Are You Content with Your Content?
Previously, we have discussed content in terms of who you are writing for (clients, prospects, search engines, etc.), social media posts, blog posts, and content management systems, but where do you start when writing for a brand new website? Should you transfer the content from your old site into the new site or write fresh text? Should your verbiage also be available in another language? Should your copywriting be funny or über-professional? How many ways are there to say "content"? Okay, the last one wasn't serious but I think you catch my drift.
Content as in satisfied?
While we would like you to be in a state of peacefulness and happiness, that isn't exactly where we are going with this. By content, we typically mean both text (or if you are old school, copy) and media objects (images, videos, etc.). If you are starting a new site from scratch, your approach to this will require an investment of your time. If you've had a site for years and are simply updating its look and feel, you may not need to put as much effort into this portion.
In order to achieve contentment with your content, you sometimes have to step outside yourselves and get those scary outside opinions. After all, you love what you do and are probably too close to the topic at hand to hold any level of objectivity. Don't be afraid to ask for help!
Asking for assistance = superior, not inferior!
Avoid being tone deaf.
Your industry should be taken into consideration when making these decisions. For example, if you are in the construction industry, your images are worth a billion words and too much text can essentially become background noise. So, in this case, less is more and it makes sense to keep your copy quantity on the lighter side. Your focus, in this case, should be your images which would be displayed in beautiful galleries where they can really be exemplified to draw in your visitors.
Consider your audience when deciding on tone. If you are a food blogger, you can probably be much more casual and entertaining than a law firm, for instance. This may seem like common sense but so many times, we have advised business owners to take this into consideration in order to avoid confusion.
Confused guests = goodbye to you and hello to the next website.
Harmony, balance, and soul (searching).
What if you are in a less visual industry? Or one that is a good combination of visual and textual? We recommend you do some soul searching to find your personal balance of images vs. content. Keep in mind the notion that unless someone is writing a research paper, s/he is not likely to pour through pages upon pages of content. Why do you think I keep my blogs relatively short? Besides, you have your blog, social media posts, news and email blasts to wow everyone with your expertise.
Sales 101, Chapter 1 says something like "do not puke on your prospects to see what will stick." Let that soothing visual help you weed out the garbage and keep only the most important pieces. Give just enough information to intrigue your visitors and do so in small bits that they can easily digest. They are more likely to remember you for it later.
Clutter = confusion, and you already know what confusion leads to.
Your words do not have to be boring! Whatever you do, employ a common voice, or tone, that speaks to your specific audience in an educational and upbeat fashion. To do this, you must know who you are talking to! And that will help you make content decisions, from whether to translate into other languages to how much humor can be incorporated. Your company or brand's personality should shine through in a way that allows you to connect with those who are seeking your products or services. They will walk away from your website having had a positive experience and hopefully seek you out. Again and again!