Successful Online Marketing in the Information Age: 7 Reasons Consumers Read Pages of Information (Part 2)
Posted on Fri, 23 May 2014 by Scott Brisbane
Businesses today that continue ignoring the consumer's appetite for information do so at their own peril. If people are craving information then don’t just put up an online brochure of your business. Feed prospective customers information they will appreciate—beneficial information that educates and informs them about your industry.
My previous article in this series covered how many businesses place up “shallow websites”—ones that just provide information about the business, products and services. Yet, this ignores our age of information and a main reason people use the Internet today—finding and filling their appetite for information.
Perhaps you think that no one would really be interested to hear the ins and outs of your industry—that it is too boring? Trust me when I say consumers today will read dozens of pages of information before buying. Your business stands to benefit greatly if you become an expert source of that information.
Before digging into how and why your business will benefit let’s consider seven reasons why consumers might read loads of information before purchasing:
- People love to save money: What's sexier to a buyer than saving $5 on a purchase? Saving $10! When people are ready to buy they will may spend hours trying to get the lowest price, looking for the best coupon, etc. People love getting the lowest price and even bragging about it.
- People want high quality and reliability: Have you ever purchased a product that broke after a couple of days or received a service providing less than you expected? Me too! All businesses tout “quality” which is why it's important to educate consumers on differences. I’ll often pay more for a brand if I am convinced it really is a better product.
- People desire more value for money: Consumers will often part with more money to receive greater value. Customers may shop on price, but I know with myself that I’ll often pay more for what I believe is a better value service or package.
- People want to minimise risk: More understanding helps to reduce risk of making a wrong purchase. Reading positive opinions and reviews from others also helps to build trust. Good warranties and return policies help to minimise the risk for buyers, but no necessarily the hassle.
- Right decisions make us feel good while wrong decisions eat away at us: Can you recall a big buying decision that you made and were happy with? It feels really good making a wise investment or getting a good deal. Yet, when we make a decision that leads to a costly mistake it can be really annoying and lead to a sleepless night.
- People trust and like to reward good businesses who are helpful and honest: If a business answers my questions with beneficial information that is upfront, honest and friendly, then that insalls a lot of trust and appreciation in me—that’s a business I want to reward with my custom.
- People love to be seen as the expert: Have you ever asked a question about a particular topic and then had someone just talk your ear off for the next hour? Sometimes you will wish you never asked. :) People love to talk about what they know and feel helpful. It makes us all feel important.
Many businesses have implemented a content strategy where they publish pages and pages of beneficial information about their industry. These businesses understand that consumers crave information. They also recognise that being the expert source of information places them in an ideal position and is much more powerful than simply pitching your business, products and services.
This approach, often called “Content Marketing”, is quickly becoming/already is the latest buzz—but for a good reason. You need to take it seriously. Many businesses are still yet to properly take it up. Those who are first in for their industry and committed to it will benefit greatly and be hard to catch.