Educate Using Content Because No One Reads the Manual

By Tom Elgar

The amount of time an Internet user devotes to the content of a particular webpage has been decreasing steadily over time: From one minute 30 seconds per page in 1998, to 1.2 nanoseconds in 2013.

Bottom line? The amount of time available to engage your customers on your home page is falling fast.

This makes the job of web designers and developers steadily both more difficult and more boring.

Speed is everything.

Don’t Make Me Think is a bestselling book on web design. And nuance – or thinking as we used to call it – is nothing.

Hopefully we’re all selling something at least a little bit new. So how do you explain a new product or service?

End Confusion with Quality Content: One Brand’s Story

We have been launching a new blogging platform recently – nothing NEW in that particularly – but we do have a different spin on it to make it easier to maintain. During our market testing one thing became very clear – explaining how it worked just confused people.

I really wanted to explain WHY it was easier and WHY it was better, but we could see using tools such as Crazy Egg and (big tip of the day) LuckyOrange that no one was interested in paragraphs (or frankly even sentences).

So we ended up with just four words – “Better, Easier Business Blogging” – in a kind of ‘Just take it from me: IT IS’ kind of a way.

With this super simple message, people coming directly from Google Adwords, as we did for our testing, had a very high sign-up rate – higher than 40 percent – which is stunning.

But they had very low rates of engagement once they got in to the product – because it seems – they had very little idea of what to do, and what was important.

Blogging is great for answering those very (common) questions about your product, and is not often a quoted benefit.

Gini Dietrich wrote about the classic case for blogging a few weeks ago:

  1. It builds brand awareness and credibility.
  2. It drives thought leadership.
  3. It increases sales.

So I guess my point falls under number three. Use blogging to cast, like seeds on the wind, your much more multi-layered worldview rather than a four word “punch in the face” headline or descriptor. That’s how you will see the important increase in sales.

Then, when people do arrive at your site, they understand what you are trying to do, and maybe give you a little more of their precious time. They think, “This really might help me.” And they move from bored (and irritable) casual consumer to a more thoughtful, careful potential customer.

And that is very valuable indeed.

Tom Elgar

Tom Elgar is co-founder and CEO of Passle. Passle is a digital marketing platform designed around the needs of the busy experts at the heart of knowledge businesses. We enable time-pressured specialists to create online content that demonstrates their expertise and then we make it easy to publish and share with clients and prospects. Prior to Passle, Tom co-founded Serverside Group, the custom payment cards company. The company sold in 2012 to Gemalto, a French multi-national. Over 100 million card designs have been created through their systems so far.

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