When you talk about business content, most people picture the most obvious edges of content marketing – blogs, articles, whitepapers, etc. But everything is content. Your website, the emails your staff sends out, your social media presence.
We live in a world where 80% of buyers conduct online research before buying, and 75% of buyers don’t trust advertisements. Non-sales-focused content is crucial to the buying process, so you’d better make sure that your content is high-quality.
We have had a lot of experience with producing content. We recently provided an organisation with the staff they needed to handle the creation, rewriting and migration of content for over 300 websites. We’ve also supplied consultants to many firms to help on projects from defining content strategy to perfecting tone of voice.
Here are some tips we’ve learnt over our years of supporting companies with their content needs.
Have a content strategy
It’s important to have an overview of what you are hoping to achieve with your content, and how you should approach it. Hiring a Content Strategist, or a Head of Content, can help to ensure that your content remains consistent.
Tone of voice guidelines
These are just as important as the brand guidelines that tell people how to correctly use your visual assets. It is crucial to have consistency across everything, from whether you refer to the company in the first or third person, to whether staff should use a formal or relaxed tone.
If you’re a global company, make sure you get a good translator
Good content translation should stay true to the spirit of the original content, but rework it to be appropriate for the new audience. Direct, word-for-word translations never work.
Hire someone who is an expert in your area
Producing clear content about a technical or complicated subject is a real skill, and it’s not something everyone can do. If you want someone to produce easy-to-read technical content, then you need someone with a proven track record in that area.
‘Content’ isn’t always about producing new content
It’s often about repurposing and editing existing content. Content professionals are not limited to copywriters – there are also editors, proofreaders, strategists and many more. Make sure that you know what you need, and hire the right person for the job.
Digital content has more pressure on it than print content. As well as being well-written and punchy, it also needs to take into consideration user experience, analytics and SEO. Web copy isn’t written in a vacuum – it responds to the audience’s needs and works hard to ensure that the right people are being brought to the website. Analytics will tell you whether your content is doing its job.
Multi-media work is also ‘content’
If you’re producing multi-media content such as videos or podcasts, they should stay true to the tone of voice guidelines. It’s all part of one content strategy, so everything should be aligned.
Content can boost SEO
Search results take into consideration text, PDFs, images, blogs and video. Sharable content like blogs and PDFs help create back-links that boost your SEO, while video is an often overlooked component of search rankings, and one that will have an immediate effect on your SEO.