Last Wednesday in Google Success Stories I introduced three people who learned how to make blogging and content marketing work for them – they achieved huge results using a simple combination of answering questions and being consistent.
Think about this for just a moment. The whole online landscape has become overwhelmingly noisy, especially for those of us who work in that world. What if you decide to follow a different approach without becoming stressed about the noise? An approach that works for you where you can develop, measure and learn as you go?
Get your marketing into gear with simplicity
Learn from Marcus Sheridan to get your marketing into gear. I was inspired to learn from Marcus in this podcast interview with Troy Dean in 2015.
There’s good reason why I’ve opted to focus on Marcus this week – simplicity! I do like simple. During a particular low point with his business (outdoor swimming pools) he decided that he should take note of the way he and everyone else was using the Internet, i.e. using Google to get answers to questions and create content accordingly.
Marcus came up with his own strategy, it was revolutionary in its simplicity. He sat down late in the evening at the end of every working day for two years and wrote a blog post. He would answer a question that he’d been asked that day in one of his sales appointments.
He had a plan and an impressive work ethic
There are two things that strike me about what he did, firstly he had a plan and secondly he had an impressive work ethic – he was absolutely determined to stick to the plan and was willing to give it time. In theory we could all do that, in practice how many of us would be that committed to making a go of our business?
He researched the best way to make blogging and content marketing work and learned a lot from HubSpot eventually using their tool to track conversions. No doubt he asked Google the question, HubSpot had the answers and he became a customer. Not all will want or need to use Hubspot.
They ask – you answer
Marcus has subsequently gone on to teach and inspire people to do what he did, he continues to focus on the simplicity of his version of Content Marketing. When I found out he was delivering a workshop for Chris Marr’s CMA in Edinburgh in 2015 I made sure I was there, I’m happy to report that he’s returning in 2017 and I’ll be there again. He’s an accomplished speaker. Below I introduce the thinking behind his ‘They ask – you answer’ approach and the topics and questions we should embrace. Before looking at the topics we need to get rid of some obstacles to our writing.
Make blogging and content marketing work – without fear of the competition
Why do some businesses continue to worry more about the competition and bad prospects than they do about their ideal customer? Are you holding back from being helpful to your ideal customer through fear of giving some kind of imagined advantage to your competitors? Are you afraid to talk about cost or what you perceive to be ‘trade secrets’? It’s time to move on. Most businesses miss out because they ignore certain subjects because of a fear of competitors, taking a “But our competitors will find out” approach.
The Big 5
Marcus has coined a phrase, the ‘Big 5’. On your website discuss without fear the essential topics/questions all consumers want to know about when it comes to the buying process. The “Big 5” when it comes to any product or service, are:
- Cost/price articles
- Problems articles
- Vs./Comparison-based articles
- Review-based articles
- “Best of” articles
In my short video (1 minute 8 seconds) from CMA2015 Marcus Sheridan talks about how most of us are too busy on the day to day business to apply ourselves to this process of answering questions. He talks about a ‘mulch spreading’ company who were to busy spreading mulch to actually talk about what they do.
Enter into this without any expectation of the results or need to provoke comments. Play the long game.
What do you want to be found and respected for? Come up with a list of 5 headings that are relevant to your business based upon the Big 5 exercise to make blogging and content marketing work for you.
Write your own Google success story with WPQuicklaunch, WPQ makes editing and creating website content easy, follow the Marcus Sheridan example and use the Quicklaunch platform to start your content journey.
If you’d like to attend Chris Marr’s #CMALIVE17 you should move quickly to get your tickets here.