Image source: Mark Mathosian
Here’s an argument that’s difficult to contest - content is king. And it’s held the crown for a very long time. Whether it be print or web, great content is what readers keep coming back for. So how does one make great content? Here are a couple of tips I’ve picked up in my 6 crazy years as a content jedi for both print and digital media.
Watch your Language
As a writer, it’s pretty difficult to keep in mind that you’re not only writing for yourself, you’re writing for other people as well. Keep your language accessible so that your target readers can better understand and relate to your content. For example, if you’re creating content for a community of infocomm professionals, your language needs to be a bit formal.
Become a User
I’m an editor by profession. An editor’s basic function is to make content relevant to readers/users. If you’re making a website for your organisation, try to think from an editor’s or user’s point of view. Ask the tough questions like “why would I visit this website?” or “what will keep me coming back?”. This will enable your team to think of content that is actually relevant and will help you and your organisation attain your goal.
See the Big Picture
Creating great content isn’t just about putting out a blog with 100k hits. It’s about making content that can help you and your business achieve your goals. Come up with a concrete content plan for the next 3 months and a rough one for the whole year. Work closely with your marketing team to figure out how your content can help support the big goals your company has for the short and long term.
About Us is Important
Looking to just slap on the company profile text from your print brochure to your website? Boring! Try to incorporate a video or some eye-catching photos for your About Us page. You’d be surprised to know that in our analytics, the About Us link in the footer is actually one of the most clicked on links!
Know your Medium
Writing and creating content for print and web are two very different things. In print, writers usually follow the essay-type writing format (topic sentence then supporting details, etc.). In web, it’s quite the opposite. Readers’ attention spans are short and you want to get your point across in the quickest way possible. Web writing in general follows the Inverted Pyramid approach. The important stuff comes first, then the supporting info.
People’s relationship and interaction with information has changed quite a bit, especially during the past few years. People do not just consume information/content, they also produce it. Take advantage of this and go to where the action is. Tweet, upload an “artsy” photo on Instagram, build a Facebook page for your brand, etc. Let people react to it and start a conversation. Put these conversations on your website. This type of content will show your users that you listen to their feedback and actually engage with them. But before you take the social plunge, just remember to actually have a strategy and not just jump on the bandwagon.
Speaking of social, there are also a lot of industry-specific online communities cropping up. Sites like WorldFashionCommunity (fashion) and ClubCloud (cloud computing) cater to users who have a specific interest. My colleagues have already discussed the benefits of these types of communities, so I won’t discuss it in much detail in this blog post.
So there you have it! Whether you’re an SME looking to build your online presence or a big corporation planning to revamp your website, keep these tips in mind. You’ll be on your way to making awesome content that also helps you achieve your business goals.