Content marketing is not a new concept, but for building product manufacturers, it is probably a foreign one. Even those BPMs who understand what content marketing is believe that it is an approach reserved purely for B2C businesses.
They are wrong.
The fact is, content marketing can work for BPMs, and it can be a tremendously valuable way to connect with more end users. And though traditional forms of “content” — blog posts, white papers, etc. — can be helpful, the single most important piece of content for BPMs is their data.
Why Does Content Marketing Matter To BPMs?
For Building Product Manufacturers, the ultimate goal has always been to get specified into more projects. While that hasn’t changed, the process that your end users — architects, engineers, fabricators, and contractors — go through on their end has evolved quite a bit.
Whereas in the past, BPMs could get away with selling through sales agents and distributors, today’s end users don’t want to be sold to; they want to get educated.
According to a recent Forrester Research Report, “By a factor of three to one, B2B buyers want to self-educate versus talk to sales representatives to learn about products and services.”
They want to self-educate and learn as much about your products as possible before committing them to their projects. They demand complete control over the information they need — in terms of how they get it and how they use it. Perhaps even more importantly, they also want that same level of control no matter where they get the information, whether it be on your own website, a distributor’s site, or within software tools.
This shift in end-user behavior necessitates a shift in the way BPMs do business. Instead of focusing on “sales,” they need to focus on meeting the research needs of their end users.
Content marketing makes it possible. When done right, it empowers your end users to do their jobs more effectively while helping you build better relationships with distributors and users alike.
Building The Right Content For BPMs
When constructing a content marketing strategy, it’s important to tailor it to your specific industry and your specific customers. For BPMs, they must keep the following in mind:
- The specifying process, and in turn the sales cycle, is relatively long
- There is a finite amount of opportunities at any given time
- Their audience is extremely technical
Start With Your Most Valuable Content — Your Data
If you are a BPM building your content marketing strategy from scratch, you need to start with the content that matters most to your end users — product data.
Most architectural, engineering, and construction firms today have made BIM tools the center of their processes, from design through construction. Owners are demanding an as-built BIM model of the finished building for ongoing facilities management.
Given this increased reliance on BIM, design engineers and contractors expect manufacturers to provide richer product information in a variety of BIM formats. Building Product Manufacturers of mechanical, electrical and plumbing products (MEP), and architectural products, need to meet these expectations. That means offering data-rich BIM files on your website and across the web.
Learn More About Content Marketing
Developing a strategic, end-user-focused content marketing strategy can help you build better connections with the people who determine whether or not you get specified into projects. For help creating your strategy, download our free eBook, Content Marketing For Building Product Manufacturers.