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Marketing Strategies for Architects to Build a Brand

Closing new clients can be painfully slow for architects – especially in today’s market scenario. The truth is most developers or home buyers will not hire right away. They might only want to know what options they have.

And if you give away too much information for free in hopes of making a good impression, some clients might later decide they don’t need you at all. By adapting online marketing strategies for architects, you can make sure your work isn’t devalued and get an edge over the competition.

Remember, it’s all about building the right perception, and that depends on how you communicate value.

In this blog, you’ll learn how to create a comprehensive marketing plan for architects and align it with strategies that provide the best possible returns on investment. 

Let’s get started.


Understanding Marketing Strategies for Architects

Marketing strategies for architects include generating and qualifying leads, showing them how you can solve their problems, and closing deals – much like any other business or industry. You probably already use some of them when networking with contractors and existing clients.

However, if you want better-paying work or enter a new market, you must invest in traditional and digital marketing to spread the word about your business.

On this matter, Yates Jarvis, a marketing consultant for e-commerce, advises architects to plan meticulously for effective marketing. Allocate budget for a marketing toolkit, including automation tools for streamlined operations and targeted messaging.

The truth is not everybody cares about design or aesthetics. Some clients are more interested in how you can help increase the value of their property, especially if it’s an investor. With effective architect marketing strategies, you can appeal to all kinds of customer aspirations.

For example, you can create separate campaigns for home buyers and investors. Similarly, if you’re in a specialized niche like sustainable architecture, the right marketing strategy can help you differentiate yourself from the crowd and build relationships with customers. 

That way, you’d be top-of-mind for clients when they eventually start on the project they may be talking about. The key is to develop a strong online presence, create social proof, and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Shifting Mindsets Around Online Marketing Strategies for Architects

In this day and age, architects cannot rely on referrals alone for business. Here are some misconceptions about online marketing to let go of.

1. Not enough time

The average architect juggles multiple projects at any given time. Unfortunately, marketing tasks like updating the website often slip to the bottom of the list of priorities. The truth is marketing online can save you time. It can expand your reach and attract quality customers to your business.

You wouldn’t need to spend too much time cold calling or educating customers during meetings. However, the key to efficiency is using effective processes and strategies, which we will discuss later in this article.

2. Don’t know where to begin

Marketing isn’t something they teach at architecture school. While it can be daunting to start online marketing from scratch, you can’t go wrong if you think about your value proposition and what your ideal customer profile (ICP) looks like and then put together a compelling message that encapsulates both these elements.

3. Knowledge and skills are enough 

If you have lost projects to competitors who only recently entered the market, you know that experience is no guarantee of success. And you can’t compete on price alone if you want to survive in the long run. Today, the playing field has widened to include construction companies, draftsmen, etc.

So, if you’re already in a saturated market, online marketing strategies for architects can help you find new opportunities and scale your business most cost-effectively.

Read also: How to Become a Top Contractor — 10 Proven Strategies

What’s the Difference Between a Marketing Strategy and a Marketing Plan for Architecture Firms?

You may have heard the words ‘marketing strategy’ and ‘marketing plan’ being used interchangeably, but there’s a difference between the two. 

A marketing plan is the overall approach to achieving the revenue goals of your architecture firm. It involves identifying the target audience’s pain points and creating strategies to address them.

On the other hand, a marketing strategy is the specific tactic or activity you perform to achieve the goals outlined in the marketing plan. Secondly, marketing plans are, by definition, long-term. They cover many months or years. 

In comparison, a marketing strategy focuses on execution in the short term. A marketing plan is more broad-based in that it lays out the goals of a business and how it wants to achieve those goals. A marketing strategy comprises the steps you take to implement your marketing plan.

Read also: 11 Great CRM Tools for Architecture Firms

Benefits of Smart Marketing Strategies for Architects

Architect marketing strategies can take time to show results. However, the benefits it provides are worth the effort.

1. Expand your reach

Architects rely on referrals to bring in between 70% and 100% of new business. But it can lead to diminishing returns over time – both in terms of creative satisfaction and revenue potential. In an increasingly digital world, online marketing for architects is essential to reach new audiences, generate brand awareness, and attract high-quality clients.

2. Qualify your leads

Pareto said it best: Only 20% of leads will give you business, which also applies to architects. If you can determine which of your prospects are ready to start a project ‘today,’ you can follow up faster and use the right messaging to close a deal.

This calls for effective segmentation and lead scoring, but this can be much easier with the right tools and strategies. Using an inbound marketing strategy, you’ll also be able to nurture prospects that aren’t ready to buy immediately.

3. Grow your revenues

If you don’t want to work on projects with low margins, marketing can help attract the right kind of clients. However, the key is first to complete a high-value project in a new niche to prove you can deliver and then promote it via case studies, testimonials, and social media content.

4. Show off your portfolio

An online portfolio website can help you create a great first impression in the minds of prospects. You can also include details relating to design philosophy, pricing, contracts, etc., to help clients make an objective decision. This will come in handy in client meetings – be it the initial consultation, discussing a design proposal, or navigating scope increases. 

5. Build a brand

Customers who perceive you as credible will likely engage with you. If you speak at conferences and networking events already, leveraging online marketing can help grow your brand. You’ll be able to differentiate yourself from the competition, build trust, and close sales faster. 

Read also: Construction Marketing Ideas & Examples For 2024

How Do You Create a Marketing Plan for Architecture Firms?

Before we look at specific marketing strategies for architects, let’s consider how to identify the big-picture goals and objectives.

1. Map the customer journey

The first step is creating a customer journey map and identifying the touch points where most interactions occur. This means thinking about their needs and expectations so you can better assist them and save time in the process.

Doing the groundwork makes it easier to decide on the best marketing strategy for each interaction, thereby balancing marketing goals and customer needs.

2. Define your target audience

Next, brainstorm your ideal customer profile. This is essentially the kind of people you want to work with. The goal is to better understand diverse needs.

For example, a home buyer may have different expectations when remodeling a property compared to, say, a real-estate investor planning to sell. You can use demographic, location, and industry information to create relatable customer personas. 

3. Identify your value proposition

Next, think about what you want to be known for. Look at your existing portfolio – which projects did you enjoy the most, what unique skills you have, etc. This can include specific property types you may have expertise in, like family homes, office buildings, etc.

4. Identify your architecture marketing goals and KPIs

It’s not enough to say you want to increase your client base or drive sales. Specify by how much and by when. The more specific you are, the better you’ll be able to measure your performance each month. Look at the competition and industry benchmarks to set your KPIs.

For example, if your website is currently getting lower traffic or engagement than the industry average, focus on KPIs like unique website visitors, page views, click-through rates, click-to-conversion rates, bounce rates, etc.

5. Narrow down on your marketing message

Once you have decided on the KPIs, it’s time to create your message. Think of your value proposition or how you solve customer problems and write down the key benefits to customers. The Content Marketing Institute has a checklist to help you get started.

The key is to use words that communicate the value proposition and run A/B tests until you find an angle that works.

6. Allocate a budget

What marketing strategies you use will depend, to a large extent, on the budget you have available. But you don’t need to spend money on every channel- social media ads, for example – right from the start.

Depending on your niche, some channels may work better for you than others, and the key is to find which. A good way to keep costs low is to run small campaigns to test each channel before scaling them. 

7. Shortlist the best marketing strategies

‘Best’ is a relative term. What works for you may not work for somebody else. Look for strategies that complement how you market your business currently. For example, content marketing can help you share insights you’d share one-on-one with a wider audience.

You can repurpose its key points into social media posts and build thought leadership. As you try out different strategies, compare their performance and use data to select the ones that work best.

8. Build a marketing calendar

Just as you use a calendar to schedule appointments, you’ll need a marketing calendar to align each piece of content around specific promotions or events. For example, festive themes for the holiday season.

A marketing calendar makes it easier to see everything at a glance and manage campaigns more effectively so that you can make the best use of your time and resources.

9. Use reporting and analytics to optimize performance

When it comes to tracking multiple marketing campaigns, a spreadsheet has its limitations. You can invest in a free CRM like EngageBay to pull weekly, monthly, or quarterly performance reports.

This can give you a better understanding of each campaign’s hits and misses and identify each’s underlying issues.     

Read also: CRM For Construction: 8 Top Tools And What They Do Best   

9 Marketing Strategies You Can Use to Drive Growth

Now that we have worked out the contours of our marketing plan, let’s dive into the marketing strategies.

1. Turn your website into a lead-generation machine

Architect website example

When people Google you online, your website is one of the first links they’re going to look at. To build trust with your target customers, create educational content like case studies and make it more credible by adding testimonials. Ensure that your site’s content answers the questions they might have at each stage of the buyer journey – awareness, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase.

Include an FAQ page that gives them the information they need at a glance. Use web forms to capture leads and funnel them to your CRM. 

Do a quick audit of your website and ask yourself:

  • Is my website quick to load?
  • Is the content on the home page and category pages current?
  • Is my website easy to navigate?

Quick tip: Use a website builder like Squarespace to set up your site in minutes.

2. Streamline your portfolio

A portfolio isn’t just a collection of images and specifications. Think of it as a window into your unique thought process and design approach. It’s important to create a narrative that illustrates how you solved problems for clients and in everyday language.

You’ll also need a clean layout with high-quality images and videos showing how each project evolved from concept to final design. Showcase your best work and leave out the rest – most customers are going to skim through your portfolio anyway. However, make sure it’s optimized for viewing across devices.

On portfolio sites like Behance, this is taken care of for you. However, if you’re hosting your portfolio on your website, make sure it’s mobile-ready.

3. Fine-tune your SEO

Most people won’t look beyond the first page of search results, making SEO crucial. This is a good time to check for broken links and optimize the structure of your website. Pay attention to trending keywords and add them contextually to your website.

You can use Hubspot’s SEO optimization template to make the job easier. 

4. Build authority through podcasts

The growing popularity of architecture podcasts like The Second Studio proves how great they are for brand awareness and differentiation. There are plenty of niches to choose from, including design, project insights, expert interviews, trends and events, etc.

With a bit of competitor research, you can find topic gaps and create high-quality content. Remember to prioritize value over frequency. It’s OK to start small and scale up gradually.

Quick tip: Create a members-only social media community for your podcast subscribers and share exclusive content.

5. Ask for reviews

It’s a fact – the majority of customers won’t leave reviews unless you ask. The key is to provide something in return for their effort. It could be discounts, giveaways, etc. You can then feature the best ones on your website or social media.

When you receive reviews, don’t forget to respond to them – good and bad. It shows you value feedback.

6. Use targeted email marketing

You might already be sending out email updates to clients every week. However, with a few tweaks, you can get a lot more out of it. Consider segmenting your audience into dedicated lists. At a minimum, you should have a separate list of existing customers, leads, contractors/business partners, etc.

Email marketing for architects

For lead generation, create an introduction email series and a nurturing sequence for those you may already be talking to. 

  • Subject line and preview: Be concise and avoid the use of spammy words or symbols.
  • Clear sender name: Identify yourself and use your brand logo to assure readers you are who you say you are. This could impact email deliverability, among other factors.
  • Use compelling body copy and CTA: Give yourself the freedom to experiment with different openings, but be sure to A/B test them first. The CTA should be crisp and clear – no longer than five characters. 
  • Preferences and opt-outs: Make sure subscribers can update their email addresses or opt out of receiving specific promotions. Tell them they won’t receive any more emails if they opt out.

7. Leverage social media marketing

Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for showcasing your portfolio as they are more visual platforms. If you’re looking to connect with designers, contractors, and other professionals, there’s probably no better place than LinkedIn Groups. These platforms can help you keep track of the trending topics in your industry and beyond.

Short TikTok videos can be an effective way to connect with your audience.

Quick tip: Sign up as a premium LinkedIn member so you can ‘direct message’ potential clients and associates. It’s much faster than sending emails.

8. Invest in paid ads

Targeted paid ads across search engines and social media are proven to deliver high-quality leads across industries. The best part is you choose to pay only for clicks or actual conversions, making this a highly cost-effective marketing strategy for architects.

The key is to focus on high-intent keywords, monitor performance closely, and adjust budgets for the best possible ROI. You can use many useful resources on the internet to learn paid advertising best practices, such as HubSpot Academy and Google Skillshop.

9. Build mobile-friendly landing pages

Think of landing pages as an extension of your main website focused only on sales. You can create separate landing pages for each ICP or niche you work in. A well-structured landing page highlights specific benefits, offers valuable information as free downloads, and encourages readers to sign up to receive them.

Make sure your landing pages are mobile-friendly and integrate lead capture forms to collect lead data.

Read also: Selling Homes in Style: 29 Unique Real Estate Marketing Ideas


Marketing is all about consistency, and marketing strategies for architects are no different. The tools and processes you use are critical to this.

You can count on EngageBay to scale your marketing without shelling out thousands of dollars. Sign up and speak to our product experts to see how we can help.

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