The Secret Sauce to Content Marketing: They Ask, You Answer

May 22, 2014

Do you think there is some secret sauce to effective content marketing?

Are you looking to improve sales through your website?

This week on the Social Media Social Hour, Marcus Sheridan aka “The Sales Lion” joins me to talk about the secret sauce to content marketing with his key philosophy, “they ask, you answer.” Marcus is the founder and president of The Sales Lion, a marketing and sales consulting company.

I also share a tech tool with you to help your tweets be found with improved hashtag optimization.

About the show:

Social Media Social Hour PodcastThe Social Media Social Hour is a podcast for marketers and entrepreneurs looking to get on the social media fast track. The podcast is an interview format, where each week I get up close and personal with top brands and influencers to talk social media, tech and online marketing. Each week I also share tools that I personally use to help me with social media management, sales, marketing, account management, and productivity.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Tech Tool of the Week:
  • Marcus is a popular public speaker and author of the eBook “Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy.”
  • Marcus is also the host of the “Mad Marketing Podcast” and a partner at River Pools and Spas.
  • His story: He started with two people on an inground swimming pool company called River Pools in 2001.
  • The company was doing fine until 2008 when the market collapsed, and the owners feared losing their business.
  • Marcus feared closing down and he realized he had to do something different to stay in the industry.
  • His plan was to teach better than any anybody else online, and hear the questions that people were asking about the fiber glass swimming pools and answer them.
  • The essential philosophy for River Pools became “they ask you answer.”
  • If anyone asks you a question it is your moral obligation to address it on your website.
  • Each question became a blog post on their website.
  • This philosophy helped dramatically increase traffic leads and sales, and today River Pools has the most traffic of any swimming pool website in the world.
  • They get about 220,000 visitors a month.
  • Marcus was having so much success from the River Pool idea and becoming a teacher online, that he started talking about it on another websites to benefit other businesses.
  • This new website,The Sales Lion, started out as a simple blog.
  • Marcus talks about the myth businesses believe that you need a “secret sauce” or the idea of being an ostrich and burring your head in the sand.
  • The number one question Marcus used to get was, “what should I expect to spend on this?” so the first article Marcus wrote was on how much a fiber glass pool would cost.
  • Many people searched online for this answer and would come across Marcus’s blog post and Marcus was able to see how many of these visitors turned into appointments due to their advanced analytics.
  • That one single article has made River Pool over 2.5 million dollars in sales.
  • Marcus preaches about addressing the subject of cost and price on websites because it builds trust.
  • Customers want to find what they are looking for and they want to find it quickly.
  • On average, only 5% of businesses actually have their prices on their websites.
  • Marcus stresses that you cannot ignore this question , or any question for that matter, and he says this is the great divide when it comes to digital marketing and the companies that have success and those that don’t.
  • Leads and prospects are as good or as bad as the information and the website that created them.
  • Goals in life are to find a great spouse, find great business owners, find great customers, find great friends and filter out those that take us down.
  • The businesses that never figure out who they are and who they’re not are so busy dealing with bad fit clients that they are miserable.
  • The Sales Lion has a lot of clients and the first article always written is about cost and price.
  • The cost and price articles are always the number one traffic and sales generating pieces of content a company has.
  • Marketing is the most important part of an organization and sales should be integrated and involved in the marketing and digital process of the company.
  • His eBooks are almost 100% from his blog articles.
  • He adjusts the articles based on shifts in industries.
  • His advice is to start small because every little piece of content begets more and more opportunities, and those opportunities can lead to more traffic and sales.
  • Some mistakes businesses are making on their websites are the homepage design or sliders.
  • The homepage should only serve the purpose of getting the person to page 2.
  • Less is more when it comes to homepage design and it only needs to talk about the problem that your company solves.
  • Marcus also mentions the negative aspects of sliders on websites.
  • Marcus says we have sacrificed experience for art, and thats a huge problem because art does not convert into traffic leads and sales.
  • River Pool is moving to the manufacturing side because ever since their philosophy started, its been a snowball effect and they have been throwing money away.
  • This drove Marcus crazy and he feels like his company can do manufacturing better than other industries are currently doing.
  • Marcus predicts that with in the next few years, the River Pool’s manufacturing will be the largest manufacturer for fiber glass pools in the world.
  • Marcus is an abundant thinker and because of this he has thrived in the business world.

Marcus Sheridan’s Social Media Six pack:

  1. One meal you could absolutely rock if you had to cook it? Tex Mex.
  2. What is your favorite holiday?  4th of July.
  3. If you were going to order a pizza today, what would you order? Marcus would order a hand tossed pizza, extra sauce, lots of cheese, banana peppers, real bacon, pepperoni and additional sauce on the side.
  4. Can you ice skate? Marcus cannot ice skate and when he was younger he would walk on the pond because he fears falling in ice skates.
  5. What was the last TV show you watched? Wicked Tuna was the last show he watched and his favorite.
  6. Do you prefer liquid soap or bar soap? Marcus prefers liquid soap, axe preferably so his wife still thinks he is semi attractive.

Items Mentioned in the Show: