Many tradies see content marketing as a concept that is either unnecessary for their business’s promotional strategy or something that cannot be implemented with any degree of confidence, because of the inherent challenges involved. With 93% of Australian marketers using content marketing to promote a business, the thinking that it doesn’t deliver any promotional value for a business is bunkum. Useful, actionable content has tremendous marketing heft and tradies can use it to generate more awareness about their business, increase the reputation of their services, and enhance their market influence.
What’s more, they can do this easily and confidently. All they need to know is ‘how’. So let’s take a closer look at how local businesses, especially tradies, can leverage content marketing for business benefit.
- The First Step – Start a Blog
For tradies, content marketing starts at home, that is on their websites, through a blog. Have a blog up on your website, and use it to provide answers to questions that your target customers might have with respect to your domain. No, don’t advertise your services or expertise; the focus must be on helping your potential customers (who’re also reading your blog).
For e.g. If you are a plumbing services provider, your blog can focus on topics such as:
- ‘5 Reasons for a Clogged Toilet and How to Solve this Problem’
- ‘Why are their Puddles of Water around your Shower Enclosure?’
- ‘How to Solve a Recurring ‘Clogged Sink’ Problem?
And so on and so forth.
Such content is helping your readers and although it doesn’t advertise your services, it does make a case for your expertise. Readers facing a plumbing issue in their homes will be more inclined to using your services after reading an expert post on an issue that they’ve been experiencing.
If you’ve got a website, you must be optimizing it for search engines to attract organic traffic to your site. You will be hoping that a large percentage of this traffic makes its way to your blog, reads the content posted on it, and converts into customers. That’s one way of getting people to read your content.
But, why not make a concerted attempt to distribute content. Create a Facebook page, for your local business and starting sharing links to your blog posts with your followers. The great thing about social networks like Facebook is that you can engage with followers relevant to the location you are servicing. So, if you are offering plumbing services in Perth, you can make sure you only share links with followers who live in Perth. And make sure you keep engaging with them through your content or links to interesting third-party content.
You can even start sharing links on Twitter, with your Google+ Circles, and with your professional network on LinkedIn. The idea is to explore and use each and every avenue to distribute your content and make sure it reaches the local audience that you wish to target. As your content keeps getting liked, retweeted or +1’ed, it’s a like shout out for your services and your expertise. This has the potential to translate into more customers for your business.
Premium in this case refers to high quality content that is relevant, current, actionable, engaging and which your local readers will love going through. Many tradies shy away from content marketing because they don’t see themselves as being able to produce such content consistently.
But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Here’s how you can ensure your content is what your target audience wants:
- Find local keywords – How to the Find Keywords that Work For your Content Marketing Goals is a great read on the subject.
- Use Twitter’s trending topics tab to know what’s making the maximum noise in your neighborhood.
- Join relevant discussion forums and track the hottest topics of discussion.
- Subscribe to community focused media outlets.
- Use Google Alerts and News to monitor the latest happenings in your niche.
What you need to do is think out of the box and innovate to come up with interesting content:
- Come up with a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ blog post about your niche.
- Tips and How To posts are a huge hit.
- Service videos.
- Case Studies (For e.g. how you solved a complex plumbing problem).
- Seasonal Themes (For e.g. addressing plumbing problems in the rainy season etc.).
These are just some of the many ways you can adopt to make sure you always have something new to say to your audience.
Keeping at it
Content marketing will deliver immense value to your business irrespective of whether you are plumber, bricklayer, or an electrician, but you need to keep at it. You must be serious about it. Also, you need to make sure you hire marketers who’re aware about the ins and outs of content marketing. Another important and often ignored aspect of content marketing is the actual writing part. If you have what it takes to come up with solid content, good for you! But if you aren’t very good at creating content pieces, you’ll need to hire accomplished writers for the job. You cannot afford to take this aspect lightly. The foundation of any and every successful content marketing strategy rests on the skills and knowledge of the writer. It’s the writer who makes sure your content is an interesting and highly engaging read. Get this part wrong and your content marketing will fall apart.
Ignoring content marketing might see your business lose a large chunk of audience who believes your business doesn’t have what it takes to handle their problem. Say you are offering gas fitting services, how will people know you know your job? They will know you are the right pick for their needs if you’ve been coming up with great content on specific services, and which has been liked, shared, and commented upon by numerous readers.
This in itself is a huge benefit that content marketing offers, something that makes ignoring it nothing less than a crime.