We often get asked questions about how to create good content for a website or social media, so today’s post is a quick round up of exactly what we do and why.
The truth is – if you don’t know what to write about, take a step back and check out exactly what you’re trying to achieve; who are you writing it for and why? Not every blog post needs to be seriously informative or going for the hard sell, but not every Facebook post needs to be funny either. Finding your best mix is more of an art than a science!
We’ve put together a short list of tips and techniques that will help you when planning and writing content for your website, blog or social.
1. It’s not all about you (#sorrynotsorry)
A big mistake to make is to write content about nothing other than your company, products, brand, etc. If you find yourself using your brand name more than once or twice in anything it’s definitely overkill. Promise. People absolutely want to know more about your company, the staff who work for you, what you get up to in the office, information on your products and services and special offers you have on – it’s part of your brand identity – but hearing your business name over and over again reminds them they are being sold to. Give people something to gain from your content; teach them a lesson, share something that inspired you, or give them news on your industry that could have an impact on them. Think outside the box a little, but make sure it’s relevant to your audience.
…which brings us nicely to our next point:
2. Know your audience
There are plenty of techniques that have been proven to work when writing content, and following the recipe of those in your industry who are clearly performing is a great place to start. The secret is then keeping your reader in mind. Picture them sitting on the bus or in the passenger seat of their car reading your post on their phone – is your post still as interesting as you thought? Who is your reader/ideal customer? Could you pick them out in the street? What kind of language do they use when they speak? Keep your target audience firmly in mind throughout when writing and don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit.
Many people have a short attention span – this is the era of instant gratification after all! – and more often than not your fabulous content will be scrolled over before you’ve had chance to mention your business name for the fourth time (see above). So throw caution to the wind occasionally and test out something random while you’re there. You’re competing with cat videos after all…
Waaaaaay too often we see poor spelling & grammar in published content. We get it; everyone makes mistakes, but a lot of these, misplaced, commas, unnecessary apostrophes’s’s’s and “their / there / they’re” debacles can be avoided, just by re-reading your work or having someone else look over it for you. It looks so unprofessional and reduces the credibility of the person or business that published it.
The other thing to look out for here is other meanings or hidden words to trip you up. Just ask Susan Boyle. The idea behind your content might be epic but if it doesn’t read correctly it could completely miss the mark. OR someone could make a meme out of it and you’ll become an internet sensation overnight…
4. Use high quality images
A professional photoshoot (click to read more on this topic!) will repay you a hundred times over by making your business look amazing online and therefore appealing to your customers straight away. We can’t repeat ourselves enough on that subject. Forget not judging a book by its cover – a fuzzy, dated or just lame image will see harsh judgement served upon you by anyone passing by it online! There are so many images, articles and snippets of information being posted to the internet these days that you need to GRAB your reader’s attention with something epic and then follow up with your killer content. Check out the image of this post – this was taken by a professional photographer styled specifically for us – like our very own stock imagery but tailored to suit H&E Group.
5. And then what do they do…?
Never forget your call to action. It doesn’t always have to be ‘so please buy our stuff now’ but it does have to tell them to take action. Here are a few options if you are wondering what other options there are:
Come back next week to find out about (blah), read this article, try this website, call in and see us on your way to work, let us know what you think, tag your friends, use this hashtag, tag us in your photo, ask us for advice, tell us what you want to see more of, try our free (whatever), tell a friend about us, send us a photo of your favourite (whatever), give us feedback on…
Writing content for your new website, social media accounts or even company brochures may sound daunting but it doesn’t have to be. Some careful planning and thoughtful content ideas are all you really need. Pick a subject, do your research (or know your stuff beforehand) and write in a meaningful, informative and value-adding way. Don’t forget to reply to anyone who comments or leaves feedback on your work, no one likes to be ignored! 🙂