The Building Blocks of Content Marketing for Architectural Design Brands
Historically, architectural marketing has been based on word of mouth. Thanks to American Institute of Architects (AIA) regulations from 1909 that barred architects from even the most basic forms of marketing, all that left was client goodwill and word of mouth. Once the regulations were overturned (amazingly, not until 1990), architects started taking a closer look at marketing, but word of mouth has remained a mainstay of those efforts.
These days, however, digital marketing — which arrived in the 1990s — is central in our everyday lives. People looking for professional design services make the Internet their first stop for information, recommendations, and help. Competition for their attention is fierce, and architecture firms need to weigh in and stand out.
So how can architectural design firms make the most of this new digital landscape? The answer, we’d suggest, is content marketing. Content marketing reaches people, not via a hard sell but by offering them valuable and appealing information about things that matter to them.
People enjoy reading about how they can improve and upgrade their own lifestyles with better design and different buildings. All you need to do is to tap into these aspirations and pique their interest with high-quality, engaging content.
Start with visuals
Architectural firms are in a uniquely powerful position when it comes to content marketing, because it offers so many compelling visual elements. But what people really want to know is how they can achieve these looks for themselves. For example:
- Articles such as “So You Want to Build: 7 Steps to Create a New Home” offered by Houzz.com pair gorgeous images with practical information for people looking to build, offering content that inspires and informs.
- When someone is planning a renovation, they turn to articles that combine fantastic photos with great written content for maximum impact.
Images entertain and inspire, but content teaches and informs. To get the most from your efforts in the architectural marketing field, you need both.
Stay focused on your market and your expertise
You might think that posting content about a wide range of architectural design trends would help you attract a bigger audience, but trying to cover too much can prevent people from getting a clear picture of who you are. Figure out which audience is going to be most interested in your services — where they live, how they live, what their lifestyle aspirations are. Then offer them the information that addresses those interests and gives them the full benefit of your industry expertise:
- If you are a landscape architect in the Southwest, your potential clients may be interested in finding out about drought-resistant plantings and outdoor entertaining spaces designed to help manage high temperatures.
- If you are based and working in a large urban environment heavy on technology startups — San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle all come to mind — and inhabited by a young singles demographic with a taste for youthful, trendy loft spaces, a blog post about converting old parking garages into sustainable, modern homes is spot on.
Always keep the focus sharp, and stay true to your strengths.
Don’t forget about SEO
Even after have a handle on your target clientele and written content designed to generate shares and likes across the Internet, there’s still a critical task to tackle. With so much content out there, you can’t just cross your fingers and hope the right people will find your stumble across your particular posts. You have to help them find it.
SEO (search engine optimization) can make or break an article’s impact. Eye-catching headlines incorporating keywords will boost your SEO. Using keywords throughout the article is important as well. To find the right keywords, head over to Google Trends to look up topics that are currently trending in your industry and to find the words people are using to search.
Use keywords in a natural way in your posts, image captions, and headlines. This extra bit of research and legwork will help your search results that come up more often and people will find your firm. But don’t forget that content that’s obviously stuffed with keywords will turn people off. Make sure that your content is written for people, not robots.
Build high-quality content
For architectural and home design brands, content marketing is a worthwhile investment. But as with design itself, it pays to have experts like Prose Media crafting the original, creative, and compelling content that displays your work in the best light. Sign up for free, no-obligation access to our platform today — we'd love to see what you have in mind.