There are two types of people in this world, those who believe in marketing and those who don’t! To put it another way, those who invest in marketing and those who won’t! If you’re the person who believes in and is willing to invest in your products and services, the next question becomes what do you invest in marketing and what will it do for you? What will your “Return On Investment” be? Marketing has always been about clearly defining what, how, and why and creating the right combination of initiatives or tactics that build awareness to help drive sales. Blogging can be a low-investment, high-return marketing strategy in your arsenal. It is one marketing tool that can generate returns in perpetuity. Architectural building product companies, large or small, are constantly looking for ways to get the eyes of architects and designers on their products, educate them on the product benefits, and then convince them to specify their product for the project. And the icing on the cake is to get your products listed in the firm’s master specification for all future projects. Blogging is one way to build relationships with architects by providing useful information and increasing brand awareness. Architects are key influencers for your products and your company and are a critical part of a successful sales funnel. Read on to see how you can attract and build trust and loyalty with architects by effective blogging.
1) Blogging Should Absolutely be Part of Your Marketing Program
As with any good B2B marketing, clearly defining your message and creating good content for multiple assets has always been a key element in promoting your product and generating brand awareness. With architects, you not only have to create awareness but you also have to convince them that your product can perform. You have to convince them that your product does not offer any risk to the project as architects by nature are risk-averse, so our task as marketers can be more challenging than many other industries.
There are many strategic initiatives that companies do to get their products in front of architects (literally or figuratively). Today, we have more challenges than ever, with limited access to live meetings or presentations. We are all learning how to adapt to a more virtual business world and how to connect and engage with our clients and key influencers.
Webinars, virtual meetings, recorded presentations, digital collateral, videos, and social media all have a place. But many companies are overlooking the best virtual engagement tactic in our arsenal – blogging!
Blogging done with SEO content creation in mind and integrated with your website will build awareness and position you as an industry leader more effectively than any other marketing or communication platform.
2) So How Does a Blog work
When people search online, Google and other search engines deliver answers to those searches in the form of web pages, videos, and blog articles. Your blogs should attract those searches. But it doesn’t stop there. Blog readers will spend 3 to 10 minutes on your article if it is engaging. If you have given them useful information, they’ll click on links and check out more pages on your site. From the article, they can link to your contact page, examples of your projects, your about page, or another referenced article. You have their captive attention and can invite them to learn more. You can also invite architects to join your list to stay informed. When you build your email list along with blogging, the two can be used in conjunction to build interest and connections with potential customers. Blogging will complement your email campaigns, and vice versa.
3) How Will a Blog Generate Awareness for My Products
When you write your blog posts for architects, you should answer the questions that they are searching for online. This is how visitors will find your site. Therefore, an important part of creating your content is knowing what and how people are searching for information or topics. Researching what people want to read about is just as important as creating good content.
Personal experience also comes into play here. If you know your target audience (architects), and you’ve been involved with their design process on projects, you probably have a very good idea of what’s important to them. Keep in mind these priorities, and the type of questions they typically ask about your products. A good place to start is to come up with 10 of the most common questions you get from architects about your products and start writing your blogs with these questions in mind.
Architects typically search for information or inspiration for a project that they are currently working on. They may be looking for a certain product, a particular design, a specific product performance, a building code related to products, ideas from similar projects, or a variety of other things. The point is that they are searching online for a reason, not to kill time. They are searching for answers.
Blogs are a great opportunity for you to provide those answers. By providing answers to questions that architects are looking for, you build trust while promoting your products. With trust, over time, creates loyalty. You should do this better than any of your competitors. You should position yourself or your company as the experts in your particular space.
In reality, this is no different than a skilled salesperson building trust and relationships with their clients. The huge benefit of blogging is that you can achieve this at a macro rather than a micro level.
The more traffic you generate to your blog, the more likely it is that architects will link to your website. Whenever anyone bookmarks your webpage, search engines consider this a form of backlinking. Backlinks can be direct links from other sites or when someone bookmarks your post or website. Industry studies show that companies who blog receive over 95% more backlinks to their website.
Backlinks improve your SEO ranking and traffic. When architects backlink to your site, you develop brand acceptance and domain authority, as well as improving your search engine ranking and website traffic. You set yourself up for new architects to find you, without having to do anything else.
And, you keep the architects who have bookmarked your page coming back to your site for a more valuable product or design information. With this in mind, you must continue to create valuable content. The best part is that your blog will always be there, continuing to bring architects to your site. It becomes a permanent marketing asset for your company.
4) Repurpose Your Blog content and Be Consistent
You (or your content creator) just created a great blog. Once posted, it will be in the online universe forever, but it doesn’t stop there. Now you can repurpose that content in your social media posts and with your email campaigns. The more ways you can use this great content, the better. A good value-oriented blog post should have 750 to 1,000 words or more. This provides a lot of content for multiple social media posts. Think of using parts of your content on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. The more trust and authority you build across social media platforms, the more new clients will find your company – and the more domain authority you will build with your blog over time. The other key element here is to be consistent. There is nothing worse than looking at a company’s blog and the last post was created 12 months ago. You want to plan out your blogs 6 months in advance and should set a target of 2 to 4 blog posts a month…and stick to it! If you or your team can’t find the time then it’s time to outsource.
5) 11 steps to Writing your Blog Post
- Identify your target audience. You should be really specific here. What are their unique needs? What are their design concerns? What information are they looking for? What are they missing that you can help fulfill? The more specific you are in identifying your audience, the more easily you will be able to come up with a list of topics that will be interesting and important to them.
- Identify Keywords. The most effective way to build traffic to your blog quickly is to do keyword research and select keywords that are commonly searched for, but that don’t have many blog posts on them yet. These keywords, called medium-density keywords, have enough searches to bring good traffic to your blog and are easier to rank high. Research and create keywords specific to your target audience.
SEMRush, Ahrefs, KWFinder, and many other services provide keyword ranking information to help you select the best keywords. The idea is to identify keywords where you can quickly rank on the first page of Google, so that your blog gets more attention right away.
Craft a Headline. Your headline should draw the reader in and make them want to know more. Common headlines include questions, how-to’s, or lists. You want a headline that addresses an issue or solves a problem or a topic of interest related to your audience. When the architect or designer sees that heading they can’t resist clicking through to read your blog.
Search engine friendly ways to start headlines include:
- 10 (or any number) types of _____
- 10 (or any number) best (or worst) ways to_____
- How to_____
- What is the best way to_____
- 3 Reasons to______
Include Subheadings. Subheadings break up the text of your article, making it easier to read and understand. Many blogs these days try to be “scan-able” by using enough subheadings of all the key points. That way, someone can read only the subheadings and get an idea of the article.
Subheadings are also used by search engine “bots” to reference and categorize the information in the article, helping you to rank higher in search engine results.
Focus on the Main Message. Especially in shorter blog posts, it’s a good idea to stay focused on one key idea. Answer one question or fulfill one need. Don’t jump off into another topic. Save that for the next blog post, and be sure to link to it!
Optimize the On-Page SEO Elements. There are a variety of tools to help you hit keyword targets within your blog text. These include SEMrush, Yoast, Ahrefs, Cognitive SEO, and others. Use them as a guide or consult an SEO expert so your blog can gain the most traction quickly. If you’re outsourcing your blog writing, make sure your writer understands SEO and has tools to research related keywords and phrases.
Include a Brief Conclusion. Your conclusion should summarize the key takeaway from your blog post and its value to your readers. This is also the time to mention other articles you have—and link to them—for further reading.
Include a Call To Action. This should be in the first part of your blog post, ideally in the introduction. You want to give readers something specific to do. You can include a second call to action (CTA) at the end, linking to more articles.
“To learn more about insulation properties of new windows designs, click here!” is an example of a CTA at the end of a blog post.
Include a Meta Description. A meta description describes and summarizes the content of the article for the benefit of both users and search engines. The meta description shows up in search engine results below the title of your post.
Google will show up to 275 characters (including spaces) of a meta description. The industry recommendation is to try to keep your meta description between 160 and 275 characters.
Add links. Links to other pages within your site, as well as links to other sites on similar topics, help you to establish greater authority with search engines, as well as readers. Once you have built the blog content, it’s a good idea to link to at least 3 other posts within your article. The more inter-linking you have within your site, the more domain authority you build on your topic.
6) Four Common Blog Mistakes to Avoid
- Quitting. Once you add “blog” to your website menu you create an expectation. You don’t have to post every week, but visitors to your site will expect current articles.
In addition, the more articles you have, and the more links within your site, the more you are able to build authority on topics for search engine optimization. Especially when you are starting out, the most content you can generate, the better.
- Random topics. Every post should answer important questions and move readers closer to sales. Part of my strategy to work with clients is to build a content calendar for future blog topics. While it can be tempting to write on something totally unrelated because it has an easy keyword, it is a better idea to keep a core focus and build topics around the most important questions and interests of your clients and potential readers.
- No promotion. Just because your blog is there, doesn’t mean people will find it. Email and social media are simple, easy ways to build initial traffic blog posts. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter all don’t require much time or investment to start bringing traffic to your blog.
With each new post, you can send an email out to your regular mailing list and let them know. The blog will bring new content to your emails, and the emails will drive traffic to your blog.
Not measuring. Tracking your architectural blog performance monthly with Google Analytics helps determine what future topics will get the best results. If you don’t know what is working, you can’t deliver more of it.
After the first few months, you will also be able to see which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to your blog, and focus your marketing efforts there.
If you’d like help or would like to learn more about creating a blog strategy or creating a dynamic communications plan to build awareness with architects and key influencers then let’s talk. Click here to send me an email and schedule a free with no commitments, 15-minute call.