Marketing architecture firms is fundamental to the success of their business. Architects are responsible for turning unique designs into developed physical structures. In order for architectural firms to be successful, they must have effective marketing frameworks that lead to positive business outcomes.
Maintaining a thriving architecture business is no simple task, particularly without a marketing plan. Many professionals in the industry know how it feels to be price-shopped or to have clients question their architectural fees. They are regular recipients of hearing, “This was a lot more than we expected” from customers. Additionally, most architects wonder where their next project will come from and live through the “feast or famine” cycle of the industry.
All of these struggles demonstrate how vital it is to have an effective marketing strategy in the architecture industry. And the good news is that there are tons of architectural marketing ideas out there. Compiling all of these together into a cohesive marketing strategy is the key.
Both established and startup architectural firms can benefit from organizing their marketing initiatives. In this article, we will walk through some of the best approaches to marketing for your architectural firm to enhance its support and growth.
Evaluating The “Traditional” Approach to Marketing for Architectural Firms
There are many components that make up a top-notch marketing strategy. When it comes to the architecture industry, effective marketing first involves making your audience aware of the value in your firm’s designs. After reviewing these marketing materials, a client should feel persuaded to doing business with your firm. Therefore, marketing for architectural firms requires building trust before a client signs a contract.
The reality is that a small percentage of customers are at the stage where they are ready to hire an architecture firm, about 3%. Marketing to customers with the assumption that they are in the “ready to hire” stage for architectural products is a long shot. Word of mouth and traditional marketing efforts just aren’t going to get you too far.
The reason traditional marketing for architecture firms may be less helpful is that its message is targeted to this narrow segment of the market of prospective clients. Architecture firms today must use their marketing to enter into a conversation with potential customers before they even contemplate hiring. If you can communicate with the other 97% of your market to build trust and a relationship, you will surely be a more successful firm. By focusing on both the “ready to hire” and “information gathering” audiences, you can elevate your architecture marketing.
Best Marketing Strategies for Architects
By being aware of the traditional pitfalls above, many professionals have discovered paths for successful architecture marketing. Let’s discuss the top marketing strategies for architects that you can use to improve your firm’s marketing.
Use Social Media Marketing for Architects
At first sight, it can seem odd to consider social media as a platform for marketing architecture firms. However, digital strategies are incredibly important when marketing for architecture firms. Social media pages can be your bridge to creating conversations with new clients. They also make great platforms to highlight PR for architecture firms.
Your architecture firm needs a full social media marketing strategy. This likely includes architectural advertising, content marketing, and customer engagement. Additionally, you will need to consider each platform individually. For example, LinkedIn is a social network for professionals.
Use LinkedIn to network and establish yourself as a leader in the architecture world. In contrast, Pinterest is an image-based social media platform. You could use it to post images from your portfolio that will inspire people to talk to you about your work and firm.
Since many architecture firms do not make full use of their social media profiles, doing so may give you an edge over the competition. It will surely help build your firm’s reputation and brand.
Invest in Your Website Portfolio
Many architectural firms think of their websites as simple business cards. Their websites will provide some basic details and not focus on the overall brand of the firm. However, a website should be central to an architects marketing plan.
A flushed-out website for your architecture firm offers you the ability to showcase your high-quality work like few other marketing tools. This will attract the customers in the “gathering information” phase to consider partnering with your firm. Most digital marketing for architecture firms eventually leads to your website.
Utilize any part of your website possible to attract potential clients. You might even find that the quality of the images in your portfolio alone could bring in new business. Furthermore, if you can make those images shareable on social media, you will be on your way to a great strategy when marketing for architectural firms.
Check your firm’s website to review the messages that it is sending out to potential customers. Make sure that each piece of content is serving a specific purpose. Clutter can lead to bad web design, which could turn visitors away from the firm. A website offers you the opportunity to showcase your products and tell your story, which makes it worthy of your marketing attention.
Use Lead Generation Services
Lead generation services may be one of the older strategies used when marketing for architectural firms, but they do work. In fact, many professionals still believe that they are the fastest marketing strategy in the sector. This is because the industry is still very much lead-based even in the sphere of online marketing.
Lead generation can take on various kinds of forms. One that usually comes to mind is cold calling. Cold calling marketing services happens when an outside company collects data from thousands of individuals. Using this data, plus the information you provide about your firm will get them interested in purchasing your services.
Cold calling is a form of direct marketing that can produce results. Although, it can also turn people away if they believe the phone call to be a disruption of their day.
There are other lead generation companies that use digital marketing to create websites. These sites advertise your services and collect visitor information. If a visitor enters one of these lead generation sites and adds their information, it gets sent to you, and you can use it as a lead.
Lead generation campaigns and companies can help match you with potential customers very quickly. Be warned that not every turnover becomes a conversion. Some leads are unqualified. Even though a lead may not result in a quick transaction, it does not mean that it should be tossed to the side. Do your best to keep track of these leads and think about following up with them later on.
Get Your Firm Published
Being published by esteemed professionals in a sector is a high honor. This can easily and quickly build your reputation. Thankfully, there are plenty of avenues to being a published architect. For example, you could conduct a study or even publish your own white papers to earn professional recognition.
The quality of your published work can easily open up opportunities for new work. Therefore, it is undeniably useful when marketing for architectural firms. In fact, an architecture marketing agency largely acts as a PR firm.
Getting your materials published involves more than just sharing educational information. Every space that you fill in newspapers or industry magazines can also be valuable to marketing your architectural firm. This is because every piece of publication can and should add to building your firm as an authoritative voice.
When potential clients view your firm as an expert in the industry, they will be more likely to listen to you when promoting your services. One way to go about this is to make sure you are reassuring your audiences about what you can offer as a unique firm.
Of course, you need to think about where your information is published. A great article doesn’t mean much if the wrong people read it. Research your audiences and determine where they are doing their shopping. Then, make sure to build connections with relevant publications to improve your odds of getting featured in their work.
Consider New Technologies When Marketing for Architectural Firms
No matter who you are, everyone can agree that there is nothing quite as influential as the “wow factor.” The ways in which you can sell your architectural designs are evolving constantly. Five years ago, it was interesting enough to display digital models of your designs.
Today, new technologies such as virtual reality are here to put digital renderings in the cupboard. For example, if your company is one of five that is presenting to a potential client and every competitor displays physical or digital portfolios/models, imagine the reaction when you walk in the room with virtual reality hardware. Who do you think the client will be most impressed with?
Since a key part of marketing for architectural firms is being ahead of the times, clients want to see this reflected in the promotional strategy. Adopting and implementing new technologies is the key to doing that. Moving ahead of industry norms will surely set you apart from your competition.
- How do you market an architectural firm?
- Why should I use social media for my architecture firm?
- What can you do to better connect with architectural customers?
- Where can I advertise my architectural services?
- What new technologies can I use to market my firm?