Content marketing is using information for marketing purposes. The information can be in any medium, including writing, videos, infographics, photos, slide presentations, podcasts, and many more.
It contrasts with explicitly promotional marketing material. Nobody watches a car ad to gain information about road safety, for example. An ad for a car is explicitly promotional and so it’s not content marketing. But a car manufacturer’s blog post that talks about how to drive safely in icy conditions is an example of content marketing.
If you’re a home builder, you could have a blog that answers potential customers’ questions about zoning, bylaws, the design process, mortgages and interest rates, builders’ warranties, the difference between stick-building and prefabrication, and so on.
What are the benefits of answering these questions if you’re in the business of selling new homes?
Content marketing has many business benefits, but in this article I’m going to touch on just two:
Attracting web traffic
Content marketing builds trust
When you honestly and helpfully answer people’s questions for free, it helps them trust you. And, as you know, trust is crucial when it comes to an expensive, time-consuming, stressful purchase like a new home.
Sharing your knowledge also allows you to demonstrate your expertise (and differentiate yourself from competitors) in a way that doesn’t come across as boastful. It helps potential homebuyers see you as the expert you are. If you never share your knowledge, how can they trust that you have it?
If a potential customer searches online for “home builder Richmond BC” or “custom-built homes Kelowna BC” your company will (hopefully!) come up in their results if you build in those cities. But local competitors will show up too. Now, suppose the potential customer starts browsing the various websites. Having past projects they can look at is important, as are customer testimonials. (If you do only one thing after reading this article, collect Google reviews from all your happy homebuyers and display them on your website.)
If you’ve gone further than your competitors and have a blog or a series of videos where you answer your potential customers’ questions and address their worries, you’re already starting to build trust with them. Being helpful shows that you care about your customers’ concerns and it demonstrates that you know your stuff. If they spend a decent amount of time on your site absorbing your content, that also helps them to remember your company. Brand recall is important for any product with a long sales cycle, like a new home.
Content marketing attracts web traffic
Content on your website provides opportunities for you to attract visitors who are searching online for information related to building new homes.
Think about how people can find your business online. As mentioned above, they might search for a builder in your city, in which case your content can differentiate you from competitors. Alternatively, if your business has been around for a long time, people might search for your company by name. Your content can build on the authority you already have and it can bring you additional web traffic.
If you’re newer to the industry, potential homeowners are unlikely to be searching for your company name. Content marketing is a way that newer construction companies can compete with more established companies for a share of online traffic. (If you’re just getting your construction business started, check out the UBC Small Business Accelerator’s Construction Guide.)
Whether your company is new or well-established, your content can attract web traffic. Someone who’s considering building a home in Vancouver might search for ‘Vancouver building bylaw energy efficiency’. If you build homes in Vancouver and have a detailed blog post that explains what the city’s building bylaw says about the energy efficiency requirements for new homes in the city, there’s a good chance that your site will come up on the first page of their search results.
As you likely know, the goal of getting on the first page of Google has spawned an entire industry in itself. The details are complicated and I won’t go into them here. The short version is: Create genuinely helpful content that answers your potential customers’ questions. Learn more about the details of coming up in search results as you go along.
(Neil Patel has consistently useful content relating to Google rankings. You can start here: How to Show Up on the First Page of Google (Even if You’re a Nobody).)
The good news is that the construction industry is far from saturated with content, with many construction businesses not creating any at all. This increases the chances of your content showing up higher in search results. As more companies in the construction industry start taking content seriously, it will become harder to get your content on the first page of search results.
Learn more about content marketing for construction companies
If this short article has sparked your interest in content marketing for your construction business, I invite you to read my more in-depth article, Construction Marketing: How to Use Content to Grow Your Business. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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