The way the world communicates is rapidly changing, and with current events escalating those changes, investing in digital content is paramount if your business is to survive the events of 2020. The following are six critical reasons to invest in digital content now.
Business advertising used to be a lazy distraction. Whether you had a bakery, an auto-repair shop, a law office, or even a large retail store, you might have considered direct mail, TV or radio, and even door-to-door flyer advertising to keep customers and clients coming.
One avenue you always paid serious attention to was the local Yellow Pages. Everyone had an ad in that book, and it was distributed free of charge to everyone that had a telephone line. Yellow Pages advertising was the number one way to reach potential customers, and you looked forward to the day when you would sit down with the local rep and try to configure an ad that stood out among the many listings adjacent to yours.
You could use different fonts, colors and of course your logo. You would study the previous year’s ads to make sure yours would be in a great position. These ads were costly—and paid monthly—so some business owners would spend thousands of dollars hoping that whatever they did would attract the most customers.
Today, the Yellow Pages are dead, and they’ve been replaced by the Internet. Whatever kind of business you have, you need to have a site. Even if you cut lawns for a living and do nothing else, prospective customers will ask for your URL. If you don’t have a website, your legitimacy will have been seriously harmed.
In today’s digital world, there is nothing to be gained by ignoring the fact that the world is a digital place, and if you want more business—or any business—you have to have a web presence.
If your A/C suddenly doesn’t work and it’s 100 degrees outside, you need quick and accurate advice. Yes, the Internet is a quick and efficient information machine, but HVAC customers in need, for example, just do not want to have to sift through pages of paid ads on top of organic search results to find out what’s wrong with their system.
Sure, a prospective customer can locate many YouTube videos about common A/C problems, but are they legit? Is the presenter really a certified HVAC tech or just a DIYer who likes to do videos? If the latter is the case, a lot of time can be wasted while the temperature quickly rises.
If you invest in quality digital content, you can be the expert that customers in need will contact. If your site is full of quality easy-to-understand HVAC trouble-shooting videos, and if you know how to drive traffic to your site, you will have developed a list of followers who will know where to go when they have an issue.
Many think that their methods and knowledge should be kept a secret but we disagree. Aaron Franklin, the king of Texas BBQ, wrote a highly detailed book about exactly how to do what he does. The book tells you how to buy meat, how to prepare it, how to cook it, and which woods to use.
The book is like a corporate trade secret manual, but Franklin made it available to everyone. Why? Because that book made him an authority, and his technique is so detailed that he basically dares you to follow his instructions and duplicate his end product.
Franklin knew that readers of this book would end up eating at his restaurant whether he gave everything away or not because:
Either way, Franklin would win, and you can do the same if you just go ahead and give out valuable information to the world. People will think that if you’re that good, you must know even more, and they will beat a path to your site.
That effect makes you a thought leader—maybe by now an obnoxious cliché but a serious distinction, nevertheless. Ever hear of Mark Kantrowitz? He’s this guy:
“Mark Kantrowitz is a nationally-recognized expert on student financial aid, scholarships and student loans. His mission is to deliver practical information, advice, and tools to students and their families so they can make informed decisions about planning and paying for college.”
How’d he become that go-to-guy? By publishing content, content and more content. Over the years he has made himself the student loan thought leader and whenever a national publication does a student loan story, they call Mark Kantrowitz first.
The Internet is the great equalizer. If you’re a real estate startup company, you might consider producing rent reports like these, for example, because you can get a leg up on the larger competition with better content directed at your users.
Additionally, find a superior designer and a good writer and your site can look like a Fortune 500 company’s site. Check out your competitors’ sites and make your website better. Load it with valuable content and great graphics and you’ll be the one that prospective customers and clients call first.
We spoke about those sought-after Yellow Pages ads previously and we mentioned that many business owners paid large monthly fees for an ad that they thought would work. Website costs, however, can be capped. You’ll need to pay a monthly hosting fee, and you may need some design help, but after that, if you’re digitally competent and you’re a good writer, you can avoid large fixed monthly costs.
You can add as many pages as you want, for example, without having to pay out any extra advertising dollars. In 2020, anyone who ignores digital marketing will have a problem. Post good content, make yourself a thought leader and watch your business grow!
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