The Internet has drastically transformed the way in which information is shared, and has had a profound impact on marketing. Marketing today is tougher than marketing yesterday. And tomorrow? Tomorrow, marketing will be tougher, because the competition will be even stiffer. Consumers are already being flooded with invitations from companies of every size, shape, and description asking people to like them, follow them, friend them, click, share, and “plus one” them.
So how are you supposed to succeed online when the amount of competition hardens every day? One of the best ways to succeed in today’s enormously competitive online marketing environment is to be truly and inherently useful. Focus your energy on creating marketing that people actually cherish, not marketing that people simply tolerate. Marketers should create information and education that’s disproportionately useful, and attention, sales, and loyalty will follow, eventually.
Effective marketing is about connecting people who want something with the right resolution for them. It involves providing them with information that serves them. This is “Youtility,” and more and more companies are using it in their online marketing. Youtility creates long term trust and kinship. Just imagine creating a piece of marketing so helpful to your audience that if they had to, they would be ready to pay for it if it were no longer available for free. Useful marketing is a process not a project. It is about creating things that matter. This is marketing that people want instead of marketing that people think they need. The intention is to win the hearts and minds of the customers with the hope that they will reward you eventually, on their terms.
Question: “How can we help?”
The difference between helping and selling is just two letters.
If you’re wondering how to make your products seem more exciting online, you’re asking the wrong question. You’re not competing for attention only against other similar products. You’re competing against your customers’ friends and family. To win attention these days you must ask a different
Smart marketing is about help not hype. Concentrate to help someone and eventually you will create a customer for life. Focus on being useful and give it time to work. To succeed, your prospective customers must consider you to be a friend who provides them with real value.
Marketers must build loyalty with information and it can be done in three ways:
An age of Self-Serve Information
The first is self-serve information: giving people the opportunity to inform themselves how and when they wish, instead of being directed through contact mechanisms of the company’s choosing. Today’s consumers want to know all the facts about what you do, how you do it, and for whom. Use your marketing efforts to teach your potential customers something you will sell more. Think about it – most people these days have a smartphone, which means they have access to a world of information sitting in their pocket. If you are not providing the information about your brand or engaging in the conversations about it, then potential customers will find their information from somewhere else.
Building Trust with Radical Transparency
The second is radical transparency: providing incredibly forthright answers to nearly every question a customer could conceivably ask, before they think to ask it. Fundamentally, many people don’t trust businesses. This matters because trust is quite literally the most important ingredient in your success, online or offline. Without trust, you have no customers and you have no future. What smart companies are doing is being massively proactive and transparent. They’re providing Youtility that doesn’t force prospective customers to wonder about the motives or details of the Company; they just offer it up quickly and conveniently.
Creating Useful Youtility with Real-Time Relevancy
The third is real-time relevancy: being massively useful at particular moments in the life of the customer, and then fading into the background until the next opportunity to help arises.There are three ways to provide real-time relevancy.
The last is to be useful based on seasonality or external factors. All too often, marketing is simply seen as a cynical attempt to get people to buy more stuff. We all want return on investment and good content marketers want to flex their creative chops when they work for brands, but marketing should be something more When you’re confused or frustrated or uncertain about what and how to deploy and optimize your online marketing program, just ask yourself this simple thing, and then reassess your options: Is your marketing so useful that people would pay for it? Make a commitment to being useful and creating marketing that your customers will actually want.
Let’s banish the hype and do marketing that helps!!