Marcus Sheridan, aka @TheSalesLion, sells in-ground fiberglass pools. He also happens to be an instinctive content marketer who dispenses with theory and goes straight to tactics that work. His presentation kicked off the second day of Content Marketing World 2012 with raw truth and unbridled energy.
Marcus started out emphasizing the absolute requirement that we think about how our customers behave. Where do they turn when they’re looking for information? Google. And what questions do they Google? A prospect’s questions usually follow a pattern:
- Price – They want to know how much it costs
- Problems – Consumers want to know if it solves a problem.
- Comparisons – They want to compare you to your competitors
- The Best – They want to know what product/solution in the space is considered “the best”
- Reviews – They want credible reviews.
In sales, Marcus noted, we don’t hear questions, we hear our answers. As marketers, this translates into publishing what we want our market to hear.
The questions customers ask should be at the center of your approach to content creation. As your teams to tell you what the questions they hear every day from customers? Turn those questions into titles of blog posts and get going, says Marcus. Within 30 minutes of mining your organization for questions, you’ll come up with dozens and dozens of ideas for blog posts and other content.
The golden rule of content marketing, according to Marcus, is “They ask, you answer.” People who are good listeners never run out of content. There’s a dearth of content that actually answers consumers’ questions.
Author Sarah Skerik (@sarahskerik) is PR Newswire’s vice president of social media.
At PR Newswire, content marketing is powered by an agile communications approach – built on effectively listening to online conversations, targeting of active influencers, creating content based on the insights gleaned and syndicating content that is relevant, compelling and trustworthy on an ongoing basis to drive visibility and deliver results.