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Creating a Blueprint for Building Materials Marketing

Creating a successful digital marketing program can be as challenging as managing a large-scale construction project, with multiple moving parts and pieces to coordinate and keep track of. Just as a blueprint serves as a foundational document when working on such projects, providing a detailed plan and vision, a digital marketing strategy serves as a roadmap for attracting new customers to your business.

In this article, we’ll look at the essential components of a successful building materials marketing strategy and give you the tools you need to generate quality leads and grow your business.

Define Your Brand Identity

Establishing a strong brand identity goes beyond coming up with a clever slogan or a well-designed logo. It’s about telling a larger story of who you are as a company, what you stand for, what sets you apart from your competitors, and, most importantly, how your products solve your customers’ biggest pain points. It’s about drawing a connection in the minds of architects, contractors, homeowners, and DIYers between your company and quality, ensuring that you’re the first name that comes to mind and their first choice when preparing for their next project.

As you define your brand identity, consider what sets your company and your materials apart in a market that values reliability and innovation. Whether it’s a commitment to eco-friendly materials, an unmatched product range, or a legacy of quality craftsmanship, taking the time to reflect on your guiding principles, unique value proposition, and how you want to be perceived will help you craft a mission statement and identity that resonates with your target audience. And don’t forget to size up the competition: You can learn valuable lessons from your biggest competitors about how to position yourself (or how not to) and determine how to best differentiate your brand.

Once you have all of these foundational elements in place, the next step is to translate them into a brand identity. Design elements such as a logo, color palette, and typography are all important, but don’t stop there — you also need a strong brand messaging framework that tells a compelling story and clearly communicates your company’s value in a highly repeatable way.

Need help creating a brand messaging framework for your building materials company? We’ve got you covered — check out this free template to get started.

Develop an SEO Strategy to Drive Traffic to Your Site

Your company’s website is likely potential customers’ first touchpoint with your business, which means it not only needs to showcase your building materials and brand identity, but also be easily discoverable. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. SEO refers to the process of engineering your website to rank as highly as possible on the search engine results page (SERP) for keywords that are important to your target audience, whether that’s DIY enthusiasts, contractors, or anyone in between. The higher your website ranks, the more organic traffic you’ll receive — traffic you can convert into qualified leads and sales.

There are two primary categories of SEO: on-page and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO refers to any efforts made to improve your website’s user experience or to make it more discoverable for keywords relevant to your target audience. This can include:

  • Publishing high-quality, educational content that aligns with your target audience’s search intent
  • Incorporating relevant keywords throughout your content, including titles, headings, body copy, meta descriptions, and URLs, using natural language
  • Crafting clear and concise meta titles and descriptions that incorporate relevant keywords and encourage readers to click through from search results
  • Using descriptive filenames and alt attributes for images that include relevant keywords
  • Improving site speed and mobile responsiveness to ensure your site loads quickly and is easily navigable both on desktop and mobile devices
  • Linking to other pages within your website to help search engines crawl it more effectively and increase page views

Off-page SEO focuses on any actions potential customers take outside of your website that could affect your SERP ranking. This aspect of SEO aims to increase your site’s authority and reputation, which can help search engines see it as relevant and trustworthy. Off-page SEO can include:

  • Engaging in link building to earn links back to your website from other reputable sites
  • Amplifying your content on social media to increase its reach, driving more traffic to your site and potentially earning backlinks
  • Writing articles for other reputable sites in your industry to create valuable backlinks and increase brand visibility
  • Listing your business in local directories and on Google My Business to improve local search visibility
  • Securing both linked and unlinked mentions of your brand through other websites, boosting your site’s perceived authority

Taken together, on-page and off-page SEO enhance your website’s visibility by making it more attractive to search engines and users and establishing it as a trustworthy source.

Optimize Your Website’s User Experience

Your website’s user experience (UX) can make or break your digital marketing efforts. For context, UX refers to a potential customer’s experience when interacting with your company’s website; it includes everything from how responsive your website is when accessed from different devices to how logically structured and easily navigable your site’s layout is. A well-optimized UX makes it easier for prospective customers to view your products and interact with your brand, which can increase engagement and conversion rates.

While it might sound complicated, certain aspects of UX are fairly simple. There are even changes you can implement yourself, such as using specific language when writing calls-to-action, using consistent visuals across your site, and making it easy for site visitors to find the information they’re looking for, whether that’s product specifications and performance data or how-to guides and other educational content. More complex aspects of UX, such as site speed and website design, will likely require professional support. If you’re considering giving your site a facelift, we recommend reading this eBook first to maximize your impact.

On the off chance that your company doesn’t have an existing website, this needs to be your first area of focus. A solid website is the foundation to any successful digital marketing strategy — and Vital just so happens to specialize in designing and developing websites that are flexible, scalable, and able to support customized digital marketing strategies.

Take a Personalized Approach by Segmenting Your Audience

When helping a customer select building materials for an upcoming project, odds are you tailor your recommendations based on their budget, project specifications, stated goals, regulatory requirements, and so on. It’s important to take the same approach with digital marketing, tailoring your strategy based on the needs of different groups within your target audience. But to do this, you first need to segment your audience.

Audience segmentation refers to the process of splitting your target audience into subgroups based on shared characteristics, such as age, location, profession, or behavior. For building materials suppliers, one of the easiest ways to segment your audience is by industry or profession — for example, your audience segments might include builders and contractors, architects and designers, distributors and dealers, and homeowners and DIY enthusiasts. You can even divide these into smaller segments; for example, general contractors, specialty trade contractors, home builders, and commercial property builders might all fall under the umbrella of “builders and contractors.”

Once you know your audience segments, the next step is to develop buyer personas for each of these segments. A buyer persona is exactly what it sounds like: a fictional representation of an ideal buyer from each segment. Each persona should capture key information, such as pain points this buyer might face, common questions they might have, what their priorities are, and what messaging resonates with them. These buyer personas are effectively the North Star for personalizing your building materials marketing efforts, from choosing the right keywords to target to which social media platforms you run paid media campaigns on.

When it comes to creating audience segments and buyer personas, data is your friend. Existing CRM data, data from past marketing campaigns, and industry data can help you decide how to segment your audience, while competitor marketing and paid media performance data can help you identify which audiences are underserved, presenting perfect low-hanging fruit opportunities for your business.

As far as personalizing your marketing efforts to support different personas is concerned, try going straight to the source: Existing customers within different audience segments can offer unique insights into what they’re looking for, what messaging and materials appeal to them, and what influences their purchasing decisions.

Create Marketing Content That Educates & Engages

Well-written, authoritative, and educational content is the backbone of any successful building materials marketing plan, enabling you to showcase your company’s industry expertise and the benefits of using its products, all while engaging your target audience.

If your company is new to content marketing, it can be helpful to start broad, building a solid foundation of content on more general topics, such as case studies, installation guides, comparison guides, and so on.

From there, you can tailor your content to speak to individuals in different stages of the buyer’s journey and in different audience segments. For example, a blog post on interior design trends would be well-suited for a homeowner in the Awareness stage who’s seeking inspiration for their first DIY project, while an eBook on sustainable material choices could be valuable to a contractor working on a LEED-certified green building project. Both of these examples would create opportunities to demonstrate your company’s expertise and earn readers’ trust.

A few tips when developing a building materials content marketing strategy:

  • Consider your readers’ needs when scoping out content. Whether it’s high-level or technical in nature, all of your content should be designed to provide a solution to a problem your audience is facing.
  • Make sure your content is both well-written and well-researched. As AI-generated content becomes more commonplace, search engines such as Google are prioritizing material written by actual industry experts. (For more insights into Google’s stance on AI content, check this out.)
  • Incorporate SEO keywords relevant to your target audience throughout your content to increase its chances of ranking on SERPs.
  • Explore a variety of content types, including written content, visual media, and audio. Infographics, video tutorials, webinars, podcasts, and more are great ways to share information and add interest to your site.
  • Create a mix of ungated content such as blog posts, podcasts, and social media posts to increase organic traffic to your site and gated content such as eBooks, whitepapers, and webinars to drive lead generation.
  • Scope out the competition, looking for opportunities to create content that’s better than other what building materials suppliers have on their sites. While this might sound daunting, it can be as simple as creating content that’s more in-depth; that is better structured using proper headings, subheadings, and bullet points; or that incorporates visual elements to make it more easily scannable.
  • Make your content easily shareable on social media to further extend its potential reach.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

There are over 308 million social media users in the U.S. alone, with the average person spending almost two and a half hours on social media each day. It’s undeniable that Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms are an essential part of how people communicate, access information, and even shop, making them fertile ground for digital marketing.

Building materials suppliers can run paid ads through their target audience’s preferred social media channels, personalizing their messaging to appeal to different personas. For example, platforms such as LinkedIn can be ideal for advertising to industry professionals, while Instagram and Pinterest provide visual appeal to showcase your materials to a broader audience, including DIYers and homeowners. Many of these platforms include sophisticated targeting options to ensure your ads appear to the right audience, while custom audiences based on existing data and lookalike audiences based on platform algorithms can further extend your reach.

But paid ads aren’t the only way to leverage social media for building materials marketing — these platforms also enable businesses to increase brand awareness. The word “authenticity” is something of a buzzword in social media marketing, and for good reason: Effective social media marketing goes beyond just selling a product and conveys your company’s values, mission, and the human aspect of your brand.

Easy ways to create this sense of authenticity include developing a consistent voice that reflects your brand identity, sharing customer success stories and user-generated content, spotlighting members of your team, and engaging in honest conversations with followers, addressing questions and feedback openly. Not only will these efforts enhance brand awareness for your company, but they will also foster meaningful customer engagement, which could lead to long-term loyalty.

Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Site with Paid Media Campaigns

Paid media is a broad category of digital marketing that encompasses any form of paid advertising, including paid search, paid social, display ads, video ads, retargeting ads, and affiliate marketing.

These ads target popular search terms, such as “home renovation,” “composite decking,” or “lumber yard near me.” The higher the search volume, the more competitive it will be to rank for that keyword, and the more expensive it will be to bid on that term. For that reason, we often recommend that our clients aim for lower-hanging fruit — that is, focusing on search terms targeted toward potential customers who are lower in the sales funnel, as these terms tend to be less competitive, making them less expensive and increasing your chances of converting.

The key to a successful paid media campaign lies in its precision. Using your previously established buyer personas and the native targeting tools of different paid platforms, you can narrow down your audience to those most interested in your company’s building materials. These tools are granular enough to target prospective customers based on their job titles, industries, industries, and even online behavior, such as searching for construction-related content.

Compared to other forms of content marketing, which can range from long-form, educational blog posts to the shorter, more persuasive copy of email marketing campaigns, paid media ads should be concise but compelling. They should motivate readers to take a specific action, whether that’s to download a gated asset, visit a product page, or schedule a consultation with a member of your sales team.

From effectively managing ad spend and identifying affinity audiences to optimizing landing pages and creating digital assets that convert, paid media isn’t always beginner-friendly. If your company needs expert paid advertising support, our PPC agency audit is a great starting point for finding a right-fit agency that can increase your return on ad spend.

Analyze Your Results to Further Optimize Your Strategy

Here at Vital, we like to say that our digital marketing strategies are time-tested but future-focused. Put another way, we learn from the past to plan for the future. Each campaign you run, whether it involves content marketing, email outreach, social media, or paid advertising, provides valuable data on what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. Engaging in this continuous loop of executing, measuring, learning, and optimizing is essential to adapting your approach and meeting your short- and long-term goals.

For instance, reviewing the performance of past blog posts can reveal a wealth of information. By tracking which keywords are driving traffic, understanding the sources of this traffic, and measuring how many page visitors convert into leads or customers, you can gauge the effectiveness of your content strategy. This analysis can highlight opportunities to tweak topics, enhance your SEO strategy, or explore other content types to amplify your reach and engagement.

Similarly, monitoring the open rates and click-through rates of email marketing campaigns can offer valuable insights on how to adjust your strategy for better performance. A high open rate would suggest that your subject lines are compelling and stand out in a recipient’s crowded inbox, while a low open rate might indicate the need for more engaging or personalized subject lines. A high click-through rate might signify that the message in the email resonates with your audience, encouraging them to take action. If certain links or calls-to-action consistently outperform others, it would signal a stronger interest in specific topics or offers. Armed with this information, you can tailor future email campaigns to feature more of the content that drives engagement and further segment your audience based on their interests.

Ultimately, your goal here is to make data-driven changes that fine-tune your building materials marketing plan; this requires not only looking at what worked well but also understanding why certain strategies underperformed. By embracing a mindset of continuous improvement and using analytics to your advantage, you can enhance the impact of your digital marketing, driving more targeted traffic, generating higher quality leads, and increasing sales.

Achieve Optimal Results Through Consistent Effort

If there’s one final message to hammer home (pun fully intended), it’s that you get out of digital marketing what you put into it. While that should come as no surprise in an industry known for its hard work and elbow grease, it still warrants saying. Too often, businesses make the mistake of thinking of marketing as a one-time injection, when really it’s a sustained effort, one that requires discipline. For your building materials marketing program to really get off the ground, you’ll need to make a concerted effort across multiple channels day in and day out, leveraging data to make informed decisions and iterate upon previous campaigns.

Ready to implement these strategies and craft a dynamic building materials marketing plan? Download our free marketing plan template.