You have just arrived to a party. The home you have just stepped into is immaculately decorated and you are very impressed. The host and hostess come to greet you and they are just as polished as their surroundings. Then, things fall apart. Instead of being directed to where the rest of the guests are you are led upstairs shown the master bedrooms, all of which are stunning, but nothing of interest to you, all you want is to mingle with the other guests. Without heed to your protests the tour continues, until finally you give up. You quickly look for an excuse to leave and once you find it, you are gone.
This real world scenario translates perfectly to the web. How many websites have you gone to with a specific purpose only to become so confused that you leave. You click the little ‘x’ in the corner and sigh, ‘good riddance.’ No matter who you are we all have searched for something and left because we were either shown the wrong thing or shown nothing at all. Now is time for the hard question: Could this be happening to your business? Are people coming to your website and leaving more confused then when they came?
In part this is why we started Sofionik. We were greatly concerned with the lack of quality web content, and instead of standing by and complaining, we picked up arms and decided to make a stand for making quality content available to everyone. To start this process we created a checklist of things we find to be essential for creating quality content that visitors find informative and relevant. It is as follows:
- How is your company better than the competition?
- Why should clients choose you?
- What is the biggest advantage that you offer?
- What are the unique qualities of your business?
- Why do you do what you do?
1. How is your company better than the competition?
What sets you apart? Maybe it is your great service, innovative process’, or efficiency. Does your website show this? Maybe you were sold a website that looks stunning, but is so severely depraved in regards to content, that it is as useless as a Ferrari without an engine. What the world is looking for is substance, and this is what will set you apart from your competition. At Sofionik we covet the opportunity to help our clients develop and expound on what separates them from their competitors.
2. Why should clients choose you?
Examine your own life, you choose one product over an other because you have decided that it is better than the other options available. For example, many people choose to purchase an iPhone because it offers the best environment to enjoy the content they, love, movies, music, books etc. Whereas others love Android based phones for reasons specific to their needs. The important thing is that customers get the opportunity to make the same decision process with your company. If someone goes to your site and cannot tell what makes you different from the competition the most likely will go with the competition, solely because they do not know why they shouldn’t. Do not let this happen to you.
3. What is the biggest advantage that you offer?
While as a company you may have products that offer an advantage, or two, you still may not be showcasing your biggest advantage. There are plenty of companies that have created amazing game changing products, but failed to capitalize on them. The first example that comes to mind is Tivo. There was a time when Tivo was used as a verb, much like we ‘google’ something today. What happened? They dropped the ball on their true advantage, on demand entertainment. Now with competitors like Apple TV, Google TV, and generic DVR boxes, Tivo is something of a relic in the on demand media space. And to think, it almost became a verb.
4. Why do you do what you do?
Many business schools today preach that success is developing a company until it is ready to be harvested for a great deal of money. However, imagine trying to tell that to a customer, ‘Dear sir, Would you please buy my product? Someday if I get enough people like you to purchase my product I will be able to sell my company for a lot of money.’ Something about that tells me it is not going to work. For a business to truly succeed it needs to be fueled by passion and intelligence. Take outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia as an example. They have been able to take their passion for the outdoors and create products that embody that passion. This has developed for them a loyal client base that identifies with their values and drives their business forward. So much so that they have grown their sales during a recession. So what drives your business? Do you love it? Are you passionate about what you are creating? Highlighting the passions that keep you going and infuse them into your content. Your honesty will draw people to you and foster a culture of trust that cannot be faked. (For some insightful info on understanding why you do, what you do; watch this TED video by Simon Sinek)
5. How are you going to help me?
Customers are rife with expectations. Take Starbucks as an example, customers come in and order drinks that are extremely specific with the expectation that they will be the same Starbucks to Starbucks world wide. How are you delivering to the specific needs and desires of your customers? Do you even know what makes your company more appealing than the other guy’s? Establishing a clear and definitive message that sets an expectation of customer satisfaction is essential. Take Zappos for example. Zappos takes pride in selling shoes with a very generous return policy, it might seem foolhardy but it works. Why? Because it satisfies the customers needs and desires to get shoes conveniently and with a guarantee that they will fit, and if not they can send them back for free. The customer knows what to expect from Zappos and loves them for it. Do your customers know what they are really getting from you?
So What Now?
If we can offer one piece of advice it would be this: content drives your business. This content has to be refined, and crafted in such a way that it communicates with your customers in a relevant and purposeful way. Sofionik thrives on helping companies draw out their passions and capabilities and relate them to customers through quality content. We not only create the content, but we integrate it into the design of your site so that it enhances your sites ability to rank high in search engine query results bringing you more traffic that in turn leads to more business for you. It takes a lot of effort, from the client and the Sofionik team, to create winning content strategies, but we believe that with hard work and determination your business can establish a strong web presence.