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Owned Media: 10 Ways to Build Your AEC Blog

Great content speaks for itself, but only when it’s shared. Creating high-quality content keeps brands top-of-mind and relevant with clients, but also helps boost search result rankings. Whether generating topics about design, manufacturing or firm culture, one of the best ways to share content is through an AEC blog. When implemented with an integrated content marketing plan, you can create a blog that showcases company culture and your best work.

Creating a blog in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space may seem daunting, but there are a range of content ideas to draw from so you can use this platform to establish expertise. Through regular writing, blogs can be powerful tools for sharing an authentic, personal brand that’s relatable and relevant. As one of the most popular forms of content marketing, blogging not only provides a way to share ideas and projects, but also industry inspiration and educational material that will help build a reputation.

In the following guide, we outline how to build a blog for readers as you write content that’s clear, engaging and easier to create. Remember to keep your target audience in mind as a blog is an opportunity to respond to what’s happening in your discipline and frame your work in a larger context. You can begin by breaking the editorial planning process into categories to explore blog topics; these are outlined below, in no particular order.

Wooden house under construction
Wooden house under construction, via Unsplash

1. Project Highlights

A great place to begin thinking about blog posts and what to write is the firm’s work. Though it’s good to have dedicated web pages that tell a visual story of a project, you can also create a blog post that looks at the process behind the work. From design details to client engagement, this can be framed differently than a Case Study to focus on stories that don’t fit neatly into a project narrative or more quantitative metrics. 

2. Event Announcements & Recaps

There are many blog stories and angles to draw from, whether AEC firms and companies participate in industry events and conferences or when team members have speaking engagements and serve on competition juries. These are all opportunities to keep readers informed, and following an event, for you to provide a recap of what happened and its impact. Moreover, readers find out how to attend, and afterwards, can help tell the story of a brand.

3. Vertical Highlights

Does your company work within an industry vertical? From custom furniture and doors to museum buildings and healthcare facilities, if you specialize in a specific vertical then these become great opportunities to frame industry knowledge. Showcase expertise and services through focused topics, whether framing a common challenge faced by other companies in this vertical, or best practices to consider when working with these project types. You can also write to trends and what the future may hold.

Interior with sliding glass partitions
Interior with sliding glass partitions, via Unsplash

4. External Publications & Thought Leadership

Has someone in the firm or company recently contributed to an industry publication? These excerpts, quotes and project features can be summarized and shared on your blog. Highlighting the article on your site not only provides content for internal use, but can also help you build relationships as thought leaders and lead to potential backlinks in the future. Whether you choose to write a summary or pull from the original publication and link to it, you should utilize external press to your benefit.

5. Community Engagement

Keeping readers and clients informed is a central idea behind content marketing, and in turn, blogging. Consider collecting quotes and talking with community stakeholders and the project team. You can also showcase how current users interact with a product or building through an engineering feat or construction technique. Volunteering, pro-bono work or board participation shows how employees engage with their local community.

6. Company Culture

From seasonal events and activities to workplace amenities, company culture is great blog content. In a similar way as sharing employee interviews or news, updating readers about company culture is also a great recruiting tool. Take the time to recap for readers and your target audience, and consider what stories you can tell from your culture that are already happening.

7. Employee News & Announcements

Showcase the amazing work of your employees! Not only are you highlighting company culture and telling how people matter to your current team, but also to potential employees in the future. Investing time to tell the stories of individual team members is a very strong way to build your content marketing and create content for your blog. Consider certifications, promotions or personal milestones in their professional development.

8. Personal Essays

Don’t forget that a blog doesn’t have to be authored by one person or a single team. If an employee or director wants to speak about a specific issue, a blog allows them to address trends and movements happening within the profession from their perspective. These are usually quite different from case studies and project highlights, instead focusing on values and ideas.

MAXXI Museum Exhibition
MAXXI Museum Exhibition, via Unsplash

9. Work In Progress

If you have approval from your client, don’t hesitate to share work that’s currently on the boards. Whether a building under construction, a new prototype hardware idea or something that’s currently being planned for development, work that’s in progress offers a unique glimpse into the creative process. At the same time, it can inspire readers to follow up and track a company’s work over time.

10. Employee Interviews

Building off the idea of sharing employee news and announcements, also consider telling the story of individuals through an interview format. Discuss what it’s like to work in a team, create a quick desk-side interview that’s informal and personal, or send questions via email for employees to answer as they’re able. The range of questions can deal with day-to-day work, past projects or ideas for the future. 

These blog ideas are a few to get you started! As you build out your AEC blog and content calendar, consider new forms of media that can further engage your readers and showcase your work and ideas into the future. For more ideas, follow our Bizop newsletter for AEC marketing ideas, thought leadership and industry tips.

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Eric is a communications and PR specialist for the architecture & design industry. Featured in ArchDaily, Archinect, Architizer, and more.

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