In 2013, the New York Times ran an article titled A Revolutionary Marketing Strategy: Answer Customers’ Questions. The title is laughable. Who wouldn’t answer their customers questions? Well, it turns out almost no one does. Chances are your website doesn’t include answers to customers questions.
That NY Times article tells the story of Marcus Sheridan, a young entrepreneur who Co-Founded a small fiberglass pool company in Northern Virginia called River Pools and Spas. It was going strong until the financial collapse of 2008. Frightened customers began cancelling orders and demanding their deposits back.
It didn’t take long before River Pools couldn’t make payroll. They were accruing debt and Marcus wasn't able to make his mortgage payments. About to lose his home, Marcus began frantically looking for ways to save his company and his house.
In early 2009, just a short time later Marcus was able to save the company, getting their sales figures back to where they were before the financial collapse. What’s amazing is that he was able to do that and slash his Advertising Budget by 90 percent, saving the company two hundred and twenty five thousand dollars a year.
How did he do it? Answering customers questions on his blog.
Millions of people are online every minute researching products or services. They want to know what things cost. They want honest reviews. They want to see how it works.
For over two years, every night after work he would write blog articles around the questions customers would ask during a sales presentation.
His first Blog article was titled: Fiberglass Pool Prices: How Much Is My Pool Really Going To Cost? That article has nearly a million views.
The more questions you answer, the more traffic you’ll attract (Content Marketing), but let’s start with the 4 most important questions you need to answer.
What Does It Cost? This will be the most searched question around your product or service. That means if you answer this question before your competitors, you’ll earn all the search traffic. Sadly, most companies are afraid to share their pricing publicly. Why? Your competition already knows what you charge, and it just frustrates potential customers. Todays consumers do their research and buy from companies that are transparent and trustworthy.
Honest Reviews. Marcus posted honest reviews on which pool installers were the best. He never mentioned his company. Why? Two reasons. First because he would lose credibility and second because he owned search. If you searched for any of the competitors he mentioned, his website would show up first.
How Does It Work? People want to know the process. What’s included? How long does it take? What can I expect? Earn trust and authority by answering all the questions around your product or service. These are usually great blog articles that can be put together as chapters of an eBook.
How Does It Benefit Me? Apple famously dominated marketshare of portable music devices by selling benefits not features. While other MP3 players were touting Megabytes of storage, Steve Jobs sold 1,000 songs in your pocket. Most people don’t care about the spec sheet. They care about how the product solves their problem. Explain it in practical terms.
I hope this episode solved one of your problems.
If there’s a marketing problem you’d like me to cover, let me know. You can find me on twitter @JasonZagami.
Thanks for listening. I’ll see you next Wednesday.
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