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Hey, Manufacturers – Write For Informavores

There’s been a lot written about how to write for the prospects that visit your Web site. Which is a little odd, when you think about it … writing more about writing less.

You’re supposed to keep it short. Informative. Written specifically for the people you want to attract, for the moment they’re most likely to be interested in you.

There’s a really good (albeit generalized) article from last summer called “Lazy Eyes – How We Read Online.” Manufacturers would do well to start with this piece to get right with what your site should say and how it should say it. It was written by Michael Agger over at Slate. In it, he references the good works of Jakob Nielsen that finds online “readers” aren’t really readers at all – they’re “… selfish, lazy and ruthless.”

They’re on a mission. They want answers, they want them now, and they don’t want to see or hear more than that.

They’re like animals looking for food – information foraging, it’s called – and you must consider this before all else when writing for or designing your site.

And manufacturers? Buyers, prospects and customers? They’re who you want, and you must give ’em the goods up front. Simply, and in the terms they want.

Describe what you do as much as what you have. Give specifics – tolerances held, design collaboration that led to customer value, superior logistics support. And then stop it.

No one that visits your site wants to read only about how long you’ve been in business, or that you’re ethical, or that you “meet or exceed customer expectations – every job, every time!” The prospects you covet want to know what differentiates you from all the other shops and plants they’ve just read the same things about.

You can’t (just) say it. You have to show them. They’re hungry, and they’ve come to you looking for nourishment.

Not giving them what they’re looking for will send them elsewhere.

AJ Sweatt
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