No One Reads Anymore? That's a Load of Crap
I am reposting this blog from a long time ago. While there are anachronistic pop culture references--this was written in the Pre-Pandemic Era, so everything then feels today out of its proper time and place--the misconception that people don’t read is still evergreen.
It’s a lazy take, and by now, you know how I feel about those. Simply look around. All your friends are COVID experts because they’ve been reading a new article per minute for the last year.
Where there’s good content, there are readers, and below I provide the research that bears this out.
There’s a rumor going around that no one reads anymore. Sure, there’s incredible content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube TV, and HBO (Succession is must-see TV) to distract us, not to mention social media and Candy Crush. But it’s not binary, folks. You can marvel at Kendall’s last minute bait and switch where he incriminates his father in the very last scene of the Succession Season 2 finale (Sorry for the spoiler. Not sorry) and also read a book or a blog post.
Data shows in the U.S. there were 225 million magazine readers in 2018, and in 2019, more than 75% of internet users said they read blogs regularly. Those numbers debunk “no one reads anymore” because 225 million + ¾ of the internet > no one. I’m willing to throw the No One Reads Anymore-ers a bone, though. People should read more; I’ll give you that. I have good news: you have the opportunity to affect change by creating high-quality content to convert those pesky non-readers.
Tell a Compelling Story on Your Website
Raise your hand if you’ve visited a company’s website and had no idea what they did or how they provided value. By the show of hands, most of you have, and chances are that a sizable segment of your own websites aren’t telling a compelling story about your business. Your website is the center of your company’s online presence, and when people land there, it’s imperative that in short order they learn who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why. Additionally, your content needs to be written well so that people will continue to navigate through your website and contact you for more information.
Demonstrate Your Value with Case Studies
I’m a fan of testimonials. Who doesn’t love affirmations? I’m a bigger fan of case studies because they can develop testimonials into client success stories. What if you tried clearing a blocked pipe under the sink and flooded the kitchen because you forgot to shut off the water (I’m asking for a friend)? You stemmed your panic by calling Excel Plumbing, who saved the day and restored a strand of your dignity due to your decision to dispatch them. They can then build my...uh, my friend’s testimonial into a case study describing the problem, solution, and outcome. This will deeply resonate with their audience of fellow kitchen-flooders because it’s a real world example of problem-solving.
Clever Email Marketing
Another show of hands, please, from those of you who delete marketing emails from companies, including those with whom you do business. Wow! More than I expected. Business owners, your audience isn’t reading your email marketing content--newsletters, announcements, blog posts--because it’s not useful or interesting to them. You can fix that with catchy email subject lines, short newsletters with WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) calls to action, and blog posts that educate. 91% of shoppers want to hear from companies they do business with via email, provided you produce clever and strategic email marketing.
People love Netflix and other streaming services because they are rich with great content. If you have a problem with non-readers, be part of the solution by crafting well-written content that will inspire them to read instead of, or in addition to watching Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
About the Author, David Telisman
I am a Writer and Content Creator who works with businesses to inspire their customers to buy from them. I believe that my clients deserve to feel proud of how their content marketing looks and what it says, and I deliver by providing expert copywriting and digital marketing solutions.
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