For those of you who are new to this concept, you may ask, “What is it?” My explanation of Content Marketing would be that it means you establish yourself and your business as experts in your product or service niche. You can accomplish this by writing articles/blogs that you post on your website. For example, Sheridan has written extensively about the advantages and disadvantages of fiberglass (he sells only fiberglass pools) versus cement pools. Yes, that’s correct — he spells out the disadvantages of fiberglass and the advantages of cement pools. By doing so, he strives to provide an objective analysis to help guide future buyers.
This may sound very foreign to you, but Sheridan would say that prospective buyers are going to find out all the facts anyway, so why not establish yourself as the expert? As I reflect upon his advice, I would highly recommend the book as a good primer for Hunters. It offers lots of great suggestions.
We’ve all read about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and maybe have hired an outside consultant to help us increase our website traffic. Today, the Google search algorithms are really sophisticated, so by posting content-rich articles/blogs on your website, you’ll pull in (Inbound Sales) traffic.
All that being said, I think my mentors, without the benefit of the internet and a website, practiced Content Marketing. They really listened to their clients, they taught their clients what was important related to their business, and they were amazing at solving difficult problems.
As I was reading the book, I remembered an idea my partner came up with in our governmental practice. Now, especially if you’re a younger reader, please bear with me, since the idea predated personal computers, spreadsheets, email, smartphones, etc. This was his very successful Content Marketing strategy:
All local governments in Michigan receive revenues from the State. The State uses a well-published formula to distribute these monies. Periodically, the State publishes updated, estimated actual dollar units that will be paid to each local government. So my partner prepared a form (on a typewriter) that local finance directors could use to estimate their State-shared revenues for budget purposes. This form became a famous and sought-after document. I know it sounds crazy, because all the information he provided was available to the local governments, but over the years, many of them used my partner’s form for their budgets. This “Old School” Content Marketing concept established my partner as a local government expert who reeled in prospective clients who came to him by foot — not by the internet.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your lead generation, I would highly recommend They Ask, You Answer.