Architecture Firm Marketing & Web Design
The U.S. architecture industry is growing. According to IBIS World, the industry expanded by 5.8% over the past five years to reach a revenue of $45 billion in 2018. In the same period, the number of firms grew by 0.8% while the number of employees increased by 3.2%.
While this growth is certainly good, it hasn’t been without challenges. In fact, the growth would have been much greater if not for the challenges the industry faces; many startup architecture firms die within a few years of opening their doors.
So, What Are the Challenges?
Obviously, there are many of them. But, according to Cover Glass USA, a leading provider of glass materials for the architecture industry, and Business of Architecture, a free resource for architectures worldwide, architecture firms face four key challenges:
- Navigating the Transition Into the Digital Age
The world has gone digital. Today, everything from keeping in touch with colleagues to making purchases takes place on the internet. A good number of architecture firms haven’t fully adapted to this shift and some haven’t bothered to adjust at all. Many still depend on TV ads and traditional banners to pass their messages across. This continues to cost the industry and continues to see Architecture firms drop off due to an old-school approach to their marketing.
- Mastering the Evolution of Hardware and Software
Borrowing from the point above, even after going digital, architecture firms need to stay up to date with new developments in industry hardware and software. This can be a huge challenge given the rapid changes in these areas and the high costs associated with purchasing and training staff on new technology.
- Lack of Knowledge Among Future Clients
A recent study by the Architect Marketing Institute found that the majority of architecture’s clients don’t understand much about the industry. In the survey where more than 2,031 adults were interviewed, only 15% of respondents knew that architects design buildings and up to 72% were unaware that architects have to apply for planning permissions for these buildings.
- Increased Competition
Finally, architects are also facing the stiffest competition yet. The fact that very few new firms succeeded in the last five years is a testament to this. Local and smaller architecture firms are consistently losing clients and procurement tenders to third-party multinational firms with bigger budgets.
Finding Solutions to These Problems: How Can Digital Marketing Help?
It’s evident that digital advertising alone can’t solve all these problems. Nevertheless, a digital approach can help in multiple ways such as;
- Find Experts to Do the Transition on Your Behalf
A major reason many architecture firms haven’t boarded the digital train yet is the difficulty in doing so. Changing your methods all of a sudden, methods that have served you so well, isn’t easy. In fact, in business, you’re always advised to stick to your most successful strategies. How then are you supposed to suddenly abandon your outdated traditional ways for more current digital methods?
Again, digital efforts alone are insufficient for a successful transition. But, a digital marketing firm can take some of that burden off your shoulders. Rather than leave your ways completely, choosing to work with a digital marketing agency allows you to complement your current methods with digital strategies. This way, you get to benefit from your trusted methods and at the same time learn the potential advantages of an increased digital approach – at your own pace.
- Replace Ignorance with Knowledge
The reason most people don’t fully understand the workings of the architecture industry is limited access to the industry’s resources. Even architects themselves are hardly ever seen unless you’re a client currently dealing with one. That’s before you mention the limited volume of educational resources on the internet. Compared to other industries such as tourism, for instance, architecture doesn’t yet have enough resources out there to educate the masses.
Digital marketing can help change this. Through digital advertising, architecture firms can create blogs and knowledge bases to help their clients learn about the industry. You can create videos, podcasts, and industry reports to help your future clients better understand how the industry works, and in turn, land more and more clients due to your knowledge and out of the box thinking in the industry.
- Forge Ahead of Your Competition
Finally and most importantly, digital marketing can help you forge ahead of your competition. Much of the competition in the industry currently takes place outside of digital platforms. The reason those multinational firms are beating you is that you’re competing with them on things like pricing and positioning. Owing to their bigger budgets, they’re definitely going to outperform you in these areas.
The digital platform is a different kettle of fish. On the internet, knowledge and customer experience reign supreme. If you know your job well and can show potential clients that you have what they’re looking for, you’ll get that contract. And, if you can wow customers every single time, you’ll get their loyalty. Digital marketing is the tool to help you showcase your expertise and deliver exemplary customer experiences to get not just clients, but loyal customers.
Digital Marketing Tactics for Architecture Firms to Consider
There are many digital advertising strategies available to architecture firms. But, five strategies stand out;
- Have an Up-To-Date, Responsive WordPress Website
You need a professionally designed, mobile-optimized website to help you tie your digital campaigns together. Among other things, the website should have fast page load speeds, a simple structure that makes navigation easy, and quality images and videos to help reinforce your messages.
- Content Marketing & SEO
Once you have a website, what follows is content creation. There are many forms of content. You can have a blog to educate your audience, industry reports to showcase your expertise, infographics to provide bite-sized, visual information, and many others. Keep in mind the value of SEO when creating these content pieces. Without SEO, most of your content marketing efforts would go to waste.
- Social Media Marketing
At least 30% of time spent online is now spent on social media networks. This makes it critical for marketers to target these channels. Select networks with the greatest potential (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great options), create business accounts on these channels and engage your fans and followers.
- Email Marketing
With an ROI of $43 for every $1 spent, email marketing is simply phenomenal. Make use of the channel to onboard visitors, educate leads, and convert sales. A word of advice though; pay special attention to send times, sending frequency and subject lines. Also, vary your emails. From newsletters to transactional and lead nurturing emails, you have several email types to pick from.
- PPC Marketing
Finally, architecture firms should also invest in Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. Two options that come to mind are Google AdWords and Promoted Ads on social media (Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn). Google Ads have an ROI of 200% and promoted ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are just as, if not more, effective and cheaper.
Simplemachine is Here to Help
We understand that you’re busy; that you may not have the time to commit to a digital campaign. That’s why we’re here.
Headquartered in Bentonville, AR and serving several surrounding areas with locations in cities including Dallas, TX, and Tulsa, OK, we offer a wide range of services including;
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Contact us today at 877-524-6325 for a FREE consultation.