Consider your content marketing. How much of it — from direct mail to blog articles and social media posts — delivers your customers practical value? How much of your content is dedicated to helping your people?
In a moment, we’ll look at two companies that have taken this concept and turned it into a science.
“Helping” can mean different things. It can be a blog post that solves a problem your target demographic faces on a daily basis. It may take the form of a comprehensive guide that shows your readers how to use one of your products.
When the average business markets to their customers (and would-be customers), they often focus on the end goal: the sale. Their content is all about their products and services.
But this kind of marketing isn’t “useful” beyond explaining the features or benefits of your product. Sure, it serves a purpose, but businesses are exploring ways to give customers and prospects more value — practical value — through their content marketing.
The reason why is simple. When something — a blog, a social media post, a guide, etc. — is helpful in some way, it’s more likely to be shared and re-explored. Look below — we’re proving it by sharing some good ones. It’s what gets people to subscribe to your blog or to like your Facebook page. Most importantly, it’s what keeps people coming back for more.
Tackle Content Marketing Like Help Scout
Take Help Scout for example. Help Scout is a company known for their help desk software. Through their blog, Help Scout offers readers practical value. Many of their blog posts revolve around keywords relevant to their company (help desk, organization, email, and so on), but they consider issues we face every day.
At a glance — and you can check it out for yourself — the Help Scout blog covers topics relevant to many businesses, like the following:
- “Listen While You Lead: 3 Unexpected Lessons For New Managers.”
- “How To Use Storytelling To Connect With Your Customers.”
- “Why You Should Set Big Goals (Even If You Might Not Hit Them).”
These posts are practical and informative, and they leave the reader with insight they can use.
But beyond that, these practical posts and accompanied by blogs that relate back to Help Scout as a business.
- “4 Step Guide to Choosing the Best Help Desk Software for Your Business”
- “The Evolution of the Help Scout Brand.”
Help Scout knows their customers, and readers care about useful information. As a result, their marketers and content creators focus on cultivating readership. The more readers they have, the more conversions they will have through their blog.
It’s a marketing tool, and yet, it doesn’t look like one.
Focus On Gaining Readers Like Casper
The Casper blog, Pillow Talk, takes a similar approach. Casper, a mattress maker that sells directly to consumers from their website, keeps their blog focused on the topics of sleep and comfort.
You’ll find blog posts related to exercise (which helps you sleep better) and the first day of summer (when you should lay in bed all day). Casper doesn’t sell hard, but it covers topics people relate to that also relate to mattresses.
Coincidence? We think not.
But it helps them gain more readers. The more readers they gain, the more mattresses they sell.
You, too can offer your customers and prospects practical value today. It starts with your content marketing. If your blog is keyword-driven and you only talk about what you offer, it’s time to try something new. Follow Help Scout’s lead and become a valued resource within your industry. Tell stories, solve problems, share experiences. Don’t just educate your customers — help them.
For more ways to capture your audience’s attention and add value with stellar content,
request a complimentary copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide to Newsletters.