Those MasterCard® commercials have it right. Everything costs something, but some things are worth more than what they cost. They’re valuable. And that’s how we need to think about website content.
When considering a purchase, we often think only about the amount of money we spend. We know the numbers, the price, the cost. We can feel the bills or coins leaving our hands—or we see the balance in our bank account drop. We buy stuff all the time:
- Morning cup of coffee = $
- Cool new kicks or hoodie = $$
- Washer and dryer = $$$
- Family trip to Disney World = $$$$
But what’s the value of these purchases? That’s not something you can measure in money. It’s priceless.
- Coffee = Delivers the eye-opener that jump-starts your day
- Cool kicks = Identifies you as a trend-setter or stellar group member
- Laundry pair = Offers the comfort of knowing you can have clean clothes when you need them
- Disney World vacation = Provides a fun setting for family bonding time
Value comes from the intangibles—like feelings—related to the products and services we buy. Feelings like attention, fun, trust, relationship, comfort, caring. Yes, you spend money for these products and services, but what you get back makes the cost worthwhile.
Costs can be intangible, too—and just as important to consider. What’s the cost in lost reputation and trust, negative word-of-mouth, damaged relationships or fewer business transactions when your customers’ problems go unsolved or they spread their dissatisfaction with your services throughout their online and offline social networks? You must factor costs like these into your investment calculation.
Website Content = Your Best Business Investment
Like dollar-cost averaging as a strategy for regular investment in your financial future, website content is the ongoing, long-term investment you make in your company’s future. Both will cost you something over time, but what you get back—the value—makes the investment worthwhile.
Content marketing gurus Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman describe the value of website content in their recent book Content Rules:
“It’s both efficient and increasingly imperative that companies create online content as a cornerstone of their marketing—for three reasons:
- The notion of marketing to your customers by interrupting them repeatedly with advertising or other marketing messages is simply not enough any more.
- Customer behavior and expectations are shifting. Your customers read blogs, they Google their purchase, and they query followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook. They are always educating themselves by researching purchases online before they make them.
- Everyone is the media. Everyone is a publisher. Technology has enabled connections. There is no longer a high barrier to publishing online. The ease and low cost of publishing online means that businesses can reach their customers directly with relatively little cost. The idea of publishing material to attract a certain audience isn’t reserved for an elite few who can afford the printing and distribution costs.”
Website Content Positions Your Organization as a Trusted Resource
Website content should be your top priority for lots of reasons. The most important is that your content shows your visitors who you are—and positions you in their minds as a trusted authority and source of helpful information. The paradox and the challenge is recognizing that the most effective content focuses not on how amazing you are but on the ways your services and programs benefit your visitors.
Website Content as a Foundation for Social Media and More
Good website content also serves as the foundation for effective outreach and social media campaigns. After all, any efforts you make in social media will—or should!—point people back to the valuable content on your website. Don’t put the social media cart before the website content horse. Give yourself great things to Tweet about! Good foundational website content sets the stage for social media buzz.
According to Handley and Chapman, strong website content can help you:
- Attract customers
- Educate your buyers about a purchase they are considering
- Overcome resistance or address objections
- Establish your credibility, trust and authority in your industry
- Tell your story
- Build buzz via social networks
- Build a base of fans and inspire customers to love you
Effortless Website Content
There’s no such thing. Would you launch a website with a slick design and only placeholder text? Not likely. That means you recognize a critical concept—putting the right content on those pretty pages makes all the difference in the world. Content must be your first priority, not your last. After all, excellent, helpful, meaningful content that answers a question or solves a problem—typically in the form of words—is the reason visitors use your website in the first place.
Feel overwhelmed by the thought of wrangling all your website content into appealing stories, helpful answers and meaningful messages? Call on us for help. The content experts at Geonetric feel your pain. We ask probing questions about your audience and your business goals. We evaluate your pages, sections and site structure. We craft compelling messages that help your users solve their problems. And we do it all for you.
Let’s talk about how we can help you make lifelong friends for your organization by creating valuable website content. Together.