Over the past two decades, Marcus Sheridan has built a successful business and made a name for himself as an expert in online sales marketing.
Many companies know they're lacking in the content marketing department, but they aren't quite sure how to fix this.
They're losing buy-ins and clients.
That's where Marcus comes in.
Today, Marcus talks about sales marketing and explains how to develop a successful content marketing mission statement.
The World's Most Visited Swimming Pool Website
Fresh out of college in 2001, Marcus started his own business with a couple of friends.
You wouldn't think that a newborn swimming pool installation company could have survived the 2008 recession.
Well, Marcus's did. In fact, River Pools and Spas is now the world's most visited swimming pool website.
How did he get to where he's at today?
Innovative strategies and versatile marketing. His expertise has earned him the title of "web marketing guru" from The New York Times.
As you can imagine, Marcus has a lot to say about content marketing and developing a killer content marketing mission statement.
What is Content Marketing?
Before crafting your mission statement, you need to change your mindset.
Yes, change your mindset.
Marcus defines "content marketing" a little differently than marketers or his colleagues.
He says content marketing is your company's ability to be the best and most helpful teachers in the world at what you do both online and off. You should strive to be the best teachers in the world.
Most companies spend a lot of time thinking about the "who" and "what" before developing their mission statement, but they always seem to neglect the "why."
Marcus says this is the biggest mistake companies make. It results in fewer clients and ultimately, fewer buy-ins.
Fortunately, you can avoid this by taking advantage of Marcus's expert knowledge and innovative ideas.
Marcus's Tips and Tricks
Marcus has been in the content marketing game for nearly two decades.
He knows what works and what doesn't.
1. World's Best Teacher Mindset
You've decided who you're teaching, what you're teaching them, and why you're teaching.
Now you need to become the world's best teacher in that respect.
Yes, you need to teach your audience about your industry and products. However, you also need to teach your potential audience about your company.
Let this mindset permeate every aspect of your company.
2. Sales and Marketing Isolation
Your sales team are the ones who speak to your customers first. Why shouldn't they be an active part of your marketing strategy?
Don't limit this tip just to your sales team: get leadership and all departments involved. Managers are actually more likely to listen to an outside source when it comes to marketing suggestions.
Get everyone on the same page. Unite your team around a common goal of helping clients.
3. Exercises and Workshops
Send your sales department and company leadership to marketing workshops.
Marcus recommends two different exercises.
The first exercise involves having every team member write down seven reasons why a customer might not buy from them. Have them get specific.
Marcus says that during this exercise, the sales team comes up with answers quickly while those in leadership roles fall short.
The second exercise involves getting the sales team into a client-centric mindset. The goal is to brainstorm content ideas to answer customer questions before they even pick up the phone. Which brings us to...
4. Sales Videos
When it comes to content marketing strategy, Marcus lives by the 80% rule. He says that the content on a company's website should answer 80% of any average customer's questions.
Utilize social media along with your website and blog to build a relationship with your clients.
Let them really get to know you, your company, your team, and most importantly: what you can offer them.
Marcus recommends making videos for each member on your sales team (ideally). Each video should answer 80% of a potential client's questions and strike a personal relationship.
Business hack: these videos cut down the time of sales appointments by 50%.
Forming Your Content Marketing Mission Statement
The most important thing? Understand your "why." It should penetrate every aspect of your company.
Your company, then, strives to teach this "why" to clients.
Get every team member onboard. Your mission statement should reverberate throughout each team member of your company.
Make sure every department actively participates when developing your marketing strategy. Remember: your sales team is the first contact clients have with your company.
Utilize all tools at your disposal to optimize team performance and customer experience.
Your website should answer 80% of questions any average customer might have. Give your customers as much information as possible through social media. Make it easy for them to get to know who you are before they even pick up the phone.
This speeds things up for your team and customers alike. It also results in higher buy-ins (something everyone needs).
Marcus is the founder of the pool installation company, River Pool and Spas. He runs a sales marketing and personal development blog called TheSalesLion. You can pick up Marcus's new book They Ask, You Answer from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
ABOUT MARCUS SHERIDAN
In 2001 and fresh out of college, Marcus Sheridan stumbled across his first business with two friends and began installing swimming pools. Nine years later, and with the help of incredible innovations through inbound and content marketing, Sheridan’s company overcame the collapse of the housing market and became one of the largest pool installers in the US and currently has the most visited swimming pool web site in the world—www.RiverPoolsandSpas.com.
With such success, in late 2009, Sheridan started his sales, marketing, and personal development blog—The Sales Lion, and has since grown The Sales Lion brand to be synonymous with inbound and content marketing excellence while being featured in multiple industry publications, including the New York Times where he was referred to as a “web marketing guru.”