Most architectural firms struggle to bring in new clients. They need to be strategic and smart to bring in new work and use their available resources to market their business. There are ways to make architectural visualization work to your advantage and here’s how.
Architectural startups and small businesses represent an overwhelming majority of architecture firms in the industry and, in such a crowded business landscape, it has become extremely hard to stand out from the crowd and lure in new clients and projects. On the other hand, being a startup or a small architectural firm means that you cannot afford to spend your entire budget solely on marketing.
Marketing your firm suddenly poses a serious challenge that requires you to think strategically and find all the possible ways to make things work to your advantage.
Fortunately, we live in an image-driven world and today's architecture is all about visualization. With the full expansion of social media and other similar platforms, you can use architectural visualization to market your firm on a budget.
Well, when it comes to architecture marketing, social media can help. There are so many internet users using this media and, with a proper marketing strategy, you can easily take advantage of all those potential clients.
For example, you can use Facebook to start a group where users will get the opportunity to find out everything they need to know about your business and much more. This allows you to get really creative and make a significant bond with the users which is excellent since you can never know when a business opportunity will arise.
Building trust in your brand is half the work
You can have the most amazing visualization but it will mean nothing if you do not have social proof to back it up. Even though your architect-marketing budget is already stretched to its maximum, creating a website to promote your brand is a major component of your marketing campaign, and it is absolutely important to keep your clients in mind when designing it.
Most architectural firms make a mistake and design their websites for other architects, but if you want to convey your message to your clients, you need to tell them your story. Most clients have their own story in their minds but it's your job to replace it with your own.
Social media presence, your website, all of this is part of your branding strategy. In fact, the definition of branding is: "the sum total of the experiences customers have with your business". This includes the type of information you share in your marketing, your customers' interactions, what you do and how you do it but most importantly, the visual elements of your business.
When you put all these elements together, you get a chance to establish credibility and trust for your business. From that moment on, your marketing efforts will become much easier. You need to set the terrain for your marketing efforts as people need to get used to your presence and expertise.
The more information you include during the trust-building phase, the better the chances of reaching new clients. Every business is about relationships as they are the vehicle for all your business interactions. So, be authentic and real when talking about your work, services, and firm in general. That's the only way to cultivate your relationships with clients and gain their trust and loyalty.
Engage with your client base
Before we move on with the importance of visualization when marketing your architectural firm, it's important to mention one of the most effective online architect-marketing tools: email newsletter. You can engage your interested prospects and client base by sending out email newsletters on a regular basis. This isn't only the most effective way to engage with your prospects but it's also the most cost-effective.
On top of all that, it significantly increases your chances to bring in new prospects. You can do this through an email signup form on your website or through in-person interactions. By doing so, you will not only be reaching out to them, but you'll also provide all the necessary information that your potential clients may value. Additionally, it's also the best way to introduce yourself and what you do to a wider audience.
Keep up with technology in architectural marketing
If you want to use architectural visualization to your advantage and market your firm, you need to follow the technology trends in architectural marketing. 3D modeling tools and visualization are the latest things in architecture nowadays and this could help you get ahead of the competition curve. If used properly, visualization can do miracles for your company.
You can make innovative and impressive presentations to clients to capture their interest, but more importantly, you can also use it to manage their expectations.
The biggest benefit of architectural visualization is that clients don't have to wait until the project is done to know what it's going to look like or cost.
You can use visualizations to introduce your clients to each step of the project development, which is the main point of using visualizations to further market your work. With all this in mind, here are 7 excellent ways to use visualization to market your company and get new clients.
1. Represent your firm by using 3D renders
We can safely say that the only successful marketing is when the firm's reputation precedes it. The main goal of your marketing campaign isn't only to present your company as experts but as demanded professionals and opinion leaders in your industry. We already mentioned that you need a website as the main element of your digital marketing.
Well, the best way to use this element is by putting on images of real projects. To best showcase your experience, expertise, and skills, use before and after images of your projects. Digitally recreate your projects by using photorealistic architectural rendering to bring them to life on your website. You can do it in two ways:
- Display your development and work by blogging 3D imagery and include all the available information as this is extremely valuable for your prospects and clients. Your 3D graphics are supposed to showcase the functionality and splendor of your projects but also provide the audience with a clearer view of the project to draw their attention.
- Showcase your mastery by putting 3D renderings in a portfolio - look at your portfolio as the architect's display case with the most stunning, impeccable imagery. 3D renderings are much better than standard photography.
2. Bolder presentations are always welcome
To overview suggested solutions, stated issues and a topic in general, you can use a white paper as a report. That way, you're being promotive and educative which makes your prospect even more interested but more importantly, encouraged to further explore your company. You can build a mail list much faster if you offer a white paper and you can ask for a newsletter subscription in exchange.
Still, whitepapers aren't that eye-catching as they are useful and educative so you can make them more interesting by including photos and 3D renderings as your prospects want visual proof of your skills more than anything else.
3. Social media and 3D graphics
We already mentioned how important social media is for your marketing efforts. The best thing about social media is that it allows you to take steps that spark interest. So, you can build an entire community of potential clients and prospects on social networks to get all the exposure and brand recognition you need to ensure the prosperity for your firm.
This is especially important if you include prospects who are already thinking about hiring an architect. That's exactly where visuals kick in. You need the highest quality visuals as you can use them to better engage your potential prospects. In this era of the internet, people love visuals. So, posts with images and videos are far more likely to get more client engagement than those with text only.
It's more than clear that today, videos and images play the most important role in any digital marketing campaign. Social media and networks allow you to use marketing visuals to attract more potential customers. Aside from Facebook, you can also use YouTube as a powerful and efficient video marketing tool while Pinterest and Instagram are social networks where users engage with companies the most.
By posting videos and images, you're not only attracting targeted audiences, but you are also educating and entertaining them. Since all these social media channels bring a lot of power with them, it’s a power that you can leverage to your advantage. 3D visualization, animation, and architectural illustration will help you get new clients across a wide variety of social media channels that most people use today.
4. 3D Renders make your newsletters more interesting
Once you capture the attention of an audience, you can engage with them further by using email marketing tactics. Since we already mentioned that text-only emails aren't enough to fully captivate your potential prospects, they need clear proof, a demonstration of your mastery and skills as this will surely and without any doubt encourage them to get in touch with your firm.
Therefore, 3D rendering helps showcase your architectural mastery in all its splendor, earning you more clients.
5. Use 3D graphics to generate more leads
If you're looking for the most effective ways to generate more leads, trade shows are a good place to start. These work quite well when it comes to lead generation for numerous business industries, so naturally, architecture isn't an exclusion.
3D graphics will work just fine whether you put them on a widescreen or on posters, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that 3D graphics greatly help draw attention. We can safely say that architectural 3D animation works like a charm in such situations.
Once your animation sparks interest with visitors, use 3D images to showcase both the interior and the exterior to get the contacts. At this point, it's recommended to make lavishly illustrated architecture marketing brochures with 3D graphics so that you increase your conversion rates and, eventually, generate more leads.
6. CGI-based slides
One of the very effective marketing strategies as well as networking tools is the architectural conference. In this case, these can greatly help to make the best of the marketing efforts you've made so far. The people who visit these conferences are your potential clients, every single one of them, and it's up to you to capture their attention, cause their interest and get them to become your clients.
One of the good ways to make the best of these conferences is by taping a report about the conference and posting a video on your website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. That way, you get irrefutable proof of your expertise. Your clients are far more likely to hire your services if they can clearly see that you're a professional listened to by other professionals.
Then, there are public lectures that are even more powerful than taped reports of architectural conferences. By delivering public lectures, you get a chance to interact with a much broader audience and although this might seem challenging, the effort will most certainly pay off.
It's almost certain that potential clients will approach you after the lecture, asking to submit their contacts or for your business card. Regardless of your effort being a public lecture or a conference, 3D rendering helps you convey your message, story, and ideas, as well as their value clearly and persuasively.
In case public speaking is your thing, you can underpin your efforts with CGI-based slides to provide proof of your skills, knowledge, ideas, expertise, and success.
7. Architectural contests
We already mentioned how important it is to stay ahead of the competition curve today. The business market is a very busy place with lots of good and skillful candidates. Everybody is looking for a place under the sun. Well, architectural contests are some of the best ways to present your skills and get public recognition, which is the main goal of your marketing campaign.
Let's take one obvious truth out in the open: you can't win the contest if you aren't the best of the best. So, that means that you have the chance to prove yourself not only as a bringer of ideas and one of the best but also as a pre-eminent professional, someone who has the ability to change things as they see fit. Potential clients will love this.
You can make an entire story of your participation that will be more than worth sharing. So, as you can see, a contest can serve your marketing purposes very effectively. On top of all that, most contests attract hundreds and thousands of participants. It's an excellent opportunity to see what are the top leading technology trends in architectural marketing today.
This is where 3D graphics play a critical role in your marketing efforts. They are easy to notice and are an excellent way to highlight all the benefits and advantages of your project. In fact, it's absolutely safe to say that 3D rendering can help you win the jury over and actually win the contest.
It's also important to make sure that the jury clearly comprehends and understands your vision simply because, if they can, so can your potential clients and everybody wins. Include all the benefits of your ideal solution in a context along with your 3D graphics to make them see why your project is better than all the others.
So, as you can see, 3D rendering plays a crucial role in your architectural marketing. If played right, it's a sure way to find reliable partners, get public and brand recognition, grow your business and finally, expand the client base.
Use photorealistic 3D rendering to immerse your potential clients into your project with the main goal aimed at communicating all the benefits of your design. Visualization is the greatest part of your architectural storytelling and a sure way to capture the attention of the targeted audience.
Therefore, including high-end imagery in your marketing efforts significantly improves your chances of success and boosts your architecture marketing campaign. When you're a startup architectural firm, it's extremely important to make results in the very beginning and these 7 steps should clearly lead your way step by step. All in all, visualization helps you to better convey your message order to tell your story using your knowledge and expertise.