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Contractor Marketing: How to Reach the Unreachable

Your B2B target customer can sometimes feel impossible to get a hold of.

When properly applied, digital marketing can be an incredibly effective means of targeting, reaching, and engaging with professional contractors.  More importantly, it can be the difference between real business growth and stagnation.  However, there are important nuances to understand when planning and communicating with this unique audience.  It becomes crucial to know your target, develop a custom messaging strategy, and build channel-specific campaigns to create the foundations for an effective strategy.


Know Your audience

As with most forms of marketing, it pays to start with a solid knowledge of just who your audience is.  In B2B digital marketing, that means knowing what motivates them, what they care about, where they turn for content, and how to effectively speak to them.  Contractors are unique.

It’s important to learn the landscape of available 3rd-party data, including how it is sourced and what channels (e.g., LinkedIn, Meta, programmatic) it can be applied to.  Where many marketers and brands go wrong, however, is in underestimating the power of 1st-party (customer) data as a seed for planning.  Your brand’s own data can be a treasure trove of insight and audience segmentation, even in acquisition campaigns.  So always start by using your data to paint a picture of your target.

Tailor Your Messaging

Just as no two audiences are the same; neither should two messaging strategies be.  The way a brand speaks to their audience should be unique to them.  Beyond just brand look-and-feel is the importance of speaking to your contractor audience based on who and where they are.

A marketing message received on Facebook, in the evening, should have a different tone and theme than one on LinkedIn during a weekday morning.  The B2B building products audience is filled with nuanced and different human beings, ones that change and evolve throughout the course of a week.  Lastly is the sequence of creative messaging.  Contractors are consumers, and need a narrative in order to first learn about a brand, be shown reasons for considering it over others, and ultimately reached with creative that speaks to them and offers reasons to buy.

Build a Channel Strategy

Just as a contractor will be at varying levels of receptivity throughout their day, their attention and willingness to engage with marketing will also vary based on where they are (digitally speaking).  This is why it becomes crucial to develop separate but cohesive strategies across channels, whether your plan includes search, Meta, LinkedIn, publisher direct, or email.  Each channel will require separate optimization signals – clicks for some, quality traffic to site for others.

A sophisticated marketer will learn that frequency of message to the contractor audience will also be different between channels.  To this end, care should be given to measure each channel on a cost-per basis.  Big, splashy creative formats might be more persuasive and require lower frequency than banners, but cost much more on a cost-per-acquisition basis.

The overall approach and strategy to reaching and engaging an audience of contractors and B2B building products shares much in common with traditional consumer marketing, because, in the end, contractors are people, too, whose attention and receptivity can be garnered by learning about what makes them tick, and by speaking to them convincingly and honestly.