There's no doubt that the multitude of social media channels encourages us to consume information in various ways, whether it be via video, audio, images, games or, ah yes - the written word.
But don't undermine the value of that last one. A new study conducted by the University of San Diego dispels recent rumor that the written word has died due to the rise of the more visually stimulating media like video and images. In fact, the study finds that the influx of new technologies is causing us to read even more than we used to, revealing that reading has actually tripled between 1980 and 2008.
So while many Internet critics may be quick to claim that the rise of the Web means the death of the written word, the new study stresses the exact opposite. And although the written word may be knocking at death's door in the world of print publishing, it's certainly alive and thriving on the World Wide Web.
So what does this mean for you and your business? True - it can definitely be beneficial to experiment with new media like online video and podcasting in your marketing efforts, but let's not forget about the importance of business blogging as a way to reach your prospects.
Blogging is one of the oldest forms of new media and inbound marketing, and it's not going anywhere. So if you want to take advantage of this increased reliability on the online written word by consumers, blogging is the way to do it.
What we can speculate here is that people are reading now more than ever because technology is making it extremely easy for them to find exactly what they're looking for; the increased ease of search is satisfying their informational needs. In fact, a study we reported on two months ago also found that most people who use the Internet are emotionally responsive and remembered content that they found by "searching." Therefore, businesses who are blogging and creating content that appeals to the needs of their target audiences are getting found and taking advantage of the increase in online reading.
So, fellow bloggers, I urge you to keep blogging and fulfilling the informational needs of your prospects. I have a feeling you'll reap the benefits.
Image via the University of San Diego
Global Information Industry Center
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