Over the past summer, I attempted tackling my lengthy reading list. One book at the top of my list of books to read was Youtility: Why smart marketing is about help not hype by social media and content strategist Jay Baer. This best-seller was released over a year ago, during the summer of 2013. Looking back, I only wish that I had read the book sooner. Youtility transformed my way of thinking related to effectively using marketing and communications media, and I highly recommend this read to anyone in the IMC field.
Youtility marketing breaks the traditional model of selling or promoting your product, but instead encourages companies to be a helpful resource for their customer or prospective customer. In an age of information overload, smart marketers are focusing their strategy on being inherently and genuinely useful in providing answers and resources to the anticipated needs of their target base.
If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you help someone, you create a customer for life. – Jay Baer
For example, Buffer is an online tool for managing multiple social media accounts. This service allows its users to create and schedule social media content. However, readers of the Buffer newsletter, blog, or social media pages are not bombarded with promotional messages to subscribe to the company’s premium service. Instead, Buffer regularly provides a wealth of knowledge related to emerging media and digital content strategy, productivity tricks and hacks, and more. Additionally, Buffer hosts weekly Twitter chats to provide participants with compelling discussion in current content marketing trends. Would Buffer be nearly as successful if they were to simply provide their service and wait for customers to flock to their website? Likely not.
Buffer is a prime example of a company that is creating real-time relevancy by building relationships of trust with their customers. As Buffer, and other companies, use the principles outlined in Youtility, they will add value in the lives of their customers, and as a result will see greater engagement and an increase in business.
- View this Slideshare presentation for an Executive Summary of Youtility (including video overviews for each chapter)
- or Watch this excerpt from Jay Baer’s presentation of Youtility delivered at the Marketo User Summit in San Francisco California in 2013