It just makes sense if you think about it, but a new survey published by Harris Interactive validates the fact that Search is how most people look for business information online. Almost 60% of respondents said that search engines were the first place they went to research local businesses. For those under 35 years of age, that number jumped to a whopping 83%. Only 8% said they go to the merchant’s site first, preferring instead to find the information from a neutral source.
When the question switched from desktops to mobile devices, the results changed a bit. The study showed that 17% “base their decision” on search engine results when researching local businesses and restaurants and another 15% rely on sites that publish customer reviews, such as Citysearch, Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle, or Yelp!. Similarly, only 8% use the actual merchant websites as qualitative.
So what does all this mean to you?
Decision Theory is a diverse subject that attempts to research, analyze, and sometimes predict what decisions people will make when presented with certain choices. The simpler the choices are, the easier the decision is to make (and predict). Would you rather have $100 or a sharp stick in your arm? Not exactly hard to predict. Would you let me poke you in the arm with a sharp stick if I give you $100? Not quite as easy to predict.
If there are a variety of choices and they are equally desirable, the decision becomes more difficult to predict simply because the decision is based more on personal preference. Will your customer choose a blue one or a red one? It depends on what they prefer (although in the Western world, blue is generally a more popular color than red).
As a retailer, you want to be sure you offer enough variety to satisfy a broad spectrum of customers. However, the way you PRESENT that variety is critical because, when presented with too many choices, your customer may suffer what is known as The Paradox of Choice, a concept studied by psychologist Barry Schwartz in his 2004 book “The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less”. What happens is that, when too many choices are presented at the same time, a customer may become unable to make any choice at all. This could be from what is known as “analysis paralysis” in which they are constantly comparing, trying to figure out the best choice, or it could be simply that they are overwhelmed by the amount of input and cannot choose.
How does this relate to you and your website?
Let’s face it, in today’s competitive business world an entrepreneur can’t afford not to include content marketing as part of their marketing strategy. Unlike traditional marketing techniques (e.g. magazine ads, billboard ads, TV infomercials, telemarketing, etc.) content marketing has the potential to reach tens of thousands and even millions of potential consumers.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the technique of creating and distributing high-quality, relevant and valuable information to attract and engage a particular target audience; this is with the purpose of generating profitable customer action.
Rather than ‘selling’ your products or services, you’re actually delivering valuable information your consumer is searching for online. Content marketing helps your consumers become more educated about your products and services. As a result, the consumer rewards you with their business and their loyalty.
According to statistics taken by Roper Public Affairs, 80 percent of buyers prefer to get company information in the form of articles instead of traditional advertisements. Seventy percent say content marketing gives them a sense of closeness to a company. Sixty percent say content marketing helps them to make wiser buying decisions compared to traditional marketing mediums.
Who uses Content Marketing? Continue reading