There’s been a big shift in how engineering companies market themselves.

Marketing for engineers has shifted away from traditional techniques. These old techniques usually consist of face-to-face networking, sponsoring events, and print ads.

These strategies may have worked in the past, and some still have their place in the marketing mix, but smart AEC firms know that if they want their business to succeed, they must embrace digital marketing.

Firms who still aren’t embracing digital marketing stand to fall behind their competition. So we’ve compiled this list. Follow it to stay competitive in your industry!


5 actionable marketing steps for engineering firms:

1. Position yourself

Positioning your engineering firm is fundamental to your business strategy.

For any marketing efforts to be successful you need to be clear on where your firm intends to focus its client acquisition efforts.

Where do you start?

Begin by clarifying these 3 things:

  • The core markets you serve
  • The value-creating services you provide
  • The expertise your firm offers that aligns with the needs of your target market.

In order to make your positioning credible, you’ll need to develop a content-driven marketing strategy that incorporates some combination of white papers, blogs, articles, or webinars to engage prospects early in their buying process.


2. Know your audience

Develop your buyer persona. Buyer personas are your target audience’s complete customer profile. It’s the beginning of every engineering marketing plan, and should not be overlooked.

Different types of engineers have different types of customers. Civil engineers will have a different target audience than a geotechnical engineer. Each type may provide services to different types of customers.

If you know who to target your content at, you have a better chance of reaching them.

Where do you start?

Begin with who your past/current clients are. This is a good indicator of who your future clients are going to be.

Once you have this information, dig deeper. Then you can align your marketing strategy and message around your target market without reaching out to the wrong prospects.

Either way, your end goal is the same. And that’s to know what your client wants and how you can promote your business as the solution they need.


3. Dominate online

Building a great website is more vital than ever before.

Today’s websites function nothing like the brochure-ware website your engineering firm built 10 years ago.

Now your website must be the hub of your marketing efforts. On a phone, tablet or desktop, it’s where your prospects come to see the best of you!

Nearly every potential client will visit your website to decide whether or not to trust you with their business

Having an impressive website can be the difference between landing the project or handing it over to your competitor.

Where do you start?

Your website’s job is to sell your firm’s talents, skills, knowledge, experience, and solutions.

It is your 365/24/7 opportunity to present a strong online presence!

Make your website, the definitive resource of expertise for the core audiences you defined in your positioning (see#1).

While these are just cursory indicators, if you answer “No” to even one of these questions, you almost definitely have a website problem:

  • Are you delivering informative client-focused content?
  • Is it easy to read on a mobile device because the majority of site visitors will be using their smartphones?
  • Does it effectively present your firm’s projects, its people and its uniqueness to drive sales?
  • Has it been updated within the last 60 days with a new white paper, blog post, new hire, etc.?
  • Does it establish your firm as an expert before your prospects contact you?

Your engineering website should be a powerful marketing tool that generates quality leads.

Additional resources on this topic:

8 SEO steps to improve your website rankings today.


4. Be a thought leader

Blogs have always been a booster for leads and conversions, and are a great way to promote your industry expertise.

This is not a place to “sell” but a place to showcase thought leadership through various practices and contributing authors.

Remember, the content that goes onto your blog represents your company. Your customers will judge your writing skills and the relevance of the content you provide. If necessary, consider employing a writer or outsourcing your content creation.

A blog is also a great way to promote your staff when they are the author (which promotes your business).

Where do you start?

Use the questions your customers ask as a starting point for great blog posts that answer these common questions.

Make sure your blog posts are:

  • Well-written and well-informed
  • Easy to understand for potential clients. Not all prospects will understand your lingo, so keep that in mind.
  • Written regularly – if your content is worth reading your prospects will want more of it!
  • Useful and solve industry questions that your prospects want answers to.

The right content builds brand exposure, promotes your services, and creates new business opportunities.

Additional resources on this topic:

How content marketing can rev up your business


5. Like Follow Share

Whether you like it or not, your engineering firm’s marketing plan should include a social media strategy.

Engineering is a visual profession so it makes sense to share photos (before during and after) along with pertinent project information.

Where do you start?

  • Consider the style, tone, format, and design of the content you post to engage your prospects.
  • Social media is a perfect place to showcase your company’s personal side, so mention the little league team you support.
  • Share content from your blog.
  • Push your industry insights and specialized engineering knowledge to other industry peers. This will increase your authority on social media channels and increase interest in your company.

So find your social media platforms and build your presence!

Additional resources on this topic:

How to use social media for your business


What is the best marketing strategy for your engineering company?

All the suggestions we listed above are necessary actions for continued business success.

So, you have two options. You create one yourself or start a journey with a professional marketing agency, like us.

We’re always happy to answer any questions or provide you with a free estimate, so drop us a line!