Every website project that Marketpath does follows the same process. There is a hefty discovery portion of the project where we’ll discover everything from target audience & goals for the site, to design elements that will be utilized. One question we always ask is about actual content on the site. Who is going to write it? What are you targeting? Are you a good writer?
Unfortunately, the content creation portion of a project is usually the portion of the projects that drag out the longest. There are usually three different approaches to it (listed here from worst approach to the best):
Migrating old content to the new site
This is, by far, the worst approach that any company or organization can take. Your old content was boring and doesn’t convert well (if it did, you wouldn’t be reworking your site). Why would you want to mess up a fresh new site with stale content? The reason this approach gets used so often, however, is that it’s the easy way out. It doesn’t take any additional work, and therefore doesn’t cost any additional money. However, not investing the time (or budget) into new content is just assuring your organization that the money spent on a new design was wasted.
Writing Content Internally
This approach, while better than just migrating the old stuff over to the new site, still leaves a lot to be desired. Unless you have copywriters on staff, it is difficult for anyone within an organization to take a step back and write from a fresh vantage point. Ultimately, you’re going to just polish up the old, stale content, utilizing the same boring, non-converting words and phrases. Being entrenched in the day-to-day operations of a business can leave the mind at a loss when trying to create compelling content.
Outsourcing to a Professional
Ah, yes…we have a winner. Within any new website budget, there should be a line item for content writing. Depending on which firm you choose to work with, they may offer this service, so be sure to discuss it. If the firm doesn’t offer a copywriting service, ask who they would recommend. There are plenty of good writers (and companies) out there that make a living generating new content for companies. Having a fresh take can prove to be an invaluable asset. Another tip if you choose to outsource – think beyond your website. Many of these writers will offer packages that can give you white papers, case studies, blog posts, and a myriad of different types of content. Explore all your options.
The main takeaway: Content shouldn’t be an afterthought. It is just as, if not more, important as a new design, new functionality, or a new brand. Take that into consideration and you’ll have a much better chance at seeing a return on your investment.