0800 060 8698 info@glenigan.com

Request a Call

We encourage you to read our privacy and cookies policy.

Author: Ross Sturley – CIMCIG Committee Member (@rosssturley)

Last week, CIMCIG released the shortlist for ‘Construction Blog of the Year’, part of the Construction Marketing Awards. There was quite a bit of competition to get on the ten-strong list and many were disappointed. Blogging is certainly perceived as an important part of construction marketing.

The concept of blogging has been around for a comparatively short amount of time. The word “blog” was coined in 1997, as a truncation of “weblog”, used to describe the stream-of-consciousness diary entry style which was popular in California at the time.Newsletter_CIMCIG_Sep-14

Since then it’s become a pretty widespread practice, helped by easy-to-use, low cost systems such as WordPress. A report released earlier this year suggests there are more than 500 million of them worldwide.

Some bloggers have achieved fame - or notoriety – with Guido Fawkes and Fleet Street Fox both making an impact on the UK national consciousness. Many, of course, are blogging into the void, to an audience of perhaps one or two people – a lot of effort for little reward.

The blogs we’re interested in at CIMCIG are those which seek to promote a particular brand or service in the construction space. Construction marketers have seized on blogs as a good way to get messages out in to their audience without having to rely on magazine editors to publish what they send them.

Blogging can be certainly good for a business-to-business brand. You can achieve a number of things:

  • Personality – your brand can develop depth and personality by exposing itself in more detail to an interested audience;
  • Engagement – your customers can become more involved in your brand and interact with it; and 
  • Expertise – you, or your teams, can demonstrate your expertise by talking about your solutions to common problems, or simply by empathising with your market.

There are, of course, many pitfalls. You could run into significant legal problems if you, for example, used copyright material like photographs without the rights owner’s consent.  You also need to be careful how you moderate and publish comments from the market - libel is a nasty law to be on the wrong side of!

But the biggest issues are around keeping the content flowing - and ensuring it remains interesting, and relevant, to your audience. Before you start a blog, just like any other element or your marketing, you need a plan. Key points to consider include:

  • Who will write the material? You need to have someone who can write, which seems trivial, but is not. Not everyone can produce 400 words of concise and engaging content on a regular basis. Choose wisely! 
  • How often will they write it, and how will you make them? Regular is more important than frequent for blogging. If it’s once a week, then people can get in to the routine. Does the writer work for you? Can you instruct them to do this alongside their regular day job? 
  • What will it be about and why is that interesting? This is crucial. What is deeply interesting to you may not be so to your target audience. Automotive engineers glory in the complexity of their triumphs over mechanical problems, but their customers are just happy that the car goes forward and backwards. Your blog needs to be interesting to your customers, not to you!
  • How will you tell your customers it’s there? In space, no one can hear you scream. And in hypertext space, no one can see you unless you’re searchable or you tell them it’s there – with an e-mail perhaps!

The blogs on the CMA shortlist all succeed. They were voted onto the shortlist by their users, so have managed to get enough engagement to make people tick a box on an online form. Take a look at them, they can all show you something of what is necessary to make it in the blogosphere.

To view the CMA’s Best Construction Blog shortlist, click here.

Ross Sturley is principal at Chart Lane, a strategic communications company specialising in construction, property and regeneration, and a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group.

Not a Glenigan Customer?

Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.