From endless emails and texts to social media posts and proposals, today’s entrepreneurs and small business owners are used to communicating online non-stop. And as content continues to be king — or queen, depending on who you ask! — the pressure is on to crank out large quantities of copy to get your brand in front of as many potential customers as possible.
But does content really rule if the quality is questionable? As content creators and marketing experts, one of the first things we like to do when working with a new client — no matter what they’ve hired us to do — is to take a look at their existing online presence. Is the content on their website up-to-date? Has their blog been abandoned? Are they posting on social media? And if so, what kind of information is being shared and by whom?
Good-quality, original online content is great for business. When done properly, your online content can increase traffic to your website, create brand awareness, encourage engagement, and generate new leads and sales revenue.
However, if your content is written or presented poorly, it will undermine your professionalism and expertise.
Here are seven ways to improve how your business is perceived online.
1. Keep your tone professional at all times.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s where many businesses falter, especially on social media. A friendly, conversational tone is a great way to build a following, just make sure to avoid controversial topics (politics, religion) that may encourage potential customers to click away from your page.
2. Use a style guide.
If you blog or post online regularly, you may use many of the same terms every week. Use proper spelling and grammar, as well as consistency in your messaging, to demonstrate your professionalism and attention to detail. Hubspot has a handy style guide you can download: The Internet Marketing Written Style Guide.
3. Capitalize your headlines properly.
If you’re not sure which words in your headline should be capitalized, enter them into the form field at www.capitalizemytitle.com, and the formatting is done for you.
4. Keep your messaging simple.
You only have a few moments to capture — and then keep — your reader’s attention. Don’t wait until the fifth paragraph to make your point. Not only will more people read what you have to say, but your audience will also appreciate your ability to tell your story quickly.
5. Use storytelling to get your point across.
Judging by the success of TikTok, people often learn best from other people’s experiences. Stories or anecdotes woven into the introduction of a blog post are an excellent way to grab a readers’ interest. Done well, they can help you clarify a point and your content will be more engaging. Just remember to keep it simple … TikTok has a one-minute video time limit on their videos, so try and keep your story read-time to under the 45-second mark.
6. Use exclamation points sparingly.
Your products are on sale!! You’re offering a new service!!!
When used correctly, exclamation points help express extreme emotions like excitement, urgency, horror and protest. For maximum impact, use them sparingly on your website and social media feed. And when you do want to show your enthusiasm, one exclamation point will suffice. More than one looks unprofessional.
7. Proofread and preview.
Tight timelines and endless to-do lists can result in errors. And while you usually have the option to go back and edit your social media and online content, it’s better to be right the first time.
Before hitting “publish” on a blog post, read it through carefully, looking for grammar and punctuation errors. Then, using the preview option, proofread it one more time. It’s amazing how many tiny errors you will find. They may be in the formatting (an image could be breaking a paragraph improperly; the spacing is off in your bullet points) or in the spelling and punctuation.
Of course, if you’d much rather focus on the everyday tasks of running your business, and all of this seems like too much work, hiring a professional to manage your online presence is a wise decision. At Elowyn Press, we take pride in helping our clients do just that. Contact us today to find out how you can make the most of what you already have – your client list!