George is a swimming pool contractor in Virginia whose business took a sharp downward turn during the recession of 2008. Although he wasn’t terribly conversant with social media, a friend suggested to him that he start a blog about pools. And so he did.
He wrote about pool maintenance, pool design, how a swimming pool can increase home value, how a pool can be a great remedy for stress. In a short time, George’s blog went viral. People were suddenly taking note of it, and posting questions to him about their pools. He answered them all. Soon after that, he was contacted by a local newspaper and that publicity got him even more blog traffic. And, needless to say, it started generating business.
After about a year, his business was thriving again and he was getting attention nationwide. Other media connected with him, many of them quoted from his blog. In his Virginia community, George had become a minor celebrity-and a very successful businessman. What’s more, the cost of all this attention, this tidal wave of marketing and publicity, was zero.
Sharing one’s expertise is probably the best way to garner attention. Consider the success Bob Vila enjoyed from This Old House or Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss. The need to know is more prolific than ever before. And everyone can be an expert in what we now call content marketing.
Content marketing has actually been around for hundreds of years. In 1895, John Deere began publishing a magazine called The Furrow to educate its customers about farming procedures. It’s still published to this day. In the early 20th century, Jell-O put out a recipe book that catapulted the brand into a multi-million dollar success story. Content marketing also need not simply be the written word; an expert content series on YouTube or a serial podcast on iTunes can be just or even more effective.
Within optical, a terrific example of successful content marketing is Dr. Gary Gerber’s weekly Power Hour, billed as the only radio show for optometry. As many of you may know, Gary runs a successful consultancy called the Power Practice and the radio program is his best marketing tool. His programs have received well over 100,000 downloads since it began in 2012.
Optical, by its very nature, lends itself to great storytelling opportunities. Whether talking eyewear fashion, optical lens technology,
ontact lens care, or a host of other topics, there’s no reason an astute ECP cannot become the vision expert in her community.
For more on content marketing, check out contentmarketinginstitute.com for a wealth of valuable information.
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