Web content. Everybody's talking about it and everybody's got an opinion on it (if you haven't then you should get one!). Once it was King, or is it Queen? Whichever monarch it is we know it's important. We know it's text, images, videos, animations and sounds. But how can it help me increase sales? How can it get users to do what we want them to do?
What's this content for?
If you don't know what function the content serves the chances are it won't be very useful to anybody. It must actively support and promote a business goal. Lovely looking stuff just for its own sake is unlikely to work.
More than just something you spend money on
In business we'd prefer to spend money on things that help us to achieve our business goals and make us money. That means we don't mind spending money on things we know are likely to get orders, seal deals, generate leads, raise awareness and so on. Really good web content is an incredibly efficient way of doing just that. Here's a few examples:
Well written case studies can tell stories people can relate to, targeting customer pain points and confirm that your business is the right choice.
Good video content can engage and articulate a message in a compelling way.
Infographics can make a complex message easy to understand, visually pleasing and very sharable.
Blog content can establish credentials, offer insight and grow your influence.
Testimonials and endorsements can provide social evidence to build trust.
Good web content should convey key messages clearly. It gets you found and it gets shared. It should guide users and be helpful for them so that their online experience is a positive one. It should be like a trusted friend and should never confuse or frustrate. At its best it will make it easier for users to do what it is you actually want them to do, which is ultimately good for your business.