Utility content is a form of educational content that your clients can actually use. It is especially important for mobile users.

This type of content is often situational. Your client needs something at that moment, and you provide it for them.

Utility Content - Spiderman

Utility content is the stuff that your target audience needs mostly on mobile devices but they will need it on desktop as well.

Put this content up front, using responsive design

  • phone number
  • directions
  • hours
  • things they need from you while on the go
  • actionable information

When someone has a question or a need, they reach for their smartphone or tablet. Are you there in a way that helps them?

Think of it this way…

You have a great client. They love you and you love them. They refer to you as their fill-in-the-blank expert. Why?

Is it because you have a great logo? Is it because you pay for tons of expensive advertising? No, of course not. It’s because you solve a problem they have, often on a regular basis.

Expert Content - Nametag

What do you think would attract new clients? Advertising? A slick new logo? Certainly these things help reinforce your brand. But, do they win you new business? Unless you’re selling soda (or pop if you’re my wife), I doubt it.

What attracts a new client is anything that makes their life easier or more productive. It’s content that can share, making them a hero to someone else (which leads back to you).

This is where utility content comes into play. This is content that solves a problem and expects little to nothing in return.

I’ll give you some examples:

  • a video that shows how to transplant an orchid
  • a blog post on winterizing your house
  • a mortgage calculator

What is NOT utility content:

  • an ad for an orchid container
  • a pipe insulation commercial on cable TV
  • a mass message to everyone on LinkedIn about the AMAZING LOW RATES

Think about the calls you get daily, or the emails you seem to be answering again and again. What questions are they asking? Could you turn the answer into a video or a blog post?

Utility content is what sets you apart from the noise. It’s your chance to become a valuable resource that your clients will share with everyone they know, especially on social channels. And it’s the content that helps you build trust.

Want to know more about using utility content to grow your business? Check out my session at this year’s Frederick New Media and Tech Conference.

A version of this post originally appeared on the FrederickChamber.org blog.

Jon-Mikel Bailey - Before co-founding Wood Street in 2002, Jon worked in sales, marketing and business development for technology and marketing firms. A popular speaker, he gives seminars on marketing, internet marketing, branding and web design to chambers of commerce, trade associations and colleges. He has a BFA in Photography from Frostburg State University and still shoots photos for Wood Street clients.