If you have invested significant resources into consistently posting articles to your blog and promoting your content through various social media platforms, but you haven’t seen any significant return on investment, it may be that your content itself is the problem. There are several reasons why your posted content may be under-performing and not encouraging the increase in sales you had hoped for. If you can correct some of the most common missteps people make in producing online content, you may then actually see the kind of return you’ve been looking for.
Failing to identify product benefits
If your content has been full of descriptions of the great features provided by your products, that can be very appealing, but it overlooks one very important aspect of truly engaging the reader. While readers may be very interested in knowing about all the bells and whistles provided by your products, you can’t assume that they will automatically make the connection themselves as to how those features will benefit them.
What you really need to do is explicitly describe in your content the benefits to readers, so that nothing is left to chance. For example, if you were to write some content which states that your new electric vehicle runs on a rechargeable battery rather than on gasoline, that describes a feature, not a benefit. If you really want to appeal to a user, you have to tell them that since your electric car is powered by a battery rather than by gasoline, harmful carbon emissions can be eliminated, fuel costs can be reduced, the environment can be saved, and the owner will still be able to enjoy all the advantages of owning a vehicle.
While you might be tempted to provide a simple description of features to keep things short and sweet, simplicity is not always the best way to go. By failing to identify the benefits of a product to the user, you are relying on them to make those connections themselves, and that’s just not going to happen with the majority of readers. It’s also possible that readers can completely misunderstand your intent when you’re providing a list of features rather than benefits.
To make things crystal-clear, you’re better off to explicitly list all the benefits of your product and provide some visual support to actually depict those benefits in use. If this results in content which is longer than what you really want to post, it’s still better to avoid ambiguity or complete misunderstanding, by including an explicit listing of benefits. It’s also true that search engines favor posts which are somewhat longer, and that means more users will be directed to your website.
You aren’t providing proper motivation
While providing a listing of benefits is important, it’s not enough to actually close the sale. For that, you will also need to include some kind of call to action, which directs the user to either buy something now, contact you immediately, or call for free quotes or inquiries. Providing your users with proper motivation also includes fully involving potential customers with the experience of making use of your product.
In situations like these, you have to develop content which relates to the user very personally and fully immerses them in the experience. You can customize your message by including a user’s first name or their geographic location, but that falls far short of engaging with them. What you really need to do, is put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers, and write content which actually motivates them to purchase your product.
As an example, consider the new vehicle previously mentioned, which runs on a rechargeable battery. If you can write content about this product which fully engages your readers, they’ll probably be much more motivated to purchase than they would have been, with even a full listing of benefits provided.
One way you could do this would be to talk about the people in your reader’s neighborhood would be affected by carbon emissions, possibly triggering respiratory problems or an asthma attack. Everyone in your reader’s neighborhood would undoubtedly breathe a little easier if more people were driving vehicles with rechargeable batteries, rather than those which generated a high volume of carbon emissions.
Your content doesn’t look professional
Nothing turns off a reader faster than content which is full of grammatical errors, misspellings, typos, or run-on sentences. As soon as any kind of content becomes difficult to read or raises the possibility of misunderstanding in the reader’s mind, it’s likely to be abandoned. Numerous studies which have been conducted on the subject have concluded that simple spelling errors have probably led to millions of dollars worth of lost sales.
The Better Business Bureau has warned Internet surfers that one very prominent red flag with email scammers and website scammers, is the proliferation of grammatical errors and misspellings. When you have a number of mistakes in your content, it can seriously damage your credibility and your professionalism, and that in turn, is very likely to depress your sales.
In conclusion, there are at least three ways of improving the performance of your online content, so that you’ll know it isn’t the content itself which is preventing sales figures from rising to levels you were hoping for. The first improvement is to describe the benefits of your product rather than its features, including enough content to guarantee clarity and understanding. The second enhancement is to provide motivation for potential customers by including a call-to-action, and by immersing them in the experience of using your product.
The third way of ensuring that your content is performing optimally is to provide your readers with content which is mistake-free, highly readable, and relevant to their daily lives. If you can consistently produce content like this, you should be able to boost the performance of your online content, and that in turn should lead to increased sales for your business. Your content should be clear and concise, and length should be determined by the need to fully describe your product, rather than by any arbitrary word count.