Globally, the building materials market is expected to grow at 4.76% (CAGR) between 2020 and 2027. Even though the market is segmented by type, end user, and region, every building materials website shares a core need: Content marketing.
If you have yet to explore content marketing in-depth, this guide will walk you through the benefits and implementation process as it applies specifically to the building materials industry.
Why is Content Marketing Important for Your Building Materials Website?
As a concept, content marketing dates back to before the days of the internet, but it has never been more relevant when placed in the context of digital marketing. With so much competition out there, simply ranking for common keywords in your local market can feel impossible. Even when you do, getting a reader to click, engage, and act are battles unto themselves.
Content marketing, when based on a well-researched strategy, will help your building materials brand improve its SEO game, engage readers in your content, and naturally drive leads from one stage of the funnel to the next, basically putting conversions on autopilot. If that all sounds too good to be true, don't think for a second that content marketing doesn't require a ton of research and effort -- but it's work that will pay off time and time again.
To make content marketing work for your brand, you need to strike a balance between two types of content:
- SEO content: This is content that targets long-tail keywords and other search terms you know your audience is looking for. Not only are you providing them with content they are directly seeking out, but you're helping your website compete in the search engines to increase organic traffic.
- Attraction content: This is content that isn't necessarily tied to high search volume keywords, but it's content that your audience wants or needs to see, nonetheless. This may include social media posts or articles that give insight into your brand, helping to build trust and transparency into customer relationships.
At first glance, breaking content marketing down to just these two types of content may make it seem like an extremely simple tactic to implement. In reality, "attraction" content could cover a dozen categories in and of itself, and you have to remember that content marketing isn't restricted to blog posts. Rather, it represents all of the content your brand shares and publishes, whether it's on your website, through email, or in non-written forms like video.
So, how can content marketing actually help you grow your building materials website? If it so far seems like a complex approach, a quick look at the numbers will convince you of its worth.
Benefits of Content Marketing for Your Building Materials Website
According to HubSpot, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. Across industries, this marketing method is used to nurture leads, drive conversions, and breed loyalty amongst customers, so how can it help you as a building materials website? While often emphasized in the B2C space, content marketing can play an even bigger role for B2B sites like your own.
It's no longer about having the best prices or offering "service with a smile." Today's customers expect a lot. While their budget will certainly be a deciding factor, brands also want to partner with companies and suppliers who share in their values because it helps them in their own marketing efforts.
As a building materials website, you have to consider what makes your brand unique. There are hundreds of places to buy lumber or cement, for instance, so why should a customer choose you? Is it your dependable delivery? Your incredible satisfaction guarantees? The fact that you're family-owned for generations?
Whatever makes your brand unique, content marketing will help you showcase it, and not in a manner that sounds like you're bragging, either. Content marketing will help your brand put its values front-and-center in an authentic, genuine manner to help you make real connections with customers that go beyond quotes and invoices.
When many website owners first approach SEO, they're disheartened when they realize that it takes a great deal of time to get a piece of content to rank. However, as you most quality content more often, you'll begin to notice a snowball effect -- as one piece of content gains traction, other content will too, as Google signs increasing domain authority (DA) and rankings to your website for providing insightful, useful content to readers.
With that said, although search algorithms remain confusing even to the developers who helped create them, the ultimate purpose of every search algorithm is to bring the most valuable and relevant content to the top of the search results. That means any "small player" can compete with the big names, as long as they're offering the content that readers want and need. Your content strategy will help you do just that.
Once you dive into content marketing, you'll realize that it goes hand-in-hand with your SEO strategy. In fact, as long as you're addressing on-page SEO strategies (like page load speed and navigation), you'll find that your content strategy gives you your SEO strategy and builds upon it from there, greatly simplifying your approach to marketing.
With commitment to your content strategy, you'll begin to see your website's rankings increase over time and that will increase organic traffic, too.
Remember, the ultimate goal of content marketing is to give your readers the content they need and want to consume, thereby positioning your brand as a trusted thought leader. However, the benefits go deeper than that. When you take the time to understand your audience and strategize your content in advance, suddenly the opportunity arises to connect content together and build content that flows through your funnel.
By understanding the customer journey, your brand can produce content that helps nurture leads from the stage of awareness, through consideration, all the way to their decision, where they (hopefully) reach out to your brand to schedule a call, get a quote, or submit an order.
The ability for your content to nurture leads for you sounds incredible, but it's completely attainable if you base your strategy on research, track the right metrics, and create content that connects to itself through internal links, calls-to-action, and overriding ideas.
In the building materials industry, specifically, most customers you work with represent an opportunity for on-going business, whether they're retailers, construction firms, or another entity. Of course, no customer is required to come back, so how do you convince them that you're the right choice over your competitors, even if you aren't the cheapest one around?
BContent marketing can help your brand build loyalty amongst clients by creating a memorable, transparent, authoritative image that they come to know and trust. Think of the various brands in the construction niche, for example, who have become the "go to" just for aligning themselves with the idea of dependable service, good quality, or accessibility?
As a building materials website, you also need to focus on your brand image to ensure that your customers create a strong association between your brand and the unique aspects that set your company a step above the rest -- whether that's your inherent values, charitable contributions, over-the-top service, or unquestionable quality.
By building loyalty, you'll not only keep old customers coming back, but you'll convince new customers that they want to sign-on for the long-term, too. Plus, you'll get more word-of-mouth advertising for your brand.
What Do Building Materials Readers Want in Your Content?
The core of a content marketing strategy is giving readers what they want. The tough question is: What exactly do your readers want? To help guide the creation of your content strategy, you'll need to start with detailed research.
You might think that you have a good idea of who your audience is. For instance, you might primarily serve retailers who act as the middleman between you and the end users of your products. However, you need to know a lot more than generalizations like that.
When the decisionmaker for a given retailer is deciding who to get their building materials from, for example, how long does that process take? On what platforms do they seek out information? What pain points do they face in their journey? How do they want to reach out to you for a quote or order?
New brands, in particular, may struggle to answer these questions simply because they don't know where or how to find the answers. If you're a long-established company with the right tracking tools in place, you can always look back at past transactions to help ascertain some of this information. In either case, you should supplement what you know with other research and tools so you can gain the most up-to-date and accurate understanding of who your customers are.
Your top-performing competitors are doing well for a reason, and examining their strategies and approaches can give you a head start with your own plan. With that said, you should never copy another company's approach. Instead, you need to find ways to make it your own so you can stand apart from the rest.
When looking at a competitor, consider using tools like Google Analytics to see the long-tail keywords they're targeting each term's search volume. You can also use tools to identify "keyword gaps," which showcase growing keywords in your niche that a particular competitor isn't yet targeting, giving you the opportunity to rank for them more easily.
Beyond keywords, consider the writing style your competitors employ, think about the platforms they're on, see how various types of content performs (videos, podcasts, blog articles, etc.), and check their engagement rates on social media. Use what's already been done by others as a starting guide to help you focus on the tactics that are most likely to get you a high ROI right out of the gate, and then experiment and expand later on.
The third step in figuring out what your audience wants out of your content strategy requires a bit of trial and error. Fortunately, with modern tools, running split tests and campaigns so you can compare results for A vs. B makes it easier and faster than ever to figure out what will work for your brand.
For instance, you can apply split tests to your landing pages, sending half of your traffic to one version and the other half to a second version, allowing you to see which one sees a higher time on page, a higher click-through rate, and/or a higher return visitor rate. From there, you can begin to dial in on the wording you should use for calls-to-action along with the writing style, information, and even fonts that your audience responds to the best.
Ultimately, tracking metrics for everything you do will play a critical role in measuring the success of your content marketing approach and making it better as time goes on so you can see improved results as you grow.
How to Create an Effective Building Materials Content Strategy
Now that you know what goes into a content marketing strategy, it's time to follow the steps to actually put it together.
Before you write another word of content, creating a brand book that details your brand guidelines will help you stand out from competitors and be consistent in the content you offer your audience.
Your brand book should detail who your brand is, who your audience is, how you want to make your audience feel, what your audience is looking for, and the writing style you should use to connect with them.
Not only will laying out your brand guidelines help you, but it will also make for an easy asset that you can provide writers, marketers, and representatives to ensure everyone who speaks on behalf of your company is saying the same thing.
The resources you have to devote to content marketing will play a big role in determining where and how often you publish content, but even with a big budget, it's a good idea to start small. When picking your platforms, think back to where your audience interacts with businesses the most and where your competitors are finding success.
You can always branch out later as your resources show that they can handle the capacity, but it's best to start with your website and maybe 2-3 other platforms. If you're interested in creating more than just written content, such as photos or videos, you should scale back your platforms to an even smaller list, unless you can repurpose content across multiple platforms for a wider reach.
Perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of content marketing is the content calendar itself, which is where your content strategy really comes together. A content calendar is just what it sounds: It's a January through December calendar that lays out all of the content you plan to publish throughout the year.
When first starting out, don't worry about specific topics or keywords. Instead, just come up with a posting schedule so you can specify how often and on which days you plan to publish various types of content to your different platforms. Having this content calendar will show you where content overlaps and where there are gaps.
As you fill ideas into your content slots, be sure to connect themes and topics accordingly, whether you're connecting your weekly video to your email newsletter to drive cross-traffic or creating a series of posts during the height of construction season that matches the seasonal flow of things. Also, consider fluctuations from different times of the year, holidays, and other implications when looking at your posting schedule.
With all of that in place, the very last step is to start implementing your content strategy and seeing real-world results.
Looking for Premium Building Materials Writers?
Creating a content marketing strategy can feel like an overwhelming amount of research, but it's time well-spent. Of course, coming up with content ideas is one thing -- finding time to produce all of that content, while sticking with your brand's image, values, and quality, is a whole other ordeal. That's why Scripted connects building materials websites like yours with the best writers in the industry.
Ready to get started with your content marketing plan? Browse our building materials writers today and see how Scripted's membership options can get you set up with the project management and content planning tools you need to be successful.