Expert Tips for Marketers and Web Designers to Make Corporate Web Sites Tell a Better Sounding Story
Your company website has just gone through a major overhaul. You’ve refreshed the 80s –era logo that the founder’s wife loved, updated colors and typeface (who knew there was something more than Times Roman?) and your web design team has integrated some WordPress plugins to enable interactive features for site visitors. All in all, your web site now reflects the corporate image you want to portray – it looks like you.
But does your web site sound like you?
What I mean is, does the content on your web site reflect your brand story today? Or is it just a reflowed version of the content that existed on your old brochures? Are you greeting your site visitors with a tone that reflects your corporate personality? Are you using terms that are “in-house” or your-department-lingo?
It may be that content was not the top priority during your branding initiative. And when visitors come to your site, chances are they’ll discover content that hasn’t been updated to reflect the real you.
So here are a few Expert Tips for Marketers and Web Designers to Make Corporate Web Sites Tell a Better Sounding Story:
- Sell it the way your customer wants to buy it. You may like calling your product an “air and brush-driven consumer cleaning technology” but your customers call it a vacuum. Use terms your customers expect to see when they come to your web site. Ask a customer what they think about your content. Better yet, conduct a focus group of customers or potential customers and don’t tell the participants who your company is, just provide them with copy to review. You may be surprised at the results.
- Skip the jargon. Technology companies are notorious for using TLAs (three letter acronyms), industry terms and jargon when describing their products and services. Other industries aren’t much better – especially non-profits and government agencies. They love to spend time thinking up words whose initials form a longer term – SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), OPAL (in NY state, Online Permit Assistance and Licensing). No one is immune to jargon – I call our brand story telling services Brand telling What to do? Use terms that your customers understand and can remember. Need to use a term? Explain it. An acronym? Spell it out the first time you use it.
- Use your voice to show you care. If your organization makes a product for executives, make sure your site copy reflects the professional language that you would use in a corporate office setting. If you’re building a site for teens, you might want to skip what you think are some “kewl wordz, yo.” My daughter just loves when I ask her if she needs me to pick up her posse after school. Eye rolling is probably not the reaction you want your site to create.
- Show, don’t Tell. Brand Identity Attributes are adjectives and other descriptive language that help creatively articulate all the ways you express your brand – through content, graphics, interactive and physical (like your building and the big logo thing in front of it). These attributes can help you express that intangible, yet unmistakable, character of your brand’s persona. Make a list of the words that reflect your company’s brand and see how to best use these words – and avoid using others – in your site copy.
Try these tips and you’ll be building a better sounding site in no time!