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

The Construction Marketing Awards 2015 have just opened for entry. This year there are several new categories, among them the Content Marketing Award.

Content marketing is a term coined relatively recently and often used to describe corporate blogs and the like. When hearing it, many think of websites and e-mails, but it’s important to remember that the definition of content marketing is rather broader. 

It describes “any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers”.

So while this includes blogs and vlogs, it also covers news, video, white papers, infographics, case studies, how to guides, question and answer articles, photos and even good old-fashioned technical brochures.Newsletter_CIMCIGSponsored_Apr-15

In fact, many construction marketers have engaged in content marketing throughout their careers. Although the delivery of such matter has been changed by the advent of digital channels, the need for a careful and deliberate strategy choice has not.

When people consume your content, whether it’s a technical brochure, a case study, or a blog, it adds to the sum of what they know about your brand, and therefore either builds on or alters their perception of you. So it’s important to apply the same discipline to blogs as you would to a press release or a technical catalogue. Does the blog personality chime with the corporate or product brand? Would your customers recognise it as sharing the same values?

Material delivered online, either through the marketing team updating a news item, content producers writing a blog, or open responses to queries raised on social media platforms, can vastly reinforce brand values. If your company is thought to be trustworthy, reliable and solid, it can be even more so by demonstrating those values in your communications. But these perceptions can also be destroyed by careless comments or ill-considered articles.

Create a set of rules, which would be similar to those you would use if regulating how your bloggers contributed to industry publications. What language and tone of voice should they use? How should they evidence claims and statements? How should they discuss industry issues, and which issues should they steer clear of?

It might seem restrictive, but it is important to be clear about what will enhance the brand value and what would damage it.

Brands take a long time to build, but only seconds to destroy. History is full of examples of brands brought down by a single mistake. Don’t let a lack of control of your bloggers be yours.

Glenigan is sponsoring the 2015 Construction Marketing Awards – to find out more about the event, click here.

Do you think a strong content strategy should form the basis of construction marketing activity? We want to hear your views! Get in touch using share buttons below.

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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