Guest Post by Amy Newton
Everyone who owns a business wants to tell the world about it. Sometimes, owners want to tell the world so much about what they can do, what they have recently done, and so on, that their websites or brochures are crammed full of content. While there isn’t any harm in writing about your services, expertise, and accolades, especially to help bolster business, is that all really necessary? Can the content be scaled down to get to the core — the “meat” — of what you do?
There isn’t any judgment about your writing here. We have all used business jargon, too many adjectives, and too many words in general. Whether you are writing text for a brochure or your website, getting to the point of what your company does and offers is achievable.
Plan your content
Let’s start with the nuts and bolts of your marketing material before we talk clutter. Think about the communication form you will be using and the information you want to provide to your potential customer. For brochures, decide if you need an eight-page, stapled booklet or an 8.5×11 sheet. If you are creating or refreshing a website, decide how many menu pages are necessary to focus on your company.
For either project, you will want to separate your content into pages or sections that are easy to identify. Titles/headers and lists are simple ways to break up paragraphs of text.
Keep it Simple
Once you have decided on the size of the printed material and/or menu of your website, text is next. Strike the balance of giving your client enough information about your company, while not making them click away because of text overload. A simple way to do this is to categorize what you want to include:
- Need to Have
- Nice to Have
Need to Have information is easy to identify. This can include: a brief overview of your company, the services or products your company offers, years of service/expertise, and company contact information.
Nice to Have information is the content that is extra padding. This includes: testimonials or recommendations, bios of team members, lengthy photo galleries or galleries that show projects many years old.
It isn’t wrong to include any of the information in the Nice to Have category. You will just need to be stronger with your editing because these areas can get unwieldy.
Keep in mind when writing content for your website on how it will translate to other devices. If you have to scroll down several times when reading your text on a desktop computer, think about how much scrolling one will have to do from a mobile device. While some are more willing to scroll for a little while, nobody likes to scroll forever.
Before you Post or Print 10,000 Copies
When in doubt if your content is clean and simple, take a step back, get a cup of coffee, and come back to review your text. Chances are you will find a sentence or two, or maybe a paragraph, that can be edited or deleted altogether. Time is valuable. Get to the point so that your potential customer can find what they need and contact you to get started.