It’s not controversial to say that COVID-19 has transformed the way we do business, perhaps forever. Without doubt, it has brought forward our adoption of certain digital technologies by a number of years. The architecture and design industry has not been an exception and for manufacturers and retailers, there has been an acceleration in digitisation in relation to their customer and supply-chain interactions, as well as internal operations. Above all, the cancellation of trade fairs and design events has forced companies away from traditional opportunities for coming into contact with prospective clients. That is why, now more than ever, it is important to review the main strategies and practices in order to stay competitive in this new business environment.

Mark Mitchell, an expert in building materials sales and marketing, suggests reinvesting travel and trade show expenses into digital marketing, in order to boost the presence of brands online. Digital channels allow you to reach thousands of architects and designers without moving from your desk – and without getting on an aeroplane. But how can your brand stand out in the crowd of competitors online?

As the world’s largest online platform for products and materials, Architonic is an expert in the digital space. We’ve put together a list of ideas for manufacturers and retailers on how to strengthen the presence of their brand online:

1. Use technical data to present your products online

As obvious as it may sound, you need a digital platform to showcase your products. The first step is to make sure that your website is up and running, and that it includes technical information about your products, such as dimensions and materiality. If you have CAD and BIM files of your products, architects will appreciate it even more. Professionals tend to look for detailed product information on manufacturers’ and distributors’ website,s but sometimes they don’t find the data they need as some company’s websites may not be designed to provide this kind of information.

Online product specifications should be complete and updated. With this objective, Architonic offers brands the chance to present their entire product portfolio along with high-quality images, PDF catalogues and other technical data on a special microsite. In order to deliver the correct information and present your products in the best way possible, members of our team will assist you in connecting with potential customers.

To help architects and designers with this, Architonic provides a tool for searching and discovering the best solutions on the market. We offer a catalogue that showcases the best brands, curated by a jury of experts, which works as a filter for the professional user’s needs. This is the reason why most professionals use Architonic as their main search tool, going directly to Architonic instead of using Google as their first source. In this sense, Architonic is a way to connect with thousands of professionals that, once on your brand’s microsite, will be able to reach out directly to your company for more details on each product.

2. Help your customers with valuable engaging content

In order to gain more visibility with your customers and to differentiate yourself from the competition, you will need to engage them through useful and valuable content. Some leading brands include a ‘blog section’ on their websites where they publish interesting content and high-quality visual material about their products, such as infographics, how-to guides, expanded list posts or case studies showcasing work they have done in the past.

Brands that are featured on Architonic can also increase their visibility by using other formats such as newsletters and editorial features, or by uploading projects they have been involved in to give their products a broader context. A special team of editors take each company’s data and transform it into useful information for architects, giving great exposure to their products through a platform that has gained a top reputation among architecture and design professionals.

Our team has experience working with some of the best brands out there, translating wider brand messaging into memorable brand stories. We publish all of our content across multiple channels: on social media, in our newsletters and of course in our online magazine.

3. Use Social Media to stay connected with your customers

Whether it’s to stay in touch with friends and family, or to keep up with world events and how others are working through the crisis, people are using their social media accounts more than ever. These channels enable you to share useful and engaging content that you have created, in order to expand the limits of your website. Try to think of your social media platforms not only as a way of showcasing your products, but, more importantly, as a tool for staying in touch with customers and better familiarising yourself with your audience.

If you need to choose from the different social media platforms, we recommend you focus your efforts on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. By far, they are the preferred social networks for architects and designers due to their visually-driven content. To learn more and become a social media expert for your brand, check out this article where we provide important tips that can help your company capture the attention of your target audience and stand out from your competitors:

4. Use video and animated format as part of your digital marketing strategy

The brain processes visual data faster than text, so if ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ imagine the impact video has! It’s for this reason that large organisations nowadays consider video as the most engaging communication channel for their audiences, since they allow messages to be transmitted in a more casual style, helping brands to seem more real and relatable. They are a fantastic tool for grabbing the attention of prospective customers and thus getting more exposure. On social media, it is proving to be the most powerful sales tool, helping companies to gain new followers, grow their brand, and drive sales.

Knowing how important video content is for brands and leveraging Architonic’s global, multichannel reach, we have created an image-driven, animated format that connects you with our ever-growing architecture and design community.

By taking your high-quality imagery and videos we boost your return on investment in them by crafting high-performing, architect-targeted animations that really connect. We tell the story of your product with short, effective captions from our in-house Editorial Team and a clear call to action. The final product is an engaging clip of up to 30 seconds long that will be published across our key social media channels, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as well as on and in our daily newsletter. This informative and entertaining content increases the credibility of your brand, while helping you reach your target audience and drive traffic to your website.

5. Go to the channels where architects are

If you are already utilising these strategies, it’s time to expand your online presence. Think about which channels architects and designers spend their time on and where they go for inspiration and research. Architects will probably reach your website at the very end of their design process when they have already decided which products and materials they are going to use in their project. But in the earlier stages of the creative process, they will be most likely using niche sites such as ArchDaily, to look for projects, Architonic to search for products, or Designboom, to keep updated on news in other creative disciplines.

During the early stages of their creative process, architects need to look at other projects and images, which are essential during their search for inspiration. In that ‘creation and designing’ phase, architects and designers very likely visit platforms such as ArchDaily, the largest curated library of architecture projects online, with over 500,000 architects visiting the site on a daily basis. Moving into the next stages of the process, architects and designers start searching for the best solutions available for helping them to realise their ideas, discovering new products, and, finally, reaching the specification phase. During this stage, professionals use Architonic as their main work tool for selecting products from among the top brands. In terms of searching for solutions, most professionals go directly to Architonic rather than Google as their first source of product inspiration and search.

With the recent acquisition of ArchDaily, as well as our long-term partnership with Designboom, at Architonic, we have created a perfect virtual stage based around these three complementary channels. Since the three of them are global leaders in the industry, you will achieve the most visibility for your brand and products, and have the chance to maximise your audience. With an already engaged community of architects and designers which translates into more than 2.5 million visitors per week, it shouldn’t be difficult to drive people to your brand – and without even having to get up from your desk.