6 Steps to Kick Start Your Building Product Content Marketing

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Smart building product marketers understand that rather than using outdated methods of outbound marketing, content marketing builds trust with and attracts buyers. 

Buyers have virtually shut off the traditional world of marketing and chosen messaging that makes them stop, think and behave differently. And with content marketing now a cornerstone of inbound marketing efforts in building product marketing, what do you need to get started? A carefully planned strategy and well-coordinated implementation.

In content efforts we manage for clients, we’ve discovered six steps that will kick your content plan into high gear.

Define your audience. If your plan is to talk to everyone, think again. That net is much too wide. Who is your target audience? Defining it is a key first step to take before one piece of content is created.

Build personas. This task is fairly simple. Identify the attributes needed for someone to be your buyer. The goal is to describe who you will attempt to write for or who might already be reading your content. This exercise will help personalize your writing, identify ways to connect with your buyer and create more practical content with their needs in mind.

Determine digital footprint. How will you distribute your building product content? Even before you create it, decide where it will be hosted and published. A website or microsite is one of the more common platforms because your content can be disseminated through a blog, webinars, photo gallery, videos, podcasts, Tweet Chats, etc. Let social media play the role of distributor, as it can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your buyers.

Do your homework on keywords. Knowing what words users type when they are searching for building product information is of the utmost importance. Do the research and choose words with the highest number of monthly searches and the lowest competition.

Think like a building product publisher. Publishers use editorial calendars to monitor dates, track specifics of content ideas and keep content consistent and relevant. These tools also allow you to see connections within your content and identify ways to repurpose it.

Report, analyze and adjust. One of inbound marketing’s biggest benefits is the ability to track and measure the progress you are making to see what is and isn’t working. Then you can adapt to optimize results.

Photo credit: Flickr

How to Adapt Building Product Marketing in the Age of the Customer

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Why consumers control the sales process and how to engage them.

A new demographic has emerged that is changing the role of marketing in the sales process

Generation C is the demographic that is defined by the Age of the Customer.  Gen C is a psychographic that’s represented by a broad age group. It’s more about behaviors –  creation, curation, connection and community.

Todays consumer is a curator who self-educates

The new Generation C buyer is a researcher.  When a need is defined, he researches and engages in a discovery process before picking a company to work with or a specific product to purchase. By doing so, he pre-qualifies the sale before committing to the sales process. As marketers, we’ve got to be one step ahead and have plenty of relevant content populated in all the right places to reach the new Generation C buyer.  According to Harvard Business Review, buyers move through 60% of the traditional sales process before engaging with a real live person about buying options.  

Provide relevant content

In the technology era, Gen C buyers are looking for relevant content where they want it, on demand.  Anticipating what buyers want, answering their need and personalizing content will engage buyers and accelerate the buying process.  Building Product manufacturers need to access and use high quality, richly populated data (Big Data) to determine what content individual buyers are looking for.

Connecting with buyers

If a buyer purchased a new construction home and was shortly after moving in is targeted by a window manufacturer, flooring provider, door manufacturer, he would immediately feel disconnected.  To him, it’s obvious that the marketing can’t be specific to his needs.  Why would anyone with who just purchased a new construction home need new windows, flooring or doors?  His are brand new.

A better marketing connection might come from a manufacturer of an added-value product that would extend beyond a typical builders grade product. A high-tech security system, a swimming pool, garden structures, additional storage buildings, etc.  Utilizing big data to guide a truly targeted marketing builds strong buyer connections. It’s about marketing the right products at the right time, to the right person and for the right reason.

Foster a sense of community

Gen C wants a sense of belonging, to feel they are a part of something.  They’re motivated by peer-to-peer connections.  When they’re buying building products they look to industry peers, friends and like type buyers for their opinion.  If someone like him, with similar buying needs, bought a product and liked it then the buyer assumes that he too will be happy with that product.

Gen C buyers are creators

If you do a good job of meeting a buyers curation, connection and community needs you may be lucky enough to get the added P.R. benefit of the Gen C creation behavior.  Gen C buyers are tech savvy, they capture moments, share experiences and tell stories through their posts.  They post smart phone pics to Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.  They shoot, post and share videos to YouTube, Vine, etc.  When this happens you’ve won.  You’re buyer has become your advocate and engages others on your behalf.