For a lot of organisations, web page content is seen as a basic necessity, with the attitude that “we need to explain what we do and tell our market what we can offer”. Basic, and simple. Even as digital marketing becomes more competitive, many organisations still overlook content, because of its basic nature, and search for opportunities elsewhere.
What is extremely useful but at times overlooked is that the content itself can be highly marketable – which can create real value for an organisation’s website, rather than being viewed as simply ‘stuff on a webpage’. The proliferation and accessibility of modern technology can help with developing more suitable content options. These include: Video, images, e-books, whitepapers, infographics, how-tos, applications, podcasts and infographics (as a start) as an alternative to text and body copy.
With more options open to both organisations and their competitors, there is a need to think more strategically about what kind of content options can best communicate their message.
Firstly, creating content that is not only rich in information, and discusses a topic sufficiently, but is communicated using an appropriate media that is able to relay information better than other media types. In other words, choosing a media type that best suits the nature of the product or service. For example, something highly technical would benefit from a schematic visual to support and simplify the text, such as an infographic, chart, or diagram. Conversely a simple e-commerce page aimed at selling one product, for example an article of clothing, would benefit from having images and perhaps even a slideshow – as this is a more effective way of communicating what the product is over a text description.
Secondly, it is further beneficial to utilise a type of media best suited towards a site’s target market, and their browsing habits. Any insights into your target market can be used to make decisions on the best way to communicate information using a range of different content options. For example, if a particular device is used by consumers to access your website, it would be advantageous to utilise a type of content that works well on this platform, such as shorter low-resolution video on Smart Phones (as large text and image files are less usable on a smart phone’s smaller screen compared to a tablet or desktop computer).
Thirdly, it’s important to weigh-in the goals of the organisation into the process of creating effective tailored content – as some types of content will more effective in helping to achieve these goals. For example, if the goal of the organisation is brand recognition, it would be important to tailor the content so that it integrates the brand attributes (colours, fonts, themes, logos) of the organisation into the content. That way the content is not only informing, but also establishing building the brand in the mind of the reader.
Though the article talks about using a media-type that is optimal for: the nature of a product/service, suitability to the target market, and effective in accomplishing goals – there may not be one type of media that is able to do all three of these things. This is fine, and trying to find one golden media to do all these things is not the answer anyhow. Rather, it’s best to find one type of media that is able to accomplish each of the aforementioned criteria. The different types of media in turn can create a cohesive argument if they are created to support each other. For example, an online florist can show pictures of a particular bouquet of flowers (best communicates the nature of the product, plus visuals for the consumer), with copy to explain the product further that includes calls to action to encourage conversions (accomplishes the organisation’s goal of conversions, plus gives more information to the consumer). This in turn improves SEO performance, as search engines favour sites that utilise a mixed range of media.
Inserting different types of media onto a webpage also provides more opportunities to improve overall site SEO, by adding important keywords and attributes into tags: alt tags, meta tags, and description tags.
These are good starting points for creating effective content. For whatever content decisions are made, a final fundamental way of thinking to follow is to keep content updated, current, and optimised. It’s easy to optimise content using tools such as Google Analytics that will identify which pages and thereby content is leading to conversions, Google Trends to take pre-empt upcoming opportunities for which content can be created for in advance, and various keyword tools so that content is able to bought up when relevant searches are made. In itself, updating content will enable search engines to require crawling a given site more often, leading to an improvement in SEO performance.
In Conclusion, using multiple media that is both better suited to the nature of a product or service, and is more attuned to the target market’s browsing behaviour not only adds value to a site, but creating content with these factors in mind will make the site more helpful and useful to consumers. This can improve traffic and conversions as a result.