has never been easier. The famous saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” by John Wanamaker, US department store merchant (1838 – 1922) does no longer have to be the case.
You can now make your advertising unique to each publication with a call to action via a unique coupon code, unique web address or unique phone number on the advert.
You can also ask your customers on your website where they heard about you from in the form of a drop down list with the advertising media there that you use.
If you are a growing company then allow your traditional marketing budget to plateau and only increase the digital marketing spend each year. If you aren’t doing this your competitors are and there is piles of evidence to suggest inbound marketing is beating traditional marketing, here is a curation of some great stats. www.jumplead.com/why-inbound-marketing-statistics-on-inbound-vs-outbound-marketing
Create an Inbound Marketing Road Map
Once you have an idea of what funds are available get a consultation with a content marketing expert. At this stage it is almost impossible to set a realistic budget without knowing what content strategies are available to you and an estimate of the return on investment (ROI) that these strategies can expect to return over the long term.
A consultant that has experience with the architecture and design-build industry is preferable, but more important is someone skilled in content marketing that will understand what type of content your clients will pay attention to and even more importantly have the skills and pragmatism to continually test.
Be armed with some of your analytics and metrics such as life-time value of a client and then build a road map of what activities you are going to trial and the KPI’s these activities need to hit to continue investing in them.
Every Good Cause Needs a Champion
At this stage a project manager, either in house or from an outside agency, is needed to take the lead and keep the momentum you have started. The resistance to generating content is strong and the project needs to be championed by an influential leader that will motivate the team to do their share and keep things on track
They need to have time available. All too often the business owner or senior marketing executive takes on this role and then doesn’t have the time available to do it justice.
This role is the lynchpin of the campaign and they need to have the authority and autonomy to make critical decisions and act on them without having to be approved by senior management road blocks.
Make Use of Your Existing Assets
The first place to start with is what you already have available and a thorough content audit carried out. Are there some white papers or technical documents lying around somewhere that were once used for an offline campaign? Do suppliers have documentation that can be refreshed and re-purposed?
Do you have a list of emails that have been collected over the years? Or even street addresses of current and previous clients. Some companies have shoe boxes full of old leads that are a valuable resource just sitting around gathering dust.
It might be worth doing some data scraping of your email account or accounting package and assessing what can be used. Any potential contact information needs to be brought to the table and consolidated into various campaigns to turn them into an audience.
This is really part of the budget, but it can be somewhat hidden because it shows on the profit and loss as salaries rather than marketing. Who in the organisation is capable and wiling to create content? It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. The “ones with the knowledge” usually the business owner and senior management can dictate their knowledge to microphone and have it transcribed for a copy writer to weave their magic.
Alternatively a copy writer could interview the people in the organisation with the most knowledge. This is the most expensive option, but possibly the most thorough. An experienced writer will be able to ask the probing questions and extract information that the owner may not think of (or think important enough) if they were dictating on their own.
To summarize the first 4 steps we have:
- Defined a budget
- Identified existing assets
- Identified who in the organisation has the information and how much time they have available
- Assigned a project leader
Now it’s time to look at some specific strategy. 3 Inbound Marketing Strategies for Architect and Landscape Design Industry