Content Marketing is the idea that any company can act like a publisher or media company, and market their business by publishing articles, video, audio or other content that offers true value to the customer without being a pushy sales message.
Marketing in this way aims to create customers that know, like and trust your company. The benefit this brings is that it can be easier to convert prospects to customers in the first place, they will remain customers for longer, and will spend more with you.
Content Marketing isn’t a new concept – a podcast called ‘This Old Marketing‘ seeks to prove this. The show hosts, Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose, are long-time publishers and marketers that are passionate about how better quality content can create better customers.
Is Content Marketing a buzzword?
The show’s eponymous ‘This Old Marketing’ segment looks at ways that quality content, have been used for decades, in some cases hundreds of years. Examples like in-house magazines can create value for customers and consequently the businesses publishing them.
In one recent show, their This Old Marketing example is an article published in a journal called Office Appliances – The Magazine of Office Equipment, in 1916.
The article, House Organs Lower Distribution Costs, covers a keynote speech by Robert Ramsay, advertising manager at Art Metal Construction Company from a conference called The Associated Advertising Club of the World in St Louis in 1916.
The ‘house organs’ mentioned are in-house and external magazines that were used to build an audience in a way that were not about pushy advertising but were about a business acting as a publisher that delivers useful, valuable content to your customers.
Back then, it was considered just as difficult to prove the value of this type of marketing –
There was lots of data, but no proof.
However, Mr Ramsay had spent one year interviewing 72 different editors of in-house magazines and went on to explain 19 ways that the content marketing can provide value for a business, including 4 mentioned in the podcast:
- Direct results – you can check the results by including a return card
- Creating good will and confidence with our customers (SW Strauss & Co)
- Saving salesmen’s time by paving the way for new products (Johnson & Johnson)
- Clinching salesmen’s arguments (Marshall Wells Hardware)
How can Content Marketing be used in the construction industry?
What does this mean in real terms for the construction industry? I have listed a few quick suggestions for different areas of the construction industry below, and hope to cover some specific examples in future blog posts.
Content Marketing for construction product manufacturers
- Compare and contrast the benefits of your type of product with others
- Be open about the options and factors that affect the cost of the product
- Address head-on the potential problems of specifying or installing the product
Content Marketing for Property companies
- Opinion pieces on the state of different segments of the market
- Predictions on where opportunity lies in the future
- Assess the benefits and drawbacks of different ways of financing a project
Content Marketing for main contractors
- Analysis: how can building new assets reduce maintenance costs for a local council?
- Cost: surface some of the common design / construction implications that could mean the difference between a £5m build and a £10m build.
Content Marketing for interior design consultants
- Space planning: share ideas on how a homeowner can make the most of limited floor area
- Share your knowledge and suggest pallettes of colour to match furniture or furnishing styles
- How colour theory can improve profitability in retail and hospitality interiors
Content Marketing for landscape design consulants
- How quality play areas benefit the health and well being of children
- Why high quality public realm can increase footfall in town retail centres
- How planting and external garden areas can benefit