The BLD Blog

A collection of building materials marketing trends and insights focused on helping building product manufacturers BLD their brand.

Fueling Your Brand's Engine


Article Date: December 7, 2020

by Jeff Donaldson

The Right Formula Matters

For an automobile to be a true high-performance sports car, it must come with more than just a sleek look and a shiny paint job. It must be the product of precision engineering, and it requires the right kind of fuel so it can reach its potential on the road.

Apply that same kind of thinking to your brand as a building materials manufacturer (BMM). Your company’s signature is more than just a logo, a tagline, and a website. To ensure it hits the road with determination and staying power, your brand must be fueled by a constant stream of carefully crafted content – the kind of material that clarifies your voice, differentiates your company, and tells a compelling story to your prospects and customers.

Put in just a little bit of fuel – or the wrong mix – and your brand will react much like a car. It’ll stall often. Or it’ll only travel so far.

The Systemic Approach

How would B2B buyers prefer to learn about products and services? Would they like to talk to someone in sales, or would they instead want to educate themselves? According to Forrester Research, these buyers prefer self-education by a factor of three to one. This includes the prospects and customers of building materials manufacturers.

To build a content marketing ecosystem designed to serve these stakeholders, an integrated strategy is crucial, and it begins by creating a publishing mission and content pillars. These key foundational elements serve as the North Star for all the content you will develop as a building materials manufacturer. Both ensure you remain on brand and focused on the road ahead.

Next comes a commitment to perpetual story mining within the organization. In essence, this is the beating heart of any content marketing effort on behalf of your brand. It requires you and your team to constantly be on the lookout for great stories about your organization.

What building materials innovations have you developed that position you competitively in the marketplace? What building product, process, or partnership sets you apart or offers a new solution to your prospects and customers? How can you share an informed point of view on a building/construction industry trend or issue that positions you and your organization with insight and perspective, thereby setting you up as a thought leader? Asking and answering these questions on a regular basis enables your brand to generate news.

Channel Your Storytelling

Now it’s time to tell those stories on both earned and owned media channels to raise the organization’s visibility and credibility.

Does your story or announcement take the form of a news release or a media pitch in an effort to convince a journalist to write a story about your company? Do you instead decide to write a blog post that populates your website and share that post with your prospects via marketing automation? Maybe you invest in a series of customer testimonial videos so your building materials customers lend even greater credibility to your brand promise. Perhaps you commission a library of infographics that highlight your product attributes and differentiators. And how will you ensure your followers on social media can engage all this content and see it as relevant to them?

A successful content marketing strategy must take all of these moving parts into account, prioritizing what news gets shared when, where, and how. It’s about creating a schedule and executing against that calendar so you reach a point of critical mass. And it’s about getting maximum mileage out of your organic content, particularly the meatier pieces that required plenty of work to create.

Take a thought leadership article or white paper with independent research, graphs and charts, and lots of takeaways. You certainly don’t want to share this in only one way or in only one place. By employing the “waterfall” approach, you give it more visibility:

  • Take snippets of it and share it on social media over a period of time, and you create multiple entry points for followers to engage it.
  • Embed a link to the article in your e-marketing efforts, driving your prospects and customers to read it on your website.
  • Extract an infographic from the article, and share it on social media as a stand-alone offering.

Much like being in the driver’s seat of a car, you need to keep your eyes on all the gauges – speed, odometer, fuel – and ensure you know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

Diversifying the Mix

Constant development of organic content on behalf of a brand takes resources and time. When you mix in syndicated content, it can ease the burden. Someone else is doing the writing. You’re fueling your content engine with what they’ve created.

When carefully reviewed and curated, certain syndicated articles will be tailor-made for your target audiences in the building/construction space – architects, specifiers, contractors, distributors, building owners and more. Share them on your owned media channels (your website, your social media profiles), and you give your team a little breathing room while also extending the conversation with your target audiences.

Measure and Maximize

Anecdotal evidence that your content marketing strategy is working is simply not enough in today’s marketplace. Be ready to put numbers to it.

At the outset, settle on the appropriate KPIs for measuring your success – everything from number of earned media impressions, to engagement levels, to message pull-through. Likely, it’ll be all of the above. The more you are regularly fueling the brand’s engine and carefully monitoring all the gauges, the more likely you’ll exceed your content marketing goals and chart a pathway to success.

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About the Author

Jeff Donaldson is senior vice president of PR and content marketing for BLD Marketing. A highly accomplished communications professional, an experienced brand architect and a former broadcast journalist with a passion for storytelling, he is a trusted counselor to CEOs and C-level executives at organizations of all sizes. With nearly 30 years of combined experience in agency, corporate, nonprofit and broadcast news settings, Jeff empowers BLD’s clients to find their voice and tell their story – about their brand, their differentiators, their innovations, their people, their products and more. Before his time in PR and marketing, Jeff spent more than a decade as a TV and radio news anchor and reporter and won six Associated Press awards for outstanding reporting

BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.