When somebody calls a roofing contractor, it’s usually because their roof needs repairs or replacement. I know that sounds painfully obvious, but it’s that fact that drives the marketing efforts of most roofing companies.
At the risk of oversimplifying things, marketing can be broken down into three broad goals—getting found, getting chosen, and getting talked about. As a roofing contractor, you’re generally marketing to folks who are ready to buy. That’s why you focus on getting found (IYP listings, PPC ads, phone book ads) and getting chosen (business websites, customer testimonials, special offers).
And getting talked about? Well, it’s nice and all, but not really a high priority. As long as folks are finding you and calling you when they need you, does it really matter if they like your Facebook page or read your blog?
It does. It really, really does.
Getting found and getting chosen are good, solid goals. But they shouldn’t be the beginning and end of your marketing strategy. After all, many of your potential customers aren’t going to be calling you in the midst of a roofing emergency. They’re going to be hopping online to see if they can figure out why their shingles are popping and blistering, or how serious those water stains in the attic might be.
And that’s where content marketing comes in.
The Benefits of Content Marketing for Roofing Contractors
Content marketing is simply the strategy of attracting (and retaining) customers by providing awesome and engaging content. In your case, that means providing information for those hapless homeowners that will help them diagnose (and perhaps even resolve) their minor roofing issues. If you do this enough, the folks who visit your Facebook page or frequent your blog will come to see you as knowledgeable, trustworthy, and helpful. And if, heaven forbid, they should find themselves staring up through a hole where their roof used to be, your business will (hopefully) be the first to pop into their minds.
As an added benefit, providing content that’s unique (i.e. not culled from somewhere else online) and useful (i.e. gets a lot of clicks, views, likes, etc.) can bolster your online authority, making your roofing business more likely to show up in the search results.
For example, let’s say you publish an article on your blog about dealing with sagging roofs. Every time someone does a search on sagging roofs and clicks on your article, it sends a signal to Google that your article is authoritative, and Google will respond by moving it higher in the rankings. This makes your article even more visible, which means more clicks, which means more authority.
Content marketing is also a great way to retain your current customers and build their loyalty. When your customers decide to check out your blog or Facebook page and come across a series of useful articles about preventative maintenance, flashing/caulking leaks, or even DIY projects, they’re going to take note. They’re going to remember you the next time they’re faced with a roof-related crisis, and they’re going to recommend you to their friends and family.
Some Ideas for Roofing-Related Content
The hardest part of content marketing is coming up with the content itself. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re first starting, but the idea is to take it in manageable chunks. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer dealing with roofing issues without your expertise or experience, and then try to imagine what he or she would find helpful.
The important thing to remember is that the content you provide needs to be:
Copying and pasting content from other websites will hurt your online credibility, both with your customers and with the search engines. It’s okay to do research and reference other sources, but the content you post on your site should be uniquely yours.
If folks are visiting your website or blog, it’s because they’re looking for something they need. If you don’t provide it, odds are they’re going to click away and look for it somewhere else.
Content marketing isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. You need to be adding new content to your site somewhat regularly if you want to remain useful to your customers and relevant to the search engines.
So what kind of content works well for roofing contractors? Here are a few suggestions to inspire you:
- How-To Guides: Establish yourself as an authority with the DIY crowd by walking them through simple fixes and maintenance procedures they can tackle on their own. Or provide them with some early signs and symptoms of impending roof problems so they’ll know what to look for. Once you become a go-to resource in their minds, you’ll be the first one they think of when they run into a task beyond their abilities.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Compile a list of the questions you get most often from your customers, and then answer them as plainly and concisely as you can. If you’re having trouble coming up with the questions yourself, you can always ask your customers to submit some through email.
- Product Reviews: When folks are researching a potential purchase online, they’re always grateful for a professional opinion. You can help them out by posting honest reviews weighing the pros and cons of different roofing materials (e.g. asphalt, wood, or composite shingles).
- Case Studies: Write a short article about a problem one of your customers was having and how you went about solving it. Make sure to respect your customers’ privacy, and avoid revealing any personal details about them in your story.
- Supplementary Articles: Sure, the focus of your content is going to be roofing. But your customers may be looking for info on subjects that are tangential to your business. By offering up the scoop on diverse topics like vinyl/aluminum siding, skylights, or solar panels, you’ll draw in a more diverse group of readers who will, hopefully, be dazzled by your acumen and know-how.
There are no shortcuts and, unfortunately, no guarantees when it comes to content marketing. With so much noise and clutter on the internet, simply being heard above the racket can be really challenging. But a content marketing campaign, when done well, can help you build trust and credibility with your online audience, and hopefully convert them into loyal customers.