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Content Marketing

The architecture, engineering, and construction sectors are increasingly competitive in markets at every level. Relationships are certainly helpful for business development efforts, but having the experience to show you can handle a new project is crucial to securing work. Firms that can successfully differentiate themselves are far more likely to be on the winning side. But, how exactly does an A/E/C firm stand out from others? One proven technique is weaving together a strong narrative that showcases previous work and positions you as a leader in the field. Identifying those successful project is a great step, although it’s just the beginning of a longer process.

Earlier this month, we joined more than 500 attendees at the annual Local Forecast Seminar in Richmond. The event, hosted by the Home Building Association of Richmond, takes a look at what lies ahead for the new home industry in Central Virginia. Always full of fascinating insights, this year’s event provided an overview of the economic conditions for home building, top design trends, and advice for home builders in the digital marketing space. Good news is that the economy’s fundamentals are strong and experts anticipate that the Richmond region should see about a three percent sales growth for new homes in 2018. That’s a solid prediction, albeit not as high as some had hoped. 

The communications industry is evolving rapidly here in the United States and across the globe. As the ways that we interact with one another change, communications professionals must adapt to reach audiences. The pace at which these shifts are occurring has picked up speed in the past decade as well. Recognizing the need to identify these challenges and the top trends, Cision and PR Week released their 2017 Global Communications Report. The study highlights a few obstacles for communicators and shows that certain communications channels, notably social media, continue to become more entrenched. Here’s our take on four of the top issues addressed in the report:

Investing in professional development and continuing education is critical for professionals who want to enhance their skills. It’s also a necessity for better client service. This belief reminds me of a favorite and well-known quotation from poet William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” To me, this quotation captures that education isn’t static. It’s not something that stops when school ends. Education is a life-long effort and one that requires ongoing work. As professionals, we have a variety of professional development and educational opportunities available to us, especially in the form of professional certifications. Whether working at an agency and serving clients externally or in-house and collaborating with internal stakeholders, professional certifications showcase your commitment to your profession and demonstrate that you continue to hone and refine your craft, which in turn benefits internal and external clients.

Pokemon Go uses augmented reality to “catch” Pokemon in real-world places.

This week has been exciting in that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at the F8 developer conference that we will see more platforms and apps using augmented reality, especially on Facebook and Instagram. This is a further testament to how marketing is moving into the digital landscape and isn’t looking back.

It’s only February and 2017 has already been a wild year for marketing professionals! From fake news to ongoing disruptions in how people consume information, the communications landscape remains challenging. Despite the many hurdles, opportunities abound and there are exciting new ways to reach your target audience in an engaging manner. But, what really works and how do you manage it?

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Elyssa and Ann Wylie in New York City.

Have you taken a step back to look at your content marketing and writing recently?

There’s always room for improvement. That’s why I was ecstatic to attend Ann Wylie of Wylie Communication’s Content Writing Workshop in New York City a couple weeks ago.

With her tips, I learned how to improve readability online by engaging your target audience with shorter writing. Check out some of the key takeaways from the workshop:

Awards1As August and the summer winds down, fall is fast approaching. Not only does that mean pumpkin-spiced everything, but also awards nomination season. Many of the biggest industry awards for A/E/C firms issue their call for nominations in the fall and early winter. Now is the time to start thinking about your best projects and if they’re truly awards worthy. Crating compelling and innovative award submissions can be tricky for architects, engineers, and general contractors. The projects these A/E/C firms tackle are complex and technical. However, if you dig a alittle deeper you might be surprised!

auditThe dog days of summer are here and this time of year tends to be a bit slower for many. While a lot of people have their sights on beaches or preparing for back to school, the next few weeks offer a great opportunity to evaluate how your various marketing and communications campaigns are preforming. Taking stock of what’s working and what’s not can ensure that you’re leveraging your resources as best as possible. So before you start thinking about planning for next year, spend some time now reviewing how campaigns have performed thus far and make adjustments as needed.

influenceAs our society continues to become more social and digital, the rise of influencer marketing has been swift. Influencers offer a number of marketing benefits to raise awareness and promote a product or service. They can connect with target audiences have a lasting impact. Social Times recently noted the rise in influencer marketing. When many of us think of influencers, we immediately jump to big-name celebrities. However, that’s changing too as new research from the Wharton School shows that micro-influencers drive behavior at higher rates that previously thought. Given this evolving marketing strategy, many organizations are trying to determine how to leverage influencers.