Online marketing has proven to be one of the most efficient ways for design companies to reach prospective clients, and digital marketing for architecture firms is no exception.

In just three short years we’ve seen massive growth in AEC industry companies using digital marketing strategies such as social media marketing, responsive websites, paid ads, inbound blogs, and SEO to drive traffic and qualified sales leads to their businesses.

It’s no wonder that digital marketing for architects has been such a hit – the creations and projects these companies build are the PERFECT content for a world that’s demanding luxury.

We are watching architects amass millions of followers on social networks.

We’re seeing architecture firms breaking through the mold of web design and what it means to have a portfolio.

We are experiencing a revolution of architectural marketing happening right before our eyes.

It’s truly an amazing time to be in the AEC business.

Long story short – If you’re an architect looking for a piece of this digital revolution for yourself, we recommend maximizing the following digital marketing channels in 2019:

Responsive Websites

Responsive design and web devices
Closeup shot of laptop with digital tablet and smartphone on desk. Responsive design web page on their screen. Modern devices on desk at the office.

The importance of a website:

• Positions your company as an expert

• Improves customer service & support

• Increases brand exposure & leads generated

With a website, you can efficiently position your company as a defined expert in your field. You can leverage your brand exposure and generate more leads with an official page that customers can reference to. 

Proper optimization and integration of smooth UX/UI can truly boost the credibility of your company, helping visitors gain trust in your capabilities. A well-designed website can be utilized as an abundant resource, and can also improve customer service and support.

Quick tips to running a good website:

• Choose the right website platform for the job

• Focus on message clarity & ease of use

• Keep the content & design fresh (or timeless)

Depending on what kind of company you own, there are a variety of website platforms that you can choose from to build your site. Choose from platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, WordPress, and more. You can also opt to build your own website from scratch, depending on your level of technical design knowledge.

It’s important to stay focused on your overall message and ensure that visitors can navigate your page intuitively and seamlessly––a confusing layout doesn’t fare well with conversions and customer service. 

Lastly, always make sure that you are updating your content and integrating timeless design, keeping your page fresh and relevant.

Downsides to running a website:

• Takes a considerable investment to get started

• Needs consistent content updates to stay fresh

• Requires technical design & development knowledge

Running a website has multiple proven benefits for businesses, but there are a few downsides that come along with it. For one, you must have a considerable amount of capital and willingness to invest to get started. High-quality websites come with a high price tag, but it’s usually worth investing in once your company is established.

You must also ensure that your content is consistently updated, which may take some advanced planning on behalf of your content generation team. Learn to keep your audience in the loop by generating content geared towards their interests.

Depending on your personal knowledge of technical design and development skills, you may need to hire someone to help build your website. It’s important to consider these factors before committing to setting up a website for your company. 

See some great examples of architecture website design.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine on a computer
Woman searching on a website

The importance of SEO:

• Increases brand awareness & traffic organically

• Positions your company as an expert in organic search

• Increases ongoing organic traffic & leads

• Higher conversion rate than all other channels

(66% of all industry leads come from search)

With proper SEO, you can organically increase your overall brand awareness and direct more traffic to your website. After you climb up the rankings on search engines, your website can constructively set an example on how to be an expert in organic search.

Your ongoing traffic and leads will increase through implementing an SEO strategy. The more your website shows up on a Google search, the more credible it is seen to onlookers. Surprisingly, there is a higher conversion rate through SEO as compared to all other channels. 66% of all industry leads come from a web search.

Quick tips for SEO:

• Target the right keywords (Find a niche & specialize)

• Create the right type of content (Fulfill the niche’s desire)

• Be consistent with new content & improvements

The first thing you need to know about SEO is that it is heavily based on keywords. It’s all about targeting the right keywords for your niche and specializing in your field. Create content that’s geared towards your target audience, fulfilling their needs and pinpointing popular queries. 

As always, be consistent with your content and ensure that you are always finding ways to constantly improve and enhance your current rankings, which can take research on your behalf or investment in SEO software.

Downsides to SEO:

• Takes longer to provide results than other channels

• Needs to be maintained continuously over time

• Requires technical search engine & web knowledge

Unfortunately, SEO isn’t something that produces results overnight. It’s a gradual strategy that takes time––up to a couple of months––to start seeing the payoff. It requires constant maintenance to ensure that your SEO strategy is positioned towards success. You may also need an intermediate level of technical search engine and web knowledge to get started, but fortunately, there are SEO services available and we offer quite a few.

Check out SEO for Architects for a deep dive into improving your SEO

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Three Girls Sitting At Table Use Tablet Computer Happy Smiling, Young Woman Friends Together
Three Girls Sitting At Table Use Tablet Computer Happy Smiling, Young Woman Friends Together Communication Concept

The importance of social media:

• Grows brand awareness organically (or paid)

• Positions your company in the conversation

• Gets free (& paid) ongoing traffic & leads

Through a variety of social media platforms, you can dramatically grow your brand awareness organically, and even through paid advertising. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn are great ways to connect with your prospects, clients, and relevant users in the industry. Social media is the perfect way to engage with your audience, positioning your company within the conversation.

There are multiple benefits to using social media, including free and paid traffic as well as lead generation. By curating an enticing feed, you can successfully drive steady traffic to your profile and ultimately increase awareness of your brand and company.

Quick tips for social media:

• Target the right audience for your goals

• Create engaging content for each platform

• Be active within your digital community

Learn how to utilize social media to your greatest advantage. You can start by creating content specifically targeted to suit the interest of your preferred audience. As a designer, you can post photos of recent projects or things that inspire your work. 

Notably, Pinterest is an ideal platform for sharing “inspo”, and is also a proven platform for an effective marketing strategy.

Lastly, always be active within your digital community. It pays to put forth the effort to engage with people who are interested in your brand, as it fosters a sense of trust and reliability between you and your audience.

Downsides to social media:

• Lower conversion rates than other channels

• Less traffic generated to the website than other channels

• Requires significant time investment to maintain

Although social media can help you gain traction within the digital realm, there are some downsides to depending solely on social media efforts. Keep in mind that your social media page is completely separate from your company’s website. The end goal should be to direct traffic to your website and not exclusively to your social media page. 

However, the traffic tends to stop at social media, resulting in lower conversion rates and less traffic generated to your website. Always be sure that you are incorporating a powerful call-to-action or offering an incentive for users to redirect to your page in order to avoid this dilemma. 

An effective social media campaign also requires a significant time investment to maintain, so be prepared to build your social media presence over time. 

See why social media can be a powerful tool for architects.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Job search advert. Unemployed red robot wants to get a job. Funny toy robot with a cardboard sign
Job search advert. An unemployed red robot wants to get a job. Funny toy robot with a cardboard sign and handwritten text Need a job. Blue-green background

The importance of PPC:

• Increases brand awareness & traffic via paid ads

• Gets consistent ongoing traffic & leads without waiting

• Offsets slow periods while waiting for organic traffic

They’re a ubiquitous part of browsing the internet––and now you can learn how to utilize PPC advertising to your company’s greatest advantage. 

The best part about PPC advertising is that it’s passive, yet it allows you to increase brand awareness and traffic through exposure. It’s up to the viewer whether or not to click your advertisement, and with creative funnels, you’ll be able to land more traffic. 

Organic traffic will follow while also offsetting the slow periods, allowing you to utilize your time and funds efficiently.

Quick tips for PPC:

• Target the right audience for your ad/page goals

• A/B test ad creatives & optimize for cost per conversion

• Optimize your landing pages for conversion rate

When developing a PPC advertisement, your funnel should target the right audience for your ad/page goals. After all, you are catering to a specific audience with targeted interests and needs. 

There is an opportunity to do A/B testing for ad creatives, allowing you to see which PPC advertisement performs better. Each conversion also should be properly optimized for cost.

You should also ensure that your landing page is properly optimized, which can dramatically improve your conversion rate. You want to leave a good impression on users who click on your advertisement.

Downsides to PPC:

• Takes a considerable ongoing monetary investment

• All traffic stops when the campaign is ended

• Requires considerable ongoing management & optimization

PPC advertising is incredibly useful to any digital marketing strategy, but it does come with a couple of downsides. Anyone who chooses to invest in PPC must delve into a considerable, ongoing monetary investment. PPC isn’t a one-time investment––it requires constant financing. All traffic ceases to exist when the campaign ends, so if you want the ads to keep going, you’ll have to keep on paying. As with all digital marketing efforts, PPC needs continuous management and optimization.

Inbound Marketing (Blogs/Vlogs)

Close up professional black camera recording new video blog isol
Close up professional black camera recording new video blog

The importance of inbound:

• Increases brand awareness & traffic organically

• Positions your company as an expert in your niche

• Increases ongoing organic traffic & followers

Inbound marketing techniques are the perfect way to position your company as an expert within your niche. Through composing blog articles and generating vlogs, you can share a plethora of information along with valuable tips and tricks. Ultimately, you will be able to elevate your brand awareness and create organic traffic through inbound marketing efforts.

Quick tips for inbound:

• Target the right audience for your page goals

• Create unique, engaging, & relevant content

• Encourage engagement within your comment section

Always keep your target audience in mind when creating content. You can opt to identify hot topics, pain points, trending issues, and more. Think about what your audience cares about, what they want to know, and what they already know––don’t be redundant. Your content should be unique, engaging, and relevant. 

Through your blogs and vlogs, you can encourage engagement in your comment section by adding a call-to-action at the end of your content such as “What is your favorite architecture blog? Share in the comments down below!”

Downsides to inbound:

• Takes longer to provide results than other channels

• Needs consistent ongoing content to gain a following

• Requires considerable time investments to maintain

Inbound marketing is a strategy that definitely takes time to produce results over other channels, as content generation isn’t an instantaneous effort. It takes a lot of planning, as well as consistent, ongoing content to gain a following.

Learn more about inbound & content marketing for architects.

Digital PR & Media Outreach

Young man interviewing a woman in a radio studio
Young man interviewing a woman in a radio studio

The importance of digital PR:

• Gains brand awareness from top industry publications

• Positions your company as an industry expert

• Builds longer-term brand authority vs other channels

Digital PR is known to increase your online presence, and through a properly implemented strategy, you can increase your visibility within top industry publications. 

Through digital PR, you’ll be able to build your company’s reputation, drawing appeal and recognition to your business. Digital PR also allows you to position your company as an industry expert while building long-term brand authority versus other channels.

Quick tips for digital PR:

• Target the right audience & publications

• Create unique, engaging, & relevant content

• Be active and available within your industry post-PR-launch

Utilizing digital PR is ultimately used to frame the value of your company, helping you stand out within the sea of endless competitors. The goal of digital PR is to clearly identify what your company is all about and what you stand for––essentially defining what makes you unique. 

Be sure to target the right audience and publications during your launch, as well as active and available post-launch.

Downsides to digital PR:

• Difficult to quantify ROI & the effects on brand awareness

• Needs consistent ongoing content to stay in the discussion

• Requires considerable monetary investments to maintain

A digital PR campaign may be difficult to quantify ROI as well as the overall effects on brand awareness. It also requires consistent, ongoing content to stay in the discussion, as well as considerable monetary investments to maintain.

Digital marketing for your architecture firm

With digital marketing expected to grow next year by another 4.6%, be on the lookout for even tougher competition online. It will be more important than ever to use digital marketing for architecture firms all around the globe.

If you have any questions at all about the specifics of maximizing these digital channels, feel free to reach out to the Bizop team for a free 20-minute digital marketing consultation.

Author: Nathan Wilbanks

Nathan is a full-stack digital marketer specializing in consultation and strategy development for Bizop Media.

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