Creating interesting online content whether you sell office chairs or traffic cones

The importance of good online content that keeps folk interested

So why do I need to produce interesting and unique content on my website?

  • To engage and inspire your audience – your customers.
  • Attract new potential customers and convert them.
  • Keep your customers

How do I make my content interesting enough to do the above?

Get into the mind set of your target audience:

  • What’s the demographic?
  • What makes them tick?
  • What issues or problems do they have?
  • What are their interests?
  • Where and who do they socialise with online and offline.
  • What do they need and want to read about.

So, for example if you sell office chairs for people with painful, bad backs there is likely very little point in pitching your content to teenagers. And if you sell traffic cones there is no point in making your content appeal to house wives!

How do I start to plan the content and topics?

Whether you are writing website content for information pages, product pages or blog posts - the first rule is don’t make the content a personal ego massage; Don’t make it all about you and how great your company is. People are only really interested in themselves, their own issues and what they need.

You will need to research and be sure that you organise the content to answer their question first. Speak to your sales team – what is the question they most often get asked? If this question is asked a lot it means the answer is not readily available to them on the website.

Choose topics that add value - this can either be because it helps your website visitors (solution selling via content marketing) or they find it interesting enough to share. Be sure to use language they will understand and connect with. It’s no good baffling them with industry jargon your audience they won’t understand it.

Using mind mapping and brainstorming tools like Bubbl.us can really help you to plan your content strategy either for your static content or your blog topics.

Throw your content outside of the box (think about it)

Don't just "think outside the box" with your topics, chuck those ideas as far away from the box as possible! There is so much content out there that is just rewritten versions of the same thing. Web users scan read and if it looks like the same dross they just read online somewhere else them they will exit your website sharply.

You're not scanning this are you?  ;)

Think about a slightly different angle on your subject – a different perspective. If you sell products could you do a content campaign about the ‘alternative’ uses for the product? if that’s what would appeal to the target audience – check out “Will it Blend” from Blendtec on Youtube – it has been a phenomenal success for the company:http://www.youtube.com/user/Blendtec?feature=watch

Content Inspiration

Sometimes, we all need a little inspiration to come up with something interesting and new. And if you want to know what your target audience is talking about, what the hot topics are then have a look at Google Trends or check out popular hashtags over on Twitter. This will make sure you are choosing trending subjects that people will be more likely to find online and be interested to read.

Add Inspiring Graphics and Images to your Content

As they say; ‘a picture tells a thousand words’. Including colourful graphics that describe a process or tell a story to engage your viewers is a great way to make content more interesting. There is nothing more boring to look at than miles of text. You can use tools like Piktochart to help you create professional looking graphics. But remember, keep it on topic and relevant to your target audience.

Do not, we repeat DO NOT steal others images, in the long run it could cost you more than just a few pounds (or bucks), play it safe, get written permission from the creator of the image and then ensure you credit them.

Don’t be afraid to TEST and rethink your content

As with anything online, don’t just assume that it’s working. Get some independent testing done, ask your visitors if they are getting what they want from your content. Check your analytics – what are your visitors doing when they reach your pages?

Getting content right can be a process that takes a little time to get the messaging and layout the best it can be to convert into a sale or enquiry for you.

Posted by Paul Randall
28th October 2013