Here at Marketpath, we help companies redesign and launch brand new websites with an easy-to-use content management system on the backend. One challenge that we often run into, however, is gathering compelling content from our clients. This is a widespread problem, not limited to just Marketpath’s client base, but to anyone that is redeveloping their online presence. The dreaded “okay, now what do we say?” question always seems to arise.
Does your content make me want to do this?
Unless you’re paying an outside PR firm or freelance copywriter to write your website copy, it’s going to be left to you and your internal staff. Once you come to this realization, and a few weeks pass by while you’re waiting for someone to step up and write something awesome, you’re going to become desperate. I’d be willing to bet that you’re going to start looking at your old website copy, talking yourself into the “well, it’s not that bad” mindset. You’ll look at old marketing documents, old sales materials, and start sending it to your website development firm. If this sounds familiar, I am here to urge you to stop. Old content on a new site isn’t going to help any more than old content on an old site. So, what to do? Here are a few steps to help:
Change your tone of voice
People buy from people. Stop using buzzwords that you’ve become so accustomed to because they don’t sound natural. Write like you’re talking to someone you’ve known for years and see what you end up with. Obviously this depends on the industry (although I always err towards the side of being casual), but humor doesn’t necessarily need to be off limits for your website copy either. Again, show who you really are, let your personality come through, because after all, people are more likely to do business with people they enjoy working with.
Stop talking about you
I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but talking about you too much on your own website isn’t going to help. Sure, your company’s history might have a place somewhere on the site, but the whole website shouldn’t be about your mission statement. Realizing that visitors to your site have a problem that needs solved is the first step to this piece. Be specific to the problems that you can alleviate. This will help the visitor feel a bit more engaged, as they see their problems being addressed on your website.
Use a variety of content types
Some people love reading, others don’t. Some love videos, others work in offices where their computers might not have sound. Some love images, but not everyone is a picture person. Realizing this and incorporating a wide variety of content types on your site can help appeal to the masses. Static pages, blogs, videos, and image galleries all appeal to different parts of the brain.
What are your tips for creating content that is a little more engaging? Do you have any secrets worth sharing? Comment below!