For heaven’s sake…be useful!

Recently I asked the students in my multi-channel copywriting classes to describe the websites, blogs and social media pages they visited the most and why they were frequent visitors.

The areas visited most frequenty covered fashion, beauty, entertainment, food, travel and cosmetics. Considering the demographics of the classes this wasn’t a surprise. What did strike me was “why” they checked into these sites and posts on a regular basis.

Every student described that they went there for information they could use in their everyday lives. Whether it was for a movie or restaurant review, a special deal for a piece of apparel, or a much-needed laugh, all of the descriptions verified what I have always felt is needed for long-lasting success in the cluttered and cacophonous digital world.

That feature is being USEFUL. Anyone can attract a reader or viewer by being bold or audacious. But if you want that consumer to keep returning to your digital world you have to give the visitor something they can actually use and benefit from once they leave you.

Are you going to solve their problem? If you can’t solve their problem, can you relieve their problem-induced anxiety? Are you going to take the morose out of a mundane day? Are you going to hand over a piece of news or information that the visitor can use?

Too often we fall prey to the outrageous but after seeing what is supposed to shock or enrage us we are left feeling empty and unsatisfied.

If you have an online presence and you want to be visited on a reqular basis, do yourself and your visitors a favor — be useful. That doesn’t mean you have to be boring or pedantic. Sure, use humor or a light-hearted touch to get your point across. But be useful.

By being the go-to source you not only gain viewers or readers, you are also building a marketing relaitonship that will pay off for everyone involved in the long run.

Hope that was useful.

About nhbrownlee

Advertising copywriter, Creative Director and state of New York college professor. I love true stories. Who doesn't?
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