Why would a builder blog?
In a recent survey, more than 1,000 marketers scored writing blogs as their second most important marketing priority. More than half said that creating blog content was their most powerful tool in generating online leads, which is why it’s important that you, as a builder, make blogging a part of your marketing strategy
Blogging is one of the most powerful ways to generate leads off the internet. Put simply, blogging done well increases the number of people who visit your building website. That has to be good. It’s like moving your shop window from a back lane to Main Street – a lot more people get a view of your offerings.
Another advantage is that it can set you up as the ‘go-to’ person when interested people and potential customers have a construction-related question. If they go to the internet with a building-related question that you have addressed in a blog, they are likely to find you. Should your blog answer their question – you become an expert in their eyes.
Most builders I talk to find the idea of blogging overwhelming, as they consider themselves builders and not writers.
However, as a builder, your expertise is precisely what people are looking for. Now that we’ve established how a blog can add value to your business, here are some tips to get you started.
1 Get to know your audience
Create the profile of your typical customer. Make a bullet-point list of their characteristics. Ask yourself: “what kinds of people do I want to attract to my website?”.
2 Target your content
The best blogs provide answers to the things your potential customers want to know. With your customer profile in mind, start making a second list of the questions you’d expect them to ask.
These questions will give you the topics about which to write blogs. You won’t need to start from scratch, as much of this information will already be in your head.
Just make a list of the common questions and concerns that previous customers have shared with you when they have called you for a quote. Then think about your current customers – what concerns do they bring to you?
Keep your list handy and add any new questions that you come across. New questions are great, as they are likely to be more current. You’ll find this list will prove to be immensely valuable for all your marketing work.
3 Teach them something
The purpose of each of your blogs is to tell your prospective clients what they want to know. Achieving this not only helps to set you up as an expert, but your customers will also develop a level of confidence in you and your company as being able to answer their needs. It will give you a head start when you meet your new prospect for the first time.
4 Keep it simple
Once you’ve identified a series of questions, all you need do is write down your answers and present them as interesting blogs.
Write as you would speak. Readers don’t want to read a scholarly article from an English professor, they want to hear you speaking to them as if you were in front of them answering their question in person.
5 Call to action
The worst thing a blogger can do is leave his/her readers hanging with no clear course of action open to them once they’ve finished reading.
Your blog needs to have a clear call to action. This doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘call us’ button, it could be a link to a set of related blogs, further questions, testimonials, portfolios or a helpful resource that can be download from your site. These calls to action help your readers engage with your website rather than leaving for another.
6 Analyse your blog!
Finally, record your results. Missing this step is like heading out to sea without a compass – you’d be sailing blind.
Using Google Analytics, you can measure the ‘bounce rate’ to see if people are interacting with your site or leaving it quickly.
What you learn from analysing your results will help you improve your blogging skill and consequently lead to better results from your online presence.
- Google often uses headings to reference articles in search results. So try to write your headings using terms or phrases that your potential customers enter into the search box.
- If you are planning to use photos from real builds, make sure to have your client sign a consent form beforehand
- If you think blogging could be valuable, but you really don’t like writing, it would be worth paying a professional writer to put your thoughts on paper
To find out more about writing compelling content see our article – Builders: How do you get a lead generating website?
Graeme Owen, based in Auckland, is a builders’ business coach. Since 2006, he has helped builders throughout New Zealand get off the tools, make decent money, and free up time for family, fishing, and enjoying sports. www.thesuccessfulbuilder.com