It goes without saying that quality content on a website is the most important thing to get right. From a user perspective – to capture and keep your audience, and from a web marketing point of view.
I want to look at the different types of content that can be generated on a website to help you plan your content, think outside the box and get your creative juices flowing:
This is obvious – you need to have the bare facts about your product or service. What you offer must be clearly defined so that there is no doubt to the visitor that they are in the right place. Here are my top tips:
- Keep it clear and simple – you can go into more detail later.
- Product spec – must be written uniquely, don’t use manufacturer descriptions as these will have been used many times across the web.
Informational Content – (resources)
This would include any further information relating to your products or services. These can be downloadable or static ‘helpful’ content such as:
- Instruction manuals – ‘how to put the wardrobe together’.
- How to… – Any helpful guides on how to do something.
- Detailed lists of ingredients and their sources.
- FAQs – can save you a lot of phone calls if you get these right.
- Directions to get to the shop or office.
- Case studies to show a service process or problem solved for a customer.
- Product reviews
This would include content where the visitor is required to interact or do something as part of a process. These would include:
- Online form filling
- Dynamic Online quotes (insurance)
- Downloadable forms
User Generated Content
Provide as many opportunities for your audience to engage with your site. Get people involved – this can snowball into a lot of great content that you don’t even have to write. Just seed it right and take a bit of time to moderate where necessary. These include:
- Writing product reviews on your products
- Commenting on your blog
- Online polls
- Get people involved – ask them for their expert opinion
This requires a bit more thought and some research but if you have your finger on the pulse of your industry you will know what the hot topics are and how to write about them for your audience. This sort of content is usually created as blog content. If it is written cleverly it can out live the short life span of a news story – also known as ‘evergreen’ content. You could:
- Discuss the latest industry news to help your audience to apply it to their business
- Write an opinion about some specific industry news that related directly to your sector
- Use a current industry survey to discuss current climate or predict the future of an aspect of your industry
- Write a monthly round up of the industry news to show how connected you are with your sector
This is a little different to the topical content which is safely confined within your known territory. Newsjacking is highjacking a trending news story and using it for your own marketing (or content) needs. Major news events like natural disasters, birth of a royal baby or international sporting events can be harnessed to create content, putting your company at the front of the pack, when the story is just breaking. Sharing the content via social media with the use of hashtags will aid its viral journey.
There is an interview with the writer of ‘Newsjacking’ on the Tips and Cautionary Tales for Real Time Newsjacking here: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-pros-podcast/tips-and-cautionary-tales-for-realtime-newsjacking/.
Caution is advised though, as it can go wrong!
Helping the visitor to really understand the product or service choices so that they can make the right purchasing decision. These can be detailed as follows:
- Product comparison tools – user can see the products side by side to assess easily. Apple do this very stylishly: http://store.apple.com/uk/iphone/family/iphone/compare
- Page of written content to discuss the pros and cons of the options available.
If there is content you can create around seasonal dates, this is a fantastic way to draw in traffic. It might be that you:
- Own a restaurant and you want to promote Mother’s day.
- Sell gifts that are good stocking fillers for Christmas time.
- Provide weekend getaways for couples to celebrate valentines.
Don’t just knock out an article promoting what you provide, this won’t have the right effect. Writing around these subjects in an interesting way or from a different perspective will keep you ahead of the crowd.
I am not suggesting for one minute that you copy what your competitors are doing. But, take some time to look at what other content is around in your sector. It will give you ideas for new angles, topics and blog posts. Can you do what they have done better? Can you be the first to do something new?
So, how do you put together a plan to make all these ideas happen?
If you are the sole producer of content for your website, you will need to prioritise the areas of your site or the services or products that are the most important for your business. Work through them, setting aside the time each week to get more done.
If you are lucky enough to have a team of writers 😉 – You can build a content strategy and plan that will be much more quickly implemented.
Share your thoughts and experiences! What other sorts of content do you use for your website?