I’m following a bit of my own advice from the last post by taking a break from my current assignment to write this post (and when I return to my current assignment, I’ll be fresh, bright-eyed, and ready to write about the intricacies of polyester). Anyway…
On my highly enjoyable, traffic-congested and rainy Monday morning commute, I heard something on the radio that had me thinking. My favorite radio station was conducting their last interview with a music magazine correspondent whose magazine is going out of business. After the interview, the DJs got into a debate about whether print media is dead. As a fierce advocate of books and the printed written word (I’m a writer, it’s in my nature), I was slightly affronted by this position, but then I started to think about my work with Exclusive Concepts, Inc. and my opinion softened.
Although I would be lying if I said I believed that print publications are a thing of the past, we are entering a new era of advertising in which the rising importance of internet advertising and visibility is palpable. A business simply cannot survive without a well-optimized website and at least one other form of internet advertising. Very few people are going to sift through the Yellow Pages (now those I believe to be fairly obsolete at this point) to find your business when it’s faster and more efficient to type a search term into Google or Yahoo!. The internet is a way of making information available to the masses. Books and magazines can easily be lost, but the information on the internet is easy to find whenever you need it.
This brings me to my point: the melding of the two (the written word and online advertising) is an extremely effective measure to pursue when advertising. I learned in a college media class that people are bombarded with thousands of advertisements every day. Just on my desk I’m seeing Vaio, Polycom, Microsoft Word, Compaq, Melteez, Exclusive Concepts (by far the best and most visually attractive, I must say), Dell, Bic Pro, etc. With such a multitude of advertisements, how can one choose which brand they want? That’s where the power of the written word comes in.
The most important part of shopping is still research. This is even more important with the internet playing such a large role in commerce. For every search term, you will pull thousands of results. How can you possibly make an informed purchase? You research brand information, customer reviews, pricing, etc. until you have gathered enough data to make an informed decision. By adding written content to your site, you save the potential customer the time it takes to find it elsewhere, you ensure that they’re receiving the correct information, and you have the chance to tell the customer why you’re the best. Consider it a job interview without the other person, and the only question is “why should we buy from you?” Every page should answer this in 150+ words. Your home page should make overall statements about the business, major selling points, and qualities of the products you sell, and the interior pages should explain why the products on that page are the very best your customer will find.
Unlike print media, having content on your site maintains it in a centralized location, easily accessible to customers. For more technical or specialized products and services, it might be beneficial to have a page that is purely informational (resist the urge to sell your specific products on these pages). This level of content will help the customer make an informed decision and it positions you as an expert in your industry. These factors combined can lead to more sales and customer retention. The moral of the story: content is an advertising tool that is only becoming more important in the age of the internet, so add unique content to your site.
That’s my advice to the adults. My advice to the children – read, kids. Hold the old, musty books in your hands, take a whiff of the paper, and read those words to improve your mind and writing skills. However, when it comes to research, especially when that research helps you find the best products, go online.