We work with a lot of architects, engineers, and construction companies across the country. Over the years, we’ve noticed that they tend to prefer websites that are heavy on images but light on content.
That makes perfect sense, at least on the surface. Usually, when someone is looking for the right team to design or build something special, the visuals tell a story that written words can’t. In these instances, a picture really is worth more than a thousand words.
That doesn’t mean engineers, architects, and builders should ignore web content, though. While images of finished projects might take center stage, there are a number of ways you can (and should) use content marketing to sell their services. Why? Because images don’t describe how you approached a project, or why you approached it that way. Here are just a few of the things you should do with your website copy, blog posts, and social media updates.
Put the Philosophy of Your A/E/C Practice Front and Center
What makes your firm different? What is your creative philosophy like? Why do you do what you do? It will be a lot easier for new clients to find the right fit – and to avoid wasting your time – if these preferences are clearly expressed through your web content. Put your approach front and center so people who are thinking about working with you can understand how you’re different from other firms. If you have special qualifications, certifications, or licenses, let people know what they are and why they matter.
Let Readers Know Whom You’re For (and Whom You Aren’t)
There are probably some types of clients who make a perfect fit for your firm – and there are others who might be better served to look elsewhere. You don’t have to make these distinctions explicit, but your website should help clients determine if you offer the services they’re looking for, and if your style and approach fits with their needs.
Outline Your Working Process
Potential clients are going to want to know what happens when they turn to you for a proposal or bring you on board for their projects. Consider outlining your terms, working process, or major milestones on your website in “big picture” terms. This allows you to have more substantive project conversations early on. It also helps clients who would be a bad fit to self-eliminate (for example, if someone fundamentally disagrees with your working process).
Feature Testimonials and Case Studies
Nothing is quite as persuasive as a track record of achieving the right results. Images say a lot, but detailed case studies and specific testimonials from past clients go a lot farther. They let prospects know what it was like to deal with your firm, and how your specific strengths aided in the project’s completion. For certain A/E/C firms, quotes from project stakeholders – even if they weren’t clients – can help clients understand the value of your role in the process.
Include a Personal Touch
It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking that clients only care about budgets, proposals, and technical details. More often than not, though, they want to know a little bit about the team they’re working with. So, if you can add a slight personal touch to your content, it only helps with the strength of your online marketing. Bios of leadership and project managers can provide insight into the people behind the firm and explain why hiring your firm is the right choice.
The Right Content Helps Build a Stronger Business
We aren’t going to try to convince you that images don’t matter most when it comes to designing websites for A/E/C firms. However, good visuals aren’t enough on their own. If you really want to maximize the marketing potential of your site, then pay as much attention to what your pages say as you do the way they look.