Tell a story
Whether your goal is to get more clients or customers, pitch an idea, sell a service or provide information, learning to tell a story will give you an advantage. Stories are how we communicate and connect with one another; they help us make sense of the world.
Here’s a simple example. When asked what do you do for a living. First up the old boring way:
"I’m a wildlife documentary filmmaker. I travel all over the world, shooting animals and nature."
The story telling way: "Have you ever watched an episode of National Geographic or the BBC’s Planet Earth? You know those awesome visuals? The ones where it looks like you are sitting next to the lion or flying through the trees like a bird? That’s me. That’s what I do, I shoot those beautiful scenes, and I get to do it in these amazing places, all over the world."
Craft your content in the same way. Tell a story.
"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today."
Solve a problem
Your customer will buy from you if, and only if, you can solve a problem they have. Typically a lot of marketing is about you:
- I can do this or that;
- My amazing product;
- Our awesome services;
- We deliver the best;
To be frank, it’s rubbish. You are wasting your time and your (prospective) customer’s time. If you are only talking about yourself, how does any customer know whether you can help them? That’s right, they don’t.
Your job is two-fold. Firstly, you need to understand what your customer is trying to do. Secondly, you need to craft and create content which illustrates how you can help solve what they are trying to do. Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt said it best: “People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” Remember, your customers are buying your service or product to solve a problem - their problem.
Techniques for good content
Now that you know that it’s better to tell a story which solves a problem, how do you do it? Follow these steps with your content:
- Describe a problem, existing situation or status quo;
- Explain how your product or service will fix or solve the problem;
- Explain how much better the world is and how good it feels to have the problem sorted out;
Types of content on a website
There are primarily two kinds of content you’ll create for your website:
- Static page content
- Dynamic post content
Pages are typically different from posts because the content is usually more static and changes less often. Pages also show up in your web site’s menu at the top.
Posts, blog posts or articles are added regularly to the website. Continuously adding articles keeps the website fresh and interesting and gets visitors coming back.
In both instances, when creating either a page or a post, follow the story telling, problem solving guidelines outlined previously.
Be light, passionate and have fun
Be light, passionate and have fun. No one wants to hear a dour, droll and dry story. Be conversational and use short, easy to remember, take away phrases and sentences which can help people remember what you are telling them.
This creating content for your website article is also available as a PDF download.
Small Business Websites
Tech Warrior's flagship website product, Small Business Websites has a specific structure for page and post content. You’ll need to remember this when you create your content.
- Title. Keep it to the point but describe what the content is about.
- Excerpt. A one or two sentence summary of the content
- Paragraphs. Sounds obvious, so do it. Break up the content into easily digested chunks. People don’t read web pages, they scan them. Make sure they get to the relevant bits by using paragraphs properly.
Plan your content
Once your website is up and running, you’ll want (and need) to create content for it. As mentioned previously, these are known as articles and blog post. It’s advisable to create a simple editorial calendar or plan for your content. This way you can stay on top of what you need to publish and when. Articles needn’t be long but they should be relevant and regular. There are specialised tools available for creating your plan but even a simple spreadsheet will suffice in the beginning.
Your plan should include the following elements:
- Publication date
- Type of content (image, article, PDF, etc.)
- Article summary or excerpt
Pick a regular time-frame for the publication of your content and stick to it. Start conservatively – one a month, for example – and as you gain experience you can increase the schedule to twice a month and so on.
Psst, Want to know a secret?
Before I tell you the secret, let me ask you this: What do you do when you need to find out something?
Chances are you will open a PC, Mac or mobile device and search for it. More often than not (69% of the time) you’ll search for it on Google. In other words 7 out of 10 times Google will direct you to what you are looking for.
Here’s the secret. If this is what you do, then so do your (prospective) customers. Remember, Google is in the business of giving people the best possible answers to the questions they ask or search for. Google loves great, helpful and meaningful content. If your content is crafted in a way which outlines a problem and then solves that problem, chances are Google is going to look at your content in a favourable way. This is why it’s imperative to create content which solves problems. There are people out there, right now, looking for what you offer. Help Google be the bridge from them to you by creating great content.
The last word
Remember, if you get stuck or need help – we’re here to assist. Tech Warrior’s friendly professional copy writers are just an email away.