Do you ever find these sorts of enquiries coming in to your business? Those that are time consuming to convert, or where people say your price is too high after they receive a proposal. They may be residential customers, who are not a priority for your company. Or the site they are working on, or the application, might not be suitable for your product.
Creating a detailed ebook can help to solve these problems.
There are two main ways they work for you:
1) to attract people in, so that when they contact you, they are very warm leads
2) to prequalify enquiries, and make the sales process easier and more effective
1) attracting people
Ebooks, when written properly, are an attractive, helful resource for your audience. A good construction marketing ebook should explain the challenges that your specifier or buyer needs to overcome – the information should not solely be centred around your product, but should provide well-researched, useful, actionable advice on many of your ideal customer’s related topics and challenges.
Your prospects download the ebook themselves, after browsing your website or noticing a call to action somewhere else – on your social media channels, for example.
(As the quality and value of your ebook is high, it’s fair to ask for the person’s email address in return for downloading it. This is a great way to add to your opt-in email list.)
Clients will be self-selecting – after reading your material, they’ll know if the products or services are right for them. They’ll already know about your products or services in depth, and may be much closer to making a buying decision, or be in a position to specify. If they contact you after reading, they’ll be a very warm lead – you are creating better quality enquiries and ensuring that the right type of people contact you.
Alternatively you can send the ebook to people who email or call you, to pre-qualify your enquiries. This approach is known as ‘assignment selling’ – you give people an assignment to do before taking the enquiry further.
The ebook can be used to explain and answer the common questions the people pose. Do you find a lot of time is spent explaining the same things? Or are there a common set of potential problems that people want to be reassured about? You can answer these once, in depth, and quickly send the information to people before following up for a further meeting. (In addition to, or instead of using ebooks, you can use blog posts, podcasts and videos for assignment selling.)
In construction marketing, ebooks can shorten your sales cycle, reducing the time spent answering questions about your products or services – issues like sitework and preparation, compatibility, methods of installation, potential problems, options and how these affect price. It is worthwhile addressing how your product/service compares to alternatives – if your product is not right for the designer’s application, better to uncover that early. Or, if you aren’t the cheapest manufacturer in your sector, you want to avoid wasting time on people whose primary requirement is price. If the prospect can’t afford you, but want the product/service, they may come back in a year or two when working on a project that does have the budget to accommodate your product. A good ebook is not just a thinly-veiled list of the features and benefits of your products – that’s your brochure!
For example, one of your USPs might be that you can produce products in grade 316 stainless steel, finished so that they are resilient in salty, coastal environments. You could prepare an ebook outlining the broader design considerations for an exposed scheme – including how other materials that you don’t specialise in are affected, such as woods; concrete, render and natural stone. If you aim at landscape architects, you could even look at what types of planting will be resilient in the areas that your product is often specified for.
This is one of the key principles in content marketing – producing content that your audience actively wants to consume because it is helpful to them and doesn’t only push your sales message.
Construction marketing ebooks – examples and further reading
Best practice example: AC Architects introduction to self build
SIG Design Technology: Green Roof guides (informative article with downloads at the bottom)
The Sales Lion on Assignment Selling
Pauley Creative on white papers
Hubspot on eBooks vs white papers
Hubspot free eBook templates