You know what happens when most companies launch a new, branded mobile application or other content marketing program intended to effectively combine information and promotion?
You’ve heard the saying, “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The same logic works in these scenarios: “If you create ‘Youtility‘ and don’t tell anyone about it, did it ever exist?”
When you finish the app, or commence blogging, or begin answering questions, you have not reached the finish line; you have reached the starting line. Too many businesses break out the champagne just because something new was created.
Remember, Youtility is all about being useful, which literally means “full of use.” The objective is not to make information. The objective of content marketing is to produce information that customers and prospective customers will use.
If you believe in your ability to sell more by selling less, and if you’re committed to creating truly helpful information that will add value to the lives of your customers and prospective customers, you have to also add the third leg of the stool. You have to market your content marketing.
If you are looking for ways to market your marketing, an essential read is Joe Pulizzi’s post on 7 Steps to Creating Your Content Marketing Channel Plan.
Your questions answered on building Youtility into content marketing
In a recent post on the Content Marketing Institute, I asked readers to share questions they have about content marketing and Youtility. If you are unfamiliar with the term Youtility, it is creating content so useful that your prospects and customers would want to pay for it and having a plan to market it so people can find it.
You asked some questions, and here are my answers:
You can (and should) look at data like search engine queries, social media chatter, web analytics, etc. But the best way to find out what your customers will find useful is to actually talk to your customers.
I believe that if the marketing is truly a Youtility (so useful that people would pay for it, if asked), they won’t reject it, ever. The key is to build intrinsic value, though, not to make “usefulness” a Trojan Horse for your sales pitch.
Your best option would be to create a blog editorial calendar that methodically answers customer questions (like this post!), and is designed to draw attention to longer-form useful content.
I like it! Doesn’t roll off the tongue, necessarily, but you’re spot on. Although I’d say that we’ve always consumed content first, it’s just that we do so now with greater enthusiasm and proactivity — and with far more sources of information at our disposal.
It should work the same way everywhere. Use social to drive awareness (even targeted awareness) of useful content. Content is fire; social media is petrol.
Format the basic content as a FAQ, and/or format the content as videos, with accompanying transcription (see expertbail.com for a great example).
If you want to learn more about Youtility, please join me at Content Marketing World from September 9 – 12 in Cleveland, Ohio, where I’ll be delivering a keynote presentation on, “Why Smart Marketing is About Help, Not Hype.”
Can’t make it to Content Marketing World? You can watch our keynote presentations via free live streaming, sponsored by LinkedIn. Join us as we broadcast, live from Cleveland, Ohio, to get the latest content marketing insights from Joe Pulizzi, Jay Baer, and others! Click here for full details.