“Timbecon is not a bricks and mortar business.”
With physical stores in Melbourne and Perth, you could be forgiven for thinking that Timbecon was in fact, a bricks and mortar business. But when the pandemic hit, Timbecon’s normal revenue split of 75% online sales and 25% in store sales shifted to 100% online revenue with barely a hitch. Wearing a humble smile, Hague Haswell - Owner of Timbecon, explains that this seamless digital transition has been built on years of content marketing.
“We’re actually an online business with a bricks and mortar storefront. Generating content was our way of attracting customers to the online business.”
Content that Creates Desire
Even before the tech boom and the dot com bubble, Hague believes that content marketing was always a part of Timbecon’s DNA.
“Back in the day, we used to have demonstrations to educate people. Now we’re just converting an analogue system of marketing into a digital form. That’s when I realised that we were a marketing company rather than a hardware store.
“There are R&D companies that invest in innovation; sales companies that pride themselves on having a formula to selling; I’ve always seen Timbecon as a marketing company that creates desire which elicits sales.”
This reflects in Timbecon’s overall content strategy, which is comprehensive and diverse; ranging from blog posts housed in their very own content hub to informational videos that explore product and technique. The content is also distributed across a variety of platforms from YouTube to Instagram, and direct email campaigns.
“The reason we have a broad content strategy is because we are appealing to a broad demographic. Though 75% of our customers are male, our top three demographics by age that visit our site is 25-34, 55-64 and over 65 years.
“Our range of content allows us to speak to people who are in different parts of the customer journey.”
From videos that outline the different drawer runners you might need to more complex breakdowns of heavy duty bandsaws, there is content for woodworkers of all levels and interests.
Consistency Is Key
Beyond a multifaceted content strategy, consistency also plays an important role in Timbecon’s overarching success.
“Without consistency, you can’t test to see what works and what doesn’t.”
For instance, Hague references Timbecon’s email campaign process. Every month, the organisation has certain specials that form the structure of their emails. From subject line to email layouts, the content itself does not remain static. In fact, it tends to evolve over time.
However, what remains consistent are the emails themselves. Having tested the best time to send out Timbecon emails during the week, the team have settled on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Although studies can show the optimal time to publish or share, content creation demands a macro level of consistency with a micro level of iteration and innovation.
“We found a third email causes the unsubscribe rate to go up. But if we miss our Tuesday email, customers will get in touch and ask if they’ve been left off the email list.”
“Consistency in our content builds momentum. It shows the customers that we are reliable, trustworthy and they can feel confident when engaging with Timbecon. For us, we always look for consistency in how we deliver content and how customers experience it.”
Learning from Timbecon
Though creating content sounds easy enough, Timbecon’s content journey has been one of mistakes made and lessons learned. If you’re considering investing in content, the Timbecon story has some key takeaways that might just set you on the right path.
Get an Expert
A multitude of platforms now exist with unique algorithms that are already saturated with content.
“When I was trying to do it and learn it on my own, I realised how complex it could all get and how easy it could be to waste a lot of time and money.”
For Hague and the team at Timbecon, the path to success has been getting external help.
“Since working with Clue, we have learnt so much, become proficient ourselves and internalised our learnings. Together, we’ve been able to tackle more complex problems to great success.”
Stick With It
Investing in content is not a short term solution to generating sales and brand awareness. In truth, fine-tuning your content efforts can be long and arduous. But patience and time can make it all worthwhile.
“All our content in the beginning was unsuccessful. The only way we found success has been sticking with it.”
For instance, Hauge explains how Timbecon is currently making investments into live streaming events with very little immediate success.
“Live streaming is resource intensive, time intensive and results are slow to come by. But there are plenty of companies that will get as far as we get and give up. I look at things like SEO that are long term investments; we’ve been doing it for four years and are only seeing results now.
“If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.”
Listen to Your Customer
Hague also outlines that listening closely to your customer provides you with instant feedback that can further fine-tune your content strategy.
“A lot of businesses fail because they have an idea of what kind of business they want to be, but ignore what kind of business the customer wants. It’s the same with content. Sometimes we are left surprised by what customers want. But we simply look at what works and what doesn't.”
“That has helped us develop a unique offer and flavour of business.”
So Is Content Really King?
“Content is king” is a phrase you’ll hear a lot.
And there is some truth to it. But what the statement doesn’t reveal is that not all content is king.
What separates good and bad content is evident in Timbecon’s own journey. The most effective content being consistent, receptive and adaptive in nature.
That’s what makes content king.