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29th September 2014
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.
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:
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:
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.
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