Pinterest isn’t automatically thought of as being a key social platform for construction marketing, but I believe it’s one of the most useful and one of the most underused in the industry.
Current demographics suggest more women than men use the visual bookmarking service, but this should not negate the platform’s usefulness for the AEC sector, because there are so many benefits. Users in the US alone are predicted to reach 50 million by next year. There is an interesting recent article on Pinterest statistics via Sprout Social.
This blog post looks at the how and why of Pinterest for construction marketing.
Why should Pinterest be used to support construction marketing?
So, in an already over-crowded space, with multiple platforms clamouring for space and attention, why should Pinterest be used as a key marketing tactic in the construction and built environment sectors?
1 – It’s visual
Design, construction and engineering are beautifully visual activities and this this alone makes Pinterest perfect for showcasing the expertise in the sector. From creating boards showing design inspiration and themes, to uploading progress and completion project photos, the possibilities for communication and story-telling are endless. Furthermore, content does not have to be static and can include YouTube videos or SoundCloud files.
2 – It drives traffic back to your website
Key to the point above being a success is pinning content (photos, images, videos and infographics) which are interesting, attractive and informative, as well as referring the pinner back to an appropriate landing page on your company website, increasing traffic back. This may well include people who hadn’t heard of you before, but may now want to work with you in the future.
3 – It can develop and strengthen relationships with key stakeholders
By pinning content shared by organisations and people you work closely, with or want to work with, you will further develop relationships and links with them. A relevant example of this could be architects, contractors or engineers using boards to pin products they may want to specify in future projects, or examples where products have been used before. Remember to tag the photos appropriately. Equally, product manufacturers may use Pinterest to supply the need and get products in front of specifiers via a different platform.
When people comment on your pins or repin them, remember to respond to their comments or thank them for the repin. Social media is about relationships between people, after all.
How should Pinterest be used to support construction marketing?
1 – Pin collateral
Use Pinterest to pin all that collateral that the marketing team is usually nagging you to help them to write. See below.
2 – Create multiple boards
Create multiple boards, with clearly defined purposes.
These should cover:
- Pin CVs and photos which link back to the team page on your company’s website. This shows potential clients who they would be working with.
- Pin photos and information of activities which demonstrate the culture of your business. This could be social events, charity activities, training or working on site.
- Encourage your team to directly contribute to your Pinterest by giving all members of staff their own boards on your account, so they can use them to pin photos of inspiration and ideas. This will enable your team to directly communicate with potential clients and other stakeholders.
- There can be no better way for an architect, contractor or engineer to clearly demonstrate their expertise than via a dynamic online portfolio.
- Project photos, including themes and inspiration, progress and completion photos.
- Collateral, for example project information sheets and case studies, as well as any other copy which has been repurposed for Pinterest.
- Pin the images from your website, so that traffic is referred back. Also pin the first page of the case study or other piece of collateral and make sure the link takes the viewer back to the right landing page on your website.
- Pin the first pages of your (online) brochures, taking the viewer back to the page where they can be downloaded. This could be via your own website or on your account on Issuu.
Blog posts and key web pages
- Using rich pins for articles, pin your company blog posts.
- Pin other articles of interest, for example industry trends or changes in legislation.
- Create infographics to clearly chart out your company’s approach and process to key activities. This could be design, planning, preconstruction and construction or handover. Infographics are much more likely to be repinned, because information is easily understood.
These are just some ideas I have been mulling over, but I would love to hear what you all think, and how you are using Pinterest to market your construction business.
One of the main challenges of bid writing and delivering any kind of submission is having an endless supply of accurate information. This task is never complete, but done properly will enable you to focus on developing quality bespoke content for each pitch, rather than searching for material you know you have written before, but can never find when you need it…
I speak from bitter experience on this subject, because I know how tedious it can seem to go back through submitted bids to strip out and archive good content for the future. However, I have also wasted many an hour under a lot of stress sorting through previous submissions for golden pieces of information.
Generic information which is asked for time after time
There is much standard information grouped into business functions which is requested time after time. The more you do to organise this, the easier your life will be.
This information includes (but isn’t exhaustive):
such as certificate of incorporation, company number, VAT number, registered address, number of offices, description of services provided. Review and update annually.
Finance and accounts
(always worth getting annual statistics on turnover by sector and service as well, if you want to be ahead of the game). Review and update annually.
Including QA certificates, standard text on approach and process, implementation and non-conformance, and complaints procedures. Review and update annually. Speak to the QA manager following any audits.
Health and safety
Including H&S certificate or relevant procedures and systems. It is definitely worth getting your head around CDM regulations if you are a bid writer/manager working in the built environment. The roles and responsibilities are different and this has an implication for the information required. It is also worth noting the CDM regs will be changing again in 2015, with big implications for architects.
Review and update annually and keep up to date with any changes in regulations, so you can speak to the H&S manager about them.
Such as an environmental management certificate or similar processes and procedures. Try to also to gather information which demonstrates the effectiveness of initiatives. Also, if your organisation is involved in designing and delivering BREEAM-accredited buildings, you can never have too many case studies on how the grade was achieved and what the quantifiable outcomes have been.
Review the standard information annually and produce case studies on an ongoing basis.
This information can be wide-ranging, including Investors in People, policies on a range of issues from recruitment to development, staff numbers cut by grade and staff turnover. Best to make good friends with your HR team and ask them to provide a range of information on a regular basis.
Review and update annually.
Such as design approach or approach to planning construction projects. This information will be guided by quality management processes and will be available within the business. Ensure you are communicating it accurately.
Review and update annually and be aware of any updates or changes.
Bespoke ‘golden nuggets’
This is the information which is created specifically for certain bids and other submissions. It is generally technical in nature and takes a while to produce. Examples can include ‘added value’, ‘BREEAM’ or technical approach, but again, this list isn’t exhaustive.
When the submission has been completed, go through the bid and strip out this content and archive it in a separate Word document. The most simple approach is to create one document with an index of the questions, along with the responses. This will enable you to quickly search through in future and will also provide you with a boilerplate or ‘starter for ten’ for those last minute submissions.
Again, this information can be reviewed annually or more frequently and updated with fresh content or examples. Always key to these questions is the quality of evidence provided to support your claims. Make sure you speak to your technical colleagues to know what is happening on projects.
Please get in touch with me if I can help you develop a standard information library for your business.
One of the joys for a marketer working in the built environment sector, is the visuality and visibility of the end product. This can be a building across a range of sectors, or a road or bridge.
I have been talking with the senior management at work about the possibility of using Instagram to promote completed buildings, or even projects being built.
Is anyone else using Instagram in this way? What results are you getting? Do you have any tips or hints to make the process more efficient or get better results?