They Ask, You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer by Marcus Sheridan.
Guide of how to do content marketing for your business. The author worked in a pool business selling and installing swimming pools for homeowners, and describes how content marketing improved his sales and saved his business from collapse during the Great Recession.
The goal of content marketing is direct traffic from organic web searches onto your site, usually in the form of questions that people ask about your business. The first step you should do is brainstorm a list of questions that people ask, make sure it’s from the customer point of view and not the business’s. Often salespeople will have a list of the same questions that customers ask repeatedly. Write a blog post trying to answer each question as honestly as possible.
Aim to be more of a teacher than a salesperson, in other words, be honest about pricing, potential problems of your product, and cases where it is likely not a good fit. This builds trust from the customer, making them more likely to buy from you instead of someone else. Customers spend a lot of time researching before they buy, and more informed users are easier for salespeople, whereas uninformed users typically just want the cheapest option.
Content marketing is best done in-house rather than outsourced, since you are the most knowledgeable about your own business. Hire a content manager who is in charge of producing content, often by interviewing subject matter experts in your company or turning rough outlines into blog posts; journalism majors are a good fit for this role. Collect analytics on which posts are converting.
Next, textual blog posts are only half of content marketing, equally important is video. Start by making a short video answering the 80% most commonly asked questions and ask customers to watch it before a sales call. Every external-facing employee should have a video presenting themselves. It doesn’t need to be fancy, so use easy-to-use video editing tools. Many people are nervous on camera, the trick is don’t stop recording, finish it and edit it in post-production. Eventually, hire a videographer to be in charge of the video production process.