To find the best ways to build and engage your audience that actually help grow sales, Zach and Beth give step-by-step actions specific to the building materials industry.
More About This Show
The Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales, and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insight on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.
In this episode, Zach and Beth explain the best way to create content that actually interests your target audience, where to post that content, and how to actually measure your brand’s awareness growth.
Keep reading for an in-depth summary of this podcast episode.
There isn’t a single building material manufacturer we talk with who doesn’t want to grow awareness.
No matter the size of your building materials company or the type of product you sell, it’s a never ending endeavor to not only grow your brand awareness, but also measure your success.
It isn’t just about getting your name and logo out there in front of people and repeating it over and over again.
Doing this might make people aware that your company exists, but this type of superficial marketing doesn’t create any lasting value.
Awareness that leads to action is built by creating connections. We often recommend you do this by focusing on solving problems rather than pushing your brand or product.
Building your awareness around a solution-based approach is not only going to get your audience’s attention but also positions you to grow leads and sales when your audience is ready to take the next step.
The shift in technology and the marketplace has opened up the ability for manufacturers to get smarter with their efforts to grow awareness and actually track their success.
We’re going to break down for you the four simple steps to growing awareness and how you can measure your progress.
Step 1: Identify Your Audience’s Interests
When looking at the best way to grow your audience’s awareness, there’s one important thing to realize: they’re not interested in you.
At Venveo we say this a lot, but it’s true.
Your audience is not interested in you. They are interested in solving their own problems. The good news is that it is easier than ever to figure out what this means for your audience.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks are gathering information on everything users are interested in so that marketers like you can target the right demographic profile to grow your brand awareness with them.
So, for example, if you want to go after architects who are interested in green products or contractors selling high end decks, you can now get your information in front of them on social media and other online channels.
Why should you target your leads based on their interests? It works because it allows you to turn them into individuals who can buy from you because you've already built up demand and rapport around what they need.
To get started, identify all the different interests your audience might have, even outside your product. Here are some ideas to jump off from:
- Publications they read
- Influencers they follow
- Job title
Once you’ve written all this down, you can identify what type of content asset they’ll be interested in. Use your information to find a common denominator for both topics and mediums, such as blog post or video.
Step 2: Create an Asset or Piece of Content
Once you’ve identified your target audience based on their interests you can create a piece of content, or asset, to use as the main promotion for driving awareness.
Assets include things like a blog post, case study, video, sales page, product detail page, or tool.
The type of asset you create for your awareness campaign should be based on the resources your audience is already interested in.
You can’t just show an ad for your brand, you have to focus on the problems your audience deals with on a daily basis. So you need to address those issues with your content, rather than focusing solely on your product features.
Ultimately, your goal is to establish your building materials company as someone who is focused on helping them.
Benjamin Moore is a great example of a company in the industry that’s doing this extremely well.
Like every other major paint company, Benjamin Moore annually runs a a color of the year campaign.
But rather than just making a simple announcement, the company does a incredible job of building brand awareness for their color of the year by creating useful tools for their audience, including an article and visualization tool that both live on their website.
Homeowners and designers can see how the paint color looks in a variety of spaces and applications, like interior walls, exterior siding, and accent furniture. There’s even a dramatic YouTube video.
All of these assets from Benjamin Moore do three things here: they inspire, educate, and inform.
That’s what your company needs to do when building awareness with leads at the top of the funnel. You want to help them as much as possible.
Even though every paint company releases a color of the year, Benjamin Moore is doing it best. So if there’s something your competitors are doing well, think of how you can do something similar while making that touchpoint more complete and usable for your audience.
Step 3: Choose the Right Channel to Drive Awareness
Growing awareness for your building materials company isn’t just about doing well in one area online.
You’ve got to be present in the areas that your audience exists. Having a strong presence on search engines (ie, Google) is a must but also consider where your audience is on social media and other websites.
Figure out where your audience lives online and focus on those areas.
If you look at Benjamin Moore again you’ll see a really well thought out strategy.
First, they targeted people interested in interior design, style, and their paints. Then they published about the color of the year on Facebook and Pinterest with both paid and unpaid posts. Here’s one of their pins from Pinterest:
When someone clicks on the post, they’re taken to a well designed web page that has tools and information surrounding the color of the year.
To gain the most traction in your own awareness campaign, be sure to choose the right channel, whether it’s through Google, email, or social media. Typically, it’s going to be a combination of all three to get the best results.
Step 4: Tell Your Audience What to do Next
The biggest mistake manufacturers make with growing awareness is that they fail to tell people what action they should take next.
You can’t create good content, drive traffic to your website, and expect that to be enough to improve your lead-gen.
You need to tell those visitors what to do by anticipating the next logical step in their buyer journey and helping them get there.
The key is to create a conversion point that’s similar to where the person is in the buyer journey.
What are they looking for? What do they need to help them accomplish their goal?
It doesn’t have to be a purchase; instead, it should logically reflect the content you’re providing and where they are at the moment.
If we look back at Benjamin Moore, the goal of their color of the year content piece is to get samples into your hands. Look at the call to action beneath the list of the year’s color trends:
They simply invite the visitor to “Work with the colors.” When you click on that call to action, you’re taken to a page that lets you see the colors in more detail, see each one in a room, and buy a sample.
It’s not overtly salesy, but instead converts that cold lead into a warmer one.
There are plenty of ways to do this for your own brand, like offering a video series, downloading a white paper, or even requesting a consultation with a design expert.
When you get people to convert on the page, they continue to be in that process with you and your brand. From there, you can nurture the lead to get closer to the bottom of the sales funnel because you’ve already established a relationship.
Now let’s focus on how you can measure the results of your awareness efforts.
Is It Working? How to Measure Awareness Growth
So how can you start to tell if your awareness campaign is working? There are four indicators you can use to measure your success.
- Look at your traffic in Google Analytics. There are really three things to look at here: direct traffic, referral traffic, and repeat visitors.
- Track your associate sales data. If you have a relatively short sales cycle, pull your POS data and find a correlation to your awareness campaign. So if you typically have a sales cycle between 7 and 15 days, you should see a spike in sales 7 to 15 days after the start of your campaign. Obviously, If your sales cycle is longer, like 6 to 18 months, you’ll need a longer campaign to accurately compare growth.
- Listen to your social media engagement. Pay attention to what people are saying about your brand on social media and the web. Listening to these unsolicited opinions allows you to hear consumer’s thoughts as they are naturally expressed. When done over time, you’ll notice shifts in your brand awareness
- Check on your lead generation. How many leads is this content generating for you? You can easily track this through your CRM.
Ready to grow awareness for your brand with professional marketers in the building materials industry?
Send us a note at [email protected] to get started.