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Dec 08

Why Customer Trust Is Vital to Your Brand

Reputation

With the increasing access to information on the internet, customer expectations are higher than they’ve ever been, and the competition is fierce. Customer trust has always been important for a brand’s growth and success, but this new environment makes it absolutely vital.

In addition to nurturing lifelong customers that will consistently choose your brand over another, consumer trust also gives your business a little leeway if problems arise in the future. No matter what may happen, earning the trust of your customers ensures your brand can survive.

So, what is customer trust and how is it earned? This isn’t a new concept, but it’s an area in which many businesses fail. The transparency that leads to trust is about more than including the standard copy about why your brand is better than the rest — you have to truly care about your customers and their problems.

What Is Customer Trust and Why Is It Important?

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Generally, customer trust happens when you have a deep understanding of your customers’ needs and have a valid solution to their problems. You provide them with relevant information and products or services that cater to their unique needs, rather than touting the benefits of choosing your brand.

Ultimately, this trust is about putting the customer first in your content and your products or services.

The reason trust is more important now than it’s ever been is a direct result of the bombardment of information and options available today. Consumers no longer need to choose between only a few brands. They have virtually limitless options and access to reviews, testimonials and marketing tricks that can give them an idea of what you have to offer.

Because of this, marketers need to look beyond the competitive pricing, features and benefits, and direct their attention more toward the history and legacy. Customers have become empowered and skeptical, so they’re looking for the whole package — one that will not only give them a product or service that’s reliable, but also a brand and customer service that they can count on now and in the future. Ideally, your product or service will address their needs at the time, but in the event that it doesn’t, they want to know you’ll be there to make it right.

How Is Customer Trust Created?

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As we know, the idea of building consumer trust isn’t new, but it is difficult to achieve. Just making promises about your brand is no longer enough, since consumers are looking for actions that back up your claims. This has a big influence on loyalty as well, since customers are more likely to return to the brand that gave them the experience they wanted the first time around.

Authenticity is key. Authenticity is the one thing that transcends industries, generations and cultures, since it’s the universal thing that all customers are looking for. It’s about being transparent and giving the customers what they expect, whether in products or service, and delivering the values of the brand.

Of course, authenticity and transparency are useless for the pure sake of it. You need to be providing content that demonstrates an in-depth understanding of your customers’ needs and expectations, so you can provide them with relevant, valuable solutions. Superlatives, false claims, half-truths and other marketing hype that can’t be verified instantly reads as false, so focus on positive information of substance and value to your customer.

Also, if you’re falling below expectations in some way, it’s vital to learn from it and find a way to improve. While it may be difficult to accurately measure the value and performance in terms of customer trust, you can set standards for your brand to ensure that each and every aspect of your business is accountable and staying on track. This not only makes your trust tangible for your audience, but it also keeps your business living up to the image you’re putting out into the world.

Why Is Customer Trust Hard to Earn?

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There are many reasons trust can be hard to earn, especially for certain brands, but skeptical and savvy customers are the main reason. More and more data breaches and misuse of data are dominating the headlines, so it’s becoming more difficult for consumers to immediately trust a brand and be open to new or unproven brands.

Fortunately, this issue is easy to combat if you’re truly putting the customer first. A brand must be clear about its purpose and values, as well as being transparent with policy and procedures. Perception is everything, and a brand that offers the truth is more likely to have good impressions with potential customers.

There’s been a shift in power between the business and the consumer. In the past, the brand had the power and customers had to accept what was given. Now, consumers have a broad outlook and understand more about what a company should and should not be, so they’re less forgiving of missteps. Customers want a brand that shows its customer loyalty and demonstrates shared values, so an effective strategy would be to align your brand’s values with the information you’d gladly offer to the public.

In addition, transparency is often forced upon brands, since consumers can find dirt if they look hard enough. In all likelihood, questionable ethics and practices will leak in other media and be found by consumers, leaving a brand looking disingenuous and sleazy, which is worse than having no trust at all.

Handling Breaches of Trust

As hard as it is to earn the trust of your customers in the first place, it’s even harder to get back following a breach. That’s why having solid trust within your customer base is the only way to bounce back and survive the fallout.

Brands that offer a product or service that meets or exceeds customer expectations and delivers benefits that connect with customers is key, as well as an overall company culture that demonstrates a willingness to learn from mistakes. Gone are the days of media spin, since the best way to approach a mistake in the current climate is by owning up to shortcomings and showing a determination to move forward.

If handled properly, a small mistake or breach of trust can even provide an opportunity for growth. A brand that gracefully addresses a mistake and has an effective plan to recover can gain some positive exposure.

Conclusion

While customer trust may sound like a swift strategy or “silver bullet” for new leads and business growth, it’s anything but. That trust is difficult to earn and keep, and is far more than just a marketing strategy.

The authenticity and transparency necessary to garner real customer trust comes from honest communications, solid company culture and treating the customer as you would want to be treated, rather than just lip service.

Though it’s clear that consumers want trustworthy brands, their general trust isn’t high. This can be an area of opportunity for new or developing brands, or brands looking to revamp their image and surge ahead of competitors. Whether we like it or not, the power is with the consumer, so it’s more important than ever to put their needs first for business success.

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Dec 01

The Use of Blockchain In Digital Marketing

Uncategorized

While the industry is divided on the use of blockchain in general, thanks to cryptocurrency, there’s no question that it has plenty of promise in digital marketing.

Though blockchain got most of its attention from Bitcoin, there’s much more to this technology than cryptocurrency. Blockchain provides a method of digital record-keeping that keeps a ledger of transactions that is transparent and can’t be altered, providing more security than other technologies.

The many advantages of blockchain have already led to its implementation in several industries, notably in finance and healthcare, but it holds a lot of potential for digital marketing.

Find out how blockchain could affect digital marketing and what benefits it holds.

What is Blockchain?

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Blockchain is an electronic public ledger that can be openly shared among separate users, creating an unchangeable record of transactions. Each transaction has a time-stamp and a link to the previous transaction, so it’s impossible to alter.

Each digital record or transaction is called a block, and it allows either an open or controlled group of users to participate and alter the electronic ledger. It can also only be altered or updated with agreement among all participants, and once new information is entered, it can’t be erased. As a result, a blockchain has a true and verifiable record of every transaction that ever existed within the system.

Blockchain is also without an administrator, since the blockchain users are the administrator. Blockchain ledgers can be managed autonomously to exchange information between parties, much like collaborative software or a peer-to-peer network.

Though blockchain is often called a technology, it’s more accurate to refer to it as an architecture creating an unchangeable ledger of transactions.

Data Collection

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The internet is accessible to anyone through ISPs and web browsers, the two gatekeepers. Both of these record and analyze all our online behavior to gain insights about us and apply it to our online searches and future marketing efforts.

Unfortunately, these gatekeepers don’t always offer fair and ethical access to the web, and the recent headlines have proven our personal data is easily bought and sold.

This is where blockchain comes in. With a network built on blockchain-verified signatures, your data stays with you. This is in stark contrast to it floating around servers which are owned by the application you’re using, such as Facebook. With this network, visiting a website would allow you to keep your own personal information, without contributing to a running log of the people who also visited the website. As a result, all your personal information will be encrypted and protected.

While this is a great thing for individuals, it can be scary for marketers. Without access to user data, marketers would need to gather data directly from prospects and customers to get a full picture of the audience.

User experience could change too. Though you should already be putting a lot of effort into user experience now, blockchain could offer the opportunity for users to voluntarily decide which content and advertisements they want to view.

Digital Display Marketing

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Online display ads are riddled with flaws and problems, regardless of whether some businesses see results. For a marketer, online display ads can be expensive, complex and difficult to manage, and the inventory is controlled by Google and Facebook almost exclusively.

The problems that arise from digital advertising in terms of user experience are well known. Display ads are disruptive, intrusive, irritating and waste your battery and bandwidth.

However, a blockchain browser with a Basic Attention Token (BAT) can fix all the issues with ads. By trading on the value of online attention, blockchain can incentivize users to view content and break up the monopoly on digital ads.

It works like this: marketers buy ads with BAT, which are found in private tabs or landing pages. Users who choose to view ads are compensated with BAT, so they’re only seeing the ads they want to see.

As a result, marketers get more accurate consumer information, and users get to learn about only the brands they choose. Users also receive a portion of the marketer’s BAT in exchange for their attention.

Publishers are also compensated by both users and marketers through the revenue-sharing program. Publishers receive a higher portion of the ad spend than the users, however, and may choose to charge BAT for premium subscriptions and content.

This is really a win for everyone involved. Marketers get more accurate, targeted data to tailor future campaigns, publishers earn revenue and control over the message, and users get only the most relevant ads they actually want to see. Users can also do so without risking their personal information.

Just like buying a subscription to a print publication you wanted to read in the past, BAT shows the value of a user’s attention and puts them back in control.

Privacy and Trust

Privacy and brand trust are two overarching issues in the digital world, which leads many users to become skeptical and discerning about who they give their information to.

Giving users control over the amount of personal information they reveal lowers privacy concerns from the user perspective, as well as promoting social responsibility from the marketer’s side.

Caring for your user’s data and privacy are important anyway, so putting effort into improving any shortcomings should already be on your to-do list. With blockchain, however, the businesses that prioritize user privacy will become more apparent and earn more trust from users, building your brand relationships.

On top of that, studies show that users are more willing to voluntarily provide personal information, with permission, if there’s a reward for their trust. If you’re paying users directly to view your ads and content, you’re more likely to get their information and continued support in the future.

Ownership and Security of Assets

Piracy was a problem in the past, which led to sites like Pandora and Amazon Music, Unfortunately, artists are only compensated pennies per stream, and the complexities of the music industry meant that streaming service payments don’t always go to the appropriate person.

With blockchain, artists, filmmakers, musicians, photographers and other creative professionals have the opportunity to provide their pieces to the huge audience without the use of an intermediary. They can gain value for their tokens as they become more popular as well, earning more for their work.

The downside for the marketer is that this would give artists the tools necessary to market themselves directly to their audience, without sacrificing their revenue. This would give artists a chance to be valued for their work, however, and not because they know how to become a corporate product.

Looking to the Future

Though these possibilities are very real, they’re likely far off in the future. For now, we’re seeing blockchain in its infancy and learning more about how it could have positive benefits for user experience and marketing. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the implications for the future.

One thing is for sure, however: right now, some of the best minds in the industry are working on blockchain and cryptocurrency to adapt it to different business models and industries, so there’s likely to be a lot of development in the near future.

digital marketing for contractors
Nov 23

Top Digital Marketing Trends To Pursue In 2019

Mobile Marketing

As 2018 comes to a close, a savvy marketer will be looking ahead to the upcoming year and developing a digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition and boost brand awareness.

With so many changes that occurred at the end of 2018, it’s important to revamp your strategy and account for current trends, strategies, and technologies to maximize your efforts.

Here are the biggest digital marketing trends leading into 2019:

Topic Clusters

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Search engines are now favoring clusters of content that surround a particular topic, as opposed to keywords. If you want to stay at the top of the search rankings, you need to develop these content clusters that link to one another.

To do this effectively, you need a broad topic outline that covers the most pertinent subcategories. Then, the surrounding content should have specific, long-tail keywords that connect back to the original outline with the same keyword.

This boosts your overall performance since any page performing well will result in the entire cluster performing well. This moves you further and further up the rankings.

In addition, choosing topics in which you have proven subject matter expertise or knowledge will give you an even better ranking, since search engines are now prioritizing the value and relevance to the user.

Shorter Video Ads

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Internet users have much shorter attention spans than they once did, so it’s possible to lose a viewer with a long video that would’ve worked a few years ago. Audiences tend to engage with shorter ads, such as under 10 seconds, so you’re also getting more for your efforts.

Businesses are more likely to use shorter video ads in the coming year, so you want to work these into your strategy to ensure you stay with the current trends.

Chatbots

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Chatbots are becoming more popular, due to their ability to address basic customer service needs and help businesses interact with more customers. Chatbots also create two-way communication between your audience and your business, which improves your customer satisfaction and your response time to messages. Both of these aspects will boost your search engine ranking.

Chatbots have a reputation for providing negative user experience, leading many businesses to hesitate to include them in their marketing strategy. Overall, however, customers are pleased with the use of chatbots and the ability to access information 24/7, so there’s no reason to hold back on this trend.

Chatbots also operate in Facebook messenger often, which has a click-through rate of 80 percent. This offers incredible potential for how a chatbot can lead to more sales for your business.

Blockchain

Blockchain is quickly becoming a necessity for most industries, but one of its most overlooked potentials is in marketing.

With the poor attention span of many internet users, it’s more difficult to draw attention from content and keep your audience engaged. Blockchain can be used to incentivize customers to watch advertisements and engage in some way, whether it’s sharing, tagging, liking or commenting, through a Basic Attention Token (BAT). This technology breaks up the monopoly of digital ads to trade on the value of online attention and engagement and reward the audience that’s willing to interact.

Influencer Marketing

Social media influencers are achieving more influence in recent years, gaining significant followings on multiple social media platforms. Social media isn’t new, of course, but its reach is continuing to grow. Positioning yourself with the right social media influencer can make all the difference.

In the past, businesses were able to have influencer endorse products openly, but consumers are becoming more aware and are less receptive to this marketing tactic. Because of this, a subtle approach is needed to gain the benefits of a social media influencer.

Businesses with successful social media influence develop mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with influencers, so both receive more organic endorsements. These relationships not only provide you with a steady outlet for your promotions, but it also makes influencers less likely to abandon your brand.

Transparency

Fields like advertising, marketing and sales have a negative connotation, with the belief that these representatives are only out for their own interests, using deceptive and aggressive tactics to get sales.

As a result, consumers are more skeptical and reluctant, as well as being more difficult to impress. The easy access to reviews and testimonials also gives them more information about a product or service’s strengths, and more importantly, its weaknesses.

Now, businesses are addressing this issue with transparency, openly admitting its own shortcomings, faults and negative feedback to show loyalty and dedication to customers. They’re also encouraging two-way communication on a public forum to not only build more trust with a specific customer but also to show their efforts to other potential customers.

Mobile Optimization

Though it may seem obvious, mobile optimization is one of the most important aspects of your digital marketing strategy to address in 2019. Though many businesses already work toward mobile-friendly sites, more and more users are switching to mobile. Google is even prioritizing mobile-friendly sites in search rankings.

With so many users going mobile, you can’t afford to lose a follower because of poor optimization. Small issues, such as links too close together, a poor zoom function or text that’s too small can be all it takes for a customer to abandon your site and move on to the next.

Be sure to check your site’s mobile user experience and make any adjustments you need to create a flawless user experience.

Voice Search

Voice search is on the rise, thanks to personal assistance devices like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. Nearly one-third of the 3.5 billion searches performed each day are voice searches, which use natural human speech patterns to determine the searcher’s intent.

If you think you can use the same strategy for voice search, however, think again. Voice search differs from a desktop or mobile search in that you get fewer results. If you want to be one of the sites that comes up, you need to tailor your SEO strategy for voice search.

Voice recognition technology is only expected to improve and become more popular as well, which has the potential to disrupt marketing altogether. User experience and SEO have been the main focus of most marketing campaigns, but these aspects become irrelevant with a short search and no search results screen.

While there’s no clear answer to tailoring your strategy for voice search, a bit of brainstorming to understand the nuances of the human voice. How users tend to phrase voice searches and what types of phrases are prioritized is worth your effort.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence has become a hot topic in marketing recently, and though many are still unsure of its applications and limitations, it’s starting to find its place in marketing campaigns.

A widely implemented form of AI is chatbots, which improve customer service with lower costs and fewer resources. They’re also quicker than humans and offer targeted, personalized services to any customer at any time.

On a larger scale, the same capabilities of AI that make chatbots so effective can be applied to many aspects of marketing, such as forecasting, personalization, segmentation, and data analysis. The possibilities are truly endless, so it’s best to get on board before AI takes the marketing world by storm.

Final Thoughts

Marketing trends come and go, some of which reshape the industry and others that may just fade into the background. If you want to be successful in your marketing efforts year after year, it’s important to be able to identify the upcoming digital marketing trends and stay ahead of the competition.

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Nov 16

How To Use Artificial Intelligence In Marketing

PR Marketing

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, transformed the digital landscape in more ways than one. Image-recognition software, semi-autonomous vehicles, medical robots and other AI-enabled technology are all possible with this revolutionary technology.

For marketers, AI also presents opportunities we never could’ve dreamed of. With AI marketing, digital markets can improve personalization and generate better performance and profits, adding to an already strong data-driven focus.

With AI, the consumer experience can be personalized in a way that’s easier and more cost-effective. This allows brands to achieve incredible gains through a deeper understanding of the customer base.

Learn more about the applications for AI in marketing and see how it can revolutionize your marketing campaigns.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

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Artificial Intelligence is simulated intelligence in machines that are programmed to “think” like humans and mimic human behavior. At its best, AI can rationalize and take action to achieve a specific goal, which has virtually limitless real-world applications.

AI automates repetitive learning and discovery through data and adapts through progressive learning algorithms. By finding structure and patterns in data, these algorithms become a predictor and the machine can optimize itself.

AI works on a much larger scale than the human mind, however, which gives it the ability to analyze larger data sets and more detailed data. On top of that, the more data AI has to work with, the better it learns and the more accurate the predictions will be. Because of this, AI gives you a competitive advantage, since the one with the best data has the edge.

Targeted Searches

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Search engines have come a long way from the days when you needed to know the exact product name to find what you were looking for. Search engines with AI are getting smarter and more capable of discerning your intent behind a search, so it’s able to provide you with more relevant results.

By using the techniques employed by AI-enabled search engines, businesses can help customers find the product or service they’re looking for, regardless of how jumbled the search term became.

As an example, searching for a product on a massive e-commerce platform, such as Amazon, only requires a general term. Like Google, it will finish your search term and correct any typos in an effort to give you the most relevant results. It also provides an advanced search feature, which offers more targeted searches.

Programmatic Advertising

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Programmatic advertising is the automated process of buying and selling ads. Advertisers and publishers connect to an ad inventory, through which they can exchange advertisements. AI helps this process by using algorithms that analyze user behavior and optimize the campaign for more relevant results.

Like other sales platforms, this is achieved by targeting consumers with a high chance of converting. Basically, it’s targeting the consumers searching with the express intent to purchase. Cookies also provide insights to help AI tailor the campaign.

For example, AI and programmatic advertising can be used to target apprehensive buyers by analyzing internet trends and identifying preferences for better targeting. Matching the subscriber, cookie data, and other data sets offer a clearer picture of consumer behavior. This allows marketers to create better segments and duplicate audiences as well.

Market Forecasting

The customer experience is an important part of successful marketing, and it’s receiving more and more attention with the recent changes to the Google algorithm. Marketers want to meet or exceed customer expectations as much as possible, as well as determine if engagement will ultimately lead to the sale.

With AI, marketers can make better predictions about market demand, giving them the information needed to nurture a prospect or move on to the next opportunity.

For example, if you can gain an accurate prediction of how much inventory you’re likely to sell, you know when to boost your marketing efforts to get the sales. You can also double down on the inventory you have in anticipation of higher-than-average sales.

Though it may seem outlandish, AI can also analyze the conversations you have with a customer to identify your successes and failures. It can then advise you on whether to continue with the prospect.

Content Curation

AI systems can find, compile and present valuable content to your target audience by pulling information from different data sets. This is a complement to your content marketing strategy, because you now have relevant, highly targeted, curated content ideal for your audience.

Marketers can use AI to come up with marketing strategies based on this data as well. If the content curation is targeting the ideal customers with this insight, those insights can prove invaluable to developing a strategy to communicate with your audience.

A similar technique can also be used to gather information on prospects and send marketing messages to them. Over time, the prospect is likely to subscribe or buy, since the offer is exactly what they’re looking for.

Chatbots

Chatbots are a vital part of modern digital marketing. AI-enabled chatbots provide responses to customer inquiries and engage customers, leading to greater customer retention.

For example, a large business will struggle to keep up with millions of customers, even with a full team dedicated to customer service alone. Chatbots are available to address the minor needs of the customer, engaging them and freeing up a representative to handle the more involved questions and concerns. Chatbots are also available any time, day or night, which is more practical than having a full team around the clock.

Ad Performance

The only way to tell if your marketing campaign is performing well is with analytics, giving you insight into what is and isn’t working. AI and machine learning provide detailed analyses and insights into which advertising efforts are succeeding. This allows you to make more informed decisions about where to direct your future campaign efforts.

AI shows you how many clicks an ad received, which country or region they came from, what platform they came from, and other valuable data. Using this data to inform your advertising campaign will give you a higher ROI.

These same insights can also be used for future predictions. Instead of focusing on right now, AI gives marketers a better picture of overall trends to tailor the strategy for future goals and continue to increase conversions along the way.

Dynamic Pricing

Predicting future market trends is one thing, but being able to apply accurate dynamic pricing strategy is another. This allows you to optimize sales when the demand is high and find out when to offer discounts to increase sales. AI is able to keep up with the imperceptible shifts on a much larger scale than we can, giving you accurate predictions to keep with the dynamic pricing trends.

Bottom Line

With marketing enhanced by AI, marketers can rely on AI to determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and learn where to invest for the best ROI. AI also improves the customer experience and offers better opportunities for engagement, building a more loyal audience.

Regardless of industry, all modern marketing efforts benefit from the capabilities of AI. It not only simplifies the process and provides more cost-effective solutions, but it’s also more accurate and effective.

With so many businesses getting on board with AI-enabled marketing, you can’t afford to let your contractor business fall behind.

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Nov 09

8 Effective Content Types And How To Use Them

Content Marketing

Content has become the currency of the internet, giving you limitless options to promote your brand, engage with your audience, hit new target markets and provide value to your customers.

That said, content is about more than blog posts. There are many types of content out there to keep your message fresh and your audience interested.

Take a look at these eight effective content types and learn how you can use them to drive growth for your contractor business.

Infographics

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Info + graphic, or infographic, uses graphics and visuals to present information in an easily digestible way for your audience. At a quick glance, a reader can often get all the same pertinent information as they would from a longer blog post, making infographics a popular content type.

Infographics get more views, shares and likes than other content types, mostly because of how easy it is to absorb the information. They also have viral potential and are shared far more often than other content types, and they work particularly well for data, statistics and research.

If you have a graphic designer on your team, that’s the person to recruit to create infographics for you. These creative professionals are experts at creating compelling visuals and organizing information in a way that communicates effectively to an audience.

If you don’t have a graphic designer, you can outsource your infographics or create them yourself with plenty of services. This route can be pricey, but worth it for the engagement you’ll receive.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that simply having an infographic isn’t enough for viral content. To make an infographic that stands out, you still need to apply the same principles of effective content and craft a specific, compelling message.

Memes

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If you’ve spent even a minute on any social media platform, you’re familiar with memes. By their very nature, memes encourage sharing and have the potential to go viral. They’re also quite funny, in most cases, which automatically gets more attention.

Unlike infographics, memes don’t require any special skills or graphic design talent. Many sites allow you to include your own text in a standard meme format. If you have a funny idea or the mood strikes, put it in a meme to share.

Memes may not be appropriate for your blog, however. Memes are a social media phenomenon, so it’s best to keep them on your social media pages. You also want to be sure that they still provide some value and aren’t overused.

Videos

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Videos communicate valuable information in a concise, memorable way that is more likely to be viewed by a follower. From music videos to office tours to how-to videos, there are virtually limitless options for how you can use video to promote your brand and attract followers.

Videos are a more expensive content option, but you can start small to begin with and see how they perform. As you learn more about the role of video in your content marketing strategy, you can put more effort and expense into creating professional videos.

Guides

Guides are super-sized posts that go into detail about a topic, often far beyond the length of a normal blog post. They typically include advanced information for your readers that’s backed by research as well.

If you want to create guides, you’ll need a good writer, a graphic designer and the right topic. This content should be top tier and deliver the message in an effective, readable way, especially given the length of the post. The graphic designer will need to fine tune the layout and presentation to ensure the post is attractive and readable.

You can also present your guide as a free download for your followers in exchange for email addresses, which boosts your subscriber list.

Book Reviews

If your following reads books, a book review is a great way to connect with them and present yourself as a thought leader. A book review can be simple or in-depth, depending on how you choose to do it.

Keep in mind that book reviews aren’t suitable for all industries, so be sure you have the appropriate audience and that reviewing books makes sense for your brand.

Rants

A “rant” or opinion piece is a popular content option, mostly because of its light tone and humor. If most of your content is heavily researched and detailed, a rant or opinion piece gives you a chance to express yourself more.

For a contractor business, a rant or opinion piece should be relevant to the industry, such as opinions on recent news or industry trends and changes. With this option, you’re not only addressing popular topics that are of interest to your audience, but you’ll also boost your SEO and shareability.

Keep in mind that a rant or opinion piece should be occasional, since constantly ranting about various topics can come across as obnoxious. You should also avoid personal attacks or people-bashing, since a rant isn’t meant to be angry or rude. Also, welcome opposing viewpoints to prompt a discussion, rather than being guided by your ego.

Product Reviews

Product reviews can help you establish authority and thought leadership in your industry. When you engage manufacturers, developers, service providers and other industry professionals, you gain respect and recognition within your niche.

Product reviews should include brief information about a product, the creator, aspects you like, aspects you don’t like and your recommendation. Complete your review with a call to action.

How-To and Tutorials

A how-to guide is one of the most popular content types, especially in niches that are specialized or technical. With their long introductions, they also offer long-tail search potential.

To plan a how-to guide, you need to identify a problem that’s common in the industry, then draft a post that provides a solution. There’s no limit to the possibilities for a how-to guide, especially for certain industries.

Keep in mind that detailed explanations, diagrams, pictures and videos are all helpful in getting your message across and helping your audience better understand your guide.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Now that you have all these ideas for new and interesting content types, remember that you don’t need to try all of them. Not every type of content is suited to every brand, so if you don’t think that a certain type of content works well for your contractor business, don’t worry about including it.

Still, don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Sometimes business owners will avoid different content types because they don’t know where to begin, they think it will take too long to create or they’re afraid to fail. Many tools are out there to help beginners create all types of content, so take a chance on something new and see how it performs.

Also, once you start learning how to create different types of content, don’t go crazy including something new every day. You’ll likely burn out and exhaust your ideas. Try a few new things each month to see how they perform, then commit to including the successful ones into your content calendar on a regular basis.

There are plenty of effective content types for you to choose from, and the more content you use, the more compelling your marketing strategy becomes. Content must always speak to the audience, however, so no matter what content type you choose, craft a message that the audience will share, listen to and learn from.

 

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