17 September 2015

Why your web content should show, not tell

Tags:Strategy, Content Strategy, Content

In the writing world, “show, don't tell” is a universal rule. But this axiom is equally relevant to the craft of creating website content that reels in your audience.

It pays to remember that talking down to your users or relying on technical jargon can put off your prospects. However, clear and persuasive content can build the kind of powerful dialogue with your customers that keeps them coming back. Here are four ways to help you show, rather than tell:

Assume your user is intelligent

Before you start producing website content, it’s critical to put yourself in your user’s shoes. This means acknowledging the fact that they’re intelligent individuals who can spot a patronising tone. Creating informative content for a digitally savvy audience is much likelier to yield real results.

Communicate your key message in diverse ways

Website content doesn’t always have to rely on the written word. Consider:

  • Refining your core message.
  • Thinking about how it would look as a short video or infographic.
  • Incorporating formats that will speak to your audience the most.

Don’t be afraid to diversify your website content as long as it tells your story in a way that’s compelling.

Inspire interaction with your site

Your website should become a destination for your users, rather than a shopfront for the things you want to sell. From buttons that encourage newsletter sign-ups to hyperlinks that encourage further browsing, sparking interaction with your customers can work magic for engagement levels.

Say goodbye to promotional language

Although it’s tempting to use marketing jargon, trying too hard to sell your brand is bound to have the opposite effect. Instead, focusing on crafting a clear, relevant message that delivers value to your customer is a much more powerful strategy. It also better demonstrates your credentials.

To forge strong relationships with your customer, your story needs to resonate with your user first. By turning “show, don't tell” into your content mantra, you’ll set the stage for an online presence that works.

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