Facts and opinions

The Internet has ruined radio trivia contests. No longer must one rack one’s brain to recall who the ninth president was or what the ninth planet is (Hint: now there are only eight. Pluto was jilted.). Being caller nine is still a matter of luck, but the Internet and Google have taken away half the fun.

As a result, facts (because everyone has access to them) aren’t nearly as important as they used to be. Knowledge is power; yet when everyone has access to the same knowledge, it levels the playing field. It also affects what kind of information people will be looking for. More than ever, people are looking for more than facts—they want advice. They want wisdom, context, opinion and subtlety. It’s one thing to read about how to change a tire. But what kind of tires should I use and why? What’s your opinion? What do the majority of people think? What are the user reviews? How many stars did it earn?

In her book Neuro Web Design, Dr. Susan Weinschenk calls this social validation. It refers to how we want to know and copy what other people do. It’s a survival strategy that is hardwired into the most primitive parts of our brains. What’s more, it impacts your business’ marketing and public relations plan.

In a world where everyone is asking, “why” not “what,” think about which question your marketing and PR budget is addressing? One of the best ways to answer the “why” question is to position your business as a thought leader or expert in the field. A great way to do that is by producing articles in publications that are seen as sources for expert information by your industry: trade publications. Whether it’s Packaging World or Food Processing Magazine, there’s no doubt that your business has a trade journal that is read and regarded as the source for industry news and information. More importantly, your customers have their own trade publications, and you should be in those as well.

In a professionally-written article in a trade publication, you can expound, pontificate and clarify exactly why your type of product or service meets customers’ needs the best. Naturally, most trade publications won’t allow you to specifically promote your company, but just having your name on the article with a phone number and company website at the end positions your company not only as thought leaders in the field, but it will drive customers to your door as well. By satisfying customers’ desire for opinion in a world deluged with facts, you’ll be seen as a source of solutions and not statistics.

For more information, call Trade Press Services today at (805) 496-8850, or e-mail gerri@tradepressservices.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *