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3 easy tips for successful content marketing

Not long ago I listened to one of the most compelling Webinars on content marketing I’ve heard in a long time.  While we always strive to find smart and engaging speakers for these (never a sales pitch), Marcus Sheridan’s enthusiasm and know-how was compelling.

@TheSalesLion, as he’s known on Twitter, comes at things from a small business perspective because he is a small business.  In fact, he’s a partner in a small business that sells pools and spas. By the end of the Webinar, not only was I geared up about content marketing, I felt like I needed to buy a pool too!

Marcus offered “7 transparent strategies” of which I’ve taken out three that stood out the most for me:

1. Tell the world what your product or service costs. If you’ve ever tried searching a site to find out what a product or service costs, you know it’s hard to find.  So what do you do next?  You go elsewhere seeking answers.  Marcus advises small businesses to embrace pricing, write about it, and watch the content stick.  His content grew to rank #1 in search for about 10 different terms related to pricing of pools.

2. Everyone wants to know problems. Sort of. Everyone wants to know solutions to problems. When we have a problem, we turn to Google to search for those solutions. It’s a seemingly obvious idea for sticky content that’s easily overlooked.  When the Webinar ended, I took a page from Marcus’ playbook and wrote this post for the Vocus blog: Five Small Business Marketing Worries and How to Overcome Them.

3. Tap into news trends. When news breaks in your industry, everyone is searching for reactions.  It’s a concept author David Meerman Scott has popularized as newsjacking, a harsh name perhaps, for a proven and clever idea.  Marcus provided two examples of how he adopted this tactic successfully, first by writing a commentary on his companies blog when a competitor filed for bankruptcy, and second, when a small earthquake hit the DC area.  People were wondering about the impact of the earthquake on their pools.  I should point out that both of these posts still appeared first in search for me today when I was searching for a link.

If you missed the webinar and would like to hear the other four tips Marcus offers, you can still watch a recorded version online until August 2012:   Think Negative! Generate Trust and Sales with Brutally Honest Content.  It’s well worth the hour of time invested!

Photo credit:  from Marcus’ slide presentation.

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