If you’re reading this article, chances are you won’t read much further.
That’s because, statistically, most people don’t get too far beyond the headlines when they peruse content online. In fact, according to the Washington Post, roughly six in 10 people admit to not going in-depth when they read an article. (And the Post rightly points out that the actual percentage of “skimmers” is likely much higher in reality.) This behavior is understandable to a degree. The sheer amount of distractions available on the internet has shrunk the collective attention span down to the level of a goldfish; what’s more, the modern employee is asked to complete many tasks in relatively short periods of time. Naturally then, getting the gist of a piece of content is more important than consuming it fully. Or at least, that’s the prevailing thought.
The truth is more nuanced, though. In fact, there are a number of advantages to diving deep into marketing content –– especially if you’re in the business of creating it yourself. And to prove that the practice has definitive worth and value, here are four reasons why you should constantly read content marketing with a sharp eye:
Analyze the Competition
If you’re not regularly reading your competitors’ blogs, you really should be. That’s because a rival company’s blog often provides a window into its marketing and SEO strategy –– if you know what to look for. Furthermore, reading your competitors’ work can help you and your team identify niche audiences and successful promotion strategies. Note of course that you should never plagiarise someone else’s work; however, you should definitely be on the lookout for new and exciting ways to spruce up your blog.
Improve Writing Skills
Reading marketing content from companies that you respect will likely help you become a better writer yourself. Indeed, it’s much easier to pick out the flaws and foibles in another person’s article than it is your own. So practice editing other people’s work before applying the same techniques to your personal efforts.
Stay Cutting Edge
The last thing any business can afford is to get left behind on a major trend. The good news is, reading content comprehensively can help you stay in front of any major changes occurring in your industry –– or the business world in general. Plus, if you’ve seen a number of blogs address a big shift occurring in your market, it will give you a good indication that you should look to write something on the subject yourself.
Learn New Things
This may sound painstakingly obvious, but of course you can learn a heck of a lot more about something by reading an entire article on it as opposed to merely skimming the first few lines. And what progressive entrepreneur would turn down the chance to pick up new information? Think of it this way: when you go to write content, you’re displaying your knowledge of a subject. But you have to develop that knowledge before you can write anything of note, relevance, or interest to your customer base. Reading extensively can help you gain access to some of that hard-earned knowledge.
The big problem many professionals face when it comes to reading more marketing content is, of course, the constraints of time. Most people feel so busy already that they think it’s impossible to squeeze any more time out to dedicate just for reading. Still, the benefits of studying marketing content are worth making the extra effort. Additionally, savvy business owners figure out ways to incorporate this practice into their everyday lives. Whether you’re sitting in a dental office waiting room, or at an airplane terminal in between flights, it’s never been easier to connect yourself to the internet and get a little work done on the go. So the next time you find yourself with ten free minutes, consider reading some marketing content during that interval. The potential payoffs could be massive!