We have more access to information than ever before.
The trouble is that a lot of information today comes with advertising.
I get it.
I’m fine with a balance of advertising. I know that content creators need a business model, a way to make money.
There just has to be a balance somewhere.
Newspapers that have turned into online news publications seem to be at a turning point. I still visit a number of those sites, but every time I cringe.
I wait and wait for the page to load. It takes time for all the ads to load. Sometimes a video ad plays somewhere on the page. I have to scramble to find out where it’s coming from so I can pause or mute it. Email subscription popups are usually next.
I don’t know if I want to subscribe. This is often the first time I’ve been on the site. Give me a second to read the content first.
I think the one that drives me the most crazy is accidentally clicking an ad. Usually I go to an article or homepage and I’ll go to select an article and right when I click an ad swoops down from above and I accidentally click it.
I’m sure you’ve experienced similar frustrations.
Businesses Providing Content
People crave content.
I don’t think people will stop reading sites that are bloated. They put up with the craziness because they still want the information.
But if there are other options for getting content, even some content, on sites with better user experiences then I think people would certainly switch in a heartbeat.
That’s where I think businesses have an opportunity.
The way a business blog works is that a business provides answers to questions as it relates to their target customer and the industry the company operates in. The company attracts target customers. Trust is built by providing answers to questions. Awareness for the company builds.
And when you’re attracting the right people to your brand they will think of you when they realize they need what you sell whether that’s a product or service.
In that situation, you don’t need to beat people over the head with ads or by telling them over and over what you do.
There are business blogs that are certainly bloated like other online publications, but in general I would say that right now a business blog is a much better user experience for getting information than your typical online news site or publication that relies on advertising for revenue.
It’s An Opportunity
You might read industry publications that rely on advertising. You probably like to keep up-to-date on what’s going on just like your customers. You may notice that those publications are bloated.
That’s an opportunity for you to step in and provide information for your customers in a way that puts emphasis on the content and on the experience.
It’s an opportunity, but there is work involved. It takes a big investment in energy to commit to publishing content consistently. It’s a long-term strategy and it’s not always easy to tie back return because visitors to your content won’t always go right into buying what you sell.
But over time, a publishing strategy can build awareness for your brand. You can earn trust. And that leads to a steady increase in new business.
New customers might say they remember your brand name from somewhere. They may have read one of your articles.
Others might come from Google. They may have never read an article of yours, but the reason they found you is that Google sees you providing value to lots of people with the articles you write and the questions you answer so they provide your business for relevant keywords because you’re an authority.
The next time you get frustrated reading an online article think about how you could take advantage by creating a better experience on your own website.