As with all things online, they are constantly changing. Just when you figure out Facebook and Twitter, along comes Instagram, SnapChat, Houzz, Pinterest and more. With the building materials industry already ten years behind other industries this makes it even more challenging to keep up.
The Next Evolution is an Important One.
For several years now, I have teaching building materials companies, the many benefits of content marketing that is usually implemented through a blog. I have helped several companies set up and manage their content marketing programs.
Initially they want it to be all about them and their products with subjects like, “Here we are a trade show” or “3 Reasons Why Our New Product is Better.” They then evolve into sharing news or market information that is readily available elsewhere online.
If they take the next step they start to provide helpful information that is aimed at the top of the sales funnel. In this area you see subjects like, “Why a New Deck is Better Than a Vacation”, instead of “Why Our Decks Are Better.”
Take Content Marketing to the Next Level.
The following is based on a post from a marketing thought leader that I really respect, David Baker from ReCourses.
Content marketing died a long time ago–not too long after it made a big splash. The promise that we would move from an outbound world to an inbound one, where prospective customers would find your content and be drawn to working with you, was a wonderful premise. But as with many things marketing, it didn’t turn out to be quite that simple. And of course everyone, who adopted content marketing, got on the same bus.
No platform illustrates this better than Linkedin. They employed a fairly restrictive curation policy up until two years ago, after which the unwashed masses were all authors whether we wanted to read their stuff or not. Now, 160,000 posts appear every day, and one of ever 2,000 users publishes something and it’s available to all 300,000,000 users if it gets enough likes and comments and Linkedin picks it up in The Pulse.
I don’t really want to get into the Linkedin situation too much, but every time I go back to my account there I see dozens of new posts, very few of which I’m interested in reading. Why? Because they are chock full of content rather than insight.
The World is Overrun with Content. We Need Less Content and More Insight. Here’s the Difference:
• When I read content, I move on and forget it. When I read insight, I can’t leave without agreeing or disagreeing. It forces a divide in the audience. They know what you believe and they think you’re misguided or insightful. There’s no middle ground. When I forward insight to someone, I’ll accompany it with a note about how good it is or how bad it is. When I forward content…oh, wait, I don’t!
• About one-half of your companies people can write content but only about one-fourth (or less) can write insight. Insightful authors have a broader experience, they make value judgments, and they aren’t afraid of offending someone for the right reasons.
• When I hit “send” for content, I’m worried about typos. When I hit “send” for insight, I’m worried about how it will be received. If I’m not nervous about the reception for what I’m writing, then it’s not insight. It’s helpful content instead.
• Wikipedia is content. The WSJ or NYT is insight.
Publishing insight will hasten a clarified audience. Those who wouldn’t buy your product anyway disagree and go away. Those who might be open to your insight will respect you even more.
There’s more content pollution than environmental pollution in some parts of the world, and I hope we’re doing our part in making the world of insight a better place.
Thanks to David Baker for this powerful insight and allowing me to use it as the basis of my blog post.
If you aren’t doing any content marketing, you better get started, even if it’s all about you to start. As you get more comfortable with it and see the results, you will want even more results and move up the content ladder from content to insights.
Click here for a refresher on content marketing in building materials
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Thanks for the following comments. I’d like to hear your feedback and suggestions on how to sell architects.
“Very insightful (bad pun intended). Similar to links to content going by the wayside, insight has to be dripped in a reasonable manner or it just becomes more information overload.”
Business Development and Consultant
“Very interesting to ponder today.”