How To Build Excellent Content Marketing for Hardware Stores
Are you a hardware company trying to build a solid online presence in Illinois? If so, you need a Chicago content marketing agency as your partner.
With their skills and expertise, you can build a reliable, purpose-driven plan that includes the following:
- Know your brand.
- Identify your target audience.
- Leverage the power of storytelling.
- Go local.
- Complement your strategies with other online marketing efforts.
Use content to achieve your business goals. Read on to learn how to execute all these ideas. Let’s go!
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1. Know Your Brand
How does your company differ from big competitors such as Home Depot, Ace, and True Value? The answer lies in branded marketing.
Many business owners make the mistake of churning out content, believing it will be enough to engage their customers. However, your blogs and videos are only noise if they lack a clear, consistent brand message.
Defining your unique selling proposition (USP) remains one of the best approaches to strategic branding. Before you can do this, however, you need to analyze your organization from the inside out. Conducting a SWOT analysis is one of the techniques you can use.
What is SWOT? It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Usually, it is a quadrant that guides the discussion of your company’s state and vision.
To do it:
- Gather data about internal and external factors that can affect your goals. These may include financial statements, competitor analysis, customer surveys, and industry trends.
- Look inward, beginning with your strengths. What are your unique characteristics and resources that give you an advantage over competitors? These can include a strong brand reputation or a highly skilled workforce.
- Study your weaknesses. These can be a lack of funding or poor management practices, which could hinder business growth and success.
- Evaluate potential opportunities to help the business grow and thrive. Examples include expanding into new markets or developing new products.
- Pinpoint potential threats. These may be new competitors or regulation changes that could challenge the company’s operations.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
At first glance, it seems all hardware stores share the same target market. These include do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts, contractors, builders, and interior designers.
In reality, the best industry performers focus on a specific audience. For example, a typical Home Depot shopper is a middle-aged white man with a spouse but no kids at home. They are also college educated, earn over $80,000 annually, and live in the suburbs.
These data mean that they attract the high spenders from among the pros and the DIYers.
Knowing who are the right customers lays the foundation for creating tailored strategies. It allows you to adjust your content and marketing messages according to their needs, customer journey, interests, and preferences.
The question is how to do it. Hyper-segmentation is one of the options. It involves a highly detailed and analytical approach that requires expertise, such as that of a marketing strategy consultant. However, it lets you target individual customers precisely and efficiently when done right.
The process includes:
- Using a combination of customer data analysis and marketing automation tools to create segments
- Expanding lead information with psychographic, demographic, and behavioral patterns
- Tracking customer behavior in real time and refining content based on the results
- Analyzing your competition to identify missed opportunities (e.g., gaps in content information, services, or pricing)
3. Leverage the Power of Storytelling
As a hardware store, storytelling is the furthest strategy from your mind. However, without it, no content, from videos to blogs, can deliver the desired results.
A Chicago content marketing agency uses stories in several ways. Here is a table of use cases and their best content type:
|Uses of Stories||Best Content Type|
|Simplifies technical concepts or complex processes.||Explainer videos, how-to guides, and animated videos|
|Makes information easier to remember and recall.||Infographics, slide decks, and checklists|
|Helps demonstrate how your products and services work.||Product demo videos, white papers, and FAQ sections|
|Sparks engaging conversations between customers and employees.||Social media posts, live chats, community forums, Q&A sessions, podcasts, and webinars|
|Make your brand sound more authentic and relatable.||Employee spotlight video, user-generated content, virtual tours|
|Support statistics, tables, and other data with real-life examples.||Before-and-after photos, user-generated content, and infographics|
4. Take Advantage of Micro-Moments Marketing
The Internet empowers consumers to decide when to interact with a brand. Your goal is to be ready for this through micro-moment marketing, delivering the right user experience based on their intent.
Hardware stores can capitalize on the following:
- Want to do, which occurs when people think of trying something new.
- Want to go, which appears when users need to find a location for their needs.
- Want to know, which happens when consumers search for information about products or services.
- Want to buy, which shows up during the purchase process.
For instance, if someone searches for “how to build a shed” on their mobile device, your paid ads about the matching tools and equipment should also appear. If a person types “hardware store nearby,” yours must be one of the local map packs.
Below are examples of content marketing tactics for every type of moment:
|Moment Type||Content Marketing Techniques|
|Want to do||Video tutorials, product demonstrations|
|Want to go||Comprehensive local content marketing plans, including a Google My Business (GMB) profile|
|Want to buy||Targeted ads|
|Want to know||Highly optimized blog post, FAQ section, and optimization for featured snippets and knowledge panel|
5. Complement Your Blogs With Other Online Marketing Efforts
Blogs are the standard content marketing tactic, but they cannot run alone. Complement it with other effective online marketing strategies that raise brand awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads. These include:
- Tap into the authority and credibility of influencers to boost yours. These may be popular Chicago DIY builders on YouTube, organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, or local celebrities.
- Invest in paid advertising to reach cold and warm customers who have already shown interest in your products or services.
- Build an email list of followers and nurture them with relevant content.
- Keep your audience updated and engaged with social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- Build a seamless buying ecosystem by optimizing your e-commerce shop for omnichannel marketing.
Hardware stores belong to a highly targeted niche, making content marketing a formidable online tactic. It supports every stage of the sales process through education, inspiration, and direct promotion.
These five strategies can help lay the groundwork for a successful content marketing program. However, you need experts to customize, keep track of, and refine them to your changing needs.
Digital Authority Partners (DAP) is a Chicago content marketing agency guiding companies in the hardware store industry to build and sustain successful online brands. Schedule a free consultation today and learn how to amplify your content marketing efforts with our help.
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