Create the Best Content on the Planet

Your content has a tough job. It has to build trust and rapport with your audiences, so they come to you when they need your product or service. It has to address their goals and what’s important to them. It has to solve their problems. It has to outline the benefits of your brand or product. And it has to deepen customer loyalty. Phew!

To achieve those many goals, average content just won’t cut it: you must have excellent superhero content. Read on and see how you can help your content leap over tall buildings in a single bound.

Making great content happen:

#1 – Simple copy

The first secret really isn’t so secret: keep it simple so that your audience gets what you’re saying. Start by using the Hemingway principles: short sentences, short paragraphs, active words and a positive focus. Then, take care to avoid using excessive jargon or buzzwords. You know what I mean. Readers tend to tune out tired expressions such as optimize, strategize, leverage, deliverables, drill down, empower, lots of moving parts, scalable, buy-in, moving the needle, outside the box, learnings or synergy.

What’s the best way to define “particle physics”?

“Particle physics is a branch of physics that studies the elementary constituents of matter and radiation, and the interactions between them. It is also called ‘high energy physics,’ because many elementary particles do not occur under normal circumstances in nature, but can be created and detected during energetic collisions of other particles, as is done in particle accelerators.”

Science Daily

“Where I work, we slam together small things to break them into even smaller things until we have the smallest things possible. This is how we know what matter is made of.”

Paul Sorenson, Physicist 

#2 – Powerful emotions

Take a page from scientific research on what makes something go viral – and inject emotional appeal into your content to make it great. An article by Fast Company says “Articles, posts, or videos that evoke positive emotions have greater viral potential than something that evokes negative feelings, but both do a better job recruiting clicks than neutral content.” And Wharton behavioral scholar Jonah Berger, who is an expert on why things become popular, outlines six “STEPPS” for helping content go viral:

  1. Social currency: We share things that make us look good.
  2. Triggers: We share things that are easy to remember.
  3. Emotion: When we care, we share.
  4. Public: Built to show, built to grow.
  5. Practical value: The “news people can use.”
  6. Stories: People are inherent storytellers, and the great brands are known for telling stories.

#3 – Human-based marketing

When sitting down to create content, consider these classic content marketing best practices, which work because they align to basic human behavior and preference.

Practice to try Why?
How-to articles, tips and practical advice Because we love to learn how to do it better, faster and more efficiently
Content that’s tied to current events Because we’re already talking about the news and it helps keep our attention.
Multimedia – use copy, graphics, sound and video Because we like to receive and absorb information in different ways

#4 – Professional writing

Just as not everyone who cooks is a chef, not everyone who expresses themselves with the written word is a writer. Great writing is more important than ever – and can make the real superhero difference in your content. Whether you want an outside talent to bring a fresh perspective or don’t have the time or resources to do the writing yourself, it pays to use a professional writer to craft your basic ideas into standout content that leaves a meaningful impression.

3 Quick Fixes to Boost Conversions

Your website is your organization’s face to the world. It’s where you interact with your audience – and where potential customers find and learn about you. A full website redesign is the best way to keep things fresh and functional…but what if you don’t have the budget? The good news: small tweaks can have a big impact on your bottom line. Here are three “conversion tune-ups” to increase your website’s effectiveness at less cost than a full overhaul.

1. Rethink your conversion funnel

Your website is critical to directing the conversion of potential customers into paying customers. There are a few things you can do to help make sure the flow through your funnel is healthy.

  • Build a landing page now. An effective landing page creates a focal point for products or strategies you’d like to emphasize, allowing you to capture your prospects’ attention and compelling them to take some action – in one trackable location. The landing page focuses visitors’ attention on one key goal: clicking your call to action.
  • Use good lead generation mojo. Think you know lead generation? Incorporating the following can help get customers to provide their info: putting lead gen forms “above the fold” so customers notice them; adding a short video to speak to the user; and making good use of white space, so that people aren’t too distracted from the call to action.

2. Be smart about UX

How good is the experience your website creates? UX (short for user experience) refers to the totality of what the user encounters:

  • Visual design – how it looks and feels
  • Interaction design – how it works
  • Information architecture – how it’s organized
  • Content – what it says and how it sounds
  • Functionality – what it does.

So, how do you get smart about UX? Good UX means your website delivers an experience that aligns with your brand, fulfills a need, is easy to use and is appealing. The quickest way to improve the UX of your website is to perform usability tests with real users. Have a facilitator test a handful of users, one at a time, on tasks like these:

  • Use our website to find information about our new product offering.
  • Ask other members of our community some questions about the offering.
  • Sign up for a webinar about a specific topic.

Say your users have a hard time navigating your site. Or find some of the graphics distracting. Or don’t connect with the product content as it is written. With just a little time and effort, you’d have a list of concrete changes to make that would better serve your audience.

3. Do A/B testing

A/B testing is splitting website traffic between two versions of an element (A and B) to see which performs better. And it can help you raise $60 million. No, really! During President Obama’s 2008 campaign, his Director of Analytics tested combinations of media (a photo or video of Obama) and copy on a button (“Join Us Now,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” or “Sign Up Now”). He measured which combination resulted in the most sign-ups and found that a photo of the whole Obama family and a button reading “Learn More” meant 40.6% more sign-ups with an average of $21 in donations per sign-up. Result? Serious donation totals. Even through the Obama story is a few years old, the concept still holds true today: test to see what works best and reap ROI benefits.

Elements you can A/B test include:

  • Call to action color, copy or placement
  • Headlines
  • Website layout
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Keywords

There you have it. By implementing a few of the tune-ups above, you can take your website performance from OK… to out of this world.