Good content: an essential business tool
DATE: 6th January 2020
TAGS: content strategy, copywriting, marketing strategy
AUTHOR: Vicky Glazier
What you say about yourself
In today’s digital age, what we say about ourselves and the mediums we use to say it has never been more important. High quality content is vital to any business, not only because it’s how we communicate what we have to offer to our customers, but also because the words and tone that we use to present this information will undoubtedly form an opinion in the readers’ minds.
The digital advances of this millennium have enabled consumers to access huge amounts of information with the tap of a finger, leading many readers to flit from search to search, website to website. With this in mind, it is vital to ensure that anything we publish will capture people’s attention for as long as possible.
All the content that you produce, whether that be for your website, blogs, press releases, email campaigns, social media posts or printed materials must be compelling, engaging and instill in the reader the desire to choose the product or service that you are offering above all others.
So what could good content do for your business?
- Form a positive opinion of your company in the readers’ minds
- Attract potential customers to read on, which could lead to a sale
- Drive a higher volume of traffic to your website
- Create loyalty for your brand
- Attract customers back to your website again and again
More than just words
Copywriting is what enables a company to reach out to its existing and potential customers. If they do not like what they read, it could be game over before it’s even got started. It really is about more than just the words themselves; it’s about injecting personality and what the company stands for into those words to not only speak to the audience, but more importantly, inspire a response.
What we're seeing
High quality, well-written content will transform any organisation’s communications. Your copy is integral to your brand and the words you use will influence how the reader feels about your company/product, so every word counts. Not giving your content the time it deserves could cost your business greatly and we often see the following faux pas:
Mediocre web copy
There are many great companies out there with amazing things to offer, but we are noticing more and more that the copy on some websites is just not up to scratch. They have often invested heavily in a well-built, optimised website with amazing graphic design, but they’ve not given enough thought to what content is needed or how it should be written. Businesses should remember that high quality copy is just as important as a good-looking website.
Lack of new content
Many businesses invest in building a fantastic website filled with really good content - but then fail to update or add to it. It is vital to keep content fresh to attract new traffic to the website and keep it SEO-friendly.
Non-existent public relations
When you’ve achieved something amazing, you should want the whole world to know about it! Many companies simply don’t shout about their achievements – and they’re missing a trick. Creating regular press releases to send to the media and building good relationships may gain you media coverage, which will create brand awareness for your business and enhance its reputation.
Digital and print side by side
Some companies still rely on printed materials alone – this is an outdated method and these businesses need to embrace the digital era if they wish to grow, and indeed, survive. Others have abandoned printed materials completely, but it’s important to remember that they still have their place and can be very valuable when utilised correctly.
No due care and attention
We often see websites, and indeed other communications, that are full of mistakes; where the company has given no thought to accuracy, consistency or brand identity at all. This will impact the bottom line in many ways as not only do first impressions count, but the company may also be viewed as a low-quality provider, which will put potential customers off taking that next step.
Focus on your content
If you can spare the time to come up with a content strategy for your business, you will reap the rewards in no time. It will allow you to communicate effectively with your existing and potential customers and once in place will free up time as some future content will have been decided in advance.
Keep the following 9 tips in mind when starting, developing and implementing your content strategy.
KNOW WHO your target audience is
This is one of the most important things for any business to know and acknowledge if they are to target the audience effectively. Do your research, identify your consumers and find out as much as you can about them. This will enable you to produce content that will appeal to them and bring them back to you after that first purchase.
Decide on a tone of voice
Tone of voice is important as it will affect how you come across as a company and how the consumers will perceive you. Decide on the tone that you think will suit your business and reach out to your audience and ensure that above all, you apply this consistently to your content. The ultimate aim is that your brand will be recognisable by the tone and style of the copy you produce.
As well as considering this with your tone of voice, you must also be consistent with everything else related to your content. Being inconsistent will dilute your brand, which in turn will weaken it. Consistency should be applied to the type of language you use, how the logo, colour palette and type are used, the layout and designs that your copy sits within and the style of imagery that accompanies it.
There’s nothing worse than seeing copy littered with mistakes. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it also gives the impression of complacency and may give the readers reason to doubt the quality of your product/services. Once you have crafted your content, always use the spell checker and ensure that the grammar and punctuation is correct. If you’re the one writing the copy, always get a colleague to give it a proofread – someone with a fresh pair of eyes is far more likely to notice something you have overlooked.
get your facts straight
When deciding on content for your communications, it should go without saying that any information you are putting your name to must be accurate. If you’re pulling together copy about your products/services, make sure that everything you are stating is true. You do not want to compromise the integrity of your company by getting the facts wrong, so ensure everything is checked by someone with the skills, expertise and experience to verify the information.
Repetition is boring, boring, boring
Your copy should be fresh and engaging and should lead the customer to the next step, whether that be subscribing to emails, getting in touch or making a purchase. Always keep your copy concise and try to avoid repetition as this can turn the reader off and may lead to them losing interest before that next step takes place.
explore all avenues
There are many communication channels that you could use to get your message across. A website, blogs, press releases, social media, email campaigns and printed materials to name a few. Just keep in mind that while copy is copy, you must consider how each of these mediums will need a slightly different approach to make it work. Research all your options, choose the ones you think will work best for your business and craft your copy to suit each channel.
keep it fresh
The key to good content is good turnover. Make sure you update your website on a weekly basis with blogs, case studies and news articles. Use social media regularly to build a presence. If embarking on email marketing, ensure that campaigns are consistent and include a call to action. Produce printed materials when appropriate, such as for promotion purposes at events. Send out press releases to gain media coverage for those achievements you want to shout about. The more content you create, the more interest you will generate.
don't take your eye off the ball
Your content plan shouldn’t be set in stone. Monitor the activity your content is generating to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t be afraid to ditch a campaign that is seeing no return on investment and choose a different tack. All businesses are different, and things change, so keep that in mind and be ready to change your communications as your business evolves.
In a nutshell
Content is the key to effective communications. Good content can be something that goes unnoticed and may be taken for granted, especially when browsing our favourite websites. Poor content however, sticks out like a sore thumb and can only serve to have a negative impact on your business.
If you’d like to talk to us about working together to improve your content, please get in touch.« All blogs