Can Guestblogging Really Help Grow Your Business?

guestbloggingGiven the time and effort involved in guestblogging, it’s natural to wonder if all that work is going to pay off in new construction clients. While it does take some research and networking, if you choose the right topics and blogs to work with, guestblogging can bring results.

Connect with Your Ideal Clients

Especially for B2B service providers, guestblogging offers a way to reach new niche audiences of active buyers. The key to reaching the most profitable audiences for you is careful selection.

Seek out blogs that attract your target audience, but aren’t run by your direct competitors. If you specialize in building retail stores, that might mean blogs that forcus on retail marketing or small business management, or on an even narrower niche such as fashion retail. If you’re looking for home renovation clients, you might work with blogs written by materials suppliers and tradespeople such as electricians and carpenters.

Look for signs of an engaged readership, too. If the blog’s regular posts attract comments and social media shares, your guest post is also likely to get attention. When you find an appropriate blog, pitch them your idea before you write the whole post.

Attract Clients by Offering Value

A guest post shouldn’t read like an advertisement. Instead of promoting or even mentioning your services, provide genuinely valuable information that helps your target clients meet their goals. If you’re trying to attract retail store clients, you might write about the top five building features that help stores sell more. Your bio at the end will tell readers how you can help them get these features in their stores.

Before you choose your topic, spend some time browsing the blog to see what the audience responds to best. For example, do they prefer posts with lots of technical detail or ones that tell interesting stories? You don’t want to rehash common topics, but you also don’t want anything wildly different from what the audience is used to.

Why Title Quality Can Make or Break Your Blog Success

The first impression your would-be readers get of your blog posts comes from your titles. Settle for bland, ambiguous titles and you’ll struggle to grow your readership. Invest some time into crafting descriptive, attention-grabbing ones, though, and you can win readers who turn into loyal clients.

The Right Kind of Attention

When reading online, people tend to scan, so you only have around three to five seconds to catch your readers’ attention before they’re off to something else. To stop readers in their tracks, a blog post title must convey the topic of the post quickly and clearly.

As a title, “Eco-friendly Home Features” is so vague a reader can’t really tell if the post is relevant to their interests. “Construction Features for a More Energy-Efficient Home,” however, stands out from the crowd by stating exactly what readers stand to gain.

Blandly descriptive blog titles aren’t enough, though. Your titles also need to spark interest. While you can do that by stirring a controversy or offering entertainment, it’s often easiest to promise a benefit. “Trends in Commercial Office Construction” might sound like a nice read, but “Emerging Office Building Trends Tenants are Paying Top Dollar For” is a lot more compelling.

A Wider Audience

Intriguing titles gain more traction on social media, letting you reach whole new audiences. Your target prospects are more likely to share an appealing title than one their followers will scan right over. The same thing goes for blog posts your readers share by email. A boring title is likely to be ignored, but if the title sparks the recipient’s interest, they’ll click no matter who sent it.

Good titles also make it easier for your potential clients to find your blog in the search engines. This isn’t so much about choosing popular keywords as it is about being specific. You’ll have a much better chance of ranking well for a narrowly defined term such as “energy-efficient roofing options” than for a broad term such as “eco-friendly homes.”

How to Increase the Leads from Your Blogging Efforts

attract leads with your blogValuable content is only one component in a lead-generating blog strategy. To bring in the kind of construction leads you want most, you’ll need to zero in on your target clients’ interests, then guide them toward getting in touch with you.

Focus on Buyers

When you’re building your blog readership, it’s all too easy to make the mistake of choosing popular, highly searched-for topics, rather than the topics that will attract paying clients. You might get a lot of visitors to a post about office building depreciation, but they won’t necessarily be looking to hire a contractor. When you choose topics, consider what your ideal clients research when they’re ready to embark on a new project. If you offer commercial office construction, that might be topics such as “small office building design” or “office construction cost per square foot.”

Grab Their Emails Fast

When a potential client lands on your blog, they might love the guidance and insight you provide, but then click away and completely forget about you by the time they’re ready to hire. By offering a tempting “bribe” to sign up for your mailing list, you can capture their contact information immediately and then follow up. Your bribe could be an email course, a video series, a detailed case study or any other content, as long as it provides valuable information that addresses a specific, pressing issue your readers face.

Liven up Your Calls to Action

Attention-grabbing calls to action (CTAs) strategically placed in your blog posts are the final step in turning your readers into leads. Your CTAs should give your readers a good reason to hand over their contact information. “Sign up for our newsletter now” doesn’t cut it. Instead, try something like “Get your free mini-course on sustainable office construction” or “Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to hear about profitable new office building trends.” Place these CTAs prominently within your posts as well as at the end.

How to Use Evergreen Content to Get More Construction Leads

great contentThere’s a temptation amongst construction businesses to focus on creating content that’s newsworthy. While this will certainly interest leads and can help to boost your SEO rankings (especially if it gains some traction on social media), such content doesn’t stay relevant for very long. It has a limited lifespan. It’s why you should also focus on creating evergreen content.

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is content that won’t lose relevancy as it ages. For example, an article about construction trends to watch in 2018 is going to be outdated by the time 2019 rolls around. However, an article providing construction safety tips will always be relevant. Some of the types of content considered “evergreen” include FAQs, how-to guides, tutorials, product demonstrations, industry resources, testimonials, history-of articles, and terms and phrases glossaries.

The Benefits of Creating Evergreen Content

The following are just a few of the reasons why you should make sure to produce evergreen content for your construction blog:

  • Leads who are searching for basic information relating to your business will be more likely to stumble on your articles. These leads are looking for specific information and aren’t concerned with recent construction-related news. They’re looking to be informed.
  • By having a backlog of evergreen content, you give leads looking for information to inform themselves fully without ever having to leave your website. They’ll be able to go through one article to the next. By giving them this opportunity, you establish yourself as an authority within your field, thereby building more trust.
  • You’ll improve your SEO rankings, which will provide more exposure to your website and bring in more traffic. Evergreen content helps SEO because it tends to answer questions that people have, meaning that Google and other search engines will identify your evergreen content as being relevant to many of their user queries.

Unlike news-based content, evergreen content will help your construction business generate leads for years to come by providing valuable information, establishing your brand as an authority, and boosting your SEO rankings.

Why Blogging Should Be The Hub Of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

blogging strategyBy helping more people find your construction firm and turning those individuals into warm leads, a blog acts as the linchpin that keeps your digital marketing strategy running smoothly. The better you understand how your blog does this, the better you can manage it to your advantage.

Reach Out to Your Market

Blogging helps improve your search engine ranking by keeping your site regularly updated with fresh content and increasing the amount of searched-for phrases on your site, as well as by attracting links from other websites and social shares from your readers.

Your blog also makes it easier to reach your potential clients on social media by giving you a source of content to post. Plan content for your blog, then draw on it for your Facebook posts, Instagram pictures, and Twitter tweets. If you write a post about renovating a clubhouse one week, you can use photos, tips, and interesting facts from that post as the week’s social media content.

Build Stronger Connections

When a potential lead does click through your search engine link or social media post, your blog will be there to welcome them. Unlike a skimpy brochure website, a blog can hold their attention with valuable content, demonstrate the benefits of working with your firm, and lead readers toward handing over their contact information. Your blog’s RSS feed and email digests give you more ways to stay in touch with your prospects.

To keep your prospects interested and build a good rapport, your digital marketing strategy needs a mix of content that lets your audience interact with your company in a variety of ways. A blogging platform makes it easy to upload and organize all kinds of content, including images, videos, audio, and downloadable PDFs.

As an added benefit, a blog gives you a way to gather data such as keyword activity, page views, and click paths that tell you what your target audience wants so you can give them more of it.

 

How Blogging Can Build Visitor Trust

building trustPublishing a blog is a good way to help people find your construction firm online, but that’s not where the benefits end. Your posts also build visitor trust by showcasing your expertise and helping you build influential connections.

Establish Your Credibility

Before your visitors give you their trust, they need to see some proof that you have the skills to turn their construction plans into a reality and the personal integrity to deal honestly with financial and scheduling matters. By filling your blog with valuable tips, advice, and insight that will help your target audience solve their problems and reach their goals, you show them you know what you’re talking about. Your blog also gives you a way to draw more attention to your portfolio images, client testimonials, and success stories that further prove your expertise.

Your hard skills aren’t the only thing your blog shows off, though. Freely sharing your knowledge positions you as a helpful, generous expert who’s willing to take the time to guide others in the right direction.

Team Up with Influencers

Your blog opens an abundance of opportunities to work with construction industry influencers and build visitor trust by leveraging their good reputations. Find out who the influential personalities are in your segment of the construction industry and start building a relationship by interacting with their blog and social media posts. Mention them in your blog posts or ask to interview them for a post. Send a short question to several influencers and, with their permission, create a blog post from their answers. Ask to guest post on their blog or invite them to guest post on yours.

When you publish an especially high-value post, let relevant influencers know you have something their audience might find helpful. If you’ve built a connection, chances are they’ll be happy to share your post, which gets your name in front of more potential clients along with a recommendation from someone they already trust.

 

How To Manage Content With An Editorial Calendar

editorial calendarTrying to manage a blog, email list, and social media accounts without a clear plan is just asking for a headache. By creating an editorial calendar to guide you as you go, you can produce better content and manage it without stress.

Choose Your Topics

Start by brainstorming a list of topics you know your potential clients are interested in. Check your website statistics to see which topics get the most attention and think of ways to expand on those. Do some keyword research with one of the many tools out there to find out what your target market is searching for online. Browse other sites in your industry for inspiration. While you’re gathering ideas, consider which formats you want to use for which topics. Some might work well with text alone, while others are better suited to video.

Organize Your Calendar

Once you have a pool of topics, decide when you’re going publish on each channel and fill in a topic for each “time slot.” Try choosing a theme for each month related to what your potential clients are most interested in at that time of year. For instance, if they’re in planning mode in winter, they might be interested in learning about new construction methods and materials. Picking a theme for certain days of the week, such as construction law on Mondays or sustainability issues on Wednesdays, also helps you decide what to publish when.

Schedule Your Production Process

While some of your online content might be blog posts you can write off the top of your head, other content will require work done in advance. You might need to gather data, interview outside experts, take photos, create graphics or edit videos. Your editorial calendar can keep you on schedule for each step so your content is ready on time. Look back through your calendar and note what steps will be necessary to create each piece of content, then add those steps to your calendar.

 

5 Blogging Inspiration Ideas

blog ideasNo matter how enthusiastically you started your construction blog, chances are after a few months you’ll find it harder to come up with fresh blogging ideas. When you need inspiration, here are a few ways to find it.

  1. Check out your competition – Browsing your competitors’ blogs and websites is one of the quickest ways to get ideas. While you might not want to cover the exact same topics, seeing what others in your field are writing about can spark ideas. Even if you do, your take on each topic will be unique to you. The blogs of your partners, such as materials suppliers and subcontractors, can also provide inspiration.
  2. Search social media – The questions your target clients ask on social media are a rich source of blogging ideas. To find them, search your favorite platforms by hashtag and keyword. Pay attention to the “trending” sections of your social media accounts, too. These are often tailored towards your interests.
  3. Review the trends – Services such as Google Trends and BuzzSumo can help you zero in on what people are talking about online. Most topics won’t be directly connected to the construction market, but with a little creativity, you might find an angle that to relates your audience’s needs.
  4. Ask your audience – If you have an email list, send out an email asking your readers to name the one topic they’d most like to read more about. On your website, run a poll listing five or six topics to vote on. When you have a few minutes to talk with a client, ask if there’s anything they’ve been wanting to learn more about.
  5. Mine your workday – Stay alert for inspiration in the things you encounter throughout your day. It could come from a product sample you received, a comment from a colleague or even a concern you’re having about an on-going project. Use a notebook or phone app to jot down any blog post ideas you have to create an idea bank to draw from later.

 

Why Blogging Works to Generate Leads

Blogging now rates as one of the most effective strategies for construction lead generation for different reasons. Take a look at how Construction Monitor, a company that delivers leads based on building permits gathered nationwide, plus other pertinent construction information and statistics, structures its blog.

Construction Blog Categories

Construction Monitor’s blog categories are varied and target anybody associated with the construction industry. They include:

  • Construction technology
  • Construction tips
  • Construction trends
  • Green building / housing
  • Housing / building permits
  • Landscaping architecture
  • New construction
  • News
  • Pool and spa
  • Remodeling projects

Increase Your Construction Leads

In the last two months of 2016, Construction Monitor published posts directly related to construction lead generation and marketing. One such post deals with the value of creating buyer personas. Buyer personas are a snapshot of the relevant traits of an ideal customer, including what that customer would want. What constitutes an ideal customer depends upon the type of construction a company provides. For example, a maker of pools and spas could target a relatively prosperous family with children in the suburbs. Buyer personas, therefore, have the positive effect of sharpening the focus of marketing.

Another informative post is entitled “Know Your Audience: Where and How You Interact with Potential Customers Matters.” This post describes dealing with customer questions and problems in both in-person and online interactions. A critical factor in interacting with the customer online is answering their questions quickly — otherwise they’ll seek out other sources. It goes further, though, and notes how even the design and text of marketing materials can be geared toward specific target audiences.

A potentially valuable post for a client deals with the increasingly used professional networking platform, and one that can also help with construction lead generation, LinkedIn. To generate these leads, the article recommends going beyond merely creating a LinkedIn profile by actively connecting with relevant persons, joining groups, sharing information, and providing recommendations.

These are just three examples of very beneficial information which can be found on a company’s blog for construction lead generation. For more information about blogging, marketing, and other construction topics, call Construction Monitor today!