Reaching Out to Construction
The cost of selling skills training
Photo: Pop & Zebra
Publicising skills training is, at the highest level, no different to any other form of marketing. You need to understand where your learners are coming from — are they new learners? Renewing qualifications? Up-skilling to improve their career prospects?
PPC & Adwords
As a Construction industry training provider, your expertise allow you to understand and effectively target your customers. Pay-per-click (PPC) and keywords are perfect examples of understanding what your customers are looking for online and how and where they will be searching for your products and services. They work by targeting your customers via the technical data and vocabulary of your industry.
These methods of advertising have become increasingly popular due to their immediately measurable success rates and demonstrable responses to changes in your advertising strategy. As an expert in your market, these tools are extremely appealing as they enable you to utilise your inherent knowledge of the industry — i.e. the reason your company exists in the first place!
The complexity of these methods has increased as specialist marketeers better understand the functions and requirements to maximise Return on Investment (RoI). This complexity also gradually increases the costs of PPC and keyword advertising as campaigns require constant monitoring and updating to ensure their effectiveness.
Photo: Stephen Phillips
The most popular platform for PPC marketing is Facebook. With over 2 billion active users worldwide, it remains one of the most cost effective advertising methods, with PPC charges measured in the US to be around $0.80.
The effectiveness of advertising using Google keywords (and the most popular search engine) is more complex. And more expensive. Competitors are involved in a direct bidding war, meaning the ones most likely to succeed are those with the most effective marketing and largest budgets at their disposal.
Selecting keywords is in itself a skill — from understanding popular search terms for your industry, to balancing the cost of using the most popular search terms to choose your keywords.
Low headline prices, combined with the immediacy of feedback, make these advertising campaigns attractive on the surface, however there are (as with most things) hidden costs. A quick search (hint: type “keyword!”) on Google will show you how competitive the market is for specialist marketing companies to run your online campaigns.
This is the major hidden cost — the cost of creating an effective campaign.
Doing It Yourself (DIY)
Obviously the democratic nature of the internet means that you are able to create your own campaign, take online marketing classes to maximise your return using your in-house marketing team, or make the most of your own skills in running your business. The time penalty and hit-&-miss nature might not bother you, but they may also eat into time better spent elsewhere.
Short-cutting these processes and costs can be simple and almost free, however.
The most obvious method would be to use a simple poster-style advert and post it into the timeline of a specialist group, online — for example a CPCS group may respond well to adverts for 360 operator training and then visit your website to take up the training offer.
The process from your side — as the training provider — is simple, but the process from the prospective trainee is more complicated.
For example, not being able to immediately click through to your site or offer may mean that they fail to visit because of a simple spelling mistake and end up elsewhere.
Or your advert could just as easily be scrolled past because the user is online to look for work, rather than training opportunities, today.
Alternatively, the user could also be anywhere in the UK and too far from your location.
The un-targeted nature of the short-cut may render the savings null and void, but it’s difficult for you to know as you can’t get direct measurement.
Photo: Scott Blake
The UK construction industry has more than 2 million workers with nearly 300,000 on CPCS alone, not including new entrants to the industry or up-skilling opportunities. Speaking directly to a market of this size is far more effective than slimming down the 2 billion Facebook users to find those interested in your product, or simply cutting your market to those who have joined a Facebook group.
Get what you need or where you want to go, directly, with Tradegraft. credit: Tradegraft
Speaking clearly and directly to your market is the best way to be heard over your competition instead of being scrolled-past on a Facebook feed or priced out of having a voice on google. Having direct access to a market place, not just with operators searching for work but also for training, brings you into direct contact with your target market.
Construction workers don’t shop for paint at the supermarket — they go where they know the most effective and professional products are.
And this is how training provision needs to reach out, too.
Work in Construction? Looking to learn new — or improve your existing — skills? Visit Tradegraft for opportunities, training centres and to learn just how much you could earn tomorrow by investing in your skills today.