When it comes to establishing a building products blog that works for your brand, strategy is everything. If you’re ready to create a blog that does some seriously heavy lifting, we’re ready to show you the elements you need in place to give your content marketing efforts the competitive edge.
What your building materials blog is — and what it isn’t
Let’s start with what it isn’t. Your building products blog is not simply a content repository. It’s not a placeholder for unfocused, unintelligent, and — dare we say it — outright boring information. Too many companies put entirely too much work into their blogs only to find that they get very little ROI from their efforts. Without a concrete strategy, logical progression, and an identifiable call-to-action, these companies are essentially producing content that offers no chance for response.
But, that’s not your blog. Yours will be backed by a solid content strategy. It will feature a diverse mix of rich information, presented in a variety of readable, watchable, and listenable mediums. Your content will be likeable, shareable, quotable, tweetable, and — most importantly — actionable. Your prospects will find value in everything you publish and they will keep coming back because you will use your content to position your company as a thought-leader in your industry.
An industry example of blogging done right
One company taking advantage of the building products industry space is Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens — designers and deliverers of the unique signature kitchen. The outdoor living company’s blog focuses on outdoor kitchen design ideas, material comparisons, tips and tricks, and even recipes. Danver blogs several times each month to drive traffic and generate potential business leads.
The Danver blog copies the bright, clean design of their main site, encouraging readability and visitor stickiness (the amount of time a reader stays on the site). Most of their blog post titles are enticingly clickable. And, each blog post features a singular, focused call-to-action that prompts the reader to seek out more information about the Danver solution.
8 steps to your new building products content strategy
Step #1: Six questions to define your blogging objectives
What you want to achieve with your building materials blog? Considering these questions can help you define that objective:
- Are you driving foot traffic to your business?
- Are you increasing sales or generating leads?
- Are you attracting prospects locally, nationally, or globally?
- Are you educating prospects about what you do or products you sell?
- Are you updating prospects on your latest business happenings?
- Are you building your brand?
Each piece of content can have two or three objectives, but any more in one could lose focus.
Step #2: Use research to know who your prospects are.
Knowing who your readers are makes all of the difference. Their motivations, fears, wants, and needs will help you create stirring building products content that drives them to take action.
- Talk with actual people in your prospect zone.
- Consider the social value groups of your prospects.
- Study the competitors in your industry.
- Browse user forums and Q&A sites.
- Read outside blogs and comment on them.
- Review the latest products in your industry.
- Attend conferences and conventions.
Step #3: Use Facebook Insights to better understand your prospect
Everyone is using Facebook, and you can use it to focus your content creation. Facebook Insights is located in your Admin menu and is a powerful tool to track user interaction on your company page.
Here you can discover:
- Post virility
- Talking about
And, the best part is that you can download this critical data to an Excel spreadsheet for manipulation and review.
Step #4: Establish a content calendar to guide your progress
Creating a content calendar empowers you to establish a vision of your strategic content going forward. It avoids piecemeal blogging and ensure that you hit important milestones without repeating content.
Here’s what you should include in your editorial calendar:
- Date of publication
- Channel of publication (Social media, blog, etc.)
- Content focus
- Target audience
- Target event
- Special holiday or season
- Hot trends in your industry
- Who is creating
- Steps needed
- Ad budget
Expect your content calendar to change every month or year. That’s how you know you’re focusing on the exciting trends in the building materials industry.
Step #5: Create meaningful content by asking yourself these questions
We’re talking about delivering technical and detailed building materials information that motivates your prospects to action. If it’s not shareable, clickable, linkable, likeable, or action-oriented, then it’s not worth doing.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this piece of content original and interesting?
- Does it provide practical advice or relevant research?
- Is the information insightful beyond the obvious?
- Would you take action from this piece?
- Is your article free of obvious ads or promotions?
- Would a reputable magazine or journal print your article?
- Is your article the right length for it’s topic focus?
Step #6: Include meaningful, high-definition images
Images are the number one type of shared media on the Internet. Particularly in the building materials industry, images provide context, aesthetic value, and balance to word-heavy blog posts.
This is when you want to get your graphics department involved in your content creation strategy. Don’t have a graphic department? Outsource the job to an experienced company.
Images should be high-definition and formatted to fit the medium you’re using.
Step #7: Consistent content drives traffic and encourages re-visits
The proof is in the numbers. Bloggers who publish daily get several times more traffic than those who blog weekly or monthly. Prospects trust building materials companies that have something to say every single day.
To establish your company as a thought-leader and ensure that you have plenty to say to your prospects, consider the following types of blog content:
- Single blog posts
- Blog post series
- Video posts
- Product reviews
- Trend updates
- Your company in the news
Step #8: Continually audit your content
Auditing doesn’t just apply to accounting. You should be reviewing the results of your building products posts to gauge effectiveness and reach. Repeat what is working, and delete what isn’t.
This is another area where Excel spreadsheets can work wonders. Include columns for shares, likes, re-posts, retweets, and comments. These are areas where content popularity can be closely examined and honestly graded.
Content is a living, breathing part of building materials marketing
Your building products blog is a not a ‘set it and forget it’ machine. It requires daily attention and assessment to return the type of ROI required to make it profitable.
And, don’t try to go it alone. Create a content team within your organization that shares responsibility for your marketing success. More eyes on your content means a better product and an even better return.
Kleber & Associates can give your content marketing strategy the power you need to drive more clicks, more leads, and more sales. Contact us today for a personal presentation of how we can create a blogging machine with real ROI that builds your brand — saving your business both time and money in the process.
Kleber & Associates (K&A) is an Atlanta-based marketing and communications firm that focuses exclusively on building materials manufacturers and building products. Our integrated marketing spirit specializes in brand development for clients in the home and commercial building products marketplace. For more information on our capabilities, please call +1-770-518-1000 or visit http://kleberandassociates.com/contact/.