A case study on blogging by Veronica Tang | @tang_veronica
River Pools & Spas (RPS) is a small business that sells swimming pools in Virginia and Maryland. Marcus Sheridan, the owner, founded the company in 2001. In the beginning, he didn’t have knowledge of any effective marketing strategies. He relied on traditional marketing campaigns on radio and television which were very costly. He also tried online advertising to increase revenue. Although he spent a lot of money on this method, the result was not always good, particularly after more competitors started using paid advertising too. Securing a good keyword was getting more and more expensive. In addition, Marcus realized that maintaining a good position for paid advertising is almost impossible without paying more money every month.
Marcus knew he needed to explore alternative, cost-effective, efficient marketing approaches. He also frequently spent long hours with prospects explaining how to build and maintain swimming pools. He spent too much time educating his prospects one-on-one and not enough time selling.
Social Media Solution
He turned to an online tool where he could educate many potential customers at once - a blog. He leveraged search engine optimization and educational information to draw prospects to his website. The company continuously created diverse, valuable content to attempt to address the different types of questions they were used to receiving. Videos, testimonials, and stunning photo gallery kept the blog fresh. They published longer posts twice per week instead of shorter posts every day. River Pools & Spas also focused on using long-tail keywords which are three- to four-word phrases. The blog was housed on the same domain as the company website to ensure SEO.
Pool 101 for the Beginning Shopper is just one of the useful videos on RPS' blog.
During the first few months, growth was slow but steady. Three months after the launching of the blog, RPS had few subscribers and most post attracted no more than 50 views. By six months, RPS had acquired 70 subscribers. After a year and a half, the subscribers number had grown to 467 with approximately 45,000 monthly blog page views. Long-tail keywords such as “fiberglass pool problems” and “fiberglass pool prices” attracted 1,000 organic searches to their website. By 2008, RPS became one of the top 5% of all in-ground pool companies in the U.S. and continues to grow today.
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