If you’re waiting for potential customers to call your company or visit your website, it may be too late. They could have already gone with another contractor who they trust is an expert in the construction service they are looking for. It doesn’t matter if you’re a plumber or an electrician, build billion dollar facilities or do small remodels—if you’re not talking about your expertise, you could be losing out on new business.
Content marketing is good way to get the word out.
While some construction companies are embracing content marketing, many more don’t know much about it. “Content is arguably the hottest topic in marketing, with the construction industry lagging others,” says Neil M. Brown, chairman of the Construction Marketing Association.
The premise for content
Content marketing is not about directly selling your services. It’s about providing useful insight and information that builds awareness of your business and establishes you as an expert in your brand of construction. This is especially helpful if you want to get more negotiated work. Another benefit is how good content positions your company to job applicants who want to be associated with companies at the forefront of their industry.
The first step in content marketing is to identify what is unique about the construction services you offer. Are you one of the few companies that address a specific niche? Do you use technology in ways that significantly improve project delivery? Are you qualified to give advice that prospective customers can use in their own businesses or lives? Then:
- Tell your story. Share your opinion and provide helpful information, especially if can’t be found anywhere else. If you have an innovative process that significantly improves safety on the job site, design an infographic to illustrate it. If you offer in-house design services to new home buyers, write a design-tip-of-the-month blog post. The key is making sure the content you provide engages your target reader and is informative.
- Include your human side. One of my favorite content pieces was a blog written by a construction engineer. He wrote about his inspiring trip to South America to aid local villages. Oh, and by the way, in reading this wonderfully engaging article, I also learned a lot about the engineer’s expertise—and was left with a great impression of the construction company he worked for.
- Publish your content. Once you’ve decided on the type of content you’d like share, the next step is to determine where you want to publish it. A good place obviously is on your own website. A popular way to do this is to create a blog page on your site. Before going down the blog path, however, make sure you can stick to a regular schedule of posts – at least once a month. If that seems like too much work, you can still create a special page to showcase other content such as tip sheets, how-to guides, videos, insider articles, infographics and more.
- Promote it. The best blog post or video won’t do you much good if no one sees it. Let people know about your content through the newsletters and emails you send to former, current, and future customers. Include links to your content on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Share your content page URL in email signatures, business cards, and presentations.
While still a fairly new concept in construction, content marketing is already successfully being used by many contractors. You can take advantage of it too with a little planning and a long-term step-by-step plan.
For other ideas about marketing and business development topics, visit our Win Work webpage.
About the Author
Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.