Firms in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry love to talk about themselves. And, hey, if you do great work what’s the harm in tooting your own horn every once in a while?
The problem with only focusing on the quality of work your firm does is that clients and prospective clients can find AEC firms who do equally great work just about anywhere. That means your firm is not going to be positioned well enough to guarantee clients come to you, and only you.
The right value-based content can help with that.
- Insightful content: Content that sparks ideas or offers clarity for an audience.
- Educational content: Content that teaches an audience something.
- Experiential content: Content that invites an audience to interact with it or immerse themselves in it.
The above examples are content that promotes your AEC firm while providing your clients and prospective clients with valuable information that they will find useful. And just because you may not be posting about tangible services your clients can purchase from you, does not mean you won’t be closing deals and increasing bottom line revenue. Essentially, the right content marketing will give the people what they want, while also promoting your services.
It’s a win-win.
Check out this article on 3 Helpful AEC Marketing Trends for more information on how to improve brand awareness and marketing effectiveness.
Content Predicated on Value
People learn a lot about a company based on the content they produce. If you post a lot of photos from team events – that speaks to your company’s culture. If your firm posts images of completed projects – you’ll be remembered as a results-based organization.
Ultimately, though, the content your AEC firm puts out should be built on a foundation of value, regardless of the message you are trying to send. That means you are always providing your clients and prospects with things that matter to them, not just posts that show off how awesome you are.
To understand the concept of value-based content, let’s take a look at three examples of content within the context of an architecture firm, an engineering firm, and a construction firm.
Insightful content can look like anything from a blog post to an explainer video. No matter the form your content takes, make sure you include key takeaways for audiences to chew on. If they are interested in your firm’s services, they’ll appreciate in-depth content that resonates with them.
Let’s look at an architecture firm, aptly called Acme Architecture. In the past, they may have let their content marketing sit on the back burner, occasionally posting pictures of the fabulous buildouts they’ve designed for clients. Maybe they’d get a few likes here and there but overall, nothing was standing out. Why? Because Acme’s posts got lost in the mindless scroll and, frankly, their content looked like everyone else’s.
Now, if Acme is looking to spark emotion and provide something of value, they may consider creating content that explains their specific process (and how their process is better than their competition). They may also consider sharing insights in the form of statistics or trends to give their audience the upper hand in what it is they are trying to accomplish (building spaces on a budget, getting the inside scoop on the best materials, etc.).
Insightful content provides context and makes people stop and think – forcing them to stop the mindless scroll and pay attention. Instead of just posting a picture of a building, Acme begins sharing content that is insightful, thought-provoking, and therefore inherently different from what the opposition is posting about. While content like that may not specifically promote Acme’s services, it gives clients a peek behind the curtain, providing a clearer idea of what they may get into when partnering with Acme Architecture.
Think insightful content is right for your AEC firm?
Contact us today to see what works best for your firm!
Educational content is beneficial in helping audiences understand complex concepts. This is especially useful when it comes to engineering firms because let’s face it, industry outsiders may not understand (nor care about) the intricacies of engineering – did anyone even pay attention in high school trigonometry anyways?
To engage with clients and prospects more deeply, Alpha Engineering (our stand-in name for an engineering firm) may decide to create educational content in the form of a podcast or discussion group. Delving into industry topics and trends with others within the industry lends a voice to complex processes, builds trust, and opens up opportunities to meet new potential prospects in a welcoming atmosphere.
Podcasts and web series are great for starting a conversation and sharing it with others via email campaigns, social media, and word of mouth. It’s not uncommon to cover topics that are often questioned throughout the RFP process, and expert firms are lumping in content relevant to what clients are looking for directly within proposals (essentially establishing them as the most expert firm).
Plus, educational content is a great way to inspire future engineers and attract new talent. When viewers see a new episode from Alpha, they feel informed. They may even come to expect that type of experience should they choose to work with Alpha. Beyond that, it opens doors for apprenticeship programs and mentorships while positioning Alpha Engineering as a leader in its category.
We know that people are inundated with social media posts. It’s also clear that mindless swiping is not going to get your firm more clients. To stand out among the thousands of posts clients see each day, a different approach is needed. Experiential content is a great way to stand out while providing value to clients.
Take, for example, a construction firm that is looking for a way to attract more clients through content marketing. Previously, their content strategy was to post before and after pictures of sites they have worked on.
Many of their clients appreciated those posts but are interested in learning more. To engage their clients, Omega Construction (our example name for a construction firm) may consider creating virtual tours of spaces before, during, and after the construction process.
People can view construction sites online, virtually walking through spaces and exploring build-outs for themselves. This type of immersive experience promotes Omega’s quality of work and satisfies people’s natural curiosity. Content like this is fun, different, and engaging, meaning it is more likely to stand out and catch the attention of Omega’s ideal audience.
Summary – 3 Ways to Create Impactful AEC Marketing Content Ideas
As content marketing becomes increasingly more important, firms in the AEC category have a large opportunity to become an early adopter and get ahead of the curve. Posting pictures here and there on social media is not a good enough strategy to boost client acquisition and retention, let alone spark a gut feeling that resonates.
Remember, the content your firm creates reflects the work your firm produces.
- Offer insights
- Provide education
- Create experiences
With the right value-based content to promote your firm, the rest will fall into place.
Ready to get started on content marketing for your AEC firm? Contact vnzo today to set up your discovery session.
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