Tag Archives: relevant content

Instant Gratification – Pros and Cons

If you’re “in to” instant gratification, you’ll need to scan down to get the pros and cons.  If you’re a bit more patient, read the whole piece.

Business owners, especially those with significant advertising budgets, are scratching their heads in frustration over the generations that seem so intent on instant gratification.  How do you reach someone who wants information, answers, and product “NOW”?

We’ll get to the answer, but let’s look at the pros and cons of this instant gratification mindset.  It’s certainly a concept spawned by technology, so any answer has to incorporate a technological aspect.  We live in an age where a person with a smart phone can look up a business online, get a phone number, and call that number right from their phone in a matter of seconds.

During the Christmas holidays, we were away from home and wanted to have dinner at a chain restaurant.  I looked up the chain online, entered the city, and up popped the restaurant’s phone number.  I tapped on it, called it, and learned they were not accepting reservations, which was fine.  I had relatively quickly ascertained what we wanted to know.  Instant gratification.  I had an answer in less time than it would have taken to look up the restaurant in a phone directory.

Two points here:  One is that phone directories have a limited life span due to these advances in technology, and the other is that if you have a service business such as a restaurant, it is critical that your business be smart-phone enabled, especially if you are on your own and operating independently.

Instant gratification pros:

  1. Quicker decisions can be made;
  2. Choices are focused on using the right key words;
  3. Speed is easily rationalized by fast results;
  4. Demonstrated skill in using electronics and technology; and,
  5. Masses of information digested rapidly.

Instant gratification cons:

  1. Quick decisions can often be rash choices;
  2. Wrong use of key words can cause longer delays in searches;
  3. Deliberation of potential consequences is given short shrift;
  4. Loss of important, personal human communication skills; and,
  5. Too much information can trivialize all of it.

Now let’s look at instant gratification from the perspective of business.

While there are still companies that make calculators, they must realize their future is finite.  Smart phones have calculator applications and so do laptops and other computers.  The stand-alone calculator has become a nuisance because it takes up space somewhere and you have to find it to use it when there’s one on your phone.

In order to reach the consumer market dominated by the need and desire for instant gratification, business advertising must have a technological base including a web site that has relevant content.  It should also be smart phone enabled and embrace any new, emerging techology within a reasonable time frame.

Using social media effectively should also be given serious consideration.  Users may search for your social media sites before deciding to use your services.  Keep in mind that Facebook is less about selling your products than it is about showing your business has a social conscience.  LinkedIn is more business oriented but still has social aspects that involve reciprocity.  If a user endorses you, consider returning the endorsement.  With Google’s other search engine, YouTube, being #2 behind Google, put some videos on a YouTube channel, including testimonials and endorsements.  You also need to use Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines optimally.  Klout, Hulu, and a myriad of other social outlets come online regularly, so you need to be aware of social options and determine their viability for your business.

Understand that one of the most relevant methods to reach those infatuated with instant gratification remains to be word-of-mouth marketing.  Flash mobs are a good example of how a message can go viral quickly.  Word-of-mouth can help you reach a global market for your business, provided you’re ready to handle the potential rapid growth.

It comes back to having strategies for reaching your target audience effectively, so if you need help thinking this through and developing strategies, Brand Irons has people and resources to help.

Creating Relevant Content

Too many business owners believe that more copy on their website is better than just a little.  A few years ago that may have been the case.  Today, in this age of instant gratification, it is far more critical that the content – the copy and images – on your website is relevant.  Relevant to your business and relevant to your potential consumers, the web users searching for your content.

Key Words.  Let’s assume a potential customer is online because they had a party and their carpet needs to be professionally cleaned.  What are they likely to key into the search engine, whether it’s Google, YouTube, Yahoo, or Bing?  Probably the key words “carpet cleaning” or “professional carpet cleaning” and possibly their city, but the search engines are intuitive enough to automatically search for those services in the general vicinity of that computer’s location.

Relevant content on your website needs to include “carpet cleaning” in a title page, and “professional carpet cleaning” in the hidden page description as well as among the key words coded into the html language.  The actual page seen by the potential consumer also has to have relevant content about the fact you provide carpet cleaning services and that you provide professional carpet cleaning services.

Keep in mind that users are unlikely to spend a lot of time on your site looking for the information.  Some recent research suggested that time is in the nano-seconds.  The more prominent and easy it is for users to access, and the more relevant it is to their search criteria, the greater likelihood you will get the call to provide the services.

Call to Action.  This is content that is often overlooked.  Do you want a visitor to your web site to do something once they find you?  Do you want them to call?  Send you an E-mail?  Click for more information?  Stop in at your store?

What you want them to do is the call to action that should be a relevant portion of your website’s content.  If you are a hair stylist or massage therapist, you probably want your online viewers to call for an appointment, so make that a headline on  your site:  Call (123) 456-7890 for an appointment today!

Users may ignore the call to action.  The point is to make it was easy as possible for potential customers to choose you.

Format.  How the content is presented on your website is also relevant to increasing and driving traffic.  It’s less about numbers of visitors than it is about visitors who become customers because of what they’ve found and how long they look at the information you provide to them.  Think about the last time you went to a website and found a massive block of copy for its content.  Did you read it all?  Or were you gone in seven seconds?  How you format your content can be critical to the success of your web presence.  Make it easy to find information that is relevant to their search.

Users love bullet points and numbered lists, such as the top 10 reasons to use your services (maybe it’s the top 7).  Headlines, clickable graphics, pictures, and other eye appealing elements – as long as they’re relevant to your business – can increase the amount of time visitors spend exploring your site, learning about you and your business, and considering using your services.

Create room on your site for a Facebook reader so the content changes every time you post to Facebook, or make a video that links to YouTube from your site.  The more activity that gets noticed on your site by the spiders, the higher your search engine ranking will be.  Keep in mind that the search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated, so you and your web developer need to stay on top of the factors that can elevate your site in the rankings, or demote you.

Theme.  Along with formatting, having a consistent theme between all the pages on your website adds to the relevancy of your content.  Adding copy or graphics to fill space can create confusion to viewers.  Often, less is more attractive, especially if it pertains to the message you’re trying to convey.

That brings up another point.  Do you know what your message, or brand, is?  Are you conveying it correctly in your web content?  It should be part of the overall look and feel, or theme, for your business and its website.

Spelling & Grammar.  How your business appears to the online consumer is critical.  Misspelled words, such as spelling a key word hidden in code as “capret cleaning” instead of “carpet cleaning” can mean the difference between your site being found in the search engines.  Extra care must be taken to avoid spelling errors and grammatical mistakes.  Abbreviations may be fine for txting, but are inappropriate for reflecting the image you wish to portray of your company.

Your potential consumers want reliable, trustworthy information for them to feel comfortable using your company and its products or services.  Be careful in using spell checkers, too, since it is difficult for them to discern where “their,” “they’re,” or “there” is the appropriate terminology.

Last thought, if you’re unsure about how relevant your web content is, consider using the services of a professional.  If they can help you move from page five of the search engine responses to page one, it will be worth the investment.