We’re well aware that content marketing has emerged as the leading tool for brand development. But for it to be aligned with your brand building efforts, you need to consistently come up with content that is useful, compelling, actionable and which readers will love going through.
While content is finally being given the credit it deserves, it’s not easy to come up with the kind of content that delivers immense marketing value.
One of the most difficult components of a content marketing strategy is creating website content.
In the days gone by, businesses had it easy. Visitors had zero expectations from website content in terms of its engagement quality. They expected it to be boring and only wanted it to deliver information that allowed them to understand the purpose of the website and the nature of its products and services.
But things are different today. Visitors have expectations from website content and want to interact and engage with it at multiple levels. Your content can no longer be an information monologue; it essentially needs to trigger dialogue.
So how will you create website content that engages the attention of visitors and is not ignored by them because it comes out bland, uninteresting and unappealing? Let’s take a look.
Smart Tips For Creating Compelling And Valuable Website Content
#1 Write for the Audience and Not your Brand
This is a difficult one to get right. How can you not write for your brand or market its products and services?
It’s not that you stay away from doing it, but make sure you create web copy that addresses the core concerns of your audience and through that explain how your brand will help address these concerns. Let’s face it; your audience is only interested in knowing more about your brand if it believes it’s useful to them. So successful web content is more geared towards the audience!
#2 Identify the Right Story to Tell
Boring your audience with web copy that heads nowhere is simply not an option and to be frank, you’ve really very limited available choices to prep up the interest quotient of your website content.
Weaving a story within your web content is a great way of making an impression on readers. Your message needs to relate to the point you want to convey.
For e.g. if you want to impress upon them the fact that your design is what separates your product from its competitors, the focus of your story telling should be on the design and what differentiates it from the competitors.
The Land Rover Evoque website makes great use of storytelling to drive home the point that it has a special kind of design, which is a result of collaboration between the in-house design team with Victoria Beckham.
#3 Asking Questions
Pepper your website content with questions. These act as engagement points for your audience; a question makes readers want to think and reflect on the content that they’ve come across so far on your website and also prompts readers to further explore your site, in search for answers to these questions.
#4 Scannable web copy
Readers do not prefer long drawn out content appearing on web pages.
A large percentage of your website visitors doesn’t stay long enough on a web page to read everything you’ve written. So, it’s important that you create content keeping the low attention span of your target users in mind.
Break the content up in short paragraphs, use lots of bullet points and headings and make sure that all the important points that you want readers to take away from the web content are highlighted.
A user should be able to scan the content quickly, effectively and make sense of it.
#5 Be Direct, Be Assertive
You need to adopt a direct approach while talking to your reader.
Remember, your website is the online representation of your business and your brand. If you keep trying to hedge your bets and not take a stand, it will reflect poorly on your brand. And nobody likes to do business with a brand that cannot seem to make a clear point or stand for its beliefs.
For e.g. if you are selling diet food and say something like, ‘Quite a number of teenagers have some affinity to fast food which may cause obesity’, that’s hedging your bets and not being assertive enough.
On the other hand if you say ‘Teenagers have affinity to fast food which leads to obesity’ is clearer, direct, and makes its point with more impact.
#6 Emotive Visuals
Don’t just add visual imagery to your content for the sake of adding images. Give the whole process some thought and add images that bring emotional depth to your write up.
The idea is to focus on bringing the kind of emotion out of the readers that makes them empathize with what you’ve written/shown and persuades them to take a decision in favor of your business. Also, great visuals enhance the engagement quality of the content.
#7 Use Videos
Nothing beats a well-created video to trigger user interest.
Website users do not want to go through endless amount of text, even if they find your textual content a refreshing. So, break the monotony by integrating product or service videos through your website.
You could either use them on a standalone basis or could use them to explain an important point made in the textual content.
British Airway makes brilliant use of videos to inspire people to travel to specific destinations. This is just one of the many examples of brands using videos to pique customer interest and improve revenue generation.
#8 Be Natural
It shouldn’t come across like you’re trying to make an important point through your web content. You need to make sure your content flows naturally and you’re able to create the right kind of impact without trying too hard.
Don’t keep hammering away at the same point through the article. Yes, it’s important to keep repeating your business’s USP at various intervals but try and make this point differently every time. The idea is to not sound repetitive but convincing.
#9 Take Inspiration from The Best Sites
No harm in getting inspired, especially if you don’t plan on copying a particularly successful style of writing that you come across.
There is a different between inspiration and replication. So go through the immensely successful sites plying their trade on the World Wide Web, look at what they’re doing right and try to implement this learning into your web copy.
#10 Revitalize, Update, Modify
Writing great website content is an uphill and continuous task. Even the best content turns stale after some time, so make sure you keep improving it, updating it and modifying it.
You need to keep your website content fresh and make sure you do not adopt the ‘write, publish and forget’ approach. Keep polishing it and honing it to get the best results.
Keeping these ten tips in mind while coming up with website content, will definitely help you create content that delivers immense value to your readers.
But, keep polishing your website content writing skills by identifying and implementing new tips that will help you come up with better content.
Learning how to write great web copy is a never ending process, it’s only if and when you stop learning that you’ll end up in trouble.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/
About the Author