It’s Wednesday afternoon, have you answered your prospects’ questions today?
Providing good answers to the real questions potential customers ask — on your own website — is the key to a successful inbound marketing strategy, according to Marcus Sheridan, a.k.a. The Sales Lion. Sheridan’s company, River Pools and Spas, was spending 250,000 a year on radio, television and pay-per-click advertising, until the economy tanked and they had to cut the budget to about a tenth of that. The company began to focus on generating sales through informational blog posts and videos instead, and they’ve been wildly successful thanks to a common sense but unconventional approach.
Sheriden told the The New York Times, he merely examined how he and others actually use the Internet.
Most of the time when I type in a search, I’m looking for an answer to a specific question. The problem in my industry, and a lot of industries, is you don’t get a lot of great search results because most businesses don’t want to give answers; they want to talk about their company. So I realized that if I was willing to answer all these questions that people have about fiberglass pools, we might have a chance to pull this out.
I love when the answer is this simple. People who might want to do business with you have questions they need answered and it’s your job to answer them.
Sheriden reports that price is always one of the first questions River Pools gets from potential buyers. So, he wrote a post about what it costs to install a fiberglass-pool, and used every cost-related phrase he could possibly type in. Remarkably, he’s been able to track a minimum of $1.7 million in sales to this one plain Jane article (screen grab posted below).
It’s strange to see Sheriden’s post and realize just how effective it is. In the advertising business we think of elegant solutions as perfectly crafted commercial art pieces. But perfectly crafted for whom? The truth is we often make ads to accomodate our own tastes. But that’s all wrong, especially online. People are searching the Web right now for answers to the pertinent questions before them.
What shall we make for dinner tonight?
Where shall we go on vacation this summer?
How do we develop a winning content strategy?
It is time to get your list out and write down all the questions that prospects ask you (I’ll do the same here). By the way, I’m happy to help you answer the questions on your list and make multimedia content for your site that draws people in, so you can make a sale. That’s what content maketing is, and it’s what we do best.