Everyone is talking about Building Information Modelling (BIM) over the past few years. The technology has been around for about 10 years but why all the sudden fuzz? Businesses and the AEC industry, in general, have finally woken up to the fact that BIM is the future of the industry enabling better collaboration, cost control, mobility, flexible drawings, lower risk & better predictability and a whole lot of other benefits.
A lot of aspiring entrepreneurs and already established corporations (stay away Elon Musk!) have also bet on the future of this technology and started their own BIM Businesses. This is exactly why the marketing of BIM Services is challenging. You have thought of new ways to market yourselves and apply them before someone else thinks of them. They have to take the extra effort to get the word out about their businesses and to stay on top of the game. Let’s look at some ways that they can do so using BIM.
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Use the Latest Technology
Virtual Reality (VR) is the topic of interest in the tech world now and 30% of the Forbes Global 2000 companies have already experimented with it. You could use them as a very effective tool to market your BIM business as well. All you could possibly need are a VR headset, a laptop, and a motion detector.
Augmented Reality (AR) is also not to be overlooked. IKEA has already experimented with AR using their ‘Place’ app. The app lets customers superimpose furniture onto their homes and choose the best fit; without even stepping into the store. This strategy can also be effectively done by BIM Service Providers.
To cost-effectively reach a broader audience, you can use features like 360° Video already available on various social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube. They may not be as immersive as VR or AR but still interactive. People can see the BIM Models that you have made from every angle. This is like VR in a way, but without any need for an external device other than your smartphone or your computer.
Imagine taking your clients on a virtual tour of a life-sized model of an ongoing project… Or imagine being able to examine every inch of a building that isn’t even there by sitting on a chair. Rather than going through the pain of orally explaining your services, just show your client what it is all about in a virtual environment. This is an almost sure shot way to win them over.
Let your work Do the Talking
Word of mouth is probably one of the best ways to spread the word about anything because customers believe other customers more than they believe the business that is trying to sell to them. A recent study has shown that 88% of customers have the highest level of trust in word of mouth recommendations of people that they know and 82% of marketers use word of mouth marketing to increase brand awareness. Awesome right? Word of mouth marketing has gotten a bit easier with the growth of social media and you can use it to your advantage.
After you’ve successfully completed a project for a client, no matter the scale of it, gently ask them to put up a few words about you on their social media pages. It could be something like “We just got the best BIM Service delivered to us by the best [Your Company Name]”. This may not go as viral as David Guetta talking about Beats by Dre but the people who are supposed to see it, will see it and that could make all the difference for your marketing efforts.
Leverage the use of Video Content
Video Marketing makes a huge impact on marketing efforts and it’s only going to get stronger as the years roll on. Diode Digital found that online video is 600% more effective than direct mail and print combined. To add to that 75 Million People in the United States watch online videos every day and merely mentioning the word ‘video’ in the email subject line increases the click-through rate by 13%.
Mark Shaefer, Executive Director of Shaefer Marketing Solutions has said that “The new era demands a focus on ignition, not just content, on trust, not just traffic, and on the elite people in your audience who are spreading and advocating your content.” The good news is that video is able to do just this; engaging people and igniting their emotions.
Create awesome walkthrough videos based on your latest work, add an apt audio and post them. Go on and put them on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and every other social media platform. It is to be given attention to make the videos mobile friendly as nearly 50% of all videos is watched online. BIM Models can be made much more interesting when they are animated. Like mentioned above, 360° Video can be made use of here as well. The benefit is that if the content is really good, people won’t think twice about sharing it. This is like free publicity!
Connect with the Community
‘Treat people with respect’ should be rephrased to ‘Treat businesses with respect’ if you want to do well in marketing. Register your company with the clubs like the Rotary Club or the Chamber of Commerce. These clubs are basically feeding grounds for companies that are on the lookout for business relationships with other companies. You will have a lot of key decision makers from a lot of companies attending the events organized by these clubs. Try to meet the right people from your industry and build a personal relationship (Friendship) with them. They could turn out to be your next client.
So there you have it! If you are a BIM service provider, these are the ways in which you can market your business to reach great heights. Like all businesses, BIM Services providers have to use the latest technologies and trends to leverage their marketing efforts if they want to be known and make their mark in the industry. This means resorting to methods that may be considered unorthodox in the industry. But that is what you have to do to survive in marketing BIM Services in an ever-changing industry. It is survival of the ones that can quickly adapt to change.