Between time spent working with clients, managing projects, and leading your team, you probably have less time than you’d like to think about marketing your business. At CoConstruct, we want to help you take your business to the next level. Content marketing is one of many ways residential home builders and remodelers can get more leads, turn prospects into projects, and increase revenue. Here are five content marketing ideas that will help you build trust with clients and generate more leads so you can keep your sales pipeline full and turn prospects into projects.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing method based on the creation and online distribution of valuable resources for a specific target audience. Content marketing can come in the form of blog posts, digital or print guides, videos, podcasts, and social media content. Today, people buy products and services from brands that position themselves as reputable resources in the marketplace. In the residential construction industry, mutual trust between companies and clients is essential for success. By creating valuable content, you build trust with your customers before trying to sell your services.
#1 - Start a blog on your website
Blogging is one of the most effective ways to generate more leads for your residential construction business. In fact, companies with blogs earn 67% more leads per month than companies that don’t blog. Blogging helps your business’s website gain exposure on the Internet. Write blog posts on topics that your clients need to understand before tackling their own custom home or remodel project. If you provide valuable information online, you’ll have an opportunity to move potential clients with real buying intent into your sales funnel.
The hardest part about blogging is coming up with topics to write about. One solution to this problem is to think about your clients and the common questions they have. In your initial meetings with prospects, what are they most concerned about? What information do you always have to clarify? If you tune in to common pain points and problems for your clients, you’ll probably come up with a few blog post ideas. If you need inspiration for blog topics, check out the blogs from Byrd Design and Build and Cullum Homes.
To help keep track of your topic ideas, carry a notepad or take notes on your phone throughout the day. Once a month, glance over your notes and pick one or two topics to write about. If you write a post once or twice a month and keep them between 1,000 to 1,500 words in length, there’s a good chance users will start to find your writing and land on your website.
Once you learn to tune in to common client questions and concerns, the possibilities for blog topics are endless. You can write about various current design styles and material selections to demonstrate your company’s leadership in the market. You can also talk about the housing market and how your company can improve the value of a home. As long as you write to address common homeowner pain points, you will be on your way to compiling an incredible marketing asset for your company.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to write a post or two every month, invite someone else to write on a topic. Make sure the content they produce is valuable and relevant to your audience. Guest writers can also give you more exposure. When you post their writing to your blog, there’s a good chance the guest will share about it on their own social media platforms. This drives even more organic traffic to your website. Over time, you’ll see engagement increase on your website as more potential customers visit your blog for answers to their questions.
Turn readers into leads
In order to turn your blog visitors into potential customers, you’ll want to include a call to action on your blog posts. In marketing, a call to action is a step a potential customer takes in order to move closer to buying a product or service. As a residential construction company, your goal is to get your leads to contact you. In this scenario, you’ll want to set up a lead intake form as your primary call to action. CoConstruct’s lead intake form is a foolproof way to get contact information from your leads so you can get in touch with them and move them further down your sales funnel.
In CoConstruct, the lead intake form is located in the drop-down menu under Settings. Whether you build your own website on a website builder like Wix, Squarespace, or Wordpress, or contract an outside web developer, embed the HTML code for the lead intake form on relevant web pages. Format and save your site to see the lead intake form appear on your website. When a visitor fills out this form, their contact information will auto-populate in CoContruct’s lead management system. This workflow makes it easy for you to convert your blog readers into real leads.
Once your CoConstruct lead intake form is set up, your website will act as a lead generating machine. The power of your website is determined by the frequency and quality of your content. Write valuable, relevant blog posts to get users on your website and into CoConstruct’s lead management system.
#2 - Email Marketing
With the rise of social media and other new forms of communication, it’s easy to neglect email marketing in your content strategy. However, email is one of the most effective ways to see tangible returns on your marketing efforts. On average, for every $1 spent on email marketing, a company receives $42 in revenue. If you are looking for ways to improve the quality of your leads, email marketing may be a logical first step.
To approach email marketing in an organized manner, use a platform like Mailchimp or Constant Contact. These platforms allow you to categorize your mailing list into segments, send triggered emails, and customize your own design. It’s necessary to spend money on email marketing. As a small business, you might not have the bandwidth to track the return on investment of your own email strategy, but performance tracking tools in platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact can. Stay informed and notice which emails earn the most engagement so you can build on your success.
Email marketing doesn’t have to eat too much of your time. If you publish a blog post on your website, repurpose the content into an email with links to the full post on your website. This is an easy way to get the people on your mailing list to visit your website. At the end of the day, your website acts as the anchor of your marketing efforts. If you can get visitors on your site, there is a higher chance they’ll fill out your lead intake form or contact you.
You can also send reports or newsletters over email. Consider sending a report once a quarter on highlights and trends you’re seeing in the industry. Let your mailing list know that you are on top of the most recent styles and preferences. Use mailing lists to also celebrate holidays. These holiday emails can be a window into your company. For example, you could share pictures from a team party or gathering. Include links to your social media channels as well so readers on your mailing list can follow you in multiple channels. Prospects who follow you on multiple marketing channels can become evangelists for your company. You want to make it easy for these people to access and share all of your content.
#3 - Videos
Video content is a very powerful way to engage with your prospects and current clients. People tune in to video content because it is often entertaining and engaging. As a content marketer, your goal is to foster discussion and build relationships with prospects and clients through content. If you are serious about content marketing, it may be a good idea to start a YouTube channel showcasing your company and your day-to-day operations.
For example, pick one of your upcoming projects and record a time-lapse video of the process from start to finish. Take a video of yourself describing your process and combine it with the time-lapse video and some background music. To create this kind of content, you can use video editors like iMovie, Final Cut Pro, or Adobe Premiere Pro. Post this kind of content on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook. Creating video content doesn’t have to be complicated. Even informal update videos on the job site would make great Instagram and Facebook Stories.
You can also create a vlog, or video blog, on YouTube by repurposing your written blog. By repurposing content, you save time in the brainstorming process. A vlog can be used to share industry best practices and give insight into day-to-day life. Pick an idea from one of your blog posts, set up a camera, and start talking about the topic. Use video editing software to edit your video and overlay relevant images and video clips. Any video clips or images that are laid on top of your main video create a more engaging experience. When viewers see images, visuals, and screenshots related to your topic, they learn quicker and understand your topic faster.
If you’ve never recorded video before, start by using a smartphone. Most smartphones today have powerful cameras and microphones and are perfect for recording videos quickly and easily.
#4 - Guides
Sometimes your prospects need extra resources to help them think through the building process. Try creating a step-by-step guide of your process to set expectations for your prospects. This guide can be distributed via email, on your website, or as hard copy at an initial meeting with a prospect. Guides can be created about a wide range of topics. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.
- A Flooring Selection Guide for Your Custom Home
- A Guide for Designing Backyard Hardscapes for a Custom Home
- A Step-by-Step Guide for Your Kitchen Remodel
The content in these guides should address common questions prospects ask in the pre-contract phase. If you have a thoughtful guide to talk through with your prospects when these questions arise, they will trust your answers and trust you too. You can also publish these guides on your blog and share them with your mailing list.
In addition to high-quality written content, a good guide includes a lot of visual elements to keep prospects engaged. If you need help designing professional visuals to accompany your writing, use Fiverr to connect with freelance designers. On Fiverr, you can search for keywords to find skilled freelancers to design your content. Once you connect with a freelancer, send specifications for your project alongside all of your written content. It’s important to send your company website, color palette, and font styles to the designer so they can develop a design that is consistent with your brand. If you have a brand guide, send it to the designer as a resource.
You can also include visuals in your guides by using templates in Google Docs and Microsoft Word. Many content creation platforms contain quick and easy options to dress up any document. You can also look for examples of guides online to get inspiration.
Your guides should supplement your website and feel cohesive with your overall brand. Early on in the sales process, the little things matter. If you demonstrate your design eye and attention to detail in a content piece, your prospects will be more willing to trust you with building their dream home. Stay cohesive, stay consistent, and you’ll start signing more contracts.
If you need topic ideas for a guide, revisit some of your blog posts and repurpose them. The more you repurpose marketing content for different mediums, the less time you’ll have to spend brainstorming.
#5 - Start a Podcast
If you want to take content marketing to the next level, you can consider starting a podcast. Podcasts are a great way to let potential customers hear your voice and get to know you before they reach out directly about a project. Be sure you’ve implemented the previous four content ideas into your marketing strategy before you start a podcast. You’ll benefit most from a podcast when your content marketing system is already running smoothly.
Your podcast is a sub brand for your residential construction company, so make a title that integrates with who you are. Ultimately, you want your podcast to push people to your website and social media pages.
Once your podcast is up and running, it can act as a content creation machine. Brainstorm a conversation topic, invite a guest on your show, and spend no more than an hour talking through your topic.
You can repurpose a podcast into short form and long form video content, social media graphics, and a blog post.
- Video - When you record your podcast, set up a camera and record the entire conversation. Record on your smartphone or a DSLR camera. If you want to get really fancy, use two cameras to capture two angles. If you don’t want to dive into video editing, you can always use Fiverr to find a video editor. Post short form video content from your podcast on social media to provide your followers with more informative and entertaining content. Post long form video content to your YouTube channel to gain traction in a new marketing channel.
- Social media graphics - If you or one of your guests shares something notable or inspirational on the podcast, grab a photo from your conversation with them and use Canva to place their quote over the photo. This kind of social media graphic can be really powerful because people often share quotes on Instagram and Facebook stories. If you tag your guest, they can repost their own quote, connecting their network to your podcast. Collaboration with other creators online causes engagement. When your audience sees that you’re engaged in conversation, they will join in.
- Blog post - You can also repurpose your podcast into a blog post. Simply listen to your conversation and pull out a topic to write about. In your blog, refer to your podcast and quote your guest to foster further conversation on your post. Your followers will appreciate the continuity that exists between your marketing channels. When your content strategy is cohesive, your prospects and other companies will see you as a reliable resource.
You can start a podcast with a smartphone, a pen, and paper. Don’t overthink it. What really matters is the quality of your conversation, not the production value of the show. Over time, you’ll be able to build on your production capabilities. For more inspiration, start by listening to a couple of episodes from The Art of Custom Podcast by Hibbs Homes.
You are the resource
When it comes to marketing your home building or remodeling business, confidence is your greatest asset. To leverage content marketing, you need to believe in the value of your own ideas and observations. Here’s the good news - if you run a building or remodeling business and work with clients, you are an expert. Your clients hire you because they trust your knowledge and abilities enough to sign a contract.
In short, your knowledge is valuable, so don’t let a lack of confidence keep you from creating the kind of content your prospects need.
Create. Repurpose. Repeat.
Content marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. When you create a blog, guide, video, email, or podcast episode, think of three different ways to repurpose and share it. Don’t exhaust all of your topic ideas in your first month. Go slow and steady to earn an engaged following. You don’t need to start implementing every content idea this week. If you start a mailing list after reading this blog, that alone is a victory because every step is getting you and your business closer to potential customers.