Monday, November 28, 2022

Your website content is more than just words on a page. It’s important to deliver content that is engaging to your users. Knowing exactly what type of content works best for your audience helps you convert more visitors into users who take action.  

Gone are the days of long-winded copy and run-on sentences. The reality is that words matter. Your user doesn’t want to feel bogged down by endless copy. They want to feel connected to your site, program or department and driven by a call to action that speaks to their needs.  

There are many different ways to write content but those words are only effective if it engages your target audience. By following these steps, you can create engaging content that matters. 

Tips for creating engaging content 

  1. Identify and understand your target audience – Your website might serve one or several target audiences. They could be prospective students, current students, graduate students, faculty, staff, researchers, alumni or community members. Identifying and understanding your audience and what messages resonate with them will help you in crafting engaging content.  

  2. Know your unit or departmental messages – Your departmental or unit messages are at the core of your content. Are you wanting your user to apply to a particular program? Work at the University of Iowa? Connect with critical information related to their degree program? Learn about departmental policies? Donate to a department? Knowing your key messages helps you have a greater understanding of your “selling points.” Those key messages will help you craft content for your site and ensure it is reinforced to the user as they navigate it.  

  3. Align with institutional messaging – While your department or unit will have its own unique messages, it is also important to align that with institutional messages. Aligning messaging also helps to ensure your site is speaking with the same institutional voice. The University of Iowa brand website provides tips and resources for institutional messaging.  

  4. Use audience-focused language - Your audience is ultimately concerned with what your unit, department or program can do for them. Instead of focusing on accomplishments from a departmental perspective, use those accomplishments and frame achievements as user-focused. 

  5. Take a break – Writing website copy and content can be a time-consuming and challenging process. Often times you can develop writer’s block or have a hard time coming up with different ways to communicate your key messages. Taking a short break can help you refocus and take a fresher look at copy. Additionally, tools like CopyAI are a great resource to provide you with fresh ways of communicating content.  

Writing content that matters is taking the words on a page and making them come to life. Having engaging content will help your department or unit tell your story, drive your user to a call to action, and will leave your audience feeling connected to the University of Iowa.