(By Bilal Hoosen)
With the increased desire for entrepreneurship, many professionals are branching into the entrepreneurial direction. Amongst these are engineers that are using their profession and experience to start Engineering companies.
However, the greatest challenge that many engineering companies face is building their clientele and finding their customers. This blog therefore, focuses on digital marketing strategies for Engineering Companies.
The most crucial mission of any engineering service is to define a problem and provide the most suitable solution.
Many clients have encountered such problems and require the expertise of engineers to provide the solution. The first step is to showcase the company, its mission, and its ability to solve such engineering problems.
The most economic and practical method to achieve this is through digital marketing.
Below, some of the methods that may be used by engineering companies to strengthen their digital presence are discussed.
- Design a responsive website
- Use search engine optimization (SEO)
- Invest in pay per click (PPC)
- Create quality content
- Start an email newsletter
- Use social media
- Analyse the data
Designing a good and responsive website
Most engineering company websites are unattractive, plain, and messy, making them difficult to navigate and hence driving away large amounts of potential customers.
What is a responsive website?
A responsive site is one of the most important steps in utilizing digital marketing strategies to convert customer leads into paying clients. Responsive websites allow improving the way the website is displayed on various devices such as mobiles, tablets, and desktops. As a result, this allows the potential customer to have a good experience and avoid frustrations.
Why should Engineering companies use responsive websites?
Imagine walking into an engineering consultancy and having a really bad experience. The staff are unfriendly and many of your questions and concerns are unanswered. The company’s engineers are unable to showcase their designs and technical abilities in the language that you understand. you then leave without the expectation that you entered with.
A badly designed website will give customers the same experience. Investing in a good responsive website will keep customers informed and hopefully make them paying clients.
Additionally, Google investigates responsive websites as a parameter for ranking the website and hence helps with the company Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Below are a few considerations when designing a responsive website.
Design a fluid grid
Previous websites were designed with a fixed width, making it difficult to adjust to different screen sizes. A fluid grid breaks down the width of the page into several sizes and spaced columns. This makes it easier to be displayed on various devices such as mobiles and tablets.
Allow for touch screens
Many of the clients visiting your pages will do so via their tablet or mobile phone. It is therefore important to design the website for easy use via touch screens
Use responsive images and videos
Engineering companies need to display their projects graphically with good rendering. The images that are displayed on the page must be responsive and adaptable to various devices as well, thus appropriately showcasing their work and attracting the client.
What is SEO?
The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
SEO for Engineering companies
When a client is looking for a particular service. They almost always begin with a search through a search engine. Engineering companies require an SEO strategy to remain competitive and ensure that potential clients are directed to the company’s page.
SEO increases the brand visibility of the engineering firm. It allows the firm to target the correct audience and gives the firm a competitive edge.
The goal is that the company ranks on the first page of a search engine. This is important as studies have shown that 91% of users do not search further than the first page.
- The first step is to research the correct keywords that will be used on the page.
- Use the web page analytical tools to analyse which keywords are used when customers are directed to the site.
- Use tools such as Google keyword planner to research the keywords that are used when searching for engineering services.
- Look at competitor websites that are ranking high on search engines and analyse the keywords that they are using.
- Engineering consultancies must create content that responds to customers’ pain points. The content should address the issue and provide solutions for the potential client.
- Optimize the meta tags and meta descriptions on the web page (meta tags and metadata help search engines understand the content of the page)
- In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to the desired web-page. This increases the search engine rankings of that page or website.
The back link should however be limited to authoritative engineering associations, specialist engineering directories, and getting featured on engineering magazines and websites.
Invest in pay per click (PPC)
PPC is a type of advertising where a company pays each time customers click on their ad. PPC allows the company to target the correct audience, in this case, clients that are interested in engineering services. This is done by specifying the keyword, location, or specific service provided.
Why is PPC effective for Engineering companies?
- The goal is to rank the engineering service on the first page of the search engine. In principle, if a client is looking for an engineering service in their area. Your firm should appear in their search. PPC helps the firm achieve this.
- PPC allows the firm to measure and track the results.
This is essential for engineering companies as it is important to attract clients that are not aware of your company. While it is easier to sell other products and services to clients within organic reach, engineering services are required to spread their reach out of these bounds to reach a wide variety of potential clients.
Create quality content
According to the results of a new survey, engineers spend 8.3 hours per week reading or watching engineering resources, with 86 percent of those hours spent on digital content. So this audience is imminently reachable by digital marketers who take the time to understand their preferences.
How to create content for engineering companies?
- Make the content easy to read and easily accessible. This is done by ensuring that the content is mobile-friendly, contains the message in an easy-to-read format, and has attractive images and graphics.
- Conciseness- engineers usually work at solving complex issues by finding the optimum solution. This should be the approach in the content provided. The content should be clear and to the point without any rambling.
- Keywords. Ensure that the correct keywords are used to assist with SEO.
- The subject lines should be interesting.
- Create the content on the services the company has offered in the past and those that were successfully executed. This includes references from previous clients. This allows the potential client to gain insight into the company’s skills and services that they can perform.
- Create the content on lessons learned from past projects and how these lessons will benefit future clients.
- Showcase the company team through the content by providing references to past projects, qualifications, awards, and other accolades. This gives the client confidence in hiring the services of the firm.
- Provide content on team-building events, open days, charities, and social events that the company is involved with.
- Offer to advise- apart from selling the specific engineering service. Offer potential client’s advice and free information through the content. This allows the client to gain insight into the company’s knowledge and hence gain confidence to acquire its service.
Start an email newsletter
An email newsletter is great for engineering companies. It helps the company keep connected with clients. The newsletter should keep the customer updated on what is going on within the company.
The newsletter should showcase the company’s current works and success stories. It should provide reviews from previous clients. It should also showcase the staff and their qualification to carry out the engineering service that the company provides.
If the potential client can feel part of the company through regular interaction with the newsletter, they would easily choose that company the next time they require engineering services.
The rise of businesses using social media in recent years to promote their services has been significant. Engineering companies have fallen behind when it comes to using social media.
Why use social media?
- Social media is a great medium to connect with clients.
- Allows the company to promote its services and enhance its brand.
- Provide information about the services that the company offers.
- Educate potential clients that may require engineering services but are unaware of the process of purchasing them.
- Drives traffic to the web page
- Allows the company to engage with potential clients.
How should engineering companies use social media?
- Post regularly. The post can be broken down into the following.
- Branding post-these types of posts tell the audience about the company. The services that they offer. The company’s mission and vision. What differentiates their services compared with competitor services.
It is also important to carefully design the company logo and motto. This should align with the company’s mission and resonate with the targeted client.
Create a post on social events, team-building events, parties, and open days. This will show the potential clients that the company is also people focused.
- Informational posts– these types of posts are about the services that the company offers. This post must clearly define how the company would benefit the potential client. It is also wise to provide free information and advice to potential clients to gain their support.
Sharing blogs and references to other engineering articles may also provide useful content.
Create a post showcasing the company’s skills. Profile the employers, their qualifications, and experiences to show the client that your team can provide the required service.
- Educational post-providing education content to potential clients is a great way to keep them coming back to view your content. Educate the client on the services that you offer and how your practices are according to best practice and engineering codes.
- Ensure that the company profile is well structured on all social media platforms.
- Focus on the company’s LinkedIn page, HubSpot found that LinkedIn was 277% more effective in generating leads than Twitter and Facebook. A focused strategy on LinkedIn can yield positive results for your firm so it’s worth the time invested in making it work.
- Profile projects that the company has been involved in. write about the challenges faced on the projects and how the company resolved them. Show completed projects and positive comments received from the client.
- Provide content on how the company places a high emphasis on health and safety in all their engineering services.
- Be clear on the company goals on social media.
- Respond to comments on social media platforms.
As mentioned, engineering companies must place a high emphasis on their social media presence to support their marketing campaign.
Improve data gathering for analysis
In the previous sections, several digital marketing strategies were outlined that engineering companies must use to enhance their business and provide an edge over competitor companies. However, this section would resonate the best with engineers, and data and analytics form part of an engineer’s inner self. Analytics tools must be used to investigate how the company’s digital marketing strategies have performed and which strategy performed the best in providing the highest return on investment (ROI).
Digital analytics in the marketing context refers to the tools used to analyse and report on marketing data collected through the digital channels on which your brand holds a presence. These channels might include social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or google analytics. They might also include your display or search ads, email, affiliate marketing sites, or many others.
As discussed above, engineering companies must strengthen their digital marketing campaign to remain competitive in these times. While many of the above methods are easy to implement, it will take time to master them and hence stamp the company as a brand that is competent at defining engineering problems and providing the most suitable solution to these.
It may be wise to invest in a company to handle the digital marketing strategy for the company or invest in a digital marketing expert that has the skill and knowledge to fast track the company’s digital marketing strategy and make them a leader in the field.
For more information, visit IIDM.world for a range of digital marketing courses.
I am a Social Media Marketing intern at the International Institute of Digital Marketing ™. I am also a Civil Engineer profession (BSc). Currently I reside in South Africa.