How Brutally Honest Blogging will Skyrocket Your Business to the Top of Your Industry
As I’ve been stressing quite a bit lately, the giving of great content, especially by means of that wonderful tool we call blogging, is the future key to the marketing success of any business or niche. By moving from the industrial age to the information age, the minds and shopping patterns of today’s consumers are quite different than they were just a few short years ago. This is why content marketing—i.e. blogging, is taking the world by storm.
But what’s most interesting as I analyze businesses around the globe is that although most now understand that they must teach and give great content to their consumer base, they really don’t know how to achieve such a task effectively. Yes, many companies are able to accurately portray what makes their products wonderful and how consumers will benefit from said products, but the truth is this method is only half of the equation. And what’s the equation?
He who gives consumers the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of a product will always be the content king.
And for the sake of this article, I really want you to focus on the ‘bad’ and ‘ugly’, as we all pretty much understand how to talk and teach consumers about the ‘good’ regarding our products and services. Allow me to explain.
As an entrepreneur, my main business is in the swimming pool industry. Specifically, my company specializes in installing fiberglass swimming pools. Each year, thousands and thousands of consumers all over the United States and Canada go through the process of buying an inground swimming pool. And for many of these people, the process is not an easy one. Essentially, pool shoppers have to answer the following main questions:
- What type of pool should I choose? (Concrete, Vinyl Liner, or Fiberglass)
- If I’m going with fiberglass, which manufacturer will best suite my needs?
- Which builder will I feel most comfortable with?
- Etc, etc, etc
Such questions are applicable to any industry. When a consumer is in the buying process, they will naturally ask many questions. These questions will lead to research, which is where the whole paradigm of blogging and content marketing, showing the good, the bad, and the ugly, comes into play. Turning back to swimming pools, let me explain how this is key.
Up Front Information
Often times I have customers that are debating between a fiberglass and concrete pool. These same shoppers will typically get a quote from a fiberglass pool builder (like myself) and then they’ll also go to a concrete pool builder. During this process, you can imagine a lot of misinformation and product-bashing gets thrown around.
As we know all too well with sales, some supposed ‘sales professionals’ will do or say anything to sway a consumer to their way of thinking. In my case, concrete pool companies will often point out to shoppers the possible problems, issues, and drawbacks to owning a fiberglass swimming pool. Some of their points are legitimate, and others are total bologna, but notwithstanding it causes a consumer to be left trying to choose between the words of one sales person versus another.
This is where proper blogging and content marketing comes into serious play.
Recognizing that consumers are going to hear all types of ‘problems’ and ‘myths’ regarding fiberglass pools, my business partners and I set out over a year ago to beat our competitors to the punch. In other words, unlike most pool companies that sit there and praise their type of swimming pool ‘hook or crook’, we’ve elected to go the informative, non-biased route and teach our customers all of the good, the bad, and the ugly that come with fiberglass swimming pools.
Literally, as far as I’m aware, this is a paradigm that is not currently shared by a single company in the swimming pool industry. (That is until everyone reads this blog tomorrow 🙂 )
But the flaw is not specific to the swimming pool industry; it’s prevalent in just about every industry you can possibly imagine. Everyone is one-sided. Everyone is biased. And consumers, frankly speaking, see right through the crapola.
This is why the company in any industry that is not afraid to stand up and blog about the good, the bad, and the ugly of their products will eventually gain the respect, admiration, and loyalty of the consumer base.
For example, out of all the blogs my company has ever produced, (over 125 the past 12 months) do you know what the two most popular articles are?
Both have had thousands of views and with a little bit of analysis, it’s no wonder why these two articles have done so very well for us. I attribute their success to 3 main reasons:
1. Most pool companies are scared to talk in-depth about pricing on their website. This strategy is the antithesis of true content marketing and is, for lack of a better term, dumb. This is especially true for the ‘problems’ article. Obviously, because businesses are so scared to even mention the possibility their product might have some inherent flaws; they elect to only paint pretty pictures, all-the-while doubting the consumer’s ability to see right through their biased tendencies.
2. The first question a serious fiberglass pool shopper is going to ask is: How much does a fiberglass pool cost?
3. The reason why the ‘problems’ article is so prolific is because after a shopper talks to a concrete pool sales person and hears about all the supposed issues with fiberglass pools, the first thing they are going to do is attempt to verify the fact with Google.
This is why if you go on Google right now and type in ‘fiberglass pool cost’ or ‘fiberglass pool problems’ , my company’s site is going to show up number one. You see, when it comes down to it, Google ain’t stupid. Their search engines, although sometimes slow, will eventually find the best and most relevant search content. Such is their job and they are doing it better and better with each passing day.
A Broken Paradigm
Recently I got into a debate with someone in my industry regarding my belief in giving consumers the good and bad points to any product. Because this person is such an advocate for fiberglass swimming pools, he thought it was a bad idea to even mention any of their flaws. Sadly, his paradigm is shared by roughly 99% of small businesses out there. But this is why he is wrong:
Consumers are getting better and better at searching online. So whether we (as biz owners and marketers) want to accept it or not, they are going to find and learn about all the good and bad of any product.
Because consumers will eventually find and learn about all sides, addressing a product’s issues up front versus acting like such problems don’t exist is incredibly proactive and effective. Doing it any other way just doesn’t make any sense.
This is why he who paints the entire picture, instead of just part of it, will gain dominance in his niche and/or industry. Just go to my blog on fiberglass pool problems and see how many comments are under the article. Literally, there isn’t a single blog article in the entire pool industry that comes close to so many comments.
So to those persons that think that such a strategy of utter honesty is a bad method for content marketing and blogging, I seriously beg to differ and would ask you to reconsider your antiquated methodology of thought.
To close, I just want to challenge all business owners to start seeing the world through their customer’s eyes. Start writing for them. Their thoughts, concerns, questions, etc should be the core of any business’ website and blog platform. Blog with brutal honesty. Be real. Be different. Have some guts and give consumers answers to all the questions they want to hear. I can promise you the results will be unbelievable.
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