The NFBA’s Post-Frame Market Initiative (PFMI) is gaining a lot of attention from design professionals, specifiers, commercial project managers and other “gatekeepers” whom we are educating about the advantages of post-frame.
The PFMI is NFBA’s nationwide effort to grow the entire post-frame market for the benefit of NFBA members.
In 2008 NFBA created a new web site, called postframeadvantage.com, specifically to market the post-frame concept to project decision-makers, or “gatekeepers,” to the low-rise commercial building market.
We also placed search engine ads to direct traffic to the NFBA.org web site. Some of the visitors to this site may be interested in commercial buildings, but most are likely interested in other traditional post-frame buildings, such as agricultural and residential accessory buildings. NFBA places these search engine ads to benefit builders and other members who do not offer commercial construction services.
Here are the numbers
Web site search engine advertising has been a huge success in our campaign. In 2008, search engine advertising directed 32,124 (yes, more than 32 thousand) visitors to our new Post-Frame Advantage marketing web site. Two hundred fifty (250) web site visitors subscribed to the “Post-Frame Advantage E-Newsletter.” NFBA members received 159 business referrals from the “Find a Builder,” “Find a Supplier” and “Find a Designer” modules on the new web site, www.postframeadvantage.com.
Note: If you are a builder member of NFBA, you will only be listed on this site if you fax NFBA a Builder Opt-in Form. If you are an NFBA builder member and don’t find yourself listed on www.postframeadvantge.com, please contact NFBA headquarters to receive a copy of the “Builder Opt-in Form.”
More than 95 percent of traffic to www.postframeadvantage.com comes from search engines, largely due to our search engine ads. Because this is a new web site and it seeks to bring in visitors who are largely completely unaware of post-frame, driving the kind of traffic we want to this web site is not as straightforward and easy as it is for NFBA.org.
For the NFBA.org web site, we use common terms such as “pole barn” or “pole building” to capture people who are wanting to build a typical post-frame building.
For the PostFrameAdvantage.com web site we must use terms that commercial architects, engineers, specifiers and project managers may be looking for, because they are definitely not looking for post-frame, pole buildings or pole barns. Many lack awareness of the fact that post-frame may be used for commercial projects, and/or have a negative opinion of pole barns and would never consider them for their commercial building work. We seek to capture their attention when looking for things like building plans and information on wood, steel or other types of structures, because many will never type something like “pole building” into a search engine if they’re thinking about their next commercial project.
One of the main objectives of the web site is to get our 120-page, hard-bound, full-color book, “The Post-Frame Advantage Handbook,” into the hands of the gatekeepers. This book really does a great job telling the post-frame story, with lots of color photos and case studies that demonstrate the benefits of using post-frame for commercial buildings. It is a proud addition to anyone’s personal library. More than 450 books have been delivered to “gatekeepers” via online requests and at industry trade shows.
Our handbook distribution has increased dramatically over the past several months. This is partly because of increased awareness created by direct mail pieces and magazine ads that we placed in September and October 2008, as well as from search engine advertising. We also distributed a lot of the books at trade shows where we exhibited in November and December.
Dr. Harvey Manbeck, NFBA’s technical adviser, created and presented two programs on post-frame design at several Wood Solutions Fairs in 2008. NFBA also rented exhibit space at these events, with NFBA board members manning the exhibit and handing out materials. These events have been a huge success and we will participate in more of them, as well as selected national and regional events sponsored by AIA and CSI.
We have also placed colorful ads that focus on unique features of post-frame, and why it is the best choice for low-rise commercial building projects. Print ad placements circulated to more than 150,000 readers (yes, more than 150 thousand) in 2008.
Our new PostFrameAdvantage E-Newsletter has been building its subscription list over the past several months. The e-newsletter is intended to maintain interest and continue to reach out to those people who have visited the postframeadvantage.com web site and/or received a copy of the “Post-Frame Advantage Handbook.” The number of subscribers has increased now to more than 300 e-newsletter recipients.
We also have a Media Alert service, especially for the press and others who are involved in publishing, to get our press releases about post-frame out to the media. One of the sources for material for the e-newsletter and/or media alerts is the NFBA Project Spotlight program. This is a free program for members, for which you simply fill in a form and send us photos of a nice project, and we will write an article about the project for you and distribute it to the press. We send them not only to those who sign up for media alerts; we also have an extensive list of magazines to which we send press releases. Projects may be featured in Frame Building News magazine, and we’ll send your story also to local and other press contacts you provide to us. If you would like to participate in the Project Spotlight program, please e-mail email@example.com to get details.
If you have questions about the Post-Frame Market Initiative or other NFBA programs, please contact NFBA headquarters at 800-557-6957.