Making content useful

Copy creation

It’s easy to generate content ideas. 

However, it’s less easy to generate good content ideas.

Creating effective content relies on understanding what your customers find relevant, and measuring your content to allow you to improve upon it.  Here are my top tips:

1. Use insight

Using your powers of deduction needn’t require Sherlock Holmes intelligence. If your company has a customer insight team, they are your starting point.  Can you find out what drives your customers to leave your company, or what makes them recommend us to a friend?

Also ask yourself how well you really know your company’s target audience.  Where do they live, what is their family make-up, and how do they shop?  What other websites do they look at and what do those websites have in common?

You can also use public sources of insight, such as Google analytics to help understand user behaviour and what people search for around particular topics.  You can also use this to understand seasonal trends.

If your website has a search function, carry out a gap analysis.  What are your users looking for that you’re not providing?

2. Be direct, but friendly

Being useful means that you’re doing the thinking for your user, so that they don’t have to.  An easy to use website should provide clear and simple navigation and instructions.  Take the effort away from the customer.

Ensure that copywriters work alongside user experience to develop functional content that’s warm and welcoming, yet directive. 

3. Use analytics

Analytics is your secret weapon to identify opportunities for improvement.

There are plenty of ways to find out whether you’re achieving your business targets, such as conversion.  But these will have other mitigating factors that may not be dependent on your content alone.

To measure the effectiveness of your content in isolation, here are a handful to think about:

  • Click through rates – the onward journey from content (such as an email or landing page) is a simple way to see whether the customer is doing what you want them to do.
  • A/B tests – a simple content tweak could be the difference between a user dropping out of the journey or not.  If your site is showing a drop-off at a particular point in the journey, consider re-wording and testing it.
  • Dwell times – unsure whether an article is engaging enough?  How long are your users hanging around to view the page, long enough to read it?  Do they stay on site to do something else or bounce straight out?  This will help identify what resonates with your users.
  • Onsite surveys – a simple ‘Did this help?’ type question, followed by ‘why didn’t it help?’ can be really useful to get feedback, particularly for content that’s there with the sole intention of helping the user.

If you’re seeing your metrics improve then do more of the same, but if your content’s not working so well….you know you’ve got some work to do!

To make your content really zing, you’ll need to combine usefulness with emotional engagement, as well as remembering to keep it simple.  But that’s a whole other story (or blog post!).

If you’re interested in joining the content team at RSA Digital, why not drop us a note.