Chapter Three: Written Content & How to Use It Effectively

So now we’ve talked about the video and audio, let’s talk about written words. As exciting and engaging that audio and video are (I use both, and intend on continuing to do so), the written word is the foundation stone, I feel.

As long as language exists, this will continue to be the case. To visit a website, to search on google, what do you use? Words.

What’s the first thing your eyes scan when you land on a website, and ultimately determine whether they want to stay there for longer or not. And with our attention spans typically being shorter these days, those first few seconds, those first few words are important.

Ultimately, the words form the meat-and-potatoes of your website. It’s ultimately words which will direct your customer around your website, words that form a large part of content that your visitors/prospective customers read, or will otherwise direct them towards other forms of content (video and audio).

Speaking of directing your customer around your website, this is where you it's a good idea for you to design your website & webpages in a way that is conducive to the journey you would like you customer to take.

We'll also talk about this more when we get to The Garden Path Roadmap.

But before we look at that, let’s look at the different types of written content, the individual pieces of the puzzle which, together, form a beautiful, start-to-finish, content journey and ultimately attract, engaged & capture those customers of yours, so you can build a customer community - creating warm leads, paying customers & loyal fans in the process.

A) WEBSITE COPY
The words you use on your homepage and other webpages are crucial. As we’ve talked about, those first few seconds of your customer’s interaction with your website will determine whether they stick around, how long for and where they will click next.

A well-designed website will artfully guide your customer around and take them on the journey that you’d like to take them on. (See, later on in this Guide -> The Garden Path Roadmap).

Key pages include: homepage, about page, product page(s) and blog page. Really, though, careful thought and consideration should be given to every single web page, both from a design and written-content perspective.

B) BLOG ARTICLES
Once your visitor (AKA potential customer) has dug around your homepage and about pages, they’ll ideally be pointed towards useful, impressive, authority-demonstrating blog articles.

Not only do these therefore serve a crucial purpose on your website, but they can also be shared on social platforms and elsewhere on the web, and thus act as a form of marketing for your website, pointing customers to your website with that ultimate goal of capturing email addresses.

Good implementation of SEO practices also aid with visibility and rankings on search engines, and thus can increase the traffic - and your potential customers - to your website.

C) E-BOOKS, GUIDES & WHITE PAPERS
92% of the customers who visit your website are not there to make a purchase*.

Therefore you can have the best-designed ‘make an enquiry’ or ‘buy from us’ page and lead capture form, but it won’t make any difference.

This is where your website’s content is so crucial. And this is why you want to gain their email address, so that you are able to start building a relationship with them by following up individually, or via a newsletter.

Ideally, every blog post you write should include a call-to-action. Every CTA should be pointing them towards them the sale (‘make a purchase’) or pre-sale (‘make an enquiry’), or to a place whether they can pass their details over in exchange for your adding value to them.

And this is where an e-book or guide comes into play.

A relevant, longer-form, dive-deeper piece of content that’s designed to really engage with them, help solve a problem they’re having related to what you’re offering (or, at least, set them on our way), and demonstrate your value & authority.

For B2B marketing, white papers are a more scientific, research-driven form of content that can serve a similar purpose, with an emphasis on positioning yourself as a market authority in your chosen niche.

These pieces of content are downloadable, in exchange for an email address (and ideally a first name, as it means you can address your prospective customer personally when it comes to following-up with them directly, or via a newsletter).

D) CASE STUDIES
It is commonplace to see ratings & testimonials displayed on a website. Everything from Google & Facebook Reviews, through to platforms such as Feefo.

What’s even more, powerful, are artfully-crafted customer case studies with rich content (images, quotes, even audio/video), which are written in story-format, showing the beginning (problem), middle (solution) and end-result (how the customer was left feeling as a result of using your product/service).

These are effective for use on your website, on social media and also in outreach emails that you send - as attachments to demonstrate value/social proof, or in a PS/email signature.

You can find some great examples of the types of Case Study documents, and the different ways in which they can be used, over at -> CaseStudyBuddy.

What did you think?
Let me know what you thought about this Chapter, or if you have any questions at all by:
1. Commenting right below this post, or
2. Emailing me -> jas@honestcontent.net