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Content Marketing | Sep 20
Kevin Kononenko on September 27, 2017 • 3 minute read
Scott Meyer is the co-founder of 9Clouds, a digital marketing agency that mainly focuses on auto dealerships. But before they chose their niche, they were just like any other digital marketing agency. They offered inbound marketing services and delivered the typical services to many types of clients.
As you hopefully know by now, this was a recipe for disaster. And Scott wanted to act before it became too late. He did an audit of his entire site, and realized that 90% of leads came from 4 places:
Scott felt that although they were cranking out content, he wasn’t satisfied with it. He wanted to find an area where he could create remarkable content that would set him apart from everyone else.
So, he chose to take a risk. He had already identified auto dealers as the niche he wanted to target. And he loved the State of Inbound reports that Hubspot put out every year. So, he decided to create a State of Automotive Digital Marketing report, modeled after the Hubspot report.
But he didn’t just want to sample his customers or create one blog. He wanted a full-fledged report that would become an authoritative source in the industry. This meant that he would need to sample hundreds of marketers.
So, he created a survey with SurveyMonkey. Even if he cold-called people and asked them to take 5 minutes to fill it out, he knew he would not get enough responses. He didn’t have a reputation in the industry, and this was his first report!
So, he made sure he interviewed as many auto digital marketers as possible at the trade shows he was already attending. Then, when he had asked all the questions personally, he manually filled out the form with the data.
Sound intimidating? It was. He estimated that the whole process took 20-30 hours. But, he knew that the report would be shared throughout the year, and it would be even easier and more valuable for his agency the next year. He had turned that 20-30 hours into an evergreen asset.
Once he gained a reputation among auto dealers with the report, he had an audience that he could use to ensure his next piece of content would solve a real need. After learning about the problems of digital marketers in his industry, he chose to create a free video course called “Facebook Ads for Auto Dealers”. He did not skimp on this one either. He spent a full day with a professional videographer, shooting many versions of the same clip. After it was done, he had one hour of content that he could add to later.
The results have been a smashing success because nobody focuses on the needs of the niche like he does. Now, 80% of prospects watch the video course before they buy. And, he gets invited to speak at the industry conferences that he used to attend.
In 2013, Scott had 42 clients and a minimal amount of profit. Now, he has 17 clients and a healthy amount of profit (he declined to share specifics, obviously).
Here’s how he got there. First of all, people that are regarded as experts are able to charge 20% more for the same services. He certainly qualifies as an expert in auto digital marketing. And, even a 5% increase in price means a 50% increase in profit. So, he was able to raise rates and take on fewer total clients. But the agency now offers the more targeted and repeatable services than ever before.
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