Window & Door Dealer Days 2016: Content Marketing

The Irrefutable Laws of Creating Useful Content
By Marcus Sheridan
September 13, 2016
FEATURE ARTICLE | Markets & Trends

Content marketing isn’t new—we just call it something different than we called it before. At its core, content marketing is really about telling stories, answering questions and making calls-to-action. To that end, there are some irrefutable laws of content marketing that, if put into practice, can create content that will outlive the internet. Use the following four principles and tips to achieve them to help guide the content you create as part of your marketing program.

01 Cultivate Content

Everyone has a story to tell—most just don’t realize nor appreciate their story.

Great listeners never run out of content.

The goal is to be helpful, not to appear intelligent.

Consumers see the world in terms of their problems—not your company’s products or features. They ask, you answer.

Enthusiasm and passion always beat dry and boring. Useful will always beat amazing.

Great content marketing companies don’t allow their competition to dictate what they do and do not write about. Their sole guiding light is the ideal customer—no one else.

People will remember stories over facts any day of the week.

02 Deliver the Message

People have different learning styles. Some want to read text, others want to watch video, and some learn by listening. Great content marketing companies don’t fight this, they embrace it.

When you ask people to do something (i.e. via calls to action), they’re more inclined to do it.

Insourcing content almost always beats outsourcing in terms of results.

Some “just okay” content that is published will always crush “awesome” content that never gets published.

The more red tape, lawyers and bottlenecks a company has, the more they stink at content marketing.

Not all questions have a direct answer. Great content marketers understand how to explain the magic words “it depends.”

03 Establish Authority

The best teachers stand to gain the most trust and respect from their audience.

If you’re biased in the way you communicate, you won’t earn trust.

Every industry is looking for leaders. Leaders sell more stuff.

Industry thought leaders put their opinions out there and are strong enough to take it from both sides.

Great companies don’t care that others have addressed subjects. They want potential/current customers to know their doctrine on the subject.

Honest, transparent content will always be the minority—making it one of the most powerful trust-building methods in the world.

If you try to sound smart, you’ll look stupid.

04 Keep Getting Better

Content marketing success is a journey, not a destination.

Improvement is more important than perfection.

You have to produce average content to learn how to produce great content.

The best content marketers embrace who they are not just as much as they embrace who they are.

The greatest content marketers have a keen ability to think exactly as a consumer.

Amazing stories pertaining to our industry are all around us; learn to see them unfold.

A Content Culture

If top-to-bottom buy-in for content marketing doesn’t exist within an organization, the chance for failure is very high. This is why content marketing as a culture will always beat content marketing as a program. While the different platforms for your message come and go, these principles never die. All this marketing stuff we talk about is essentially the act of listening, communicating and teaching. The rest is just fancy words.

Marcus Sheridan, “The Sales Lion,” is the keynote speaker for this year’s Window & Door Dealer Days event at GlassBuild America. His story of how he used content marketing to take his pool installation company from the brink of bankruptcy to a multi-million-dollar market leader is the subject of multiple books and publications. One of Inc. Magazine's 25 Top Social Media Speakers, Sheridan will provide Dealer Days attendees with actionable ideas to grow their own businesses to kick off the event on October 19 at 10:30 a.m. For more information, go to glassbuildamerica.com.