More About This Episode
Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insights on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.
Whatever you’re planning for 2022, think strategically about what type of content you want to present to your audience. But not just the content itself — how that content is delivered. Zach and Beth give listeners a few ideas and actionable insights in this episode.
Content: So Much More Than a Blog
“So before we ever talk about content, we usually give you the little speech that I'm going to give you right now, which is: Content is so much more than what goes on your blog,” explains Beth from Venveo.
Content includes blogs, but content can also refer to an image or video and anything you post on social media. “It's basically any medium that you use to get your product and your marketing out there,” says Beth.
There are changes across the construction landscape, and there are a few shifts that Venveo’s seen in consumer trends, especially during the COVID crisis. Those trends will dictate how and where manufacturing brands should be marketing their products.
“And frankly, guys, this could be for any year, this is just content you should be creating. But, let's talk about the new year, since it's upon us,” says Beth. Here are the top five types of content to leverage in the years ahead.
1. Video Content
Video is still a rapidly growing medium for marketers and a powerful tool that helps brands connect with their audience. “If you look at the data, the social media channel that's grown the most over the last two years, more than any other channel out there in terms of usage and time, is actually YouTube,” Zach shares.
Type a question in Google these days, and some of those results might include video. “YouTube is actually allowing people to view specific sections of videos. Not just the entire video, ‘Hey, here's this video about XYZ.’ They'll show you the portion of the video that you want,” explains Zach.
People want the information they’re after in the most efficient way possible. And most audiences won’t sit through long YouTube videos, with lengthy introductions or an extensive list of shout-outs.
“So when you think about playing that video content, it's not just, ‘Hey, we need an about us video,’ or, ‘We need an installation video.’ It's thinking about the specific micro questions that your audience has,” Zach explains.
Simpson Strong-Tie offers a few examples of how to handle this. “Their YouTube page has two, three minute videos, that's it. But, dozens of them. They're all questions that their audience has. That's the type of video content that we need to be thinking about,” says Zach.
Sometimes just creating content can feel like a chore, but keep a few things in mind and you might be able to source that content without getting a headache.
- “If you have trusted contractors or trusted builders that you partner with on a regular basis or that your salesperson has a really good relationship with, just ask them to get our phone and talk about what it's like to have your product on the job site,” says Beth. “That is something that's going to resonate, frankly sometimes even better than a highly produced video, because your audience is going to see, okay this is the exact same experience that I would have.”
- Sometimes content just doesn’t resonate, but it’s important to remember that you can always repurpose content and use it on a blog or share it on social media later.
- There are a few tools available to help marketers understand what people are searching for, including Answer The Public and YouTube’s Studio platform. “So coming up with content that's not only relevant to your brand but also people are searching for is going to introduce your product into new potential eyeballs, as well as people who are searching for that, at the same time,” explains Zach.
- An important note about sharing and promoting your videos: “Don't share a link to YouTube on your Facebook, but actually upload the video to Facebook,” explains Beth. Facebook will deprioritize a link that takes a user off of their platform.
The right kinds of video content can go a long way toward engaging, and even delighting, your audience.
2. Not-Just-Blog Content
Well, we lied. We’re still going to address blogs because they’re still a very effective way to engage your audience.
Or audiences. “First of all, you market to different types of audiences,” Beth says. “While you can group people in and say, ‘Contractors prefer X type of content,’ everybody is a little bit different.”
Blog content is sometimes the easiest to tackle and can be helpful when you want to appeal to more than one audience. “So, where do you start? That's always the question,” says Beth. “One place that we're starting to recommend and seeing some really good untapped potential is actually in FAQ pages. FAQs are this catchall for goldmine questions.”
There’s a ton of potential in your FAQs page because they’ll help with SEO rankings and can be a guide for your 2022 content calendar. “Get your sales team to give some input, maybe grab some feedback or testimonials from a recent, happily satisfied audience or customer, and get that content out there so that you can start speaking to those questions,” Beth suggests.
“If it's a frequently asked question, that means it's potentially a frequently Googled question and your FAQ page may not be showing up,” says Beth. “But if you have an entire blog post dedicated to it, with imagery and external links, maybe even video, that's going to show up in search, and that's going to get you more traffic and more customers.”
3. The Impact of Influencer Content
Influencers have established themselves in the marketing game, and influencer marketing has made an impact for many manufacturers we’ve worked with.
Contractors and builders are highly active on social media and are likely to follow familiar personalities and colleagues. “You don't have to put all of your resources here, you don't have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get Joanna Gaines to use your product in an install. But, it is something to look at, as a way to get your product in front of your target audience, especially if your audience is hard to target online,” explains Beth.
These influencers are an effective way to leverage your product reviews. “If you have a review of your product on your own website people are like, ‘Okay, of course, you're going to think your product is great.’ They're not going to believe you. But if you have an influencer that does a review on it, it's seen as authoritative because they are a third party,” explains Zach.
As an extra bonus, that kind of awareness is also going to help with search rankings for your products, because you’re spreading the word online.
4. Get Creative With GIFs
No matter how you pronounce it, GIFs might just be the next big thing for building product marketers. And before you roll your eyes, take a look at Milwaukee Tools' new product pages, then start scrolling.
“You're going to see the drill in use, in this little micro-video format where it shows the drill being used,” says Zach. “They're not just telling me information; they're giving me a story.”
Micro video marketing isn’t new, and we’ve seen great examples of this from brands like Harry's Razors. “If you go to their product pages, they have a 10-second video loop of some guy shaving his face. It just quickly loops, shows the video, it shows me the product in action,” explains Zach. “I'm not having to click to commit to watch a video, it's already rolling, I can already see it and people are digesting that information quickly. It's all about speed.”
For manufacturers, there are a few great ways to use GIFs, even just in the manufacturing process. “We've seen a moulding manufacturer, they did pre-painted mouldings, and they wanted to really drive home the fact that it was triple painted and that was a differentiator for them,” says Beth. “So they did a GIF of their mouldings going through the paint sprayer on the conveyor belt. This is great content because one, it's just literally entertaining to watch.”
But the GIF gives viewers a visual story. “When it went in with the second layer, how important and crucial that third layer of paint actually was and really made their differentiation a lot more tangible, versus just having a bullet point on their product page,” explains Beth.
5. Market Your Brand With Memes
Everyone could use a laugh after the last year, right? “We pass around memes around our office. But, why not lean into that a bit and lean into the fact that hey, there's funny aspects of the trade or of architecture or whatever it is,” suggests Zach.
“Finding ways to create humor in your brand, whether that's on your social or in your emails, or whatever it might be, people love that because it adds a level of humanity and personality,” says Zach.
“It's never funny to explain a joke. But, memes are funny because they're speaking to a shared experience. The tradespeople that the industry targets, they have this shared experience in a number of different ways,” says Beth.
When there’s a shared experience and people feel understood, that kind of content has the potential to create a real community with your followers.
Want Even More Insight?
All five types of content are going to help you start off 2022 with a bang, but Beth offers one last bonus tip. “And it’s reviews,” says Beth. “The people want it; give the people what they want.”
Architects, contractors and professionals across the board want to see product reviews (it’s called the “Amazon effect”).
“What we're telling you is this is the time to start. You need to start offering reviews, making them easily accessible,” says Beth. “Set up a way for people to give you reviews, whether that's through a third party like Trust Pilot or turning on your Facebook reviews and then doing a campaign that way. But this is the year, guys.”
Need more content ideas or support with your strategy? Get in touch with us at [email protected] and subscribe to the podcast for more great marketing tips and insights.