Back to the Barre – Write Decent Web Pages

This post was written by John White on Thu, 29 Oct 2009 11:03:46 +0000
Posted Under: social media,Web content

Ballet_barreSocial media has been front and center for most marketing managers this year. Don’t overlook basics, though: You still need decent marketing communications writing on your Web site.

The folks at MarketingProfs do a magnificent job of conducting webinars and providing material for marketing managers. For about $200/year, you can have your fill of very good content that makes you think and helps you support your business cases with upper management.

They hosted a webinar today called “Rewrite Your Website to Engage Customers and Inspire Their Trust” with Erin Anderson of Brain Traffic.

About 20 minutes into the presentation, I realized that I hadn’t heard “social media,” “Twitter,” “Facebook,” “reddit,” or anything related to the category. It was like coming up for air after being underwater for 90 seconds. I’ve become so inured to hearing about social media over the last year that it actually seemed anomalous NOT to hear about it in a marketing presentation.

Good Writing for Websites

When you hire a marketing communications writer, you expect him to know and implement the kinds of things Erin emphasized in her back-to-the-barre presentation.

  • Base your content on the right questions.
    • “What do I want to tell you?” becomes “What do you want to know?”
    • “What do I want you to understand about me?” becomes “What are you trying to accomplish?”
    • “What do I want you to do?” becomes “What do you need to feel comfortable and smart?”
    • “How can I make you care?” becomes “What do you care about…really?”
  • Make your content useful, usable, findable and engaging.
  • Top ten tips for good Web writing, including:
    • Get out of your reader’s way.
    • Give them the information they came for. Quickly.
    • Make your pages easy to scan; don’t worry about making them easy to read.
    • Read your text aloud.
    • Set up a review process, and make sure you’re not your own editor.

It’s easy to overlook guidelines like these in your headlong rush to dominate the blogosphere or monetize your SEO campaign or out-tweet your competitors.

Make sure your marketing communications writer isn’t overlooking them.

John White of venTAJA Marketing posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it.

photo credit: Lambtron

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