Dave Thorpe Head of Business Growth 10 Steps To Improve Your Online Sales. Step 5: Content Hi, i’m Dave from Indiespring and this series of Blogs is to help you improve your online sales yourself. Not everyone has the budget to afford marketing companies to support them in growing their business while they are just starting out and these blogs will hopefully give you some best practices and tips to set yourself along the right path to growing your business. This is step 5: Content. If you’d like to check out the previous four steps, go here. Keeping Content Clear This is harder than it sounds! We are all guilty of thinking what we have to say is important to everyone (and it may well be), but if you follow certain important steps your message will be spread more clearly. Long text and jargon based content is difficult to take in and isn’t gripping enough to attract an audience that has so many options. You want your target audience to feel like you are speaking to their direct issues. If you’re clear and concise with your messaging, your audience will appreciate and respond to your content. Ever since we were in school we’ve been taught to write beautiful, flowery, adjective rich language. But in all honestly, no one wants to read that. I doubt examiners even want to read that. Your users respond to content that they can skim and still get all of the information they need. So what can you do to improve it? Discuss with your marketing team what types of content will likely perform best with your target audience. Spend time and resources on figuring out what subject matters will be have the greatest impact on your ideal customer. The clearer you are with your content, the more your message will resonate. This article has some great tips for creating clear content. I know this all sounds like common sense, but I think it really needs emphasising. Make sure you give your audience help with what they need, not what you want to help them with. Keep it Visual Ever wonder why certain listed articles do so well? It’s simple, they’re nice to look at and easy to follow. If you don’t take visuals into account when creating your content you are running a huge risk; no matter how good the words and story are people will simple not engage to find out. Keeping it visual also means once a person is in the content they have a higher chance of sticking around. You want a consistent flow in your articles. Images, quotes, surveys and other visual media can break up blocks of text that seem arduous when put together. Nothing is more boring than a blog that only has text! Even 300 words can seem daunting when there has been little to no thought in the design. It doesn’t matter how this content is being pushed out, whether it is blogs, email, pdf’s, brochures, or social posts. It must be designed to flow and be easy to follow and engaging! Even designing your words to include plenty of white space, bolding, titles, and bullet points will prevent the reader from becoming overwhelmed by a block of text. But they real key here is creating visual content. For example, I’ve just taken a sample of the content that Indiespring have pushed to our Facebook page in the last six months. Even with our relatively small sample size, it’s easy to see that visual content performs much better than text based. Call to Action Ah yes the good old CTA. This is a classic mistake to make. However, you would be surprised how many pieces of amazing content, and not so amazing content, forget this simple golden nugget that their content is there for. You are producing content to attract and audience and you want this audience to do something. This can be buy a product or service, capture an email, follow your socials or answer a survey but if you do not put your call to action somewhere prominent this simply will not get done. What happens without a call to action? You have simply wasted your time and effort. You’ve given away all that great information you are offering for free, without getting anything back for your time! Even if you’ve convinced your reader that you know what you’re talking about, they’re lazy. Not many users will actively search to find what you want them to do.Something so simple can validate your whole content strategy. So, to recap… Keep your content clear and concise Make it visual and flow easily for the reader Remember your call to action for your audience to follow These simple tips are a start to make sure you are giving yourself a better chance of reaching your audience and getting what you need from them. There’s obviously always more you can do to improve your content – if you need any more tips or advice contact Indiespring or me personally. Make sure to tune in next week for the next step to improve your online sales!