I’m sure you’ve been told many times about the benefits of posting fresh articles on your website. I’ve told you myself how articles can help with your SEO, build your authority and most importantly, make sales. While those were all about the theory behind articles, this post is all about the practice. Here are 3 stories about articles which bridged the gap between success and failure for their companies and founders.
1 – Casper
Casper makes great mattresses. They’ve also changed the way mattresses are purchased. I mean, who would’ve thought people would buy their mattresses packed in a tiny box without trying them first?
Casper is famous for clever marketing. Their Twitter feed is legendary, while searching ‘Casper unboxing’ on YouTube yields 113,000 results. However, what put the spring in Casper’s step when first launching? Articles.
After launch in 2014, all Casper had marketing-wise was a website and a Twitter account. Then, they landed a deal with MTV. Casper would provide the mattresses for all the beds in the house on their hit reality show, The Real World.
To support this, Casper produced a series of articles. They were posted straight after every episode of The Real World, providing hilarious commentary about what happened on their mattresses during the show. Because it was an MTV reality show featuring numerous good-looking guys and girls, there were a lot of mattress-based events.
It was these articles that sent Casper stratospheric. Casper promoted their articles on Twitter. Real World fans would come to Casper’s site for bonus content about their favourite show. The articles were so funny, they would always be shared, spreading the word.
In the 10 months after launch, Casper brought in $10 million in sales.
Moral of the story: Your product may be amazing, but if no one knows who you are, you won’t have a business for long. Articles help build awareness.
2 – River Pools
Here’s a story of an article that made a noticeable difference to a company’s bottom line. A $2 million difference, to be precise.
Marcus Sheridan was the owner of River Pools, a swimming pool company in Warsaw, Virginia. In 2008, during the financial crisis when people suddenly stopped buying swimming pools, Marcus decided to dabble in some article writing.
When prospects would visit River Pools, there was one question they would always ask first.
‘How much is this pool going to cost me?’
Marcus decided he would answer that question in his article. The funny thing was, before Marcus posted his article, this kind of information was pretty difficult to find online. Other pool companies didn’t publish their prices, for fear of losing customers. Swimming pools are quite expensive, after all.
Marcus, on the other hand, went for all-out transparency. He went into great detail about the prices of the fibreglass pools that he stocked, as well as the cost of their upkeep. He even wrote about the prices of pools that he didn’t stock and his competitors did!
This article directly answered a question that people were regularly searching for the answer to. It also projected authority and credibility, especially by promoting pools that River Pools didn’t sell. As a result, it made a massive difference to River Pools’ bottom line.
River Pools’ site became the most visited pools site on the web, receiving over 500,000 visitors a month. When people came to their store in Virginia, Marcus found it easier to sell his pools, because the customers already knew the prices. In 2013, Marcus Sheridan said that this article alone sold him 57 pools, generating over $2 million.
River Pools, which was looking a bit shaky in 2008, is still around today. The article has been rewritten many times over, but is still bringing in the hits every day. As for Marcus, he quit selling pools and is now a content marketing trainer, known as The Sales Lion. All off the back of one article.
Moral of the story: If you answer your customers’ questions, you can make sales. Articles are a great way to do this.
3 – EspressGo
Our final story takes us to a time when an article fulfilled a specific task for a founder.
The founder of the coffee-ordering startup, EspressGo, had taken a liking to the work of Brent Hoberman. Brent Hoberman was the co-founder of lastminute.com, who went on to start Founders Factory, a London startup incubator and accelerator.
The EspressGo founder decided he wanted to meet Brent Hoberman, but wasn’t sure what to do. He didn’t feel he could just contact him on social media, or camp outside Founders Factory’s office. He decided on a different approach. An article.
He found a writer and gave them a mission. ‘Write an article about something Brent has said or done, then expand on it. Do it so I look really clever and Brent wants to meet me.’
The writer found a video of Brent Hoberman, and an article he wrote, about startups partnering with big corporates. The startups get the money, and the corporates get the benefit of the nimble, disruptive startups. That was the gist of it.
EspressGo’s article took that theme and ran with it, talking about how they leveraged a partnership with a credit card giant to build user numbers. They published the article, and waited.
They didn’t have to wait very long. After sharing the article with Founders Factory via Linkedin, the founder was soon invited to spend a day at Founders Factory. A collaboration is forthcoming.
Moral of the story: No matter how outlandish your goal, an article can help you achieve it.
Articles. Is there anything they can’t do?
Our 3 stories have shown that whether it’s brand awareness you’re looking for, or bottom-line, or something a little different, articles are the way to make it happen.
One more thing, in case it wasn’t obvious. The writer in the last one, well, it was me!
If you’d like to talk more about how articles can achieve your goals, get in touch at email@example.com or call +44 7885 657774.