When I first began marketing online, Content Marketing was a big deal. Everyone said the days of simply advertising, selling, and making money were over. Instead, you had to make your visitors know, like, and trust you.
To do this, you had to connect with them, share something about yourself, be interesting and entertaining, position yourself as the expert, and finally, teach them something. If you did all those things correctly, you would be rewarded with sales.
Everyone said the best way to make your visitors know, like, and trust you was to offer effective bait pieces. And, tons of people took this advice.
Free information in the form of PDFs emerged all across the Internet and became the secret to increased traffic, visitor loyalty, and lead generation.
But, over time, because there were so many bait pieces available, it became more important to teach instead of tell. You could no longer talk at your visitors, you had to engage them and give them something of value they could actually use to improve their life or business.
By teaching your visitors how to do something, you could not only build a relationship with them, you could also position yourself as an obvious expert in their minds.
What Is Tutorial Marketing?
Wikipedia says, “A tutorial is one method of transferring knowledge and may be used as a part of learning. More interactive and specific than a book or a lecture; a tutorial seeks to teach by example and supply the information to complete a certain task.”
So, when you teach someone something, you’re giving him or her a tutorial. And, when you use that tutorial to get more business, it’s known as Tutorial Marketing. You are using tutorials to market your products or services, get more traffic to your website, and make more money.
In a recent post on Copyblogger.com, Brian Clark explained: Tutorial Marketing is a “strategy that places a blog at the very center of your online marketing efforts, since good tutorials not only sell, but also attract vital links and traffic as well.”
This sounds very similar to this recent article here on Wealthy Web Writer.
For You, a Web Writer, the Rise of Tutorial Marketing Means …
1. Your tutorials must teach your visitors something.
Why? Because many visitors now demand it. If your bait piece does not teach them something, it won’t be seen as valuable. You are an expert in your industry and the best way to demonstrate that is by teaching. Go beyond passing on simple information like facts and figures. Instead, take that information and teach your visitors how to apply it to their situation.
So, what is the difference between content marketing and tutorial marketing?
Content marketing gives your reader content … And, that’s about it. It tells him the facts, or a story, but doesn’t explain how to use it. Here’s an example of an article that gives you content (it tells you why a niche will increase your web-writing business), but doesn’t explain how to choose a niche.
Tutorial marketing, on the other hand, gives your reader the facts, but also explains exactly how to use the information. It walks the reader, step-by-step, through the process, like this article on keyword research.
And remember, you want to avoid teaching your visitors how to write copy. Instead, give them something they can use. They should ideally hire you to write their copy, so why put yourself out of work by giving them the knowledge to do it on their own?
2. Tutorial marketing isn’t going anywhere.
If you create tutorials to market your products or services, you’ll attract links and traffic. If you create great tutorials, people will spread your message like wildfire. You won’t be able to keep up with the demand. (Won’t that be a great problem to have?)
If you’ve been online a few years, you surely remember how easy it was to get traffic just by giving away some basic information …
Well, now you have an opportunity to capture just as much traffic by going from basic to specific and by teaching instead of telling.
3. You must think like an expert.
If you intend to use tutorial marketing to position yourself as an expert, you must feel like an expert.
Notice I didn’t say “Be an expert.” I said, “Feel like an expert.”
So, before you panic at the thought of yourself as an expert, let me tell you that for a long time, I struggled with this because I didn’t feel like an expert. I would look at everyone else in the industry and think, “They know so much more than me. They’re experts. Someday I’ll get there.”
Then, I attended a book-writing workshop where the speaker defined “expert” for me …
An “expert” is “a person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of, or skill in, a particular area.”
After I heard that definition, I felt so much better.
How many of us here on Wealthy Web Writer can say we have knowledge or skill in an area?
I hope all of us. You most likely qualify as an expert already. (And, if you say you don’t, you have all the resources you need on this website to get there.)
Tell yourself that today you will recognize you’re an expert. Start talking and behaving like one, and soon you’ll feel like one. Once you feel like an expert, you’ll have no problem convincing others of it.
And, if you truly do not have enough knowledge to consider yourself an expert, make a plan today to get there. Study the Wealthy Web Writer website until you can confidently talk about what you do as a web writer. When you can explain what you do and how you help companies with their online marketing needs, you’ll be ready.
4. You should plan for the future of tutorial marketing right now.
At the beginning of this article, I talked about how content marketing evolved into tutorial marketing … and now, a shift is happening again.
More and more people have thought to take their free reports one step further … and turn them into videos. Apparently they’re doing very well with this format, because more and more people are adopting the video bait piece.
So, to compare content marketing to video tutorial marketing …
Here’s another example of something that could be used for typical content marketing: https://www.wealthywebwriter.com/the-reality-blog-afraid-to-choose-a-niche
And, here is an example of a video that could be used for tutorial marketing: https://www.wealthywebwriter.com/3-minute-guru-backing-up-your-website
I even jumped on this trend and made my first video series this year. And, it turns out it’s not as hard as it looks. I wasted a lot of time worrying, but I finally forced myself to sit down and record something. I can confidently tell you, it’s not so bad. You just have to get started.
Of course, we can speculate about why video is so popular … People want to be entertained, people don’t like to read, people find video more relaxing, convincing, or personal …
But, no matter the reason, video is more important than ever. Many business owners are suggesting it’s no longer enough to offer a written bait piece. Instead you must “show” your visitors something.
If you’re still just writing your bait pieces, white papers, and case studies, you may soon be left behind.
Sure, some people will still know, like, and trust you based on a written bait piece … And, some of them will even buy. But, many more people will become raving fans, and tell their friends about you, if you offer them a great video series.
I encourage you to start this week. Create at least one video tutorial that shows — and proves — you’re an expert. Then, why not come back here and let us know where we can watch it?
I look forward to seeing your videos and reading your comments.
If you are a Platinum member, you can learn more about marketing with video by checking out the following articles and events:
- Roving Report: The Future of Online Video Marketing
- How to Market with Online Video
- Increasing e-Newsletter Opt-Ins with Video Marketing
- The Social Media Tool You Can Use to Quickly Build Your Copywriting Business Today
- Video Marketing Opportunities You Can Start Using to Build Your Business Right Now
- Using Video to Get Clients and Promote Yourself Online