We human beings have become voracious consumers of content. Arguably, we always were but the sources of our content were quite different to what they are now. We used to sit for hours in front of the telly, passively watching program after program. Today, we are compelled to screens of a different kind, particularly those that allow us to interact with the content. Sure, a TV remote control allows the viewer to scan, channel surf and make decisions based on what’s available but there are still limits imposed by the programmers and also by the number of channels you choose to pay for.
The Internet is a bottomless pit of information and we have 24/7/365 access to it. We access it not just from our home office but also from the car, on public transport, at the beach, in a restaurant, waiting to see a doctor … wherever there is an Internet connection, or sometimes, even when there’s not but we’ve downloaded content.
So, knowing that information consumers are desperately seeking data about their pet topics, this presents business owners with an opportunity to participate in satisfying the demand. Your business website is no longer a portal for specific, to-the-point data designed to sell your products and services. People want to read more about what you do, what you sell, who you are, how your products and services fit with others and how you can serve them.
The benefits of content
We’re not just talking about words for words’ sake. Valuable content has the power to perform many tasks on behalf of your business:
- Inspire trust – The more you appear to know what you’re talking about, the more your potential customers will trust your opinions and that the information you provide is factual.
- Establish relationships – With trust comes relationships. When your site – your content – is the go-to resource for a consumer, they will be happy to engage with you on an ongoing basis and ultimately, buy from or do business with you.
- Sell products and services – By talking about your products or services in your content, without it being overly ‘sales-y’, consumers learn more about them and can make their own decision as to whether to purchase from you. Whereas your website represents the salesperson for your business, your blog or social media content acts as the information desk with no ulterior motive. Consumers love that!
- Assert authority – You’re an expert in your field. You know your products, you’ve trained to provide your services, and as such, you can speak (or write) with genuine authority about them. This is a very attractive virtue for consumers who may be sitting on the fence, trying to decide which business to choose, and motivates the proverbial ‘tyre kickers’ to make a buying decision.
- SEO – Search Engine Optimisation remains a critical element of attracting traffic to websites. Gone are the days however of ‘keyword stuffing’, when writers would try to incorporate high performing keywords into content at every possible opportunity. Google has most recently shown favour towards high quality content, partly irrespective of keyword concentration. What matters most is the quality and relevance of the information.
next week, read more about creating valuable content.