Episode 32

How One Manufacturer Creates Raving Fans Using Content Marketing

by Smarter Building Materials Marketing

Does content marketing really work? Find out how one manufacturer is doing content marketing so well that he's developed a fan base of customers so loyal, he can recommend competitor's products and they still come back to buy from him.

Phil Scardigno joins the show to discuss how building material manufacturers can create consistent, engaging content that gets customers passionate about their brand.

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 talk to Phil Scardigno, founder of Gripset Industries. He shares how Gripset leverages online content to build a powerhouse brand.

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About Phil and Gripset Industries

032 Phil Sardigno Pic

Gripset Industries has been manufacturing waterproofing and protective systems for over for 30 years. The Australia-based company serves both residential and commercial markets and has expanded its reach to New Zealand, Micronesia, Fiji and parts of Asia.

With a green-friendly approach to business, Gripset includes a research and development division with a lab and three chemists to develop new products. Phil notes that being environmentally-friendly is an important differentiator in order to compete against cheap imports.

With high labor costs, they can find contractors real savings by offsetting the application time, which is a huge focal point of the company.

How to Approach Content Marketing to Create Value for Your Audience

Phil began looking at impressive brands a few years ago and learned to concentrate on the company’s “why.” With that perspective in mind, he has created a successful online content marketing strategy that organically gets the company’s message out to the marketplace.

Today, Phil produces a weekly vlog with a focus on waterproofing. Only 5 to 10% of the content is about Gripset’s product. The rest is about where things can go wrong on a job. After Phil starting vlogging, a lot of builders and contractors started to engage with the company because they weren’t being sold to. Instead, they were being given valuable, useful content.

Other consistent content from Gripset is a daily one-minute quick tip for contractors on Facebook. It’s always a small thing they can do on the job site that day or tuck away for another time.

Content that is helpful without selling helps you be seen as the leader in your field and people come to you as a trustworthy source when they have more questions. For Phil, he noticed a shift when people came through different platforms to ask questions about waterproofing in general, then ended with an inquiry on product prices. That’s when he realized content marketing was a valuable endeavor for Gripset.

Online content can also make things easier for your sales team. Gripset’s sales staff has noticed a difference in how leads view the brand. They’re already familiar with both the brand and product and even better, says Phil, is that they feel like they know you. For Gripset, a lot of this comes from the fact that Phil, the company’s founder, serves as the face of the company. It’s a major differentiator compared to large corporate competitors.

Any building material manufacturer can serve as a resource to builders, contractors and architects in a way that positions them to seek your knowledge rather than question what your product does. Content marketing allows you to naturally prove yourself to be a source of reliability, which is a reputation that can’t be bought.

Choosing Your Audience

If you try to please everyone, you’ll dilute the message of your content, which is why Phil recommends really understanding your core client. Those who are really interested in what you’re saying are likely to become long-term clients.

Phil has developed such a strong following among clients that Gripset now hosts paid training sessions and are expanding to weekend sessions in the training center. Why? People want to be a part of the journey.

When getting started, remember the importance of authenticity and a non-scripted production. That’s what people want to see, so don't worry so much about the quality of your video. The important part is that the authenticity is there.

People take less notice of what you look like and pay more attention to the content. Start off with a couple of likes and a few comments, and your following will start to grow over time. As you continue to develop content, you might be surprised by the topics that really resonate with your audience, which helps to inform you about your customer and helps you create more targeted content over time.

While you shouldn’t put all of your eggs into a social media basket, it’s an effective complement to your other marketing strategies. The more spontaneous you can be, the more people will enjoy it.

Catering to a New Workforce

Online content distribution is also an effective way to resonate with the new, younger audience in building materials. Phil notes the emergence of the next generation of tradespeople, both male and female. Builders and contractors in their 30s and 40s have built up their professional expertise and are now starting their own companies.

As a building material manufacturer, you can start to follow and comment on these businesses’ social media feeds. They’ll become familiar with your brand and start to follow and interact with you as well. It’s a great way to compete against larger corporations.

Another upside to this strategy is that you have another 20 years or more of this generation being lifetime clients. And because they live on their phones, your online and social media content is an ideal way to get your product in front of them.

Advice for Manufacturers

Phil’s first piece of advice is to realize where your point of difference is with your products. While the product itself may be similar to others in the market, your story is different.

Also, understand the type of customer who wants to connect in this way. There’s such a huge amount of information on the Internet, you need to craft your message in a way that truly resonates.

Instead of “sell, sell, sell,” try focusing on “give, give, give” when it comes to your content and expertise. This approach will lead to high-quality customer engagement. Think about what you can give to customers that no one else is doing.

Want to contact Phil? Check out Gripset online, on Facebook or on Instagram.

Have more questions about how to do content marketing correctly? Send them our way by emailing [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you!

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