Create compelling content

Create compelling contentAt a networking event I attended last month, there was a guest speaker who gave a talk on how businesses can grow their online profiles.

His aim was to show that developing an online relationship with consumers will lead to an increase in sales. Of course, online or offline, it all comes down to effective communication.

I’ve picked out some of his main points. (One of which was to use a copywriter. It was great; I didn’t bother with a pitch after that as he’d said it all for me.)

In my view, these tips are just as relevant in digital or non-digital environments.
 

  • Create great content – “Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any other factor.” Google SEO Starter Guide

    This is true of web or print copy. Don’t bore your readers and don’t waffle. Give them genuinely useful information and cut the rest. Editing can be hard, but less is more when it comes to getting key points across.

 

  • Find your voice – tone of voice is part of your online identity, it reflects your brand.

    As I said in Don’t take that tone of voice with me, the style you adopt should be consistent across all your written communications. It should convey your company’s personality and attitude towards customers.

 

  • Write for your audience – target your writing to the needs of the users of your site.

    This is particularly relevant if yours is a niche market. If you’re talking to fellow professionals, you can safely assume a level of knowledge. However, if you’re explaining a technical service to the layman you should use plain English and avoid jargon.

 

  • Spy on the opposition – if you don’t know what to write about, check out your competition to see what they're doing.

    This is a good idea. It doesn’t mean nicking their copy or ideas. But it does help to see what’s going on in your marketplace and how you can differentiate yourself.

 

  • Constantly improve – make sure you continuously update your site.

    This goes for all materials. The advantage of digital is that it’s easier to regularly update your text. It’s not so simple (or cheap) to get a whole stack of brochures reprinted. Be careful not to include information that will be out-of-date too quickly.


The speaker made the point that you wouldn’t attempt to design your own website so why write your own words. Well, if you have the skills, why not try it yourself?

I can’t comment on web design, but in the case of doing your own copywriting, I’d make the following point.

The writing muscle

If your writing muscle hasn’t been used for a while, it takes longer to get it back into shape. For those not used to writing on a daily basis, suddenly trying to write a blog post or web copy can be a daunting prospect. Don't worry if your text isn't perfect first-time round. Put it to one side then come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes and edit.

Grammar is only the tip of the iceberg

As well as ensuring your text is grammatically correct, there’s also the matter of making it accessible and informative.

Although you’re skilled in your industry, it’s not always easy to share your expertise with others. You need to lose the business jargon and think of yourself as the customer. If you were them, what is it that you’d want to know?

Even if your website or brochure is heavily dependent on pictures rather than text, there still comes a point when you need words. Reading does require more effort but by making that effort your reader becomes a willing participant in the proceedings. They’re voluntarily engaging with you and your business.

Then, of course, in the case of websites there’s the question of SEO. Keywords are needed in order for your website to appear in search engine listings. Keywords are the ones people type into the search box to find a product, service or general information.

Keywords should occur naturally in your text. They shouldn’t be needlessly repeated rendering your message unintelligible. Take a look at my post on How SEO can damage your website for further information on this.

In summary, unless you’re going to build up your writing muscle in record time, it may be easier to hand over your copy requirements to a professional.

Related posts:
Don't take that tone of voice with me
How SEO can damage your website