A recent study for the construction industry by Hinge, a US based branding and marketing firm, found that buyers listed good reputation as the most important criteria for purchasing, and the good news is that most sellers already recognize this fact. www.hingemarketing.com They also asked buyers about the best way to market to them (Figure 1). How do they like to find out about new services and offerings?
Overwhelmingly, buyers said that the most effective way to market to them was to develop a reputation for producing results. But building firms vastly underestimated the importance of reputation as a marketing tool. The next two preferred marketing options were referrals and personal relationships. The message is clear: Buyers do not want to be intruded upon, and pushy or overt sales techniques are not appreciated. Although this was a US survey, I think the same general results would be mirrored in the New Zealand building scene.
But, how do you let people know how great you are without falling back on the more pushy sales techniques that buyers are trying to escape?
This is where content marketing comes in. Producing and distributing free, quality, educational content tailored to your target audience helps them get to know you and begins to solve their problems. That content—packaged as blog posts, articles, webinars, videos and booklets—differs from other sales or advertising activities in that the content must be relevant and useful, not “salesy.” You’re not trying to sell—you’re trying to educate and assist. And, you are demonstrating the firm’s reputation through insights, best practices and case studies. Maybe a guide on managing a renovation project, a simple list of website resources to help choose the best materials. You get the idea.
By offering your audience valuable information, you’re showing them that you have the expertise to help them with their challenge or to achieve their goal. If they find your information helpful, they’ll come back for more. That’s all about building trust.
Content marketing also boosts your visibility. Since your material is searchable online, content marketing harnesses the power of search engines so that you can be found by anyone, at any time.
Get in touch if you need help to improve your sales process by developing an education-based approach.
Andy Burrows – The Trades Coach