Chief Content Officer - August 2012 - (Page 7)
Joe Pulizzi talks to Marcus Sheridan, pool entrepreneur and founder of the popular Sales Lion marketing blog.
Marcus Sheridan began his career as a pool entrepreneur, selling fiberglass pools in the Virginia-Maryland area. Five years ago, he embraced content marketing out of necessity to revive a business hit hard by the recession. In 2009 River Pools spent $250k in advertising to produce $4 million in sales. After two years of content marketing–and despite being in an industry where the average pool builder was down 50 to 75 percent–River Pools cut its advertising budget to just $20,000 while increasing its business to $5 million in sales. Now Marcus educates others about how to be scrappy and successful with content.
Joe: I’ve heard you say marketers tend to overthink content marketing. Rather than make all sorts of complicated plans, they should just get started and figure it out as they go. Where does that kind of no-nonsense attitude come from? Marcus: I’m blessed to have come from the blue-collar world of a swimming pool company. I didn’t go to school to become a marketer. If one of my kids came to me and said, “I want to be a marketer and I want to go to school for marketing,” I would be scared to death it would ruin them. I’ve written about the curse of knowledge more than any subject on my blog. The curse of knowledge is something I’ve thought a lot about and I see so many people suffering from
it—especially online. Some of these “leaders” online that are talking about marketing, you can tell they’ve been wrapped up in their world too long. I read blog posts and don’t know what the heck the person just said because it was so nebulous and in the clouds, saying nothing concrete and having no application. That’s not who I want to be. JP: You talk about respect and courtesy on your blog. Do you see examples of disrespect in business publishing or blogging? What kind of advice do you give to bloggers about that issue? Marcus: Frankly, I don’t see enough opinions. The majority of businesses, especially B2Bs, live in this world of gray. They’re so afraid to have any opinion at all that their blogs stink. They’re looking to appease everyone and so they don’t get any traction. People ask me all the time, “How did you take a subject that was not very sexy (i.e. swimming pools) and get such a huge following?” First, it’s written in a personal voice. I write like I talk. Second, my blog is opinionated. I don’t live in the world of gray. I live in black and white. We have a dearth of thought
leadership because everyone is afraid to take a stand. Now, you have to be respectful. I don’t come out and say, “This guy is such an idiot.” I’ll never do something like that. But I will say, “I’m looking at this product, service or belief, and it doesn’t make sense to me—and here’s why.” If you’re not causing people to raise eyebrows in your industry, I don’t think you’re going to make it big time. Not today. There’s too much content. I talk about something I call CSI, the Content Saturation Index. The CSI in every industry is growing daily by leaps and bounds. It comes down to quality. Quality initiates the social side of things. JP: You discuss the pros and cons of different tech platforms on your blog, like Alexa rankings and Livefyre. Which apps and platforms do you think bloggers need to know about—if not use—to be successful? Marcus: The one that I talk a ton about is Hubspot. Hubspot was the first company that was a true all-in-one (e.g. blogging, analytics, email marketing, lead nurturing, social media). Hubspot goes way deeper in terms of getting to know your leads’ behavior than Google Analytics.
with Joe Pulizzi
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Chief Content Officer - August 2012
Chief Content Officer August 2012
Table of Contents
Writing a Book?
Chief Content Officer - August 2012