Top 10 Marketing Mistakes Architects are Making in 2021

Article Overview đź•‘ (10 min read)

Looking to learn how to market your architecture firm? Curious on how to pinpoint what you could be doing better? You’re in the right place! This guide covers the A-Z of common marketing mistakes architects are making in 2021.

Most small architecture firms or design firms don’t have the types of budgets and resources to dedicate to marketing, so they have to be smart and strategic in how they spread the word and grow their pipelines. But, it’s definitely doable with a small budget. Here are some very common mistakes designers make and some ways you could improve your marketing strategy.

1. Focusing All Your Marketing Efforts on Instagram


While Instagram is a nice place to showcase your work, relying too heavily on it means that you’re not utilising more effective platforms. Are those likes and follows actually translating into people contacting your business?

Posting pictures with interesting captions and hoping for the best is not a good marketing strategy. Effective marketing campaigns are meticulous, intentional and strategic. You need to be finding out where your audience is most likely to spend their time, then find out the best way to engage them.


2. Too Much Archi-Speak on Your Website


You’re so busy writing in ‘archi-speak’ that the only other people who can actually understand you are OTHER ARCHITECTS. You’re getting paid by clients, not by other architects, so make your descriptions shorter, more concise and more engaging so that they appeal to your clients.

Brands should be personable and engaging, not aloof and distant. In other words, ‘KISS’ (keep-it-simple-stupid)… but still engaging!

3. Seeking Publication in Glossy Magazines or Websites


Again, the only people who read these glossy magazines are OTHER ARCHITECTS. The point is that you’re much more likely to reach your target audience online where you can directly measure how much bang you’re getting for your buck. In a magazine or publication, you can’t exactly measure impressions (how many people looked at your offer), click-through (how many people went to your website) and conversions (how many people got in touch with you).

Is your business popping up when people search for architectural services on Google? Most likely not. That means you need to throw out the mags and start investing in digital marketing to advertise your business more effectively.

4. Thinking that Your Work Should Speak for Itself


Your website may encompass a lot of beautiful renders and striking wide-angle shots of architectural cantilevers, but if there’s no call to action, there’s no natural progression towards someone contacting your business. Instead of just sending people to your portfolio and hoping for the best, you should be engaging your audience, giving them a quick snapshot of your work, your values, your offer and your unique value proposition.

Also, be really selective in choosing content for your website. Are you saying something in five sentences that you could’ve said in one? Are there multiple images of your designs that could’ve been reduced to a single picture? In marketing, less is more.

5. Not Using Your Website as a Sales Tool


There are best practices in regards to how your landing page is structured, and a landing page differs from a website in some very critical ways. On a website, people can easily get distracted by scattered buttons, links, text and pictures. A distracted site visitor is a confused visitor, and a confused visitor will probably go looking for architectural services somewhere else where the offer and unique value proposition is much clearer.

In comparison to a website, a landing page solves this issue of distracted visitors by laying out your unique value proposition, your offer, and your call to action in an a way that is both engaging and concise.

Here are some good examples below:


6. Not Using Relevant Analytics


Google Analytics and other user experience tools are critical in analysing the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. How many people are clicking through on your ads? How many people are converting on your website? How many people are visiting your website from organic traffic vs paid search? What is your cost to acquire a lead? These are all very important questions you need to be able to answer.

With analytics, you can get access to in-depth data that helps you map out your customer journey and helps you make data-informed business decisions.


7. Not Using Effective Copy


Copywriting is in and of itself a very, very helpful skillset. A good copywriter writes engaging content aimed at increasing brand awareness and ultimately persuading a person or group to take a particular action. You might think that the text descriptions on your site sound great, but are they actually engaging your audience? Is it giving your site visitors a clear picture of your unique value? Is it hitting important pain point?

Invest in a good copywriter who knows how to engage your audience and leave them craving for your services.

8. Not Understanding Your Ideal Clients


The biggest mistake any business could make is failing to identify their niche or target market. The architecture industry is well known to be highly competitive, therefore it is critically important for you to distinguish yourself from your competition, and you can do this by clearly identifying and appealing to your target market.

Do you have a clear understanding of your clients’ motivations, desires, fears, hopes and dreams? How are you going to engage your audience if you don’t even know who they are? Invest some time in getting to know your clients. This will help you better appeal to your ideal clients.

9. Relying Too Much on Word-of-Mouth


If you’ve only been relying on word-of-mouth marketing, then it’s likely you’ve neglected the digital marketing revolution. Whether it’s because you’re not an avid internet-user or because you have reservations about the costs of online marketing. It’s time to embrace digital tech, because it doesn’t help living under a rock. What happens when something like COVID-19 jumps right out of the blue and knocks your business sideways? You might have had a lot of repeat clients, but now they don’t want to spend any money.

Digital marketing helps your business stay protected in times of crisis, because you can at least be sure that you’re consistently getting new clients through the pipeline.


10. Failing to Clearly Articulate Your Unique Value Proposition


When you cannot effectively articulate your unique value proposition, clients may have no particular need to call you. In addition, you may also be attracting the types of clients you don’t really want to work with because you haven’t distinguished yourself from other architects in your area.

Alternatively, you also might not have put enough effort into understanding your ideal clients. Clients have a problem, and your job is to show them why YOUR solution works better. In other words, you need to help your clients understand how uncomfortable their problem is and then provide them with a well-crafted solution.

Are you helping clients understand why they need you? Are you articulating the benefits of using you over your competitors? In short, learn how your clients think, then craft a message that is concise, engaging and unique.

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Overall, as an architect or designer, there are many things you can do to get more engagement from your clients and build a stronger and more reliable pipeline.

All this can be quite a process, so it’s worth consulting with a professional who understands your industry and your clients and who can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy to get better results.

© Archi Digital 2020