Get Your Help On: How "help" marketing imbeds your brand message
“myhepu?” When I first moved to the South, on a field trip to the Post Office, I was greeted with this foreign phrase. “What????” After blurting out “huh?” a few times, I realized this was Southern for “May I help you?”
Help: such a small word, so much power. Whether it’s a plea, a command or a desperate cry from the overburdened, it is a great opportunity for your brand to have significant impact.
Help comes in many forms. In business, help marketing has been around forever in various guises. Before the iEverything and online resources, I remember getting (and still have) cardboard sleeves with sliding inner panels that would help me convert from metric to English measurements and figure out what time it was anywhere in the world, when it was 7 a.m. my time. These tools were free gifts from vendors who had their logos proudly displayed on the piece. In some cases, the marketing tools outlasted the company, but the result was that I had something handy that I enjoyed and appreciated, and which gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling that the company was a helpful resource every time I used it.
In the digital age with so much at our fingertips, help morphs into different forms but is still a huge tool marketers can use to connect with customers. Helping customers positions you or your company as a go-to resource. It keeps you top-of-mind. “Who ya gonna call?…”
- Enewsletters or blogs can position you as an expert, allow you to help customers with advice, industry news or helpful tips, and keep you in front of your target audience.
- Instructional videos on YouTube may be just the ticket. For example, sponsoring an expert, such as the hedge trimmer dude on MonkeySee.com, wearing a logoed shirt and wielding a BlackDecker power tool, is a very effective example of help marketing.
- And now, of course, no matter what you need help with, there’s an app for that.
Pew Research reports that an estimated 96% of Americans have a cell phone, of which 81% are smartphones. For those on the move, the app replaces a lot of other helper tools and devices, and it’s always with its owner—in the office, at home and on the go.
Marketers are finding new ways to tap into help via mobile devices. Early adopters like Zippo, sponsor of the lighter app we now see waving in the crowd at rock concerts, created new relevance for their brand with a younger generation of non-smokers who might have otherwise not known them. Scotts Lawn Care offers enthusiasts an iPhone or Android app to help maintain a healthy lawn.
From the practical (banking, locators, shopping, measurement conversion) to the ridiculous (too numerous to mention—feel free to comment on your favorites), apps are revolutionizing help marketing. It puts you right in the hand of your audience, and, by their choice, put them in yours.
So, whether you choose to create a blog, enews campaign or even develop an app, finding a way to help is a win-win: Customers get free help; you get their undivided attention. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get your help on. Determine what kind of help you can offer your audience and the best vehicle with which to deliver it. “myhepu?”