MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2023

Engaging Customers on Social Media in “Boring” Industries [#mpb2b Speaker Series]

A conversation with Stacey Holsinger, owner of Steel Toe Communications (a digital marketing and communication consultancy for the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry)

We recently sat down with Stacey to discuss why you need to identify your industry’s missing motivators and incorporate them into your social strategy — especially for products, services, or brands considered “boring”.

MarketingProfs: The construction industry is booming, but that can sometimes bring along challenges. What are you seeing?

Holsinger: We have such a huge crisis when it comes to marketing and a stigma around skilled trades. Many contractors built their businesses off of in-person networking, but the landscape has shifted to digital in a lot of ways. For a contractor, the way I see it, if you don’t invest in marketing you are contributing to our workforce shortage problem. By being digitally silent, you choose not to make workforce development a priority. If you want to attract people to the industry, you need to participate in the conversations. Too often our industry is losing out to the tech giants who invest in marketing, they see the value.

MarketingProfs: What sorts of unique issues do you run into with this industry?

Holsinger: “I don’t need social media,” is what a lot of business owners say. Their attitude is “we survived this long without social media, why do we need to get on it now?” There is a huge opportunity to recruit, educate, and inspire the next generation. Kids aren’t learning about construction careers in school, here is your opportunity. Not to mention, it’s an excellent brand awareness tool to stay in front of your client and top of mind. If you aren’t doing it, I can almost guarantee your competitor is.

MarketingProfs: What do you say to marketers who think their industry is too boring, or they feel like they can’t make strides on social media?

Holsinger: Sometimes companies are afraid to take that leap, to try something new, to get creative. But marketing, as we know, is about experimenting and testing and trying. There’s an audience out there for everything. From tech van tours, a day in the life, how-to and unboxing videos. YouTube has taught us there is no age limit to people who want to learn. What you might find boring, someone else might find interesting. There are also creative ways you can spin topics to make the content more exciting, inspiring and entertaining. Add some humor, a personal story, or an element that doesn’t even relate for shock value.

MarketingProfs: Do you find, with your clients, that once they see momentum, they see that it was worth it and want to do it again?

Holsinger: Absolutely. When you are in marketing, you are in it to play the long-term game. As marketers, we know building momentum helps our B2B relationships grow and form a genuine fan base. For example, you invest in a creating an informative video. You don’t just post it once and call it a day. There is too much noise online. You start off with some teaser clips, an email campaign, maybe invite clients for a private showing, then make it public and post online. It’s all about creating that buzz overtime with a solid strategy to get the best reach.

MarketingProfs: What do you hope marketers take away from your session at the B2B Forum?

Holsinger: I hope marketers can identify their customers’ love languages and form better customer relationships. Social media is not just about self-promotion. It should not be a one sided-conversation. As Ann Handley says, “conversation is the new currency.” For many marketers, their target audience isn’t just customers. Retaining, recognizing and recruiting employees often falls in a social media role. I look forward to helping marketers identify their missing motivators when it comes to recruiting people to their industry.

Published August 24, 2021

B2B Forum is packed with marketing insights, strategies, and tactics taken from the real world experience of over forty industry experts, packaged into context you can actually put to use.

Join us in Boston for B2B Forum 2024 this coming November 12-14, 2024. Early buyers get B2B Forum tickets at their lowest rate, and discounted hotel rooms are available while they last.


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