It’s been five years since we first wrote a post discussing the importance of content marketing for construction companies.
According to our Google Analytics, that post is always within our top ten performing articles on our blog. By top-performing I mean it gets plenty of regular qualified traffic which converts into a download of our ‘Content Marketing for construction marketers eBook’.
So it’s fair to say that an interest in ‘Content Marketing’ has exploded – across all industries.
It’s almost caught up with Social Media Marketing in terms of ‘search term’ popularity across the UK, as shown in the Google Trends graph below.
This growing interest has led to an increase in the momentum of content creation throughout B2B marketing. According to CMI, 80% of B2B marketers now have a content strategy in place.
This post aims to provide a refresher from our last post, albeit the majority of the advice given in that post still holds true.
And the best place to start with any marketing approach is to ask the question “Why?”
Why do I need a Content Marketing Strategy?
As the roles of marketer and publisher have begun to merge, finding new ways to connect with your target audience and optimizing the entire marketing process has become more achievable. However this flexibility to connect in a multitude of ways, through a range of channels and media, has meant that marketing now relies heavily on good quality content. Without a strategy in place, you’ll be wasting hours of valuable time writing for no particular purpose.
How do I go about Creating a Successful Content Marketing Strategy?
First things first, consider these five main questions:
- What do you want to achieve?
- What type of content is best to meet your objectives?
- What resource do you have for content production?
- How do you make the most of your content?
- How do you measure success?
Although these are all blogs in their own right, this post will help you to hit the ground running with the first three; sign up to our blog area for further detailed guidance on other content-related considerations.
So let’s break the first three questions down…
1. What do you want to achieve?
The main drivers for implementing content into a marketing strategy for building product manufacturers are:
– Improve search performance
Content marketing should always take into account search rankings; where are you currently ranking for your core keywords and where do you need to be? For example, a longtail search term relevant to your construction business may be ‘timber decking for bridges and boardwalks’, or ‘thermal breaks for rooflights’. You would need your content to appear on the first page of Google results in order to stand a chance of them clicking through to your website for the answer. Therefore, creating content to support specific keywords or phrases, relevant to product specification, will help rank your website in search and achieve higher click-through rates than your competitors.
– Drive traffic to your website
As we explored in our post ‘How to Measure the Value of Blog Content’, we looked at just one area that an effective content marketing strategy supports – traffic to your website. While it takes a while to build, good quality content with those all-important keywords is the most effective and sustainable way to drive large amounts of traffic to your website. What is more, high quality content will ensure that traffic generated to your construction website is relevant and in keeping with your target audience, which will effectively go on to support the lead generation process.
– Demonstrate technical competence/thought leadership
Producing strong content on technical issues such as specification considerations and building regulations, or topical posts on recent construction events, will demonstrate that you are technical experts without having to say, like every other building product manufacturer, that you are the technical expert. Let the quality and technicality of your work speak for you and your business.
– Create high value downloads to support specification
White papers, E-books, specification clauses and CAD drawings are all invaluable resources to architects, while installation guides and ‘how to guides’ provide excellent resources for contractors. Despite these longer, high value downloads taking more effort to produce, the rewards are immeasurable. Well, actually they’re very measurable as our Whitepaper E-book explains.
– PR and Product directories
Supplying informative content and case studies to directory listings will help to strengthen both your online and offline presence, and effectively boost brand awareness. It can also be used as an opportunity to voice your technical competence and thought leadership. Creating good quality content not only for your website but also for media coverage and press relations is the all-important ‘next step’ to getting your voice heard within the construction industry.
– Provide newsletter content
Slightly concerning but very common is the business requirement to send a newsletter without knowing what it is you want to send out. A good content strategy with a mix of informative technical blog posts, case studies and topical news items will provide a newsletter capable of delivering content with substance, and avoid any messages being sent straight to their spam box.
Regardless of what is of most importance to your construction business, converting prospects to quality leads will come by implementing a mixture of the above into your content strategy.
2. What type of content is best to meet your objectives?
The type of content you create will depend upon the objectives aligned by your marketing team, as highlighted above.
What are your end goals and what is of most importance to your construction business?
In order to keep it simple, regardless of the type of product, here is a table that will allow you to pick and choose the type of content that works best. As you can see, many of the types overlap or can be used to achieve multiple objectives.
From our own experience, and as explained previously, the best results come from merging a range of content into a defined strategy.
3. What resource do you have for content production?
This is much harder than it sounds. Without deadlines and accountability it’s easy for content production to slip to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.
Remember that not all the content needs to come from just one person; use existing resource in house and technical resource to bring together content. Applying one another’s individual strengths to the overall content creation process will really help to transform and enhance the quality of content produced.
Use our guide to structuring a marketing team to work out how to best organise your content team.
Elements to consider here include who will be writing what content and how often? For this process it’s crucial to use a content calendar in order to define such roles and stop deadlines from slipping.
And most of all, be realistic. Work best with the resource you have available to produce quality work that is always one step ahead of your competitors.
Implementing a carefully planned and customer-focused content strategy will give you the basis to support and drive your construction business to success.
Or, to read further considerations regarding content marketing strategies, sign up to our blog.