When creating website content it’s easy to get stuck in a traditional corporate language that can, more often than not, be unsuitable for your customers and/or audience.
The obsession with being “professional” and the old stereotypes of what being “professional” looks like means for many business leaders and owners they’ve run for the hills for fear of projecting the wrong image.
In recent years consumer needs and expectations have changed substantially, they no longer want to be dazzled by jargon, they want to be empowered to make informed decisions.
Regardless of whether they are b2b or not, people purchasing a product or service are more likely now, than ever before, to research that product or service to get the best deal – or at least have some understanding of what they want.
That’s where ensuring that you are creating website content that is engaging and relevant comes in. It’s absolutely imperative that your website contains the standard information that everyone expects to see in a website, but there’s no reason why you cannot speak to your customer on their level, engaging in a way that not only entertains them but can help them to make informed decisions about your product or service.
Here are 6 things I think you should consider when creating website content:
The first thing you have to ask yourself is the purpose of your piece of content. What do you want it to achieve? Are you simply wanting to show off or do you want to educate your reader about something or maybe sell a product.
Having a very clear purpose for your content can help you craft something that’s not only relevant but interesting.
Once you have this piece of content what do you want to do with it? Will it just sit on your website like nicely polished ornament or is it a functional item meant to be used or consumed?
If you’re simply populating the website in the hope people will stumble across it then that’s fine but if you’re expecting this content to either deliver notoriety, potential customers or something else it’s important to ask yourself how you will make people aware of its existence.
It goes without saying that social media platforms are by far one of the best ways to distribute content like this, however, that’s provided you have put the work in beforehand to build an audience – otherwise you’re talking to an empty room. Another good way is to build a mailing list or utilise an existing one. Whatever you do, consider how you’re going to distribute and don’t give yourself unrealistic expectations or goals with it.
This is probably the most important information you need to be clear on. Website content that you want the customer to engage with, share with others or feel an affinity to should, where possible, speak in their language. If your customers wouldn’t use technological jargon or buzz phrases to describe something then be careful you don’t alienate them by doing so (or not explaining).
You might consider taking a number of your customers and doing a little market research, finding out how they engage with online websites, what language they prefer to use when in a “relaxed” environment and the tone of other websites and social media pages they are interested in.
Think about everything you see people sharing on social media, look through your inbox at the emails (not from your regular contacts) that you’ve opened to find out more. Ask yourself what was it that made you open those emails or what is the thought process behind people sharing the posts they do.
If you look hard enough you will probably find it’s the headline. The short, snappy, catchy headlines that give enough information to intrigue you but not enough for you to judge the piece before you open it.
A top tip here is to find the most successful company in your field worldwide who engage with their audience in this way and see what they are doing.
I cannot stress highly enough the importance of good imagery when you are trying to engage the public. Your very proud managing director may have poured every waking minute over the weekend to write up something that works but that doesn’t mean your lead picture should be of him in some cheesy PR pose at the opening of the latest branch. Again this is about speaking to your audience, providing them with an image that will invoke an emotional response in some way, shape or form.
There are literally dozens of free stock libraries on the internet and even more low-budget, inexpensive ones where you can pick up a handful of images that will suit your subject matter.
Probably the biggest and most important question you have to ask is whether or not you have the time to develop this side of your business. You might recognise its importance and even be very keen to get it off the ground, however, consider the cost of your time against what you could be doing, whether it’s business development, invoicing or actually doing the job you/your company does.
Companies like ours (Excalibur Press) specialise in developing online and offline content and creating website content for this very purpose. As well as that content developers can also help you come up with some new ideas or see your business from a more consumer point of view. You’d be surprised how easy it can be to get your expertise, your business and your professionalism across in a clean, crisp, engaging piece of editorial – that of course you can credit to yourself on your website.
Contact me now to find out how Excalibur Press can help your business create good quality, engaging website content – [email protected] | Facebook.com/tinacalder | Facebook.com/excaliburnews | Twitter.com/tinacalder