The key to connecting with potential clients online in any business is the use of content marketing. What is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute provides this definition: Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
The key here is to make the content “valuable and relevant.” Otherwise the definition would apply to any kind of marketing or ads. Good content marketing provides information that people will seek out.
So content marketing should provide information that your customers need. But why do you need content marketing? Because it has three very beneficial effects:
- Increased sales
- Lower cost
- More loyal customers
Here are some tips to help you maximize those benefits for your business.
1. Take advantage of different formats
Content marketing comes in a variety of forms. Forbes lists these examples:
These images present statistics, charts, graphs, and other information in an easy-to-read format. If you need some examples, here are 197 infographics on the topic of content marketing.
Make the most of your site by considering search engine optimization, which helps you boost its ranking on sites like Google. Take a look at The Beginner’s Guide to SEO from Moz.
Change up your online content with some audio. It makes you visible on an additional platform, iTunes. Podcasts can be a very inexpensive way to add some snap to your online content.
Your business can have its own YouTube channel. Videos are a tremendously effective way to promote new projects.
2. Write a Blog
Unless you’re blogging, you’re not maximizing your marketing reach. It’s an extremely cost-effective way to connect with a wide audience and generate valuable leads.
According to a 2016 report, B2B marketers who blog receive 67% more leads than those who don’t, and marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
A well-written blog is the quickest way to establish your credibility as a reliable expert in your industry. If this is uncharted territory, there are plenty of resources available to get you started, like this free planner from HubSpot.
Different types of blog posts lead to different results. Denamico identifies several that are especially appropriate for builders and contractors.
These are generally 500-750 words in length and they make up the bulk of most blogs. Tactica posts provide steps or insights to achieve a specific end-goal. This post is a tactical blog. A homebuilder’s post might include “What to Look for in a Custom Home Builder” or “How to Lower Energy Costs in Your New Home.”
These are longer posts, and they include outside information such as data on industry trends, new products or construction techniques. These take more time to research, but can be very effective.
These posts are fairly easy to produce, and very shareable on social media. They usually drive short-term traffic, but you can update them periodically to get more mileage. Examples might include a Checklist for First-Time Home Buyers or Five Easy Ways to Update your Bathroom.
This type of post can be used to highlight other leaders in the industry or your community. An interview with an expert on sustainable building might be a great topic for an influencer post.
This type of post offers your considered opinion on things that matter to you: trends, legislature, new materials and construction techniques, and consumer demands. They may generate some great discussion.
This type of post can be about anything that occurs to you. Write about upcoming events in your company or community. Talk about a positive customer encounter or an exciting new project. Consider Ad hoc posts as a journal that shares your company’s story.
3. Stick to relevant topics
Cement your place as an expert in your field by covering it in your posts. Explore a range of topics that will be of interest to your target audience. If you’re low on inspiration, consult an online resource for topic ideas. They can be categorized into different stages according to where the target audience is in the prospecting process: awareness, consideration, decision, or delight.
4. Make it fun to read/watch
HubSpot provides some great tips for making content more engaging and interactive. The key is to elicit a response, or make the reader want to share the post with someone. Online sharing really unleashes the possibilities of content marketing. Here are just a few of their ideas:
- New home photo albums
- Captioning contests
- Ask questions
- Share company and staff events, awards, and accomplishments
- Seasonal tips –home maintenance, etc.
- Property updates
- Local area info
- Property tours
- Floor plans
- Link to other blogs/content
5. Take advantage of available services
You may be feeling a little weary just reading about all of the work that goes into effective content marketing, and it is certainly easy to get overwhelmed. There are only so many hours in the day, so how much can you realistically dedicate to generating content?
If your schedule doesn’t allow for hours of writing, our Done-For-You Newsletter may be the ideal solution. We create the valuable and relevant content your homeowners are looking to read, brand it with your logo and contact information, and automatically send it to your client list each month, so you can stay on the radar and provide useful information without neglecting your other tasks. Let us help you grow your business!