Industry analysts predict the trend toward utility content is a strong one, and technological advances will both support and speed its adoption. According to Online Media Daily, Google execs and agencies are already on the soapbox about what I call this Content Marketing Mindshift.
To quote the article:
“A click turns into a conversation and every page becomes a form of search, Goodman said. “You may not perceive yourself as performing a search, but rather navigating through content during your everyday life,” he said. “Marketers need to think more about the assets they can leverage to make use of content.”
Four steps to help begin this shift:
- Look at your customer personas. Who are the people who matter most? What do they need that could be useful to them – perhaps not even in perfect alignment with your product… but more aligned with your overall brand mission. Whatever you try to do for your customers, extend that into your utility content, even if it doesn’t directly point back to a specific product.
- Look at your existing data. Check with your customer service inquiries to identify areas of need. Explore any falling-off points and reinforce them with your content to help fortify the path to conversion.
- Start with what you’ve got. You probably already got information and resources that can be repurposed into utility content. If you have a blog, look at taking the most popular posts and converting them into a short video. If you have a training guide or user guide, consider reworking each section into a brief user video or recorded webinar.
- Go to the end to establish the best place to start. If your product solves a problem or causes something to happen, riff off of that and extend into additional ideas to help. (For instance, Johnson & Johnson has a sleeping baby app complete with parenting tips on baby relaxation, lullabies and bedtime rituals – after their warm bath using Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash.)