It's amazing what you can do with digital advertising. It’s a big part of what we do, and we wouldn't have seen this growth without it.”Cody Wortmann
The foundation for Sand Creek Post & Beam was laid in 2004, when Len Dickinson and Jule Goeller produced their first barn kit in their driveway, and shipped it to Grinnell, Iowa. They soon set up shop in the nearby college town of Wayne, and since then have designed and shipped kits for customized barns for every purpose, from housing livestock to hosting weddings. “They wanted to create something that was new but focused on our rich rural heritage, using traditional timber framing methods, and was safe for the environment,” says Marketing Director Cody Wortmann. The business now also offers post and beam wood kits for rustic-style residential homes and has grown by about 90 percent in the past five years.
Sand Creek Post & Beam invests heavily in the web to reach customers beyond Nebraska. “I would say 95 percent of the time people who buy our structures won't have actually seen one in person,” explains Cody. “So it’s crucial to show them as much as we can online.” When he took over as Marketing Director in 2013, Cody ramped up efforts to reach these potential customers through AdWords, Google’s advertising program. “We have such a niche product, so the ability to target our advertising to folks who are looking for exactly what we're doing has been extremely efficient compared to print or traditional TV,” he says. As much as 70 percent of their advertising budget is now digital. “Our growth in online led to our biggest year ever,” he shares.
Today, Sand Creek Post & Beam structures can be found in 48 states and five Canadian provinces. “We have trucks heading to California, Texas, and all over the nation, out of a town of 5,000 people,” says Cody. More expansion is in the blueprint for Sand Creek Post & Beam. A record number of inquiries from interested customers came in 2017—and growth for the business means growth for the community they call home. “Small businesses are a big part of Wayne,” Cody says. “A big reason the owners chose to come here was the strong work ethic and sense of caring found in the community. In a small town, employing over 50 people definitely makes an impact at the local level. And that’s pretty cool.”