I love the excitement of Amsterdam’s open air markets. Fruits – vegetables – chicken – fish. Like so many commodities, you can buy anything by the kilo ……… anything but web content.
Therein lies the challenge for large corporations – everywhere. Too many companies still treat web content as a commodity you can buy in bulk. To them, web content is an afterthought. It’s something you do at the end of a long web development process.
Too often, I hear “we are going live in four weeks, we need 100 pages written, how much?” This commodity thinking may help you meet a deadline but it won’t result in good content. Good content is not about producing web pages in quantity. It’s about creating and fine tuning content that engages your audience. And that takes time.
So the next time you re-launch your corporate site, surprise your copywriters. Call them in at the beginning of the process. If you don’t already have a content strategy, let your writers create one. Make sure it’s clear what you are trying to achieve and who you are trying to reach. Then create a plan and an internal process to make it all happen.
Takeway – Good web content can be a strategic asset, which engages your audience and builds your brand. However, if you treat web content like a commodity … you will get what you pay for.
Like this post? Share it. Written by Don Seidenberg
Creating a great website requires a single minded focus on customers and a passion to improve the user experience. It’s very much like creating the ultimate sushi – just ask Jiro Ono, a master sushi chef.
His restaurant is quite modest, just ten stools situated in a Tokyo subway station. Jiro has been making sushi for over 70 years. Although he is the first sushi chef to receive three Michelin stars, he still strives to perfect his craft – always looking to improve taste and the customer experience.
His secret recipe: combine the best ingredients with the right processes. Jiro selects suppliers with great care. He has separate suppliers for different types of fish. He prefers experts who, like himself, strive to improve product quality. His workers spend years learning how to dry, cut and prepare a fish. Before octopus is served, it is massaged 50 minutes to give it a tender taste.
To give your website a tender taste, take Jiro’s advice. Work only with experts, who are dedicated to improving their services. Select the very best pros in interaction design, usability, programming, content strategy and copywriting. Make sure everyone is a skilled problem solver, who can work in a team towards a common goal.
Be critical and improve your internal processes. Put content at the heart of your web development process. Hire a content strategist at the beginning of the project to align your business goals with content. Do a content audit – know what content you already have and what content you still need.
Step into your customers’ shoes. Understand your company from their perspective. Once you understand their needs, find good writers and provide them a proper briefing. Give them a clear who, what, why and how. Then let them do their magic to engage your customers.
Takeaway – Like I learned from Jiro, never stop improving your craft. Combine the best ingredients with right processes. Users will be happy and your website will taste great. If you want to be inspired, watch the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
Like this post? Share it. Written by Don Seidenberg.