In our experience of working with brands in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) space, there is often one word banded about from them when it comes to how they describe the broader industry’s positioning towards innovation: traditional.
But this is truly selling the industry short. Even in just the last two years, we’ve seen great grounds made in businesses’ adoption of tech and digital, as well as exciting start-ups and scale-ups disrupting the game – from inflatable pre-fab factories and making net zero profitable, to intelligent buildings through AI/ML and our client Inevidesk’s virtual desktop solution designed for architects, engineers and designers.
The bottom line is that the opportunity for storytelling around these achievements to fuel brand awareness and growth is huge. But how can AEC companies cut through the noise to tell their story?
Here are five ways to get your voice heard:
Be clear on your brand narrative and messaging: For prospective customers, partners, investors or media – who may not know your company or product well – it’s essential to have a consistent and clear way of talking about your brand. So, if you don’t have your brand narrative and messaging mapped out already, it’s essential to get this nailed down. In the simplest terms: who you are, what you do and why this matters – and how all of this positions you in the market and why it makes you stand out from your competitors.
Network to find your stories: Speak to your sales teams, people on the ground, customer success managers, product owners and marketing team – pretty much anyone who’s willing to give you a few minutes of their time. Since they don’t work in comms, they may not realise the gold mine they’re sitting on in terms of knowledge and insights. What may seem like just another app, product or software solution to them, will always ladder up to something bigger – and that we can use to craft compelling content.
Frame your stories: So, you have the foundations for storytelling set, but next it’s about asking yourself why it should it matter to anyone else.
Are you saying something new? Are you credible? Is it easy to understand and relatable? You must also humanise your story and think about how it fits into what’s going on in the world… is it helping the levelling up agenda in the UK, supporting hybrid working for architects, or reducing pollution for cleaner cities?
Think beyond earned media: You’ve done the hard work to find and craft your story. So, why wouldn’t you maximise your efforts? Comms does not start and end at media coverage. People consume content in different ways. As a high-growth business – and likely without a bottomless pit for a budget – any comms activity has to fuel your growth strategy. That means making your story work for a wide range of audiences and channels, and laddering up to marketing and sales.
To give you some examples, your storytelling can be used for:
- Media engagements with AEC trade and national journalists to drive brand awareness
- A LinkedIn Live with customers to nurture and grow existing relationships
- Insightful demand gen marketing content to position you as a thought leader, and to drive new conversations and leads
- A sales asset to use during new business conversations to bring your solution to life
- An award entry to gain further industry credibility through a shortlist or win
Don’t forget your own network: Amplifying your stories on your company’s (and personal) social channels is a must. It’s also worth spending time to cultivate ambassadors within your employee base to help spread your innovation story even further, which could be as simple as creating and sharing social media content packs with them. You can also take it further by harnessing paid media to give your content a boost, drive leads via a lead gen capture forms on LinkedIn, and to target specific audiences.
Thinking about ramping up your storytelling?