The digital era has revolutionized the way businesses operate and market themselves. For contractors, in particular, there's an untapped potential that can not only bring in clients but also make them willing to wait for over a year just to get your services. In today's blog post, I'm going to give you a deep dive into content marketing for contractors. Ready? Let's dive in.
Content marketing is a robust tool that I've personally used to build many businesses. It’s all about educating your potential clients, meeting their needs, and offering them something genuinely beneficial. By consistently delivering valuable content, you position your company for organic growth.
Sure, there are various marketing strategies, including paid ads, but the crux of our strategy is to be industry-leading educators. It's essential to grasp that content marketing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. It's a long game. However, with time, content establishes your brand and solidifies your position as an industry expert. And let's be honest, everyone wants to hire an expert.
Traditional vs. Content Marketing
At the base, there are two primary marketing philosophies: traditional and content marketing.
"Traditional marketing" is all about interruption. Think of the billboards you pass on the highway or the ads you hear on the radio. These are all trying to capture your attention, often unsolicited.
"Content marketing", on the other hand, is a permission-based approach. It's about being invited into someone's life because you're providing genuine value or answering a pressing question they have. A great resource to dive deeper into this is Marcus Sheridan's book "They Ask, You Answer."
One significant distinction between these two approaches is the cost. Content marketing is often far less expensive than traditional methods. Even more profound is the shift from being a "renter" in traditional marketing (think renting ad space) to being the "owner" in content marketing, where you create and control the content.
Understanding the Phases of the Buying Process
Most contractors are vying for a tiny percentage of people ready to make a purchase immediately. But how often does someone wake up and decide, out of the blue, to remodel their kitchen?
The buying process has multiple phases:
1. Immediate Need (3%): These are the people looking to hire someone like you "right now". Most contractors target this group, leading to fierce price competition.
2. Open or Curious (7%): This group is just beginning to explore. They're asking questions, seeking inspiration, and gathering information.
3. Future Plans (30%): They want to utilize your services but at a later time, maybe because they're saving up or waiting for the right season.
4. Unaware of the Problem (30%): They don't know they need your services yet, because they're unaware of the problem in the first place.
5. Never Your Customer (30%): These folks are just not interested, and that's okay.
Understanding where each potential client is in their buying journey helps you tailor your content to their needs and concerns.
What Makes Stellar Content?
Creating a fantastic piece of content boils down to three main criteria:
1. It meets a need.
2. It solves a problem.
3. It makes the user's life easier.
Avoid the hard sell in your content. Sure, occasional promotions are okay, but the primary focus should always be on providing value.
For contractors, think about the most common questions you get. For instance, as a painting contractor, I frequently heard questions about paint finishes, cost, and maintenance. These queries can be the foundation for blog posts, videos, and other content pieces.
The Challenge Ahead
If you're ready to harness the power of content marketing, here’s a challenge for you: sit down with your team and list out the top 10 questions you hear in your trade. Then, answer them. Whether you write articles, create videos, or host webinars, start producing content that directly addresses these questions.
Remember, the time will pass regardless. Why not spend it building a strong brand reputation and trust with potential clients? If you consistently create valuable content today, a year from now, you'll be the contractor everyone wants – and is willing to wait for.
Content marketing offers contractors an unparalleled opportunity to establish themselves as industry experts, build genuine relationships with potential clients, and grow their businesses in a sustainable way. Dive into content marketing and watch your business transform.