AEC Influencer Marketing
What Is AEC Influencer Marketing?
Big-box dealers and distributors are just one piece of your distribution network as a manufacturer. Especially in building supplies and industries like millwork, individual contractors and small contracting businesses are also valuable members of your network. Contractors work closely with your end customers, so their knowledge and skill with your products is vital to making those individual consumer sales and building brand trust.
AEC influencer marketing is the process of identifying, recruiting, onboarding, and supporting individual contractors in the architecture, engineering, and construction spaces to market and sell your products directly to end users. Because these people are hands-on with your products and closest to your customers, their understanding of your products and your value proposition is critical.
At a glance, contractor marketing materials might appear similar to distributor marketing: co-branded content, guided solutions selling materials, and program onboarding and ongoing certification. But all of these materials are geared to an individual or small company and likely include more whys and hows of marketing, as a busy, skill-specialized individual might need more nudging to see the value.
Why You Need AEC Influencer Marketing
AEC contractors are the people most likely handling installation or set up of your products, and they’re on the front lines of customer support and satisfaction. Ignoring or undersupporting your contracts can quickly spell disaster for your products and your brand. Contractors who don’t have the information or support they need from you are less likely to push for your products and favor your competitors instead.
Building Your AEC Contractor Program
Contractors are individuals, so their needs are different from those of a big distributor even if they need the same formats of marketing and sales support. Your contactor program should encompass everything from recruitment and onboarding to support and continuing education.
Offering a distinction for being a part of the program and being a certified contractor of your products is an important selling point as well. Tying their name to a selective program helps build business on its own.
- What is their specialty?
- What is the customer budget they generally handle?
- How many projects do they average per year?
A contractor persona is important to make sure you’re spending time and resources with the people who will be most successful with your products and are closest to your ideal buyer personas. Once you have an idea of who your ideal contractor is, identify who these people are.
What You Need For Your Contractor Program
A separate portal for your contractors is important since they’ll be logging different activities and looking for different information and materials. A discussion board inside your contractor portal is also helpful to build a community and help with support and collaborate on new ideas to service customers. Discussion boards can also help identify extra knowledgeable power users in your program.
A contractor directory on your website can help an end user who’s come to you find the right person in their area to do the job for them. A directory is helpful for end users and contractors alike and is an easy form of lead distribution.
Contractors need incentives, too. While distributors like bigger opportunities like co-branded campaigns, a contractor is more likely to opt for a simpler reward, like a discount or gift card. A point system for contractors can include certain rewards for completing activities that add up in points.