For many years now, I’ve written for everybody in the construction sector from contractors through to specialist engineers and geotechnical experts. And if you’re selling to construction buyers, there’s a few things that you must take into account when writing copy and content for your website.
In an industry that is well known for being understated, it’s never a good idea to take the hard-sell approach. Alienating or irritating a prospect through an overly enthusiastic or tone-deaf sales pitch could prove disastrous, given the size of the average project value. These days, construction buyers will do their initial research online and it’s crucial the words on your website will do enough to get on their long-list, or better still, short-list.
Five things you just have to do when writing web content for construction buyers
- Just say it straight. Engineers, architects, builders, and specifiers have a finely-tuned nonsense radar. Your audience are creative, professional men and women who solve complex problems on-site and off, every day. They want certainty, experience, and expertise. No high-falutin’ promises. No hyperbolic, blowhard nonsense. Take it easy with the flowery language and long sentences – because it won’t get you anywhere.
- Just use the right amount of jargon. While they might hate nonsense, they don’t mind a little jargon here and there. And that’s because the use of jargon and acronyms is often a quicker, more efficient way of saying something – as long as everyone knows what you’re talking about. For B2B audiences, you should never eliminate all jargon, but be careful about what you keep. For example, in passive-house construction, everyone knows what ICF means. As a general rule, if there’s a quicker way to say something that everyone will still understand, say it that way.
- Just tell your success stories using case studies on your site. Prospective construction clients want to see a proven track record above almost everything else. By creating a 2oo-300 word case study, you will guide your reader through a typical successful project, mentioning what the main problems were and how you overcome them. In one fell swoop, you get to demonstrate experience, track record, expertise, technical ability, and customer satisfaction – and do it all in the right context.
- Just play to your strengths. Some aspects of construction are very challenging and require very specific skillsets. Let’s assume you regularly build or refurbish commercial premises in city-centre locations. Making sure your clients can continue doing business-as-usual requires an ability to handle everything from traffic management and access to complex project management, and much more. Or, let’s say you only build homes that meet the highest standard in energy efficiency. These are all key competitive advantages that you need to communicate through your web content.
- Just make sure you do yourself justice. Every builder demonstrates a certain level of technical excellence on every project, but they’re often not very good at communicating these points. From Health & Safety protocols to equipment standards or required methodologies, you must present your firm as a fully professional construction partner. You need to identify what issues are of particular concern to your audience and weave them naturally throughout your web content.
Above all, you need to take a walk in your prospective buyer’s shoes. Imagine the pressure they are under to get this big decision right. If they choose the wrong contractor or supplier, that will be a costly error for everyone involved. Use words to persuade and convince them that your company has what it takes to deliver a successful project.