integro-post

5 Ways

Ally uses technology
to dominate in an old school industry

This boss lady is the Ally in Anomaly. Allyson Case and her team renovate high-end homes and buildings in the Chicago area; her work is gorgeous and her company, Integro Rehab, is dominating the competition.

Integro is a young company winning in an old school city in an old school industry. They do beautiful work, but so do a lot of their competition. They have a great reputation, but their competitors do too and most have been building theirs for a lot longer than Integro.

And yet, Ally and her team are kicking ass.

So, how are they doing it? With technology, that’s how. More specifically Ally is using all the tools most of us use to grow and promote our businesses but in a way that solves a lot of entrenched problems in her industry. Construction is definitely one of those “brick and mortar” trades, heck they’re the ones spreading the mortar and laying the brick.

Ally says, ”technology is a challenge in my business. (Contractors) don’t email, many don’t text either. So, when contracts require paperwork or e-signatures, or online applications from our crews, it can be a real challenge. As we grow and our clientele becomes more and more sophisticated, it will be incumbent upon me to bring a small population into the 21st century.”

Ally knows the value of using today’s technology and digital techniques to grow her business. Here are …

5 ways Ally uses technology and digital tools
to dominate in an old school industry :

1. Build a strong, digital brand

Many companies, especially those who have been around for multiple generations, treat their brand like an afterthought. They have a known name, a good reputation and business keeps coming in – until a company like Integro disrupts the market with a strategized, digital brand.

According to Ally, Integro’s brand is it’s identity, and “our identity is defined by our business goals. We are hyper-focused on our goals and our branding is a primary driver for obtaining those goals. If our brand consistency ever started slipping, we’d know that our business plan needs some help.”

Tying her company’s goals and values to her brand does two things :

First, it creates transparency for clients. This is important in the construction industry, where scope creep and growing timelines can impact the project cost and customer’s day-to-day life.

Second, a clear brand message creates credibility. Ally says, “When clients and colleagues get confused, they check out. Our goal at Integro is to have our name precede itself – we want to be the most sought-after residential contractor. We want clients to say “I have an awesome project and I want Integro to do it.”

First, it creates transparency for clients. This is important in the construction industry, where scope creep and growing timelines can impact the project cost and customer’s day-to-day life.

Second, a clear brand message creates credibility. Ally says, “When clients and colleagues get confused, they check out. Our goal at Integro is to have our name precede itself – we want to be the most sought-after residential contractor. We want clients to say “I have an awesome project and I want Integro to do it.”

So Integro has this strong brand, jammed pack with values and transparency, but how does this win Ally business? Unfortunately we can’t pull out a stack of metrics and show how Integro’s brand has proven ROI, however Ally has felt the impact of investing in her brand :

“I will never be able to precisely say “the brand made us X dollars.” What I can say is that we’re winning projects. We’re winning projects against stiff competition. We’re winning projects over large quantities of competitors on any given project. I can count on one hand how many projects we have not won in a competitive situation – and it’s not my entire hand. We’re only 5 years old. Something else is convincing our clients that we’re qualified. I believe that something is the Integro brand.”

integro-brand-video-4

&SONS built Integro’s website and we recently updated it to align with a marketing effort Integro was undertaking. They invested in a video that captures the Integro brand and clearly communicates to potential clients who they would be working with (look – there’s Ally and her team is right there) and their values (attention to detail, communicating to clients, doing beautiful work). And, tastefully shown on Ally’s shirt and throughout the video, is the Integro logo.

This is not what Integro’s competition is doing. A Google search for “Chicago luxury home renovation” pulls up Integro and her top competitors; Integro is without question the most accessible and transparent brand of the bunch.

So – again, we can’t show you metrics proving the return on investing in your brand, but Ally’s efforts to build her digital brand are winning her business over competition that have treated their brands like an afterthought.

 

2. Investing in an online presence that sells for her

Integro-Rehab.com is Ally’s marketing hub. We just went over how Integro’s brand on the site is prominent and clear, but they also use their site to showcase their work, press and community involvement.

Ally says that Integro’s site, along with their social media presence and brand consistency, “make our pitch for us: We are thought leaders. We are innovators. We are awesome. It’s there for them to see, I don’t have to explain.”

Ally knows her online presence is important, but she doesn’t have all day to maintain it. We built the site with that in mind, focusing on elements that will have the greatest impact on conversions with the least amount of maintenance.

We focused on three main funnels :

Our primary funnel, the homepage, is hitting home y’all. Here’s why :

    • It doesn’t take any additional maintenance because it automatically updates when projects and blog posts are added
    • Visitors are spending over a minute reading a page with minimal text (which means they’re watching the video and looking at photos)
    • At any point the visitor can get more information by entering their email address
    • 65% of people that go to the contact page come from the homepage – they watch the video, see a few photos and are ready to talk to Ally

And maintenance is minimal. Ally posts on her blog 1-2 times a month and we update her portfolio about 4 times a year. Thoughtful design, a clearly defined brand and a website built with automation means Ally’s initial investment returns sales and doesn’t take her much time or money to maintain.

 

3. Paying attention to SEO from the beginning

Ally launched her online presence after appearing on HGTV. From the beginning she invested in SEO and “blew up on the internet locally, dominating major google search terms.”

She’s not the biggest or oldest firm in Chicago, but she ranks with the big guys.

Chicago luxury home renovation
Page 1
3 competitors organically above Integro

Chicago high end home renovation
Page 1
5 competitors organically above Integro

In our previous post with Gabrielle Hail Photography we talked about niching your #hashtags. The same goes for SEO keywords, you’ll get more traction with niche keywords you can dominate and attract leads that are searching more specifically for you – e.g. Ally’s organic search engine leads are searching for “home renovation” for “luxury” and “high end” homes in “Chicago.”

The people performing these searches are Ally’s ideal client, and it’s not costing her a dime to rank organically for the niche keywords they are searching.

 

4. Uses social media for marketing and as a client tool

For Ally social media has a dual purpose. She’s using it to build her brand and show off her projects, but she also uses it as client tool.

Her social media presence has been especially useful when it comes to her competition. “The strength of social media for us is credibility. At our level of work, we are often competing against other general contractors who have more than 30 years of experience or are even 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation – that is A LOT of experience to measure up against,” Ally says. “What we have that our competition doesn’t is social media. We capitalize on “old school” Chicago contractors (who don’t use social media).“

And for her clients, Ally “pulls up Pinterest and shows them what I mean rather than trying to describe it. In an industry that is so visual, it’s great to have readily available tools, literally, on hand.”

 

5. Builds trust by showing off her team

And there’s a third way Ally uses social media.

Many of her social posts, as well as her blog posts, feature her team. To an Instagram visitor she’s capturing her company’s day to day and sharing with her followers – but what Ally also knows is she is building trust with future clients.

“Residential construction in Chicago is a shady industry. There’s no need to sugar coat that reality. Clients are nervous to hire a contractor because, for every positive recommendation, there are several horror stories,” Ally says. “We are in peoples’ homes, spending personal finances – this work is emotional. I include my team to help show our clients who we are and what they can expect. The point is to make them feel like they know us before we start.”

Plus these guys seem to have a lot of fun, which can’t hurt.

Final thoughts – Ally is thriving in an industry where the odds are stacked against her. She’s built a great company and like she says, “on my worst days, something still became more beautiful than it was before.”

mm
Sophia Williams
sophia@andsonsdesign.com

Sophia is the founder and co-principal of &SONS Creative Development.

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