Updated: Mar 30, 2019
Content Marketing is a special kind of magic.
It can be used to:
Generate highly qualified leads
Reduce customer acquisition costs
Increase customer retention and lifetime value
Position you as an expert thus bringing in higher paying clients
Though examples like these are in the thousands of companies that have done it, very few other brands truly exemplify the power of Content Marketing than River Pools.
Started by two partners in 2001, River Pools is a US company based in Virginia that specializes in building fiberglass pools for customers searching for this type of pool.
In 2008 when the recession hit, like almost every business, River Pools faced going out of business because customers weren’t looking to build pools during such harsh economic times.
Within 48 hours, the business lost a quarter of a million dollars (US$250,000) in revenue after five clients pulled their deposits.
By January 2009, three consultants had suggested filing for bankruptcy. Doing so would have meant he and his partners would lose their homes and their sixteen (16) employees would lose their jobs.
How Content Marketing Saved River Pools
Marcus and his business partners knew they had to find a way to save the business, and they couldn’t use the same methods they were before.
They made the decision to start blogging. The concept was simple, create blog posts to answer the questions that their customers had about fiberglass pools.
In his own words, “I started River Pools with two partners in 2001, and when the housing market collapsed in 2008, we were in big trouble. That’s when we discovered content marketing and decided to be the best teachers in the world about our business — which was inground fiberglass swimming pools. This decision saved our company”.
As a result, they started to build greater trust with their audience, generated more traffic to their website, which led to an increase in leads and ultimately more sales than ever.
One of those posts answered the simple question of how much a fiberglass cost. Though seemingly simply enough, at the time not many competitors were willing to post their prices on their website, let alone dedicate an entire blog post to it.
According to a podcast interview he did with Social Media Examiner, immediately after sharing that post he received phone calls from buyers wanting to learn more about his offerings because he was willing to address their questions.
Consequently, within days the post became the first search result for anything related to the cost of a pool.
Based on advanced analytics and lead tracking, Marcus says the article about pool costs has generated more than US$3.5 million in revenue. One article saved the business, his home, and his employees’ jobs
The important thing to note is that Marcus mentions that the reason they were ultimately successful, wasn’t because they started blogging. They were successful because they changed their philosophy about selling.
Instead of believing they build and sold fiberglass pools, they decided to become the best teachers and problem solvers for their customers.
That philosophy has caused River Pools to not only be an industry leader, but the most profitable business in its industry.
How to Drive Revenue for Businesses Using Content Marketing
Very convincing story of the impact Content Marketing can have on the success of a business.
Now does it mean if your company starts blogging you will see the same or greater success?
Why? Because in order for Content Marketing to work requires a few elements that most businesses aren’t willing to include. It involves a complete mindset shift that is difficult to do right away (believe me I’ve been trying for years to get clients to make this shift).
These elements are:
Patience – to give the process time to start seeing consistent results (usually 12-18 months)
Commitment of Time – it takes a full level of commitment, not a “let’s see if this works” approach
Commitment of Resources – like anything else in business it takes money and investing in the right personnel and tools for it to work
Focus on Helping not Selling – this is the greatest challenge for businesses as they are always in sales mode; this will be the most difficult shift to make, but if done can mean a significant difference
Customer-Focused – creating content that your audience and customers want instead of talking about your products/services
Consistency is everything – if you’re choosing to go this path being at it every day is the only way to do it, otherwise your efforts will be for nothing, it takes time and more importantly consistency to build up momentum
The success or failure of Content Marketing all comes down to one thing: developing trust with your audience and customers.
Next Steps to Content Marketing
Once you are able to make these simple, yet difficult mindset shifts, then you want to take the time to research your audience. What their needs are, challenges they face, motivations, etc.
Next creating content around those challenges and motivations to get their attention.
Creating an email sequence or some other system to nurture those leads.
Understanding how to convert from a qualified lead to a paying customer through understanding the Buying Process. I go into it briefly below.
The process of driving sales with Content Marketing is a bit more complex than I am describing in this video, which is why I created an email series dedicated to showing you how to do so. You can fill out the form below to get more information on this.
My Final Thoughts
For companies being profitable while trying to stand out from the competition is a major challenge. Today the barrier to entry is so low that anyone can enter your industry or market and take away your customers, even if they aren’t in the same geographical location.
Business owners can no longer take the same approach if they want to remain relevant to their customers. As the global marketplace gets smaller through the internet, and customers’ buying behaviours change, you must learn how to adapt or risk going out of business.
Content Marketing is one of the ways I have found that is most effective in driving revenue growth and creating a lifetime brand. Doing so through strategically creating relevant content for a specific audience, and building loyalty with that audience over time.
It will take longer than what you may want it to, however with patience and commitment the long-term payoff is far greater than the investment of time, money, and resources.
The beauty about it is most companies won’t be willing to make the mindset shift or the commitment it takes to win at Content Marketing. If you’re able to do so, it will put you at a significant advantage to not only be profitable, but dominate the market, as River Pools clearly shows is possible.
Is Content Marketing a part of your growth strategy? What plans do you have to implement one moving forward? Comment below and let me know (use the Facebook Comment box)