One can find lots of excellent bloggers and publishers doing amazing work, and those who stand out deserve to have their work recognized. That’s why the World Media Awards exist - to recognize and reward great contributions to media from bloggers and publishers.
I have felt for some time that the building/construction industry was dragging its heels on Internet marketing and social media but I was surprised to see that even the top firms were slow to adapt. Using Building Design + Construction’s Giants list as a guide in checking out the websites of the industry’s top construction management firms, I found only one of the top ten construction management companies – all with revenues in excess of $888 million, had a blog.
There is no denying these companies have achieved success without a blog, but they undoubtedly face increased competition. While I am sure potential building owners still solicit referrals for a considered set of builders, I am equally confident they also turn to websites at some point during their search. A company blog provides an outlet for thought leadership, an opportunity to showcase expertise as well as a place for customers and potential customers and prospective employees to engage with you online.
There are plenty of content possibilities … projects in progress, sustainability, charitable work, interesting people and stories. When research shows that blogging drives website traffic, provides valuable feedback to management, and allows companies to showcase their expertise and talent, I am at a loss to understand why these top construction management companies are foregoing the opportunity.
No. 6 (Suffolk Construction) as well as No. 11 on the list, (Hunt Construction Group,) are the exceptions. Hunt’s blog, entitled Landmarks, offers an inside look at various projects under construction as well as community events. Suffolk’s blog provides thought leadership from the company’s CEO. While good efforts, neither of the blogs provides website visitors with an opportunity to comment. About half of the Top 10 firms have Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, often the connections weren’t accessible from the company websites.
Today’s buyers demand more. A modern site should include blogs and sharing features that foster a sense of community.Why is construction so far behind the curve?
|Rank BD+C Giants
|Gilbane Building Co.
|Hensel Phelps Construction
|Whiting-Turner Conracting Co.
|The Yates Companies
|Hunt Construction Group
Did your company jump into blogging without a plan? Has it been months since any content was created? Are your subject matter experts failing to create the content you need? It’s not all that uncommon. But don’t give up before you have tried these tactics.
Get Blogging Training
As you have probably discovered on your own, there is a lot more to blogging than meets the eye. The more your corporate bloggers understand about your goals and objectives, keywords and other blogging basics, the better job they will do. A boot camp for bloggers will empower and reenergize your team, build camaraderie, and demonstrate management’s commitment to the blog.
Hold a Content Creation Brainstorming Session
Devote a few hours exclusively to developing content ideas for the blog. Invite a professional content manager to lead a discussion using your keywords as a jumping off point. Do you have content related to every stage in the buying process? Can you make your customers the stars? What information lends itself to video? Consider a series of posts related to a specific topic. Get input from bloggers, customer service and sales and other departments. By the time the meeting is over you will have plenty of ideas to fill an editorial calendar. But don’t stop there. Assign various topics to your contributors. Realize that some content takes longer to develop. Choose quality over quantity, but also recognize that there are benefits to frequency.
Start Reviewing Results with Your Team
Share analytics and help your team identify those posts that are drawing traffic and response. Can you elaborate on hot topics or create similar posts using different examples? Identify trends in keywords. Reward bloggers who successfully engage the audience.
Build Your Social Networks
Understand your audience and encourage participation of employees in industry-related social networks so you can share your expertise and introduce potential customers to your blog. Know where your blog traffic is coming from. Create a plan for promoting posts online, generating inbound links and more. Share links with older posts as well.
There is no doubt business blogging requires a big commitment, but the rewards do appear to be worth the effort. In a study conducted by HubSpot, the average company that blogs has 55 percent more visitors, 97 percent more inbound links and 434 percent more indexed pages.
Can we help you get your blog unstuck so you can reap the benefits?
Most companies understand the benefits of a B-2-B blog. But when it comes to writing blog posts week after week, they falter. While a lack of ideas, enthusiasm, and ability may be the problem, more often, it is a lack of time that sabotages their efforts. Writing is time consuming. Here are some ways to streamline the blogging process.
Decide on a topic. This often involves research. After you have read what is written on a topic, you need time to figure out how you can create your unique viewpoint. Finally, there is the actual writing and editing time, which can vary considerably, depending on the degree to which your efforts are interrupted by other responsibilities. If time constraints are keeping you from producing a better blog, consider how hiring a professional writer can help you.
1) A professional writer can help you organize your B-2-B blog content using an editorial calendar.
Take a cue from B-2-B editors who find they deliver better content when they follow an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar includes a brief description of what you will publish and when. Instead of letting things fall to chance, you might decide to feature a case study on Wednesdays and a Q&A with a company expert on Fridays. You may have six key topic areas to plan around. Stop scrambling to find a topic the day the blog post is due.
2) A professional writer can research a blog topic for you.
Much of a professional writer’s job involves finding credible sources of information—weeding through a multitude of sources and conversations on the Internet. While your company experts are likely to be the No. 1 source of information for your blog, following other experts in the field, competitors, keywords, relevant research and news can be extremely valuable. Consider hiring a professional writer to research a topic or customize and organize market intelligence for you. With everything at your fingertips the writing process becomes more efficient.
3) A professional writer can edit your blog posts.
If you or your team have great ideas but don’t have the time to give your writing professional polish, you can hire a writer to review and edit your work. With an editor’s thorough review process you will avoid embarrassing misspellings and grammatical errors. A good editor will help you communicate clearly and concisely, without losing your “voice.” A writer knowledgeable in search engine optimization can also edit your blog copy to integrate important keywords that will drive traffic to your site.
4) A professional writer can develop and write blog posts for you.
People often wonder how someone can write about an industry or topic they are not familiar with. However, professional writers successfully do this every day by thoroughly researching topics and formulating the right questions to ask company experts and industry insiders. In contrast, those who are so close to a topic often overlook the obvious questions that potential customers might have.
If time is keeping you from fully realizing the benefits of a blog, consider hiring a content writer to handle a portion or all of your writing-related tasks. Content for Biz offers all of these writing, editing and content development services. Check out the “Work with Us” tab to learn more or give us a call.