Salt. It’s one of those objects whose presence you simply assume (even though it’s slowly disappearing from restaurants). You probably picture it in a salt shaker which you refill from a little blue canister. However, that little canister didn’t exist until a brilliant businessman filled a market problem complete with an eye-catching tutorial.
Before 1911, salt came in large barrels that often hardened from moisture. Then, Joy Morton developed a free-running salt that he put in a paper cylinder with an aluminum spout. His cute slogan, “When it rains, it pours” accompanied a pleasant picture of a young girl pouring the salt while standing under an umbrella.
This simple illustration not only acted as instructions for use but also promoted the key benefit of the product, easy pouring. Eventually, his big idea became an industry standard.
Two things made Morton’s Salt so successful. First, he filled a market need of easy-to-pour salt. Second, he made it clear how his product would fill that need with the canister design.
Similarly, tutorials can help any business attract new customers. While your product or service may be more complex than table salt, the principle remains. People are often looking for answers to their problems and you can provide the solution through instructions.
How to Use Tutorials to Attract New Business
Your content strategy should include tutorials because they draw in customers that are not happy with their current situation. They are searching for a solution leaving you in the prime position to fill that need.
First, you must actually create a useful tutorial. Ideally, the tutorial includes various elements that illustrate the steps in various ways. Obviously, text allows you to provide written instructions. Also, images, graphics or videos help visual and auditory learners.
Each of those elements will also help you tell that story on various platforms as each audience appreciates different formats. Below are the ways you can use tutorials to attract new business.
1. Assist Through Forums
This format may be one of the more boring and time-consuming ways to use tutorials to attract new business. However, it is also very fruitful. Essentially, you must stay active on forms related to your niche. Then, as users post questions, you offer advice.
As part of that dialogue, you can link to your full tutorial.
Obviously, this only works if two things are in place. First, you must have an active account on forms related to your field. Otherwise, your unnatural behavior will look spammy to most moderators. Second, you must already have a bank of tutorials. Then, you can capitalize on the opportunities to link to them. You don’t want to be rushing to produce a tutorial to answer a question and miss the moment!
2. Solve on Social Media
Similar to forums, you can help solve problems on social media. To do this, you must join groups related to your field or industry. Then, as users post looking for advice, you can assist.
Similar to forms, you need to be involved in a natural way. Otherwise, your posts will just look like you’re trying to spam the account. But, if you engage regularly in a dialogue, you can help people when the moment comes.
3. Expand through Rich Media
As mentioned in the introduction, your tutorial should explain things in several different ways. Then, you can expand your reach to various platforms. For example, a video in your tutorial can be posted on a YouTube or Vimeo Channel. Similarly, a step-by-step graphic could be pinned to Pinterest.
By explaining your tutorial in several different ways, you can post the same message to multiple platforms in the format that works best for their prospective audiences.
4. Rank on Search
Finally, tutorials can get you in front of prospective customers when your content ranks on search engines. The key to doing this well? Stay in your niche.
Writing highly specific and informed content will make your tutorial more valuable. So, don’t write for everyman. Write something that would benefit your perfect customer.
Then, your information will help them at the time they need it most. It will get you in front of them at the perfect moment in the consumer decision-making process.
Are You Worth Your Salt?
Like Joy Morton, you too can capture the market by showing prospective customers how to solve a problem. Taking them step-by-step through a process brings you from that first connection to building real trust. If you are aspiring to attract new customers, consider online tutorials as part of your content marketing plan.