Step 2: professionalise your content
In step 2 of our digital marketing guide, we look at your content, and how your business communicates online with your customers. Checkout part 1 here.
Content and Copywriting can be seen as self-explanatory; simply explain to your customers what you do. However, it can be a very big job setting relevant, interesting content all over a website, that will also perform well with search engines. Add in paid advertising and social media, and it can be very difficult to keep things consistent across the board.
Professionalising your content is one of the best ways to distinguish your company from your competition. Getting your messaging right and keeping it consistent will put your website ahead, improving both the appeal of your website to potential customers, and your ranking in search engines. Whilst tone and style are matters of taste, there are a few simple and important things you can do to really make your content sing and make your offering look at its best.
Write For Your Audience
Firstly, imagine your ideal customer – this is who you’re writing for. If, for example, your business is a technical or specialised one, some technical terms are fine, but don’t use jargon – this is not an instruction manual. You just want your customers to know very quickly that they’re in the right place. It’s important to remember that because you know what your business does, this does not mean that your customers automatically will. Communicating effectively, and getting your brand established from “line one” of your website is hugely important, and keeping things consistent across all your communication really makes your whole presentation feel more professional and convincing.
With this in mind, you’ll need to be to the point. Of course, you can be descriptive and your content should be more than a series of bullet points, but short and sweet is the best way to grab people’s attention. It’s also a good idea to get relevant keywords in early – not only will search engines see this and rank your website higher, but any customers will immediately see this as relevant to their interests.
Search Engines & Social Media
A word of caution on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – it is not an exact science. Google for example changes and adapts its algorithms all the time, and any attempt to “game” the system will very likely be spotted and marked as such, and so you will find your website slipping way down the rankings. It’s important to balance how the search engine sees it, and how your potential customers see it – it’s no good getting people to your website if there is nothing worth reading on it when they get there.
A word too on social media – it is of huge and ever-increasing importance. Of course there are some types of businesses that benefit more than others from a strong social media presence. However, clear and consistent messaging will undoubtedly help all types of commerce, from the most customer-facing to the most technical and specialised. The important things are that you identify your audience, ensure you are communicating with them effectively, and aim to grow a relevant customer base. Keep your social media regularly updated at the bare minimum – customers want to know that this is a going concern and an active business, relevant to what they are looking for…
Copy for Different Types of Website
If your website is focused on eCommerce – selling goods online, you’ll want your product descriptions to be extremely clear and give your customers any detail or compatibility information they need. These sites tend to be a bit lighter on content, as you are trying to inform your customers, rather than persuade them into an action. They will likely be coming to your website for something particular, and it’s important to make it easy for them to find it.
If your website is more focused on lead generation, then the copy is likely to be more persuasive than informative. You want to persuade your customers to act on their interest. These websites tend to have more copy, as you generally need to provide more context for your brand, and ensure people understand what you do as a company. Most importantly, when your customers do decide to act and make an enquiry, you want to make sure they know how and where to.
Helping Your Business Stand Out Online
Even if it was not the case before the pandemic, the internet is surely now the first port of call for anyone looking for a new business or product, regardless of sector. In a crowded shop window, you’ll need to make sure that your business shines at its brightest, and getting your content perfect from start to finish will ensure you perform to your potential.