In today’s competitive building products marketplace, contractors and builders don’t want to be sold to, they want custom content that resonates with their beliefS – and their brands. According to Entrepreneur, 7 in 10 buyers prefer to learn about a company through articles and other digital content. And with more than 40 percent of those buyers in the millennial age bracket, old-school communication methods simply don’t produce the results or the ROI you need to get the word out.
It’s taken some time, but the building products industry has slowly started to make the shift. Where manufacturers used to rely solely on print marketing to reach their customers, they now turn to digital marketing—and more specifically to content marketing—to make those critical connections.
Here are a few tips to keep the ball rolling in your own content marketing campaign:
1. Solve a problem
If you want to create meaningful connections with your builders, consider getting rid of the sales pitch altogether—at least in the beginning of the conversation. Instead of trying to tell your audience how great your product is, focus on showing them how it’s used and more importantly, how it can solve their problem.
Remember, while YOU are invested in your business, your audience is invested in solving its problems. So, if you’re talking about your product or service, you should be spreading the word about how your solution can help address issues and ease pain points.
2. Use pictures
When explaining a complicated process or product application, focus on making sure the content is digestible, has proper flow, and is easy to share. Infographics help explain highly technical material, and pictures make content more appealing and shareable—especially on social media.
3. Make a video
According to Forbes, video marketing is the “future of content marketing.” Videos break up the monotony when it comes to learning about a product or service. In the building products industry, the video demonstration of a complicated application or technique holds high value in helping people understand how a product works—and more importantly, how it can help them do their jobs better and with less stress.
Video is also an excellent shareable type of content that can become viral if it is particularly useful to its audience. Hubspot research shows that video is expected to attract more than 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019, and simply posting a video on your landing page can increase your conversion rate by 80 percent.
Want more bang for your buck? Including video in your email campaign can boost click-through rates to 300 percent.
4. Help them help you
Sometimes, it’s better to lay off the promotion of your own product or services and simply talk shop with your audience. Offering a good balance of promotional, informational, and engagement-type content will help keep potential customers engaged and following your brand.
When you share content that is not only relevant to your audience but also helpful to their own businesses, you’re leveraging empathy—a powerful emotion that helps build brand trust and loyalty for the long haul.
5. Open up the conversation
Create content that fosters connections and dialogue within your business community. Focus beyond simply getting a “share” on social media and aim to establish a conversation between customers and other businesses. Polls are a good way to start, especially if you take the time to communicate and interpret the outcome in a blog post after the results are in.
Simply sharing and posting open questions on trending industry topics and newsworthy events can generate a huge buzz that gets your business noticed and keeps the conversation going. The key is to create enduring engagement around your brand that positions you as a thought leader in your industry, identify problems that need solving, and then position your product or service as the best solution.
An effective content strategy is a marathon, not a sprint. The process takes interpretation, analysis, and optimization to produce results.