The internet has democratized marketing, putting multinational corporations and mom and pop shops on equal footing. In the age of digital marketing, it’s important to keep your tool belt heavy with emerging strategies and techniques. Competition can be cut-throat, but effectively using the tools at your disposal can make your business stand out from the crowd.
No matter which digital marketing strategy you employ, a well-designed website is crucial to making your brand feel professional and trustworthy. Learn how to design a website that compliments your content marketing strategy in the article below.
I. The importance of content marketing
Assuming the taste remains the same, would you be more likely to buy a packet of chips from “Fryd” which markets their chips as is or from “Fritz” which gives you a recipe for a quick snack to make with the chips?
Potential and existing customers are more likely to trust a product when the brand regularly supplies them with reliable guides and information. Buffer is a social media-tracking app that gained success through its transparent blog about social media, analytics and the inner workings of the company. Content marketing usually involves the distribution of articles and blogs but other forms of media like podcasts, videos and tutorials should also be considered. A good content marketing strategy keeps the brand in the buyer’s mind when it’s time for a purchase. It also gives the customer an excuse to revisit and interact with your brand even when they’re not looking to buy.
Companies with a content strategy have a 30% higher growth rate than those who do not. In addition, companies with a content strategy have a 5% to 10% better customer retention1 rate. It is also affordable. Content marketing costs about 62% less than traditional marketing tactics, and it generates about 3 times2 as many leads.
Your company’s website is potentially the first thing your customer will see, so it’s important to make a good impression. Impactful web design is essential to all aspects of a company’s digital marketing strategy, including content marketing.
II. Designing an impactful website
Just like how a brick and mortar store needs aisles that are easy to walk through, your website needs to be accessible. Relevant information should be easy to find and to read. If the reader is forced to look through page after page to find what they’re searching for, they will move to a competitor’s website instead. Drop down menus and search bars can enable users to find information quickly. Mobiles account for around 50% of web usage worldwide3, so your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices as well as desktops.Mobile bounce rates are about 10% to 20% higher4 than desktops, so it's especially important to maintain the user’s interest.
Buildings should have wheelchair accessible entrances, and the content on your website should be accessible to people with visual or hearing impairments. For those with visual impairments, create a site compatible with screen readers that read text out loud. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people should be provided with transcripts for audio and captioned videos. Some people with mobility issues may not be able to use a mouse properly, so having a website that can be navigated with only a keyboard will make your content accessible to them.
On the internet, a good looking website is equivalent to a sturdy store-front at a prime location. The appearance of a website can build or break trust in a customer. It takes about 50 milliseconds for a user to form an opinion5 about your website and decide whether they’ll stay or leave. Early internet days when you could throw all your information onto a single web page are long gone. When used minimally, bright colours can add charm to your website, but overusing them can be jarring to the user. Make sure to use a clean and organized layout that users find appealing to navigate. An outdated design and clutter not only turn the user away from the website, but can also make your entire brand feel suspicious and disreputable. Nobody is visiting the store in a dark alley with a falling signboard, no matter what they’re selling.
Typography is not always grand lettering that pops out of the screen. Good typography can also be invisible. Readers don’t always notice text that is organized well, but they always do when it isn’t. Readability is affected by the font, size and colour used in the text. Use a clean, simple font that has been optimized for the web. Montserrat and Raleway are great options available for free on Google Fonts. Maintain a minimum font size of 16px so that it's readable across all devices. Make sure that the background and text use colours that are highly contrasting. Black and white are safe options when it comes to articles and blogs. Balance text with adequate white space so that the reader’s eyes aren’t hurt.
Use headings and subheadings to break up large chunks of text and format text that allows the reader’s eyes to move from one word to another seamlessly. Don't leave the last word of a sentence or paragraph dangling in a separate line. It breaks the flow and makes the paragraph look unappealing.
Organize your information architecture well so that users can navigate the website with ease. Ensure that your pages load quickly to maintain your user’s attention. Clickable buttons should remain consistent throughout the website, and should be differentiated from non-clickable elements. Format content in a way that users will understand the gist even from a quick scan.
An overlooked aspect of user experience is error handling. Display the correct error message to help them understand what went wrong. You can even incorporate some personality to add some levity to an otherwise irksome experience. Look at Google’s pixelated dinosaur game that can be accessed when Google Chrome is offline. It distracts the user from their inactive internet connection and offers a fun alternative instead, creating a positive opinion of the brand in the user’s mind.
There’s a reason movies are more popular than books, and why students jitter with excitement when a projector is pulled out in class. 65%6 of people are visual learners, so it’s important to use images whenever possible to convey information. Your image should relate to the content being shared, and add value to it. Generic images may seem like an easy solution, but will quickly fail to distinguish you from the crowd. Try using custom illustrations or a photograph with interesting context behind it. Photos and videos should be easy to scroll through and should refrain from taking over the entire screen. You can use graphs to charts to easily contextualize data for the reader, while also breaking the monotony of text. Infographics can simplify information and also give the reader something easy to share among their circles. They are also a good excuse to add personality to the content being presented. An otherwise boring topic can be made lighthearted and fun with the help of a clever infographic.
No matter how well-designed your website is, it is only the hook. You need to reel in your customers with content that is useful and reliable. Use language that the target audience is accustomed to and don’t use gratuitous vernacular unnecessary jargon. Keep your blogs concise and your podcasts entertaining. Originality and sincerity are always appreciated, so cater to real people who will use your product, and not to search engines. The sci-fi movies are right: algorithms are evolving, but instead of looking to cause genocide, they’re looking to provide users with valuable information.
III. Partnering with a digital content marketing agency
You can try to fix the leak in your pipes (and accidentally cause a mini-flood), or you can hire a plumber. Creating a marketing plan for your company can get taxing, considering how vast the playing field is. Hiring a marketing agency is a great investment towards building a brand and promoting it digitally. An agency with a team of marketing professionals has the expertise and experience to find the right strategy for you. They can also help scale strategies that work to reach an even larger audience. It can also be helpful to gain the perspective of people outside of your company. They may provide you with a broader take that you were too close to see.
At Langoor, we’re dedicated towards helping businesses grow by constructing advertisement strategies that inform and persuade their customers. Join us to receive expert content marketing services, and to tailor a website to suit the needs of your buyers.