River Pools was established by Jason Hughes and Jim Spies, and also involved Marcus Sheridan. The company is into swimming pool installation and hot tubs throughout Maryland and Virginia. At the beginning, the company found it difficult to find its footing as there are larger manufacturers in the industry which makes it hard for a small, young company like River pools to compete online.
However, Marcus Sheridan found a way out when he changed his mentality about the business.“I used to see my company as a “pool company’. We installed lots of swimming pools and therefore we were a pool company. “In hindsight, though, this mentality was all wrong,” He says. “Today, I see my business as a content marketing company. In other words, my entire goal is to give more valuable, helpful and remarkable content to consumers than anyone else in my field, which will in turn lead to more sales”.
Marcus started out by publishing a post about “how much it cost to install a fiberglass pool”. It is a useful piece of data. He tracked the result by using a web-tracking tool and discovered that this single post made the company over $2.5 million in sales. The business then, was generating $5 million a year.
Seeing the massive result generated by content marketing, Marcus started publishing a steady stream of blog posts and videos, one to three times a week. He also created an e-book on “how to buy a pool – without getting ripped off”. He created educative and informative articles on swimming pool on the company’s website.
The company sold more fibreglass pools than any other company in the United States in 2009. It is among the top 5% of all in-ground pool companies.
The website today is an encyclopedia of pool buying contents and the company is able to compete favourably with its competitors.
Marcus referred to the content he creates as “the ultimate gift that keeps on giving” at every stage of a pool buyer’s company. When prospects are looking for pool buying information, the contents bring them to the River Pools site and hooks their attention. When they get to the stage of narrowing their choices, River’s pool content is there to give them a narrowed alternative and assist them to evaluate their choices. After the purchase, the company continues to engage their customer with a resource for pool owners, such as “Why do I have air bubbles in my pool? A troubleshooting guide”.
You can see from the case study above, how River pools create contents that meets buyer’s needs throughout the sales funnel.
Content marketing is a cheap way to create brand awareness, acquire customers and sales. A survey conducted by Hubspot on 644 business executives on the benefits of business blogging showed that the average cost of customer acquisition from traditional marketing (i.e. Direct mail, PPC, Telemarketing etc) was $373, while business owners that used blog contents to generate customers incur an average cost of $143 per lead.
Content marketing works, and you should include it in your marketing campaign this year.
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