Every year I return from the PRSA Counselors Academy Spring Conference all fired up with inspiration and new ideas. This year is no different. I need to tell you about Marcus Sheridan. Right now. Marcus, aka The Sales Lion, sells pools (well not that much anymore, but that was, and on some level still is, his business), but I would wager he knows more about content marketing than 75% of the people taking up space at agencies across the country. With a straightforward, common sense approach, Marcus has figured out the value of a blog, how to earn customer trust and win the SEO game.
Marcus believes in blogging as an inbound marketing strategy. He believes in it because it's working for him. With a sales hat firmly planted on his head, Marcus takes this elegantly simple approach to blogging: What are the top 100 questions my customers want answered? That's it. Simple really.
But most marketers are so removed from the sales process that they have no idea what their customers (or their client's customers) really ask. They think they need to be clever or creative or create an experience. I'm not saying you don't need those things, but sometimes you just need to give people what they want and it's much simpler than we make it out to be.
Think about how you search online - do you use phrases like
- Top fill-in-the-blank?
- Best fill-in-the-blank?
- This Vs That?
- Complaints about blank service/product.
- How much does blank cost?
So do your customers. Does any of your online content answer those types of searches? By answering your customers questions and being transparent about cost you will pre-qualify leads. Perhaps most importantly, you will earn customer trust. And if you use the right type of software, in Marcus' case Hubspot, you will gain increasing page rank in search. All by writing the stuff your customers really want.
Marcus has moved from selling pools to teaching people how to use inbound marketing to grow their business. Jump over to his website and download his free e-book Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy. It's an easy read and as I did might make you think, "duh, this is so obvious and so obviously right".
Thanks Marcus, your energy and session were a wake-up call.