5 reasons why construction companies should be blogging

This is the first in a series of posts which aims to inspire you, the marketer for your construction company, on how you could use social media platforms and tools such as Blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube to connect, engage and educate your audience and enhance your brand to meet business objectives.

This post was recently updated in April 2015

Firstly, let’s get one thing straight.

Your marketing efforts should always be geared towards business objective(s), goals and targets (K.P.I’s). Why are you doing it? The last thing you want to do is step into the world of public opinions and customer conversations with a blind eye and make a complete hash of things. If you haven’t read Social Media Metrics by Jim Sterne then we suggest you do.

Jim writes that the big 3 business goals for social media are:

1) Increase revenue
2) Lower costs
3) Improve Customer Satisfaction’.

These 3 goals are all that matter in the long run and the goals/objectives which I will relate to for each channel.

The first one we want to look at is Blogging.

Firstly, I have heard many people say “my customers don’t read blogs”.

Well, that’s because you don’t have one to know and you haven’t really asked them; you just assume they don’t. Secondly, how many people, including your prospects and customers, search the web for information, for content and most importantly you or your competition? All of them? 99% of them? You need to get information and content on the web to increase exposure, raise awareness and increase your reach and blogging is just one of the many ways to getting found on the internet and add value to your audience.

So, without further a do, let’s take a look at 5 reasons why you should be blogging and which business goals this contributes towards.

1. Show your technical expertise

Does your company literature and adverts claim that you are the ‘technical experts in what you do’?

Yes? Prove it.

Prove that you have the technical expertise by writing technical content and putting it on the web for your technically minded audience to help them choose you or your products. Support your technical datasheets, installation manuals or your CAD standard details with a series of blog posts on why you should design or install in a particular way and back it up with specific drawings or datasheets. Get feedback from designers and engineers on new and clever ways of designing for construction and blog about it. Share those ideas. Are your products tested? Write a technical blog post on the testing results and inform specification writers of the performance results of your products.

2. Prove Industry leadership

Do your print ads also state ‘we are the market leaders in….’? Really? Are you? But every company says they are ‘market leaders’.

Prove that you are the leaders in what you do.

What makes you the leaders? Are you constantly innovating?

Write blog posts which show why you are leaders in what you do; this could be in-depth case studies that provide the content or ideas which solve problems that your prospects, customers and sector are having. Collaborate and engage with others to come up with new ideas (crowd-sourcing) for improving your products. Lead the way in innovation, design and guidance for your sector or are of expertise. Include a link at the end of case study which tells readers ‘View our blog post on ‘design guidance’ by going to….’.

Most importantly, keep them engaged.

Are you being ‘environmentally friendly’ in any of your business operations? Write about it and publish how you are doing it. Being sustainable and environmentally friendly are big topics so show that you are leading the way or doing your bit.

See Glazing Vision’s case study on Broombank, which demonstrates how they solved problems for customers by refining the specification to meet project requirements.

3. Voice your opinion on upcoming legislations and regulations

What are you doing to educate your audience or sector on upcoming regulations which will have an impact on their day to day jobs?

Write informative blog posts on specific regulations and legislations which affect your sector or audience. Drill down and provide your audience with educational content for which they can use and learn from. Keep them coming back to you! Also, the press love this sort of material; those who are willing to stand up and voice their opinions and collaborate with others as part of a bigger message or topic. (This is what makes you leaders too)!

4. Provide answers

The sector which you operate in, whether it’s architecture or ground-works, are buzzing full of questions.

How can we? How do we? How do I? What is the best way to?

Answer these questions. Provide the supply chain with guidance and advice on solving these issues and problems. Write blog posts that start with ‘Did you know…’ or ‘How to…’ or ‘The importance of…’. Become the leaders and the knowledge resource for your prospects and customers.

See our post on ‘How to measure the value of blog content’.

5. Marketing Campaigns

Support your marketing campaigns with blog posts.

If your campaigning about a particular topic, issue or product then support your print advertising campaign, microsite and email marketing campaign messages with relevant blog posts. Product manufacturers can also utilise blogs for specific case studies which tackle real problems from a technical point of view or a supply chain partnership point of view.

Use your case studies to target relevant people and businesses so that you can further increase your reach. Having worked for a plastics product manufacturer and always pushed the ‘plastics vs concrete’ message through adverts and email, would it not be also useful to also support the ‘advantage of plastics’ message with blog posts showcasing case studies proving one material was better than the other from a cost or installation point of view? Or from an environmental point of view? The point is that you are integrating your marketing messages and providing your audience multiple ways in which they can consume and take in this content.

Which business goals does Blogging contribute towards?

Blogging can actually contribute to all 3 big business goals and that is why it is probably the most valuable marketing medium you can adopt.

An increase in the amount of content you produce increases the likelihood of appearing in search engine results page and therefore increases the number of people who see your messages and visit your website.

According to Hubspot, companies who blog also receive 97% more links to their website.

More visitors equals more traffic, and if your website does a good job at converting these visitors, then it means an increase in lead generation. B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that don’t; these leads mean more opportunities for your sales team to convert into orders or sales.

Blogging also lowers costs. Lowering the cost of you PR expenditure (marketers are now publishers) as well as generating the same if not more awareness of your company. You are also lowering the cost of communication as you are reaching out to a relevant community or audience who you can keep engaged without having to use expensive direct mailings.

If you are providing informative and relevant content online and satisfying the ‘search’ savvy audience, you are then improving customer satisfaction. Involving your audience in discussions at the end of blog posts can also make you much more responsive to customer or market concerns.

So there it is. Hopefully this has given you some inspiration and some ideas which you can take away and apply to your business. Again, blogging takes time and requires the clever people within your business to contribute and help create success. Pick out the few ambassadors for your company and get them involved in helping you and your department create ideas for writing compelling blog stories or articles.

Next time, we will look at YouTube and making more use of online videos for product demonstrations, installation and how-to’s.

About Pauley Creative

Pauley Creative is the digital marketing agency for the construction industry. We create, build and manage brand awareness and lead generation strategies for building product manufacturers within the construction industry. You can follow us on Twitter here – click here.

15 Responses to “5 reasons why construction companies should be blogging”

  1. Ankur mathur

    Hi Pritesh,
    Interesting post. Any industry statistics available on the outreach, and success of using blogs. especially pertaining to construction industy (in UK or worldwide).

    I am an architect with a keen interest in how technology can reach out to the masses, and help create better buildings and built-environment.

    would surely like to know more about this subject.

    Reply
  2. Kirstie Colledge

    Hi Pritesh,

    This is still an interesting subject and a great post. It will be even more interesting to see how many construction firms have a blog by the end of 2010 and compare it to the end of 2009.

    IMHO the key to making a blog successful, is ongoing maintenance, updating, measuring and of course, an underlying content strategy. It’s easy to forget that we should be constantly engaging too. I see plenty of blogs in this industry (and many others) guilty of old school ‘Marketing Myopia’. Too often, corporate bloggers forget the engaging bit and use the blog purely as a content publishing platform.

    When Marketing Managers become self publishers, they have to be confident and creative copywriters too.

    I don’t know if we will see as many dormant blogs next year as we see see ‘news’ sections on websites, with no ‘news’ updates since 2008? I’d be interested to know what you guys think…

    Reply
  3. Nick

    Great comment Kirstie, thanks for taking the time to post. Content is important but as you say, often a barrier too:

    “I don’t have time to write!”
    “I don’t have the resource!”
    “We have nothing to write about!”
    “We can’t really talk about our clients!”
    “We can’t talk about our services!”
    “Our sign off process would take forever”
    “Legal/HR/management would never allow it!”

    These are the fears and frustrations that often keep the construction marketer from pursuing a blog or indeed a broader social media strategy at all. Even when they’ve accepted – they actually know – that a blog would be beneficial for their company both in terms of visibility online and their credibility offline.

    This is why a Content Strategy should always be presented with a Search Strategy – The ‘Why’. The ‘Why’ always comes from the research done whilst creating the Search Strategy. A Search Strategy involves aligning the business goals and outcomes with what’s really happening on any given website. Who is landing on what page and why, aligned with who you’d like to land on a certain page [The goal] and what action you’d like them to take when they get there [The outcomes].

    A good Content Strategy is only ever useful when partnered with a well researched Search Strategy. Consistency and frequency are key to the ongoing success of any marketing effort, but understanding why a blog in particular might be useful is the first hurdle. What to write about and when, the second.

    Search and Content; like Dempsey and Makepeace, they work best together!

    Reply
  4. Rene

    Great post, providing real justification for taking the plunge into blogging. Businesses that are actively involved in this are forging ahead. Strategy is key as is having a calendar and plenty of content when you go live, to help through the inevitable lean periods when you suffer from writers block.

    And this advice is, of course, relevant to businesses outside construction too!

    Reply
  5. Nick Pauley

    Thank you for your comment Rene. Strategy and planning are definitely key to being a successful blogger, as well as finding content that is relevant and valuable to your audience.

    2010 has already seen a greater increase in business blogs than 2009 and I am sure 2011 will top them both. Marketers need to realise that content is king and the more content you put out there about your business and its services, the more likely it is that potential customers and clients will find you.

    Companies can no longer boast about how great they are without actually proving it and I think a blog is a great way for people to get to know a bit more about you, your company, how you work, your ideas and whether the information/services you provide is a valuable resource for pushing prospects further along the buying cycle!

    I have also been reading your blog which is full of valuable insights and advice so hopefully more marketers will adopt this great marketing tool.

    Reply
  6. Peter L Masters

    Hi,

    I can’t believe I missed this!

    A great subject Pritesh and great comments too!

    “I don’t have time to write!”
    “I don’t have the resource!”
    “We have nothing to write about!”
    “We can’t really talk about our clients!”
    “We can’t talk about our services!”
    “Our sign off process would take forever”
    “Legal/HR/management would never allow it!”

    I hear this ALL and SO often! (Probably not quite as much as you!)

    When Marketing Managers become self publishers, they have to be confident and creative copywriters too. That’s so true Kirstie and I think a lot of Marketing Managers need to remember that actions speak louder than words.

    I had a few Christmas glasses of sherry at the weekend with a group of local businessmen and many of them still don’t understand the real benefits of concepts such as Blogging and Tweeting. Maybe the UK’s just slow at catching on?

    2011 year, as far as I can see, should be a banner year for Social Media.

    Thanks Pritesh.

    Reply
    • Saty Barole

      Peter, you have pointed out some of the generalized weaknesses or i can say the “Excuses” we all give, while going for some new tasks like blogging. I appreciate your post and the main points you have arise for the business owners are great. In the present scenario, if you want to be popular and to present yourself in the market then, social media should be the best platform you have.
      IHI engineering and construction

      Reply
  7. Sean Vandenberg

    This is a great article. All businesses should be blogging for all the reasons you mention. Why not show off your expertise while improving Web visibility?

    Reply
  8. Modibuilders

    Excellent blog post, i appreciate and completely agree with your ideas. Blogging is the best thing to promote a business, it can bring leads and visitors to our website as well.

    Reply
    • Kayley Bright

      Thanks for the feedback – glad you found the post useful! Exactly, it’s all about mapping out the basics to begin with including what exactly it is you’re trying to achieve, in order to ensure your time is being spent on content that makes the biggest impact.

      Reply
  9. LJB Recruit

    Blogging always good platform to share your knowledge, Ideas or any thing really benefits to others…

    Reply

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