Content is the lifeblood of your digital presence and brand online and beyond. There is a misunderstanding about the word “content” in the digital marketing world. Content is not only words, but it includes imaging, digital messaging in terms of layout, presentation, charts, graphs, and yes, words. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the Gospel and when necessary use words.” Faith and spiritual beliefs aside this applies to digital media. Think about it.
Writing content (words) for digital media is different than writing a sales brochure, news release, book, or something in printed form. Many clients of digital marketing firms blindly accept content from a writer without reviewing the messaging and tone. Good digital writers base their content on conversations with business owners or company leadership. They research the competitive landscape and dig deep into their client’s brand with confidentiality. They are trying to capture the essence of the product, brand, or service that is being offered. They want to be creative and provide a compelling story while resisting the temptation to be cute, or too funny. Humor has value, but you must be careful when using it in the promotion of a business.
Great writers feed off the feedback and constructive criticism from their clients. They don’t take it personally because they want to get the messaging right for the client. They also want to be honest in what they’ve written. So if your company is trying to position itself as a compassionate company and it’s really not therein lies the conundrum. Great writers struggle with this every day. They have an ethic, but they also have a duty to perform for their company and its clients. Every responsible writer wants to be able to sleep at night knowing they wrote the truth and that they did not plagiarize someone else’s thoughts or words without attribution.
If you have engaged a content writer or digital media firm they need you to participate in the process. You are the subject matter expert in your field, but they are the subject matter in their field. Provide feedback, editing and review their content with intention. But also be willing to listen to their reasoning behind the content based on their conversations with you, decision-makers, and research. This makes for a digital win-win!
Web designers (digital production) have spent years designing successful websites. You’ve obviously chosen a digital media firm based on its breadth of work and reputation. Trust them to get it right, but don’t be afraid to tell them if they missed it, or you don’t like the “look and feel” of a proposed site. They thrive on clients’ input because it’s your site, not theirs. They want you to be pleased with their results in expanding your brand awareness, driving traffic, and providing you with a high ROI.
Experienced web designers and developers never want to provide a client with someone that doesn’t fit their brand. Like their writer’s they want to get it right. Remember, all of these talented people you have engaged to promote your brand or company are creatives. However, while they came to dream and envision a particular “look and feel” for your business they want it to be something you love and want. Designers do as much, if not more research than writers. They have a sense of what works and what doesn’t. Listen to their expertise and reasoning behind the design, but don’t be afraid to offer constructive criticism. After all, you are the client and their desire is to exceed your expectations and deliver tangible results. When they ask for images, logos and digital content they want what you think is the best portrait to tell your company’s story. So be specific in image selection. Don’t just dump 100 image files into a folder and expect them to know what best represents your business. You are the subject matter expert and you know what captures the essence of your business, products, or services. Don’t leave that selection up to an untrained eye in your industry. At the same time be willing to push the envelope in terms of digital design through a seasoned expert.
At WebSpeak Media we have been designing and telling clients digital stories for over 20 years. We don’t just “do websites” we partner with clients to tell their digital stories in innovative and creative ways that generate traffic and provide a strong ROI over time. Our company is intentionally small, family-owned, and local. We are nimble and because we don’t have the layers of a huge firm we can provide results without having to go through multiple decision-makers. Contact us today for more information on how we can help your company tell its digital story in a compelling way that generates results and provides value.
Charlie Carter, Partner
Greer, South Carolina 29651