Make your content work: 5 basic rules

You’re pressed for time, but you need to get your message online. You’ve been there. Let me give you some quick basic expert advice on making online content that engages and gives you results. Based on my extensive experience in producing content for a wide range of purposes I’ve selected these 5 basic rules. If you follow these, I’m sure you’ll be more effective online.

1: Keep it simple

Focus on what is most important in your content and stay close to that focus. If you want to attract more real-time visitors for your event, then you have to make your online content massively relevant to your online visitor. Get to the point and stay there – so avoid long sentences or texts and technical terms. Try to make it easy to understand in one glance what the message is about and highlight relevant information and links.

2: Keep it authentic

Your content should be unique. There’s a lot of irrelevant copy-pasting and use of generic photos or graphics. Here’s the thing: you want your visitors to understand you are offering something special, so they will stay with you – and hopefully stay with you. For my customers I create unique content based on journalistic principles (text), graphics that are in line and consistent with your specific identity, and photography that is (once again) unique and engaging.

3: Define your targets

Make sure your content is relevant for the people or customers you want to reach. Start by defining your target group(s) and your goals and hold on to that. Use the (social) media that are most effective to your purpose. Be clever: try to use content that can be used in other (social) media. For instance: the content I produce for my customers is “modular”. In other words, you can take out or insert parts of texts, information, links, graphics, data, or photos in order to suit your message to the medium and to the target groups.

You want action

4: Be attractive

You want to attract visitors and involve them immediately. You may just want to sharing information, but most of the time you want action: users should buy your goods online, visit your event, make an appointment etc. When creating the content, be sure that everything needed to get the action is there and easy to use. So, don’t forget dates, addresses, links, forms and other relevant information that the user will look for to do WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO. Being attractive doesn’t mean “being cheesy” or “being cheap”, but that is a matter of personal taste.

5: Timing!

I’ll finish with a very short piece of advice which seems so natural that it gets overlooked more than you care to know. This is: consider your timing carefully. First of all, take care you’re not too early or too late. And consider the dynamics of different media. Check out the peak moments of the different social media you want to use (you can find them online). Great content can go down the drain with bad timing.

Let me finish with this remark: there’s a lot more you can do to get your content working more effectively. This post is about tactics and basics: how to make effective content quickly. For my customers I usually develop a long-term (corporate) content strategy which will lead to a more sustained engagement of their target groups. And usually, I produce the content. Don’t worry though. If you don’t have the time or budget, these tips will get you off to a great start!