5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Skip display.

Come on, you want it too. We all want it. And we do it too.

Studies even show that 9 out of 10 people skip an ad if they have the opportunity.

Today your customers are bombarded with advertising. More than ever. Even though the effect of traditional marketing methods is waning.

The answer to this is even more hype: louder, brighter, brighter and more aggressive. Even more exaggerated and exaggerated.

And generally just more, more, more.

Ads and many other methods of outbound marketing are Push Marketing.

Here you interrupt your customer in his workflow and compel a message that he doesn’t want to hear. At least not at this point.

Hype just isn’t as effective anymore.

Why doesn’t hype work anymore?

Before the Internet there were three important marketing channels: TV, print and radio.

Due to the nature of the media, no interaction was possible. The customer received every message, whether he wanted it or not.

But digital change, especially the Internet, smartphones, tablets and social media have made it possible for a dialogue to take place.

This gave your customer more power and changed their buying behavior.

We also call this massive shift in consumer behavior Zero Moment of Truth. We have already spoken about this in detail here.

The Zero Moment of Truth is the moment of web research. Today, your customers tap an average of 10.4 sources before buying your product or service.

Today you have an informed customer. And he expects answers.

We don’t want to be called anymore, we want to look for information ourselves. Only then are we ready to speak to a customer advisor. Studies also show that around 60% of the B2B decision is made before contacting sales (even if that doesn’t seem to be always the case).

But it gets worse: In reality, you are not only fighting for attention with other companies, but also with other people. The social media streams have messages from friends and family right next to company messages. Personal relationships and commercial relationships are merging more and more. In my stream I consume what me just interested.

Therefore, you should not spill your customers with campaigns, hyped messages or coupons, but simply act like a good friend and deliver added value.

Now the question is, do you help your customer and provide useful information that he needs?

How to start helping instead of hyping

Before you start, you shouldn’t necessarily change your strategies, tactics or methods, but first your mindset. You should change how you feel about marketing do you think.

Unlike traditional outbound marketing, inbound marketing is Pull Marketing. You pull so your prospects and customers. They voluntarily pay attention to you. They come to you because they want it, not because they have to.

If you want to attract these people, you have to provide useful information and become a resource. Similar to a magazine. But when I say magazine, I don’t mean a news magazine – that’s a mistake many companies make. I mean more a specialist magazine or a specialist book. (Therefore, you should also create profound content – a specialist book is always a certain thickness.)

To create better content, you need to know what your customer needs to make a better purchase decision. That is why a good buyer persona is so important.

A simple plan to get started quickly is as follows:

  1. Brainstorm every question you’ve ever been asked by a prospect or customer.
  2. Then answer every single question with your profound content.

When creating content, pay particular attention to authenticity, relevance and transparency. So you get the most out of your content.

Why you should focus on help

If you want to be successful with social media or content marketing, two ways are recommended:

  • Be entertaining.
  • Be useful.

The first point is a bit problematic: Small companies generally have a more difficult time when it comes to entertainment than larger companies. Not everyone is a born entertainer and not everyone has creative resources at their disposal. Therefore being useful is much easier. And above all, much more controllable and scalable!

The best thing is always a combination of both:

I like to use usefulness as a basis and spice it up with a little entertainment.

The nice thing about usefulness is that everyone can be useful, be it the one-man accountant or the small service company with 50 employees.

In fact, the smaller the better.

Because you are more agile and can respond to your buyer persona or current issues much faster. If you then pair the whole thing with Evergreen Content, you can map your content perfectly along the customer journey and thus offer an incredibly good customer experience.

When you help and provide useful content, you add hundreds of pages to your content hub and make sure that you can be found more easily via social media and the search engine. Here are some more advantages of why you should create high quality content.

The cool thing is that your prospects qualify themselves. The best customers are often the customers who think they can do it themselves, but simply don’t want to do it.

When it comes to hype, it’s often about “from above”. This automatically implies a lack of intelligence for the customer. But often the problem is not intelligence, it is simply the lack of time.

Helping is a long-term marketing strategy

One thing must be clear to you: content marketing is a long-term game.

Success will not come overnight, but it will come. A rough guideline is 6 to 12 months. But often you can see the first results much earlier.

Take a look at our visitor development:

visitor development-2012-2015

Most companies run the whole game for a few months, with a bit of luck they have the first successes, but then the first plateau comes and they stop. But in the end you get the laurels that keep growing.

My colleague Mael Roth also says so nicely that content marketing is not a campaign, but a process that never stops.

That’s why you should regularly publish high-quality content and promote it. Most put a link here and there, but you need to look at it more strategically and long-term if you want to get the results you want.

Content marketing is also not necessarily cheaper than other forms of marketing. But the nice thing is that you don’t necessarily need a large budget for it. Rather a lot of time, effort, hard work and above all creativity.

Finally, an important thing: Content is an asset that brings compound interest. The more Evergreen content you publish, the more your company can find on social media or the search engine. And as more guest posts you post, the more links point to your website and the greater your brand awareness.

This increases the effectiveness of your inbound marketing. Day after day. Week after week. Month for month.

Conclusion

Thanks to the Zero Moment of Truth, your prospects and customers get used to consuming content before making a purchase decision.

If you don’t swim here, you will soon fall behind. Because in the future, companies will be successful who inform more and promote less.

The old brochure websites were always about “Look how great we are!” The new content hubs are more about “See how useful we are! And of course we have answers to your problems! ”. A huge difference.

Today your customer skips ads. He doesn’t want to be bombarded with advertising. He doesn’t want to be forced to hear a message.

He wants useful information that can help him.

Your customer wants help, not hype.