The BLD Blog

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

The Perpetual Story Mining Process

Story Mining Best Practices

Article Date: January 17, 2024

Best Practices for Building Products Brands

Email marketing. Social media. Blogging. Search engine marketing. Paid advertising. Trade show exhibitions. Media relations.

If you are a savvy building products manufacturer, each one of these executions is part of your marketing matrix, defined by BLD Marketing as the digital marketing ecosystem. This continuum of activity is all designed to qualify leads, secure new customers, and drive business. It requires careful planning, smart budgeting, and meticulous execution, and if your digital marketing ecosystem is to thrive, you must constantly measure and adjust your tactics. Replace what isn’t working with what is driving results, and you are bound to drive profitability and success.

What sits behind that well-oiled machine, the connective tissue that ties everything together?

It is your story as an organization – who you are, what you do well, what sets you apart from the competition. Far from a set-it-and-forget-it exercise, storytelling requires constant exploration, cultivation, and curation. Only then can you differentiate your brand and truly underscore its value proposition and differentiators in the marketplace.

Effective story telling requires constant story mining within the organization. It is a process that must be sustained throughout the year – and year after year – and it begins with asking the right questions, sometimes over and over again.

Follow these tips to kickstart and sustain your storytelling engine.

Maintaining a Nose for News

Forward-thinking organizations are always seeking to break new ground and find ways to set themselves apart. Do you have a pulse on what is ahead for your organization? Stay ahead of the curve on this for your brand, and you will identify potentially newsworthy stories to share with the marketplace on paid, owned, and earned media channels.

It may be something as tangible as new leadership for the organization – in the C suite or elsewhere. Perhaps this new someone brings an extensive resume along with clarity to your brand’s direction. Take the opportunity to highlight this new addition to your team and why it is impactful. Introduce these new players to your customers and prospects. Shoot a Q&A video with your new leader, and share his or her answers on social media and your website. Take your new CEO on a media tour, enabling him or her to answer questions from the media on industry perspectives.

Perhaps your R&D team has beta-tested a new product that is now ready to go to market. What pain point does it address among your customers? Why is that critical? What process did your team undertake to arrive at the innovation? How is it different from what you have offered before or what your competitors are currently offering? Such innovations are game changers for many companies. Telling a compelling story about them helps define your brand.

Take time every week to ensure you know what is ahead for your organization and how you can make news.

Industry Insights, Thought Leadership

Promoting your brand’s products and offerings is critical, but if you are to tell a compelling, well-rounded story about your company, it should not be focused exclusively on what you are selling. Developing and leveraging your organization’s point of view on key industry topics and trends can transform the conversation, pushing it to the next level. This can help position your organization as a thought leader with valuable insight and perspective. That, in turn, drives credibility for your enterprise.

This form of story mining starts by identifying the subject matter experts (SMEs) within your organization. What are their specialties and areas of expertise? How does that correlate with your company’s business? Even more importantly, how does that expertise line up with what is happening in the industry?

Give your SMEs a toolbox before you shine the spotlight on them. Consider having them media trained so they are able to speak with clarity and consistency about both the brand and their area of expertise. Provide them with the platform to be their best selves when being interviewed or when presenting to others.

Activate those SMEs. Get your marketing team or your marketing agency to pitch their expertise to the media as a guest columnist or as a source for comment and analysis. Mine for speaking opportunities for these experts at industry trade shows and events. Secure a spot for your ambassadors on roundtables or as keynote presenters, thereby extending your brand’s reach to high-value audiences.

Do the same within your own four walls. Launch a video series that touches on a key topic of interest – collapsing construction timelines, sustainable construction practices, the latest in material science advancements – and highlight your SMEs by interviewing them. Share the videos on social media, on your YouTube channel, and with your prospects and customers.

Driving Third-Party Credibility

Ask yourself this question. What will likely carry more weight with your prospects? Is it your brand telling them how innovative you are, or is it one of your customers carrying that message because that customer has first-hand experience with your products and services?

Effective story mining and storytelling should focus resources on uncovering powerful testimonials from customers. Get your sales organization and your marketing team to collaborate in mining for customer solutions that demonstrate the efficacy of your products and services in a real-world scenario with data and facts to support the story. Make sure to have supporting assets, including photos.

Take these assets, and find ways to translate them into powerful marketing tools that drive additional credibility for your organization. Consider a series of video testimonials that can be used on paid and owned media channels. Translate those stories into case studies that populate your website, highlighting your work in a variety of different market sectors. Such case studies are great assets to capture the attention of specifiers, architects, and designers seeking the next innovation to set their project apart.

A commitment to developing a library of case studies and project profiles has a dual effect. It gives your brand story more impact and credibility from a third party. It can also strengthen relationships with your customers, because they are now in the spotlight, hitching their wagon to your brand’s star. Suddenly, you begin tagging each other in social media posts, elevating both brands. Develop these case studies and project profiles on a consistent basis, and you may soon have customers coming to you, asking to be part of the program.

Write Your Own Story With Determination

Story mining for a building products brand is not a once-and-done exercise. It requires people across the organization – the C-suite leaders, the sales organization, the marketing team, and other front-line employees – to share and sort through ideas on how to tell a meaningful story about the brand. That means developing an open dialogue across departments to constantly share ideas and committing to such activity on a perpetual basis.

Along these lines, consider your options as you seek to build your business.

Your sales team fans out to secure new customers, and because you have not committed to telling your own story as a brand, those same sales professionals come back from prospect appointments with intelligence that gives you pause. Your competition is defining your brand. They are making unsubstantiated claims about who you are and what you do. And there is little else in the marketplace to combat this perspective.

Suddenly, you find yourself in a defensive posture.

Wouldn’t it be better for you to be the arbiter of your own story? Wouldn’t you rather define how your brand stands apart and why that matters, whether it is manufacturing window and door profiles, continuous insulation, or the latest exterior cladding solution for residential and commercial construction?

Commit resources, time, and effort to constant story mining, and you will be the one holding the author’s pen.

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