A Tutorial on Tutorial Marketing

The idea behind Tutorial Marketing is pretty intuitive – readers navigate to your site to learn something, not to buy something. But then, if those lessons sync up with the services or goods that you want to sell, they become aware of your brand and are more likely to buy your product. 

How you teach, of course, is incredibly important – so here are some guidelines.

The Basics:

1.  Actually Teach Something

Err on the side of believing that your clientele is smart enough to spend money without a clumsy sales-pitch session. Offer something fresh, or don’t bother.

 2.Quality Not Format:  

Serious players on the Web are elbow deep in video tutorials, but a superbly crafted text how-to is probably worth its weight in moving pictures. How much content there is to your content is more important than the medium, as long as it gels with your audience.

3. Trust Your Readers to be Intelligent:

Steer clear of jargon and cumbersome terminology. Treat your readers to quick wit and a little nuance, they’ll leave with a good feeling about what your business offers, and they’ll come back to learn more.


Attract or Sell? 

Brian Clark at Copyblogger has come up with this model: tutorial marketing either attracts or it sells.

1. Attraction

The distinction, he writes, is that the attraction tutorial, in the form of a how-to blog is at its essence meant to convince customers of the idea of your site as resource. The underlying message is this: customers explore the company’s offerings organically, and they align purchasing, as an activity, with what they’ve learned.

A good example of how tutorial marketing can take a tip from other kinds of advertising that skip the hard sell: Note the way customers react to Super Bowl halftime commercials in the United States. They love to see creativity and intelligence at work, they’re willing to work a little bit to meet a pitch halfway, and they remember excellence in association with brand.

2. Sell

 On the other hand, in a sell tutorial telling the customer to buy your goods is the message, writ large. In fact, what we’re really talking about is a commercial. Everything tapers toward the pitch: Learn what you like, but how many of these can I sign you up for, eh?

The Bottom Line:

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
– Benjamin Franklin

Package your tutorials in such a way that acknowledges their intelligence, teaches something valuable, and ensures over time that both reader and viewers are well served.

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