Let’s face it, most people tolerate ads. Some will ignore them. And, occasionally, some will actually like ads. But imagine an advertising and marketing plan built around content people want. Better yet, content they look for.

Now, you’ve got something.

That’s where the concept of useful marketing comes in. Rather than standing on a mountain top shouting about how great your product or service is, demonstrate it through useful and engaging content on your website that helps consumers find solutions. Create a brand based on customer service – and the customers will come.


Center your digital marketing on useful content

The evolution of content driven news feed ads (see your personal Facebook timeline) has helped revolutionize online ads as we know them. These ads blend in with your friends and families status posts, but cannot be treated like a traditional outbound ad formats such as display ads or billboards. They need to be educational or simply entertaining like this Sparkle ad. This shift in strategy can result in CTRs that are 44 times higher than right-side display ads and five times the conversion rate.


And once you get them, how do you convert them? It starts with your website

It’s no secret your website is the centerpiece of your digital marketing and advertising strategy. So, make sure it is all it can be by spending some time on key areas.
User Experience: Users spend 80% of their time on a page above the fold. If you are selling a specific product or service, keep the most important information toward the top of the page. Tell them who you are, what you do and who you do it for to help keep users on your page. And if your website takes more than three seconds to load – you can assume you’ve already lost 40% of your website traffic. Nobody likes to wait!
What is under the hood? Ensure your website is fast, versatile and content expandable so that it can grow, change and evolve with your business. Can you easily add a blog post or page without calling a web developer? How about adding or changing a web form? Be sure your site runs with a content management system so that you and your staff can make changes on the fly.
Conversion Points: Be sure to include incentives for form submissions on your site and reduce the amount of form fields when possible. The right mix of A/B testing can result in a huge increase of leads. One study showed that a conversion rate increase of over 800% is possible with the right mix of content and conversion points.


Be the best at online customer service

As technology continues to drive “connectivity” in today’s society, people are expecting a personalized experience across a variety of digital platforms. It is more important than ever to provide concise, easy to find information on your website that serves as a 24/7/365 online customer service representative. Build your brand around helping and they will come.


Generate more leads through helping

Not every prospect that visits your website will be ready to purchase your product or service. In fact, most are probably hunting for information to help them make an educated purchase decision. Here’s a great opportunity to turn some of the anonymous website traffic into identifiable sales leads.
Increase the volume of “top of the sales funnel” leads by offering useful content in exchange for the user’s contact information.
Build a dataset of top of the funnel sales leads that might need more information before they make a final purchase decision. This information will help arm your sales team with important contacts.



Social media as an effective marketing tool. Yes, really!

A brand built around useful content will ultimately be positioned to thrive through social media. Prospects will find your site with answers to questions, leaving as brand advocates ready to spread the word across the social sphere. As consumers, we are 92% more likely to trust a brand advocate or satisfied customer according to a Nielson study. The advent of online review sites demonstrate the value of customer advocacy, as well as the dangers of customers who may be unhappy and looking to do harm to your brand image. Encourage your satisfied customers to share their experiences with easy links to online reviews and respond to any negative comments with a timely positive response.