Building materials are not bought as often as shampoo or other FMCG products. Especially big-ticket items like roofing, siding and windows.
As a result, there’s little brand preference and sense by consumers that a lot of research needs to be done to learn about choices and options before the first dime is spent. Most of that research is done on the internet.
Google even wrote a book about it, calling this online decision-making moment the Zero Moment of Truth — or simply ZMOT. (Follow this link to download both the ZMOT eBook and handbook from Google.)
You can use content marketing to give consumers a rich education in your product category and build brand preference despite a lack of familiarity with the project.
Use content marketing to stand out and gain preference by helping consumers become educated and knowledgeable about your category
Even companies as sophisticated at marketing as Rubbermaid can be guilty of wanting to give a lot of product details at the expense of project insights.
But with complex projects – like designing, buying and installing a new closet system – consumers wanted a lot more information about what would be involved to build out a closet that matched their needs or dreams.
A few years ago, Rubbermaid did not have a presence on the web for its closet or garage product lines beyond showing the individual products available. Research showed, however, that consumers found organizing closets to be overwhelming and they had identified the web as a key resource for finding information about closets systems and how-to project advice to gain the confidence to select and purchase.
7 simple steps to building a ZMOT strategy like Rubbermaid did
You can build an online strategy educates consumers and builds project confidence in seven steps.
- Create a micro-site for each key product segment. That will allow you to highlight the features & benefits of your product systems, show project photos and answer common questions.
- Develop an online product selection configurator or design tool for each product segment to make product selection and design simple. Make sure it provides a SKU specific shopping list for consumers to take with them to the store.
- Maximize “findability” with SEO and key words search terms through search engines and utilize elements, especially video, that could be used on YouTube and other sites to generate additional traffic.
- Create a “where to buy” function to allow customers to find the closest retailer or installing dealer.
- Build content rich pages for all of your online key online retailers. Repurpose all the content you have generated for yourself for their websites.
- Create a blog and prominently feature your core product lines in it.
Use partnerships and guest blogs from industry pros or key trade organizations to build added credibility.
- Finally, promote your blog and rich content extensively on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
Content marketing is a key way of building your brand preference by helping consumers become educated and knowledgeable about your category
Using a content marketing strategy will not only draw more consumers to your website, but you will be arming them with project information instead of product specs simply by utilizing the web as your call to action in ads, PR and merchandising.
The end result will be consumers spent more time with your brand, more confidence in the project and, most importantly, more product sales through online and in-store retailers.
Photo credit: Patrick Gensel/Flick
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