The number one marketing tip is…. BE HELPFUL.
If it can help the user, they will buy.
But marketing is complicated.
You need more than that to sell online or in a competitive industry.
You can even argue that everyone needs a marketing degree. Or they need to study lots of books and become a monk in a third world country, writing advertisements by hand.
All those things count after you have understood and obeyed the first thing.
Let me explain.
Everything you will read here today is my opinion, and you can differentiate that only when I mention or quote someone else. So the only rule is to follow them if the ideas make sense to you.
The best marketing tip is to BE HELPFUL
What does that even mean?
I am glad you ask because I am about to stop right there, thinking everyone gets it.
Let’s say you drive into a new town and you are tired. You need food, water, and accommodation.
The first person you meet says something like this:
Do you need a safe place you can spend the night?
This town’s best temporary accommodation is just at the corner to your left. It is a modern motel located beside a beach.
You can spend the night and see the beautiful view of the sea. You can enjoy different cuisines of seafood. Tomorrow, you can take one of their boat cruises. But if you don’t, you can just watch the sea views and spend time around the beach with other nature enthusiasts like you.
This is the address. Call the number.
The example above uses the AIDA copywriting technique. It doesn’t just mention the features of the hotel. Instead, it states what the traveler wants, which are:
- Enjoy the different cuisines of seafood
- Spend the night and see beautiful views
- Join boat cruises the next morning
- Meet other nature enthusiasts
This will work because the first two points are what the person needs.
When someone needs you and you come with something that helps them, they will listen to you.
So as a marketer, you ask what does this person really need? How can I help?
But in reality, things are a little different.
Nowadays, you need more than that
BEING HELPFUL won’t work when the person has a lot of options.
For instance, if a person needs accommodation, they go online.
It’s is 2022, after all, and people ask Google many questions every day (which is why investing in SEO is important).
When the person puts in a query like “hotels near me,” Google answers with a list of places. These local businesses have taken the time to position themselves on the internet. Instead of one person showing up as in the previous example, you have 10 or 20 hotels.
Now the dynamics have changed a little. It has become more competitive, and to convince the traveler to visit or come to your hotel, you have to BE HELPFUL but WITH SOME COLOR.
When being helpful doesn’t work
You have to come to them with more than “Hi, do you need a place to spend the night?”
Add color to what you are bringing. For example, is it your logo, name, or details in your offer?
I am into Search Engine Optimization, a form of online or digital marketing, so let’s focus on that.
You have to try to stand out with the help you are offering. It could be your headlines, the title of your offer, the type of content, the person selling your content, the things you believe in.
And the buyer or listener is going to choose you based on their beliefs and interests.
When everyone shows the same value at face level, the buyers are forced to choose based on little details that attract them.
That’s the piece most people are missing out on.
People want to be identified with a group that makes them feel better. Therefore, it is the most important marketing tip.
There is a reason Peak, a popular milk brand in Nigeria, always says, “Peak, it’s in you.”
Everyone has a peak.
It’s so funny when marketers craft great ads and forget that they deal with human beings. People choose for many reasons: biases, ethnicity, color, beliefs, cultures, gender.
For instance, I will choose a cooking ingredient if my mother recommends it before I care what your billboard says.
How to make your marketing speak better
The most important marketing tip is that it should help the viewer, listener, or reader. But when everyone is doing the same, being helpful, you need to take a step back.
BE HELPFUL + ADD SOME COLOR + YOUR BELIEF.
What does your product offer? + What makes it different? + Your belief?
The perfect examples I have seen that capture this explanation are
- They laughed when I sat until I started to play
- Gillette: Is this the best a man can get
- Start a little good
You can go ahead and check them out. Find out what those ads believe from what you observe. If you are not sure, you can ask me here.
It is still possible that someone out there will criticize one or all of those ads for some reason.
That’s part of the thing.
Nothing in this life appeals to all the people. So trying to make your marketing appeal to everyone is setting yourself to fail.
BE HELPFUL + ADD COLOR + YOUR BELIEF.
You can remove the last two, but don’t ever remove the first one.
No one will take you seriously or remember if you don’t help them in a way, even to make them feel loved or happy on a bad or dull day—Rember that.
Your success will be determined by how many people believe the same thing? How many of them find the combination of those three elements appealing?
Many things inspire this post, but the number one inspiration is SETH GODIN’s interview, where he said branding is about answering the question, “why should I pay you more?” and showing it in everything you do.
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