If you’ve ever driven through farm country in the midwest, you’ve undoubtedly seen scores of pole barns. Pole barns, also known as post-frame buildings, have been a staple in the agricultural industry for decades.
In recent years, with innovations in construction materials and designs, the popularity of pole barns in both commercial and residential contexts has exploded.
On the commercial side, pole barn construction is being used for strip malls, storage buildings, warehouses, car dealerships, and municipal buildings.
For residential, people are turning to pole barns for an affordable option for detached garages, hobby shops, tool sheds, and vehicle storage.
And with the rise in popularity of pole barns, a slew of construction companies are now making an effort to specialize in erecting these types of buildings.
FBi Buildings is a local, family-owned business in Remington, Indiana, that has been at the forefront of midwest pole barn construction since it was founded in 1958 by Edwin Bahler, Sr.
Over the years, FBi Buildings has expanded to servicing close to 150 counties across four states: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan.
Growing Competition Necessitates a New Strategy
As competition in the post-frame industry began to build, FBi Buildings knew they had to do something different to remain competitive and keep lead generation up.
FBi Buildings realized they needed to start reaching new prospects, and the best way to get new leads was through digital marketing efforts.
“In our transformation to digital marketing, we stumbled, we lost our way,” admits CEO Ed Bahler.
“What used to be the strength of the company – our lead generation effort – really became a liability. When you can’t ensure a consistent lead flow, it creates a vulnerability that affects everybody.”
In 2014, FBi Buildings realized it was time to change up their marketing strategy and improve their digital footprint.
They purchased HubSpot marketing software and hired several different marketing agencies to aid them in their efforts in digital marketing, website development, website management, and blog writing.
Kurt Bahler, the grandson of Edwin Bahler and son of Ed Bahler, took it upon himself to lead his family business’ marketing department. However, Kurt had moved over from working several years in sales and wasn’t as adroit in marketing.
“My son had been in sales for three years,” Ed shared. “He knew the customer base, but he had no experience in marketing. So I thought, ‘Can we bring in an outside entity to mentor and develop him?’”
Once Kurt took the reins of running FBi’s marketing department, he went to work finding the right company to help him own his new position.
FBi Buildings Found the Right Partner in IMPACT
“I looked at each marketing agency we were working with to figure out which ones needed to be cut,” said Kurt. “IMPACT was the only company we were working with at the time that wanted to teach us how to market rather than do it for us. IMPACT was a beautiful fit for us to help teach us and train us.”
In June 2018, Kurt and his marketing team started consulting services with IMPACT: content consulting, HubSpot consulting, and video marketing consulting.
“During our first meeting, they told us, “We think you need to be focusing on content. And more specifically, They Ask, You Answer questions.” said Angie Dobson, Marketing Project Manager.
🔎 Related: What Is They Ask, You Answer?
FBi Buildings’s marketing team began writing two to three blog articles per week addressing the most common questions prospects asked during sales calls.
A major initial focus during consulting was improving the quality of their written content.
“Working with IMPACT has definitely improved my writing, blogging, and content creation skills,” said Cory Lan, content marketing creator. “It’s really exciting to see those pieces take off. It’s very rewarding.”
In No Time, They Started Seeing Results
Within just six months of blogging, improving their website, creating premium content, and using HubSpot’s CMS and CRM efficiently, FBi Buildings started seeing results.
In December 2018, typically a slow time of the year for the business, monthly organic traffic grew 61% and monthly leads grew 53%.
And in typical They Ask, You Answer fashion, their most important pieces of content were those addressing pricing and financing for pole barns.
“A lot of the questions we got from customers were, ‘Do you guys offer pole barn financing?’” said Angie. “So we wrote about it. And that’s our highest performing blog at over 11 thousand views — 14,000 as of writing this case study. It was published less than a year ago and it’s on the first page of Google with a featured snippet.”
Using Technology to Track Revenue Growth
Thanks to using tools like HubSpot, FBi Buildings is able to attribute revenue based on the content their customers have viewed.
“The last time I checked, our pole barn financing article had generated $20,000 in revenue for us.”
With a healthy blog, helpful videos, and an optimized website generating tons of monthly traffic (over 50,000 per month), the FBi Buildings team is ecstatic over the number of leads and deals they’re generating from their inbound marketing strategies.
“In the past two years, we’ve had 145% increase in traffic,” said Kurt. “We used to get about 180 leads per week. Now we’re up to 350. We’ve averaged 56 deals per week in Q3 and Q4 of 2019.
"From a revenue standpoint, we’ve seen a $5 million turn around in profit.”
For businesses struggling with their own digital marketing, Ed Bahler shared his advice:
“Don’t give up. You have to get help. You have to get someone who has context and perspective much broader than you and your organization.”