content is just as important as design
When people are searching online to buy a product or service, they’re looking just as much at which companies to consider, as which ones to eliminate. They’re trying to narrow their options, and dig more deeply into a few possibilities instead of several. If your website content doesn’t tell them what they need to know, guess what? Another company’s content WILL, and yours will be out of the running.
All too often, companies focus so much attention on a website’s design that their messaging strategy and content suffer. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important for a site to have great design. But if it’s all style and no substance, all you’re left with is a pretty site. And that’s just not enough to make the sale.
content tips to make your site work smarter and harder
- Determine the objectives for your website. Do you want to attract more traffic to your site? Generate and convert more leads? Increase revenue? Whatever your objectives may be, it’s important to identify them so all aspects of the website are developed with your goals in mind. It’s hard to measure success if you’ve not defined what success looks like!
- Know your unique selling proposition (USP) and claim a competitive position in your market. Make this clear not only on your website, but across all of your communications channels. A USP is unique to your company and cannot easily be claimed by someone else (so nix “best quality” or “best customer service” — these are not USPs). Without a USP, it’s virtually impossible to differentiate your company from your competitors in a meaningful way.
- Know who you’re targeting, and make it clear. Your target market should feel as though your website was written just for them. If I’m a professional woman in my mid 40s shopping for luggage, for example, my taste, my needs, and my concerns are going to be very different from an 18-year-old who is shopping for luggage before leaving for college. Website content should demonstrate an understanding of those differences and speak to the target audience accordingly.
- Focus your content on customer benefits. It’s not enough to tell what you do. You must translate that to how it benefits your audience. While detailing your history, services and processes are certainly pieces you will want to include, they should not be the focus or the lead of your content. Instead, focus on your customers’ concerns. Demonstrate that you understand what is important to them, and speak directly to that. The more specific, the better. Continuing with the luggage example, tell me how I can get through airport security faster, how I can eliminate wrinkling my packed clothes, or how I can prevent damage to my laptop.
- If you are B2B, demonstrate a clear understanding of your customers’ market(s). What are their key performance indicators, and how can your product or service impact those KPIs? Again, the more specific the better. If your customers are hospitals, for example, you might focus on how your company can improve in-patient volume rather than how your company can improve awareness or goodwill.
- Create insight-rich content that your customer is hungry for. What information do they need in order to make more informed choices, whether or not it’s directly related to your product or service? What expertise can you share that they wouldn’t easily find somewhere else? Remember the golden rule of content marketing: it’s about helping, not selling.
If you don’t have objectives, haven’t identified a unique selling proposition, or aren’t sure about your competitive position in the market, you are not alone. These steps are often part of branding and messaging processes that result in an established platform, making all of your marketing efforts more targeted, more consistent and more cost-effective.
Need help making your content work smarter and harder for you? Need guidance strengthening your brand and putting a firm stake in the ground for all of your future marketing efforts? Call or email for a no-obligation consultation: 503.680.1279 or [email protected].