What the Heck is Content Marketing, Anyway?

content_marketing_thinkstock_509859759-smThe term “content marketing” actually describes itself; it is using content to market your company, products, or yourself. Instead of listing your product features, company benefits, or your personal attributes, you focus on educating your prospects and clients. For example, you create a white paper on the difference between warm mix and hot mix asphalt or the benefits of design/build over design/bid/build. This can also be a blog post, case study, presentation, book, article, webinar, or a short social media post.

Content marketing works in today’s culture for two main reasons. Everyone is looking for answers in our “Let me Google it” culture. Also, no one likes to be “sold to”. People want to search for an answer and pick their vendor. It puts them in control versus being forced to buy something from a salesperson.

Other benefits of content marketing include: positioning you and your company as an expert, which allows you to charge more for your services (even in construction). This method also closes prospects faster because they are educated and ready to buy. In construction, this means more negotiated work and fewer bids. I quote a statistics in my book from the Harvard Business Review that a buyer makes more than half of the buying decision before contacting you. That means they want to do business with you and are calling to see if your personality is a good fit and making sure you’re not too good to be true.

Content marketing also allows you to grow past your local geography because the search engines have no boundaries. Our blog regularly has foreign readers, and we have a strong Twitter (@brandconstruct) following from the UK. Utilizing content as your marketing source also lasts longer – this blog will be accessible ten years from now while traditional advertising and marketing such as a billboard or postcard have a very short lifespans.

Many executives distrust the effectiveness of content marketing because they fear competitors reading their information or prospects will use the information and do it themselves. Luckily for you, most of your prospects cannot do what you do anyway so that thought is invalid. In regards to your competition; your content marketing is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to your knowledge. If a competitor is learning about the difference between hot and warm mix asphalt on your blog, then they probably can’t lay warm mix asphalt.

Finally, if you do not believe me that content marketing works, then why are you reading this blog post – got ya!

Next week we’ll discuss Marketing Automation and how construction companies can utilize this technology to increase revenue.