Most business owners are not writers, yet a website needs content. How do you get around this dilemma?
Think **around** the brick wall.
Content writing is so much more than writing blog posts.
Neil Patel gives an excellent definition of content marketing – it’s all about telling stories. And you can tell stories in 1,007 different ways.
Jackie Pearce talks about using stories in your marketing on GrowMap.com here.
A Content Audit
Before you start adding any new content, you need to check what you have already. Outdated articles will increase your bounce rate and negatively affect visitors’ value judgments.
Ryan Stewart has a free content audit template that will help you decide what to keep on your website.
If a page gets traffic from Google, you need to keep that page. But if it has a high bounce rate, you will need to improve the page’s quality.
Words only work for some people. Most people (65%) remember facts better if you include a relevant image.
Videos, infographics, photos, memes, and slide shows are all easier to view on mobile devices than pages of text are.
Video content works, whether you embed it on your site or use YouTube. Live video on Facebook will appeal to many customers.
Use video to tell your story. Put a brief video on your About page, so people see and hear you rather than just seeing your photo.
Never set your videos to play automatically. If people are viewing your site from a work environment, the last thing they need is your auto-play video booming your voice all over the office without any warning.
Always use a transcription service, so your site visitors have the option of reading what was said rather than watching the video.
Podcasts are another non-writing medium to consider. A regular audio podcast is especially useful for building a loyal following when your marketing message is not a visual one.
You could then use each podcast episode (complete with transcription) as a blog post. Audio podcasting has a low start-up cost because all you need is a $50 microphone.
Both video and audio add another element of trust for customers. They see or hear you and can use visual and audio cues to form a better judgment of you and your business.
Infographics take a lot of energy to create, but are worthwhile because of the increase in user interaction they give you.
Be careful to make your infographic simple to understand. Avoid large blocks of text, and use color combinations that are easy on the eye.
It is better to outsource your infographic production because DIY graphics are often terrible.
Photos attract visitors’ eyes if they are of real people. Stock images and manipulated photos are widely ignored.
Having images just to break up your text is an inefficient use of your web page, so replace those images with your own photos. But you need lots of images, and they all need to be relevant.
Use graphics such as bar charts to illustrate points. Use relevant quotations, especially humorous ones, where you can.
You still need words on your page.
Some visitors do prefer written content because they can skim it faster than they can watch a video.
If you can’t write your own content, then you will need to farm it out to freelancers. Even paying an employee to spend four hours a week writing blog posts is very expensive compared to typical freelancing rates for high-quality writing.
Forget cheap writers. When you pay low rates, you will get a random series of words that make no sense, even to the “writer.”
Pay a fair price for the work and build a relationship with one or two writers. Then they can come to understand your business and turn in better articles over time.
It’s All in the Brief
[clickToTweet tweet=”Unique content is not enough: everything on your website must engage readers on an emotional level.” quote=”Unique content is not enough: everything on your website must engage readers on an emotional level.”]
Every piece of content must have a purpose, solve a customer problem, grow your reputation, or provide a resource to which others will link.
Content for its own sake is just more internet clutter that people will never see. You must tell your writer what you want her to write.
Tell her your purpose behind each article. Doing so will force you to think about and justify each piece of content. Provide a provisional title, subject, and an angle that relates to your customers’ needs.
Video, other visual content, and podcasts have already left written content in the dust. Everyone needs more visual marketing and fewer written words.
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