We're all dressed up or down and off to go interneting. And by interneting, we mean we're going content consuming.
You're dressed up. I'm dressed up. So what we want to ask is: What's your content wearing?
No, this isn't your CMS trying to seduce you. It's a valid question. As we've discussed many times
here, there's much more to content than management. You are what you wear or what you eat...or some such thing. And the same goes for your content. So let's talk about its personality.It's all about letting your content express itself and show its true colors. Before a word is even written, ask yourself "who is my content?", "what's it look like?", "what's it's attitude?". Personifying your content is a good way to conceive of its voice. To develop a persona
, determine the characteristics of your content. Is it:
* Formal, casual, snarky?
* Chit-chatty or straight to the point?
Figuring out content characteristics in advance will help to set the tone for the site and for the customers.
Tailor Your Content's Clothes
Users like to feel special, spoken to. Tailoring your content to fit their needs is essential if you want to sustaining a readership and achieve a rapport. The content of a parenting site
should be different from the content of a science site. By making your content conversational and less formal it can convey a message of warmth and understanding, while more formal and sophisticated content reveals a focus on business and the bottom-line...or worse, perhaps a dated style of communication.
If your content is wearing jeans and talking to men in suits, the message will likely have less impact. Learn how to speak your reader's language, literally and figuratively. Many sites provide dynamic content in both English and Spanish, among other relevant languages.
A Catalog of Style
Incorporating a style guide
is also helpful. Not only will it help to establish branding details like fonts, colors and logos; it can be used to establish a consistent voice for your communications.
Often the scope of style guides goes beyond the web, offering templates for letters and emails. Update guides accordingly and in a timely manner. Seasons change and content can go out of style just as easily as tapered slacks.
Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile
Of course using the wardrobe metaphor can get a little old, but don't let it stop you from learning more about how your existing content was developed and how to create new content.
Best of all, let your content express your company's passion for what you do. Writing content that embraces your customers' qualities and values will bring them back time and again to a place where they feel as comfortable as their favorite pair of jeans.