The Content Quotient

What should I say? We’ve all been there what seems like “a million times.” A first date, a speech, and now, on our website. Well it turns out its pretty important what you say in those instances after all! But I’m only going to address the website content.

If you really don’t have some guidelines, it’s possible you’ll fall into the “used car salesman” trap, whereby your message is uncontrollably salesy. No matter how hard you try, everything you write comes off as, “Come see why we’re the best!” “No need to shop anywhere else, here’s why!” And if you really do sell used cars, man, that adds injury to the insult as it were in this case.

Today’s websites, and online publishing platforms like blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, contain relaxed and informative content. The aim is at building trustworthy, long-term relationships by engaging prospects. The focus is often on educating and informing visitors, by which your words become valuable enough that the reader wants to see more and thus becomes more loyal to your website or other online platform. A bonus in doing this is your likelihood of using many industry-specific hot terms and buzzwords without much extra effort and that kind of content-rich material will land you higher in Internet search rankings. Ultimately, just write the way you talk and believe it or not you will likely hit all the marks. And, hint, hint, a little humor goes a long way.

My mom always said I was so pretty and such a great writer … so special. Your mom, your husband, your wife, your dog… these are likely not your audience. They all think your content is extra special, and they will be placing exactly zero orders this year. When you are ready to publish, get feedback from some of your most trusted customers – I mean the customers that will tell it to you straight, like Mom never would. In most businesses it is a best practice to keep a board of a few customers at hand just for these kinds of situations. If you don’t already have a handful of customers you turn to for this feedback, maybe this is the perfect time to begin to develop one. Ask a few trusted customers these questions:

  • Is my message helpful? How?
  • Would you come back to get more information after reading or seeing this?
  • When you saw this, what impression did it make, if any?
  • Was there something missing that you would like to see?
  • What do you think makes us/this brand/company unique against other brands?

Or come up with your own questions based on your own goals.

Timing and location… yep, they are still the big deal.

So when do you post what? And where? Here’s a guideline:

At MVP, we like to email our eNewsletter monthly, blog weekly, tweet and Facebook daily, keep up on LinkedIn as appropriate, and do regular updates and maintenance on YouTube. We also keep our website fresh by introducing other new things regularly, but our primary item is our weekly blog. This can be effective for many companies, and I have researched and found it to be quite popular. Any more or less in any category doesn’t make much sense or seem to have an effective impact.

Here are some interesting statistics from a study by LinchpinSEO, digital agency, on Facebook posting and behavior. While this research was specific to the Travel and Leisure fan base, it still offers some information about human nature with regard to posting: Posts published between 8pm and 7am receive 14% higher interaction than posts between 8am and 7pm. Surprisingly, brands that post one or two times per day see 19% higher interaction rates. Interestingly, pages that post more than seven times per week see a 25% decrease in interaction rates. Lastly, the interaction rate for weekend posts is 14.5% higher than weekday posts, yet only 14% of posts are published on weekends. Though these numbers are for just one market segment, and you should analyze what works best for yours, it is easy to see that too much is too much and you don’t have to be online all the time. Moreover, it is likely that an online presence perhaps mid-morning and mid-afternoon a few times per week can really be impactful. You will find your pace with your own audience, and remember, you are not doing this in a vacuum, there are good customers out there who will tell you the truth if you ask.

So, what should you say? Online, CHECK! Good luck with the other stuff. 😀

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