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3 Secrets to Create Great Web Content that Converts

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 11/10/10 1:00 PM

Guest Post by Ovetta Sampson, Write Way Writing

We all understand the power of online marketing. Even those selling red-eyed toads have a market and the Internet helps them find each other.  But the key to success isn’t the medium. It’s the message. Content is king but GREAT web content converts browsers into buyers.

What Is GREAT Web Content?

To create GREAT web content it helps to know what it looks like.   When you think of great sales copy what comes to mind? For me, it is brands like: Nike (Just Do It!), American Express (Don’t Leave Home without It!) and a new favorite GEICO – 15 minutes can save you 15% or more. Let’s start with GEICO.

 (Wait a minute, this an advertising line, not web content!)

Secret 1: Great Web content starts with great copy no matter the venue. The copy must be clear, concise, compelling and relevant to be effective.

Secret 2: Great Web content is attention-grabbing, unique and simple.

So back to GEICO … 15 MINUTES COULD SAVE YOU 15% OR MORE. What I love about this copy is that it is brilliantly simple. In eight words it says: “Try us. It’ll be quick and painless and you could get some extra cash.” It speaks to its audience. Who hasn’t wanted to change their insurance company, especially after a rate hike? It speaks to the busy lives of consumers. You ever been on the phone with an insurance company, it takes an hour just to get through? And it does it all without clutter.

Average visit time on a website can range from less to 10 seconds to 2 minutes – so you have no time to waste. Grab then while you got them.

Secret 3: Great Web content can also come from user-generated content.

Recently, Pepsi started a $20-million social media campaign, presumably with a goal of getting more people engaged with its brand. The Pepsi Refresh Project offers consumers a way to pitch ideas to help their favorite causes. It’s old-school cause-marketing meets new school social media networks. Right now, Pepsi has nearly 800,000 fans. Sounds good. But then I went to Coca-Cola’s Fan page.

I was blinded by the flurry of activity and the SIX MILLION followers. Now, I’m sure a lot went into this number disparity but one glaring difference between Pepsi’s and Coke’s fan pages is that there’s not a single fan posting on Pepsi’s page. Sure there are fan comments but the postings all come from Pepsi. While Coke is drowning in fan postings, updates, photos, videos and - here’s the last and final secret –user-generated content.

As we said, great web content has to be relevant and NOTHING is more relevant than content that connects people with each other. Great Web content drives buyers to connect with your brand, each other and their pocketbooks. To be sure, Coke had a strong following, but few events create more pressure to buy something than seeing other people enjoy it. And Coke happily encouraged this with a little prodding including asking folks to “Upload a photo of you drinking Coke,” and post pictures of “Where have you had a Coke lately?” This is all about Coke’s “fan’s first,” social media strategy.

When I look at Pepsi’s page I see a company forcing content. When I look at Coke’s page I see my friends, family enjoying life and I want some more of that. (And I’m not even a Coke drinker but I’m now starting to think I’m missing something.) You want your website visitors to purchase something, and nothing convinces a person to part with their money more than a word or referral from a friend. So make sure your content doesn’t just come from you. Throw in customer reviews, comments, testimonies, pictures and blogs. Let the people who buy your product help you tell your story.

Topics: social media, copywriting, guest blog post, online copywriting