Demand Generation for Roofing Companies
- Introduction: Creating a Culture of Content
- Chapter 1: What is Demand Generation?
- Chapter 2: How to Achieve Buy-In
- Chapter 3: Why You Need a Content Manager
- Chapter 4: Use Your Subject Matter Experts for High Impact Content
- Chapter 5: Understanding Today's Modern Buyer
- Chapter 6: Assignment Selling: Using Content to Your Advantage
- Chapter 7: Video: Not Just for Marketers
- Chapter 8: Measure Your Performance and Prove ROI
- Chapter 9: Conclusion: What Are You Waiting For?
Creating a Culture of Content
You've tried business blogging, but you never see the results you're looking for.
You make an effort to get your team members to contribute their knowledge and expertise to creating high-quality content, but they don't seem interested.
Or maybe you see the potential of marketing to grow your business but you don't know where to start.
If this sounds like you, keep reading.
Building a roofing company that is built to last starts with a strong foundation–a culture of content.
An culture of content is one that under all circumstances puts the buyers' priorities first.
It’s a buyer centric model that is based on the idea of being so attractive to your targeted audience that they wouldn’t want to do business with anyone else.
Getting high-performing results from marketing starts with a culture shift inside your organization.
However, building such a culture requires a significant shift that can't be achieved with a single email or announcement. It requires a deep understanding of the key principles outlined in this guide.
By understanding these principles and overcoming the associated challenges, you can implement a successful marketing strategy.
This guide provides actionable steps and practical takeaways on how to teach your team to embrace a culture of content.
What is Demand Generation?
We've all heard of lead generation–the practice of getting contact information (from someone who may or may not be interested in your services) and trying to convert them to paying customers.
So how does demand generation differ? Rather than generating leads, the goal is to create demand for your services. This means creating awareness for your brand by educating your customers on who you are and what you do. Ultimately, you'll build trust with your ideal customers and be top of mind when it comes time for them to invest in a new roof.
Demand generation marketing involves providing valuable education to your audience without any expectation of immediate return. You can use educational content to answer your customer's most common questions and concerns.
How to Achieve Buy-In
To make demand generation marketing work and be successful in the long run, it can't just be left to one person or team. Everyone in the company needs to get behind it, starting from the top, to really make it work.
If company leadership doesn't understand or support what you're doing, it's going to be hard to get the money, resources, and autonomy you need to get your plan going.
And if your colleagues don't see the value, they won't want to help with content creation or add it to their workflow.
That's why it's essential to make sure everyone in the company gets what you're doing and why it matters. It's the first step to making sure demand generation marketing is successful.
This all starts with a content marketing mission statement. Here’s a great example of a content marketing mission statement.
"We will dedicate ourselves to our customers' experience using in-the-field knowledge and our roofing expertise to answer their questions with unbiased content, earning their lifelong trust."
You want it to be simple. A good formula to follow is “We want to be the best teachers in the world at [what you do].”
When someone has a question, a worry, a need, or an issue, we want them to think of us. We want them to know that they can come to us for an honest answer. We will be real, frank, and straightforward with them, and because of that, they will trust us with their roofing-related needs.
The next step is to build an organization of teachers.
Get buy-in from everyone. No one cares about being the best at blogging and social media, but everyone wants to be a better teacher. We use blogging and social media as a tool to teach and communicate with our prospects and customers.
It’s important to celebrate the results and the “most viewed content”, content that drives new sales opportunities and revenue for the company.
You don’t need to be the best writer to create content. Start by writing down your ideas, then edit the content with your target audience in mind.
Have your content manager perform an editorial check to look for grammatical errors and to help with the format.
Keep reading to learn more about why you need an in-house content manager.
Achieving buy-in starts with the leadership team embracing a culture of content. The ultimate goal is to become the best teachers in your local market.
Why You Need a Content Manager
Assigning content creation to someone at your company with an already overloaded workload is not a viable option.
Unfortunately, many companies make this mistake when first embarking on content marketing.
It can be even worse when they outsource their content creation to an external agency or freelancer.
While outsourcing can be an appealing solution for those lacking the necessary resources, it often comes at a cost. Even the most skilled outsider cannot capture the voice and values of your roofing business in your content.
To ensure that your content marketing efforts are successful, you need an in-house employee who is the owner of this initiative.
We call this person the Content Manager.
To ensure success in content marketing, it's important to have a content manager who acts as a champion for the cause. This individual should be supportive, encouraging, and make the lives of everyone in the company, especially sales, easier.
Surprisingly, the "primary customer" for a content manager should be the sales team, not marketing.
The best content managers prioritize their sales team above all else and focus on empowering them.
When executed correctly, content marketing should be viewed as a sales initiative. The content created should be designed to educate buyers, enabling the sales team to close deals faster.
Over 70% of buying decisions are made prior to ever contacting a company or filling out a form on their website.
What does this mean?
It means: Buyers are in control.
If you want your roofing company to thrive in today's market, you must shift your thinking in a fundamental way.
This starts with aligning your mission, strategies, action plans, and tools with how buyers think, research, and purchase when they're in need of your roofing services.
An in-house content manager facilitates and enables salespeople to be educators. They own the content strategy and can create authentic, true-to-brand content that answers your customers' questions.
Use Your Subject Matter Experts for High Impact Content
Let’s talk about insourcing.
There’s a core principle in life that goes like this: "If someone doesn’t help produce something being created, they won’t appreciate it as much."
Imagine you have two people who want to start a business. One person has inherited all the funding they need, while the other person has had to work hard and save up their own money to invest in their business.
Both individuals may be equally motivated and capable, but the person who had to work for their funding is likely to be more invested in the success of the business. They've put their own money on the line to save up for it. As a result, they are more likely to take the business seriously and do everything they can to ensure it succeeds.
Sometimes content managers or marketers say, “I’m just not sure where to go.” “I don’t know what questions our customers or prospects are asking.”
What they're really saying is, “We don’t have a clear sense of direction.”
You can tell they are out of touch because they’re not totally engaged with the sales team.
Because the sales team are the experts in what customers truly care about and know the right answers, they are the ones that should be the prominent content producers.
It is the sales team's job to teach. It is not marketing's job to teach.
It's marketing's job to facilitate the "subject matter experts" on staff to help them be the best teachers in the world.
To be exceptional teachers, we need to break down the barriers between departments. It's not reasonable to expect marketers to have all the answers without the help of the sales or customer service teams. These teams have a lot of experience and know what customers want. So, they all need to work together to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Content “contribution” and “production” for your in-house experts can come in a few different shapes and sizes.
In our experience, we’ve found there are four distinct types of content producers:
- Writers (your blog and premium content writers) generally 5-10% of the team members are writers.
- Actors (most sales reps fall into this category)
- Talkers (great interview subjects for content)
- Questioners (a mix of sales and customer service experts)
When you know what each of your experts can bring to the table, it becomes easier for your content manager to involve them in creating content.
As a content manager, when the sales team sees the great content you create, they can use it in their sales appointments and give it to customers, and they will thank you for it.
Internal subject matter experts are the key to great content. Sales members involved in the content production process see the value in content created specifically for the customer.
Understanding Today's Modern Buyer
A myth is that "marketing is slow, that it takes a year or more for content marketing to work."
We've heard this misconception before, but we've found that in most cases, people who believe this don't understand how to use content to boost their revenue and sales. With the right strategy in place, demand genearation and content marketing can be very effective and will move the needle forward.
Many roofing companies write about topics at the top of the funnel or in the awareness stage of the buyers' journey.
This "fluffy" content appeals to a large audience but likely attracts unqualified leads who are not really interested in your roof repair or replacement services.
Instead, you want to create content for people who you know are in the market to buy from you. What does that look like?
Think about it this way: How much did you research your last big purchase? The cost of that item was likely at the top of your list when making your decision.
When you go to a website and you can’t find how much something costs, you feel frustrated. You’re thinking, “I can’t find what I’m looking for. I’m trying to give you my money, but you’re not allowing me to do it."
Instead of sticking around on that website, you're probably going to continue your search elsewhere until you get the answer you're looking for. And you'll be happy to do business with a company that gives you the information upfront.
This company built trust with you by giving you the information you were searching for to help you make your purchasing decision.
This is what demand generations is all about.
An demand generation approach is human, customer-centered, focused on a specific persona, educates and helps first, and delivers an overall superior customer experience.
It is a way of doing business by simply bringing so much value to the marketplace that the market can’t help but trust you. And because of that trust, ultimately many buyers will give you their business. That’s the essence of demand generation; they come to you because you’re so attractive and so valuable to the marketplace.
You want to start at the end of the buyers' journey with your content strategy with those ready to buy and then, later on, work your way back through to the awareness stage.
We've found there are five content categories that have been shown to generate more revenue than any other topics:
- Problems (Yours)
- Best in class
Writing about these topics, which not many companies are willing to do, will show buyers that you care about their questions, even if it makes you uncomfortable to answer.
Today's modern buyers don't want to be sold to. They want information in their hands to make their own decisions.
When you're a buyer looking for answers to your questions, you want to find a company that is honest and thorough. That's why it's important for companies to make it easy for you to find those answers. And if a company goes out of its way to do that, they'll earn your trust and business.
Smart companies don't shy away from difficult topics. They acknowledge them and show their customers that they're willing to address them head-on.
Additionally, these same companies quickly point out who they're NOT a good fit for and what makes them a bad fit.
They understand the way people think when they buy their products and services.
If want to see your roofing company grow, you need to establish yourself as the go-to resource in your service area. That means being willing to answer any and every question your customers have, even the tough ones. If you're honest and open, your customers will trust you more, and you'll win their business.
Assignment Selling: Using Content to Your Advantage
What is your greatest sales tool? The majority of companies would say it’s not their content.
Most sales teams don’t use content in the sales process because they don't see its value.
Salespeople should see every piece of content produced as another tool in their toolbox. Tools that give them a definitive advantage over the competition.
That’s why we start in the decision stage of the buyers' journey.
Every decision stage question aligns with the biggest fears, questions, and concerns that prospects–your good-fit buyers–have. We want to ease their fears and answer their questions about roofing even before they talk to a salesperson face-to-face.
Prospects should already know the answers to their questions so that by the time we get to the actual sales appointment, we sell.
But the reality is that we spend too much time teaching in sales appointments and not enough time selling.
If you provide your sales team with content, they can focus on selling to people who are actually interested in buying instead of wasting time on those who aren't a good fit.
This is called Assignment Selling, and it can save your sales reps a lot of time and effort. By using educational content to address common concerns and questions, your team can be more efficient and effective in their sales conversations.
Our goal, especially as marketers, is to be the best teachers so our salespeople can be the best at closing deals. We can use their knowledge and expertise to create content that is used to teach.
Video: Not Just for Marketers
A recent study showed that as many as 91% of consumers want to see more online video content from companies.
With an increasing demand for video, we as marketers must strike while the iron is hot.
If your marketing strategy doesn't include video, you won't be able to connect with prospects who prefer and engage with video over written content.
Think about it this way: What are some claims you make about your organization?
Probably something like: "We're the best in our area. We have the highest-quality workmanship. We have the best crew."
Of these claims, how many have you proven by showing them?
How many have you given a visual representation so that the prospect can say, “They said they had the best service, and now I see and know their work, and I believe that that is true."
Too many businesses fail to see the opportunity in front of them, or they're wasting money on outsourcing videos to agencies that don't know much about the company or its people.
When you commit to creating videos that answer customers' questions, you'll see increased engagement with your content, an increase in qualified opportunities, and be able to close deals faster with educated prospects.
Now, you might be thinking: But video isn't my thing.
"I'm not comfortable on camera." Or "I'm not comfortable asking my sales team to be on camera."
The truth is that consumers don’t care if you're uncomfortable on camera.
Consumers care about purchasing from someone they trust. And that's where video comes in–it's a great way to share information and build that trust.
Compared to writing, video can make your customers feel more comfortable and at ease with the sales process. This is important because we're asking our customers to make a big commitment when they give us their money.
So it's up to us to do whatever we can to help them feel comfortable and confident in their decision to buy from us.
Video marketing is essential to your success. To prove your claims about your offerings are true, establish trust with prospects, and answer their questions effectively, video must be incorporated into your marketing strategy. High production value isn't what counts; it's the value you demonstrate with the information provided.
Measure Your Performance and Prove ROI
To say whether or not content is actually working, we must be able to measure its performance.
Many companies make the mistake of not tracking their results. Demand generation is a long-term commitment, and in order to see a return on investment, it's important to measure the traffic, qualified opportunities, and sales generated by your efforts.
With the internet, potential customers are already making decisions about a purchase before they even speak to a salesperson. Marketing is handling 70% of the sales process up to this point.
This means that marketing has become even more important in driving sales through the content they create. So, marketing should no longer be listed as an expense. It's in a different classification than it has ever been.
To measure and track results, you can use tools like HubSpot or Google Analytics, which give you a clear and real-time picture of your performance to see how your efforts directly impact sales.
As you’re tracking your results, what are you doing within the marketing department to make sure everyone else in the organization is keenly aware of the victories that you’re having?
You can send an internal notification that says, "Hey, that article Hope produced is crushing it." Or "That video Michael produced has already generated 3 new opportunities."
That’s the way we need to be thinking. Otherwise, your team will think it was a program that you asked them to do, and then it goes away.
Demand generation isn’t a program, it's a way of doing business. It’s about creating a culture of content. The success of demand gen is based on your team's success.
Tracking and reporting on your performance is crucial for improving your marketing strategy. You can refine your strategy by analyzing what's performing best.
This means you can invest more in what's working and consider phasing out what's not. If you don't track your performance, you're likely wasting time and effort on things that aren't delivering results without even realizing it.
Conclusion: What Are You Waiting For?
As you think about implementing these principles to establish a culture of content at your roofing company, you may encounter some barriers to success.
Getting buy-in from decision-makers is challenging, or you're worried about the cost of hiring an in-house content manager.
However, we believe that the journey toward creating a culture of content is worth it. You can establish yourself as a leading teacher in your service area by listening to your customers, focusing on their questions, and training your team. This focus will drive your growth potential.
Of course, there may be roadblocks and challenges along the way, but with consistency and dedication, you will overcome them. This guide is your first step toward success.
Founder, CEO & Trainer