Good content or good a conversation!

Today our consumers are exposed to millions of web pages, blogs, posts, comments & tweets with more content than can be read in a lifetime. With so much information to take in, most of them just skim through to find pages that are most engaging & appealing. So how can we hold someone’s attention?

good-conversation

Conversational copy is one of the best ways of creating engagement with a reader. It sets a welcoming, familiar tone that invites readers in. And no! You need not be a copywriter to write a conversational copy. If you can hold an engaging conversation with a friend over a cup of coffee then you have the ability to write as well. If you are a marketing professional, business owner or an entrepreneur looking to build more engagement with your audience & build trust with community then this guide might be useful –

1. Uncover their pain

Obvious but still ignored. Most of them don’t follow this simple rule and end up posting what they want their audience to read rather than knowing what they would like to read. Ask questions and solicit response. In order to write persuasively, you must have a clear picture of to whom you are marketing in the first place.

  • Who is this person you’re trying to attract into your tribe?
  • What are their likes?
  • What annoys them?
  • What issue can you solve to keep them engaged?

Don’t be afraid to ask for permission to dig around in their heart and listen for the golden nuggets!

2.       Front-load content

Front-loading content means putting the conclusion first, followed by the what, how, where, when and why so site visitors can:

  • Quickly scan through the opening sentence
  • Instantly understand what the paragraph is about
  • Decide if they want to read the rest of the paragraph or not

 When scanning through web content we don’t tend to read all the text nor read all the way to the bottom of the screen. As such, you may easily miss the conclusion if it’s left until the end.

So remember, conclusion first, everything else second! For a great example of front-loaded content, just read any newspaper article. The opening paragraph is always the conclusion of the article.

3.  Tell stories

Stories rock! Stories build trust. Just like you do when you are chatting with your friend. When you tell stories, you lower the guard of your audience. And they have the power to engage your readership like nothing else. They’re also far more interesting to read than bland sales copy.

Think about how you can weave stories into your online presence. The people in your community will always want to hear your stories to get to know you better.

4. Clear, short and simple

Reading online is quite different from reading in print. For one, a screen causes concentration problems. Text can be difficult to focus on and flashing banners, bright images, and more can distract from the actual blog content.

Avoiding slang or jargon, using shorter words where possible, avoiding complex sentence structures  and using active ahead of passive words – ‘We won the award’ is shorter and easier to comprehend than, ‘The award was won by us’ are few of the simple techniques that can be used to write a crisp yet relevant content. The average reader decides within a few seconds whether a website is worth exploring, so large headings can help grab the attention of readers and pull them into other content on the site.

 

You need to remind yourself what you’re doing is marketing. You want the reader to hold on to your content & respond. The response can take a variety of forms. Use words to paint the outcome. Take readers on a journey of discovery: from problem to solution, in simple steps. The best way to build cult-like resonance is to be generous with your knowledge! As long as you remember to identify with your reader’s problem you can’t really go wrong.

Designing a website or mobile app – largely an act of faith?

Even though as creative jug-heads we may have certain conviction on how users will receive our design work backed by most extensive research it can still leave big gaps in our knowledge. As digital students we should try fill in those gaps with standard practices, sensibilities and values.

design

 

Put yourself in their shoes

Create an account in order to get information or buy a product. Will you?  Ads screaming in your face or feeling tricked?

 

If you don’t like that way, we can safely guess how our own users will feel when we try to pull those kinds of stunts on them.

Nothing but the Truth Shall Set You Free

Traffic generated? Offerings that gets the most/ lest traffic? Drop-off rates at each step along a process? Items in shopping cart? Business rules? How often are gift cards used? How often do auction bidders fail to pay? … the more solid my command of the facts, the better our recommendations will be and the more compellingly we can make the case to adjust them.

Be Helpful

A site or app that expects frequent visits from same user must be a means to their ends, not just a means of making money for ourselves. Being helpful means things like:

  • accepting numbers and dates in whatever format the user enters them;
  • providing standard translations of the meaningless sizes that each clothing manufacturer dreams up;
  • discarding a user’s credit card information as a security measure when they request a password reset;
  • automatically bringing up the numbers keyboard (rather than the alpha keyboard) in an app when the user taps a number-entry field; and
  • identifying 10 most common search terms and figuring out how the UI can eliminate the need to search for them.

Interactivity

Sites today are littered with sharing buttons. Fostering communities however within the walls website can pay tremendous dividends and be one of the most impactful dimensions of the overall user experience. Commercial websites that cultivate a community within their user experience can develop relationships with consumers that go beyond the transactional and reach into the realm of emotion and identity—far more powerful and compelling levels of interaction.

Be flexible, be trendy

Today’s cool is tomorrow’s boring. Is this widget/screen/app/site genuinely useful toward some purpose that matters to users? Is it grounded in an accurate understanding of their needs and behavior? If so, then coolness and visual brilliance add a wonderful dimension to it. If not, no amount of razzle-dazzle will save it for long.

Be Truthful

Truth is not just a matter of avoiding deceit. Credibility is quickly lost and rarely regained. A site or app must work harder to draw in a constant stream of new users. Remember …

  • making sure content is factually accurate
  • links, buttons and icons should redirect to rightful destinations
  • giving prices and shipping costs up front;
  • clearly articulating each error message, the problem and what the user needs to do

Every corner you cut is an opportunity to confuse, irritate, and lose users. Sure, you may not have time to confirm your assumptions or get that extra day of code written. But recognizing your users’ instincts toward, and need for, interaction can play a critical role in providing a meaningful user experience. Driving in to insights & tapping into satisfying needs deeper than merely avoiding pain points and providing smooth transactions can result in a reward for websites which is a higher level of stickiness and loyalty for the long haul.