A well-designed website is the bedrock of a good online presence – but when it comes to earning (and keeping) people’s trust you need to take a long-term view.
The secret? Putting quality content out on a regular basis.
This is what’s known as content marketing, and its strength lies in the fact that it’s about providing something of genuine value. Done right, it can improve your website ranking and sales, but your focus needs to be on actually giving customers information that
1) is useful and engaging, and
2) will build your reputation, rather than just pushing a product or service.
At MAKE, we don’t just work on the design side of websites – we also help our customers to target and craft their online content. So here are our tips for getting it right.
Know your audience
First and foremost, think about the people you want to produce content for. Who are they? What are they likely to be looking for? What sort of content would they find useful? For content marketing purposes, think of these people as your audience rather than your customers. Considering all this at the outset can help you to tailor your subject matter, and the way you write. Which brings us on to our next point…
Make yourself understood
Words can have a lot of power, but only if your audience understands them. So make sure any content you produce is easily accessible to others, including people who may not have the same level of technical knowledge as you (avoid jargon). Also, ensure your that each piece of content is only as long as it needs to be – your website visitors may be in a rush and need to be able to find information quickly. Your tone matters, too. It’s essentially the “voice” of your brand, and can be the difference between an engaged website visitor and one who switches off.
Share your knowledge
Content marketing is an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Whatever your business is, you’ll have a unique outlook on that area – and you can use your experience to help others learn. Position yourself as a trusted source of advice and information, and this will lend credibility to your business. Take some time to make a list of topics you might be able to cover, with a view to informing and entertaining.
Pick the right format
Different topics will lend themselves to different styles of presentation. One idea may work best as a blog, but another might be better as an infographic, a downloadable guide, a whitepaper, a video or even an audio podcast. Whichever format you choose, aim for an engaging headline and an accessible layout (think bullet points, subheads and simple visuals).
When sharing news about your products or mentioning news and events related to your industry, consider how these things relate to the lives of your audience and use this to craft an interesting story (brands don’t sell products any more; they sell lifestyles). You could prove your ability to do a job, for example, but offering up a case study about a previous client. Or think like Carlsberg – it recently invested in more than 150 “.beer” domains to act as a home for “stories” that reflect positively on beer but aren’t just about the brand itself.
Spread the word
Once you’ve got your content, find ways to share it with people, and make it easy for others to share. Encourage people to put it out on their social networks by having obvious social network buttons for them to click. There’s little point putting the effort into content marketing if you’re not going to get noticed. That’s what it’s really all about, after all.
How MAKE can help
- We look at what you are saying and how you’re saying it, and offer advice to improve your reach and impact.
- Our in-house content expert and freelance team of content creators can work closely with you to come up with and execute a comprehensive content plan.