Episode #3 - All About the ContentTuesday, June 2, 2015
Creating a brand new website for your company can be very exciting. New colors, big pictures, and fancy responsive designs all capture the imagination. But all of the excitement quickly wears off when a site still hasn’t been launched after a few months. The look and feel is a big part of the site, but the content (you know, the things you actually want to tell your viewers) is still king and needs to be considered even more carefully than the graphics and colors.
Here are some ways to make sure your website doesn’t get stuck in pre-launch mode.
Know What Your Business Does
Have your business elevator pitch ready. Be sure you can explain what your business does and why your company is different (and better!) than your competitors. Your Web Development company or Digital Agency shouldn’t necessarily be your Business Strategist. Some agencies offer this service, but make sure you are able to communicate the vision of your company. The viewers should have a crystal clear picture of what you do within a minute of arriving at your beautiful new site.
Choose a Good Digital Agency
To get the content on your website, you have two options:
- Get a company who specializes building sites for companies like yours.
- Hire a generic company, and get a templated design tailored towards companies like yours.
While both options have certain advantages, we highly recommend going with #1. An agency with direct experience in your business category will be able to guide you through the process more efficiently and will understand how best to communicate your advantages to the market.
Get a Great Writer
Regardless of who might help you with the design and technical aspects, you still have to fill in the site with solid written content. If you don’t have the experience to write this yourself, you have a few options:
- Plagiarize (a favorite of high school students, please avoid this one…)
- Hire an in-house writer
- Hire a freelance copywriter
One very important aspect to look for when hiring a writer is their ability to ask you the right questions. If the writer doesn’t put in the time to talk with you, learn your business and find out your strengths, they will never be able to communicate your business to your customers. It’s also good to ask for samples of marketing material or websites they have written to see if their style and tone works for you. If you hired a Digital Agency that specializes in building websites for companies like yours, they will most likely offer copywriting services and will understand the most effective questions to ask about your company.
Stay Organized with Tools
Emailing back and forth with your staff, agency, and copywriters can get overwhelming and just plain messy. A lot of people use a spreadsheet with checkboxes to show whether or not areas of content are done, and this is a good start.
We would recommend that you use the Freedom CMS Content Mapping Tool; which is a to-do list for your website content and can help direct and manage the process of developing your site content.
Have a Soft Launch
While it is important to get the core message of your company up and running first, you don't have to wait for every piece of content to be filled in before launching your site. Use a “soft-launch” to gain opinions and feedback from colleagues. It’s often much easier to get real feedback when a site is live and running.
New websites always requires a lot of work to make sure they represent your business in the best way possible. But with a little planning, partnering with the right people and using your tools effectively, you can make the process of bringing a new website to life more fun and exciting!