Elaine Fogel


YoutilityJay Baer’s new book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype, comes out this week. As one of the marketers who received an advance copy, I want to share some highlights with you, especially because they make so much sense.

Many marketers have been advising clients and blog readers to make their businesses amazing. “The reality is,” says Baer, “your business probably isn’t amazing, and you probably won’t have the opportunity or time to make it so.”

His advice is to create marketing that people genuinely want and “focus on solving problems, answering questions, and creating long-lasting customer relationships by doing so.”

When your company is useful, he says, committed to informing customers rather than promoting to them, they will reward you with trust and loyalty. This approach encompasses the content marketing philosophy. Providing valuable information that people want, helps them make better decisions and helps them do better at what they do (B2B) or improve their lives (B2C). The key to success here is to truly understand your customers’ needs “on the way to creating Youtility.”

Baer divides the book into three parts: “Turning Marketing Upside Down,” “The Three Facets of Youtility,” and “Six Blueprints to Create Youtility.” He uses several company case studies to make his points including Angie’s List, Clorox, McDonald’s Canada, and Scott’s Miracle-Gro. The strategies and tactics he describes serve as good examples for companies of any size.

He also delves into the most important and most often overlooked audience - your employees. “In a world where personal relationships and social connectivity are the coin of the realm, your employees are your single greatest marketing engine.”

The book is an easy read with good concepts and ideas. Baer even includes a an easy reference guide at the back with key points from each chapter.

I suppose if I had to give you a one-sentence summary, it would be one of Baer’s key points: “If you sell something, you make a customer today. If you help someone, you may create a customer for life.”

So true. Order your copy now and after reading the book, come back here and share your thoughts. (affiliate links)


Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype


Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype

Work harder and ye shall prosper. No, I’m not talking Pilgrim style because Thanksgiving is coming. I’m talking about working harder on something that doesn’t require physical labor or longer work hours.

Content Marketing.

Yes, that happens to be the latest and greatest buzz word in marketing. And, even if you doubted that the whole social media thing can produce business, it’s hard to refute research and statistics.

HubSpot came out with a new study of both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) companies. The results are quite convincing.

  • The more Web site pages your company has, the more traffic it will get. Stat: Companies with 51-100 pages of Web site content generated 48% more traffic than companies with less than 50 pages.
  • The more Web site pages your company has, the more inbound leads it will get. Stat: Companies with 101-200 pages generated 2.5 times more leads than companies with less than 50 pages.
  • The more landing pages your company has, the more leads it will get. Stat:  Companies that increased their number of landing pages from 10 to 15 saw a 55% increase in leads.
  • The more your company blogs, the more traffic it will get. Stat: Companies that blog 15+ times per month get 5 times more traffic than companies that don’t blog. And, get this… Small businesses (1 to 10 employees) tend to see the biggest gains in traffic when they post more articles.
  • The more frequently your company blogs, the more leads it will get. Stat: Companies that increased their blogging from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month almost doubled their leads. And, get this… B2B companies that blog only 1-2x/month generate 70% more leads than those that don’t blog.
  • The more articles on your company’s blog, the more traffic it will get. Stat: Companies with more than 200 articles on their blog have more than 5 times the leads than companies with less than 10 articles.
  • The more Twitter followers your company has, the more traffic it will get. Stat: Companies with 51-100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with less than 25 followers.
  • The more Facebook “likes” your company has, the more traffic it will get. Stat: Companies with more than 1,000 Facebook “likes” saw an average 185% increase in traffic.

Has your company increased its content marketing efforts? Have you seen positive results?

Has your company ignored content marketing? What results has it experienced? 

I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of small business owners and marketers are confused. Some studies claim that Facebook is ‘it’ for smaller businesses, while other studies show something different.

What should you believe?

It seems that many recent marketing studies may not have been developed by marketing research experts. This can easily lead to false results and misleading data. And, it is happening more and more.

Take the recent study by marketing software company, VerticalResponse, that indicates 90% of small businesses are on Facebook. Entitled, How Much Time, Money Do Small Businesses Spend on Social Media” the company offers a creative infographic that show its results. There’s only one problem. There’s information missing.

For starters, the study incorporates responses from 500 of its own small business customers. That makes sense considering it is an e-mail service provider.

But, what do we know about Vertical Response customers? Maybe, the company’s small business customers are mostly B2C businesses (business-to-consumer). If that’s the case, using Facebook (90%) and Twitter (nearly 70%) may be productive social media channels for them.

However, if these businesses are predominantly B2B (business-to-business), then Facebook may not be their first choice.

Recent studies are all over the map.

According to a 2012 study entitled, B2B Social Media Marketing: A Surge in Adoption by B2B Online and reported on MarketingProfs, LinkedIn is the number one social media network at 30%.

According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, by Michael Stelzner at Social Media Examiner, 87% of B2B brands are using Facebook, followed right behind by LinkedIn at 86.6%. But, these studies include businesses of all sizes.

Then, there’s the Constant Contact Small Business Pulse that states, “Of those using social media, Facebook is far and away the most effective, even for B2Bs.”

But, when you look at who was involved in the study, you find that they surveyed over 1000 participants in the Constant Contact Small Biz Council – a research panel of U.S. small businesses and nonprofits recruited from the Constant Contact customer base. And, nonprofits are not synonymous with small businesses!

So, what should smaller business believe?

My advice? Try the social media networks where your target customers hang out. Develop a social media strategy and then test your results to see which are bringing in more leads or contributing to more sales.

Stick with the ones that work!

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