Think about this for just second: Would you do business with someone you don’t trust? Probably not. So, how do you make sure when you create content that it oozes trust and credibility? You could do it by linking to statistics of respected publications, like this or this or even this. Throw in something from the Harvard Business Review and you’re golden, right?
Maybe. Maybe not.
Visual Appeal Is Critical
While facts and figures are important, our brains are far more engaged by storytelling than facts. How you tell the story can be as important as the story you tell.
How your content looks when visitors first click on a link is critical. You’ve got to make that first impression quickly if you want visitors to engage with your content. Consider these three facts:
- 90 percent of the information your brain processes is visual.
- Nearly half of consumers (46%) assess site credibility based on the overall appeal of visual design and layout.
- Users form opinions on content within the first 50 milliseconds of viewing it. That’s right, you’ve got 0.001 of a second to impress someone!
When visitors don’t like the immediate look and feel of the content, they rarely take the time to read it. That sends a negative quality message and hurts credibility.
Increasing Your Visual Appeal
These simple tips can help make your content more visually appealing, project credibility, and make for easier reading:
- Short paragraphs to break up your text
- Short, descriptive headings and subheadings
- Bullet points and lists when appropriate
- Naturally working keywords into the text
- Links to related content on company-owned and/or high-quality websites
Compelling visuals and graphics can help guide visitors to important facts. Data visualization can help take complex datasets and present them in an easy-to-understand way.
Relatable images, such as photos, help showcase your work. They also make it more shareable on social media.
Then, there’s video. Video on content can increase engagement and conversions by as much as 80 percent. If you have the ability to use video, do it.
If you are writing content with the goal of capturing leads or asking visitors to take a specific action, working the request naturally into the copy is the most effective way to get conversations. Demonstrate a throughout knowledge of the subject at hand and then offer a specific way your product or service can add significant value.
Putting these calls-to-action in context helps avoid that feeling that the entire purpose of the content is just to sell you on something. If it feels like an advertisement, it hurts credibility.
Visual Impact And Retention
A visually appealing presentation also helps people retain information. Since familiarity is a key component of brand trust, the better people remember the value of your content, the more likely they are to associate your brand with trustworthiness and quality.
People simply remember pictures better than words, especially over time. It’s called the Picture Superiority Effect. Research shows that we are likely to retain just 10% of the information we read three days later. Text combined with relevant images and visual layouts had to a 65% recall during the same period.
The look and feel of your content can draw people in. It can help send a quality signal. It can evoke trust and credibility. However, none of that matters if people don’t find value in what they are reading. Make sure everything you create has a unique, underlying value that makes it worth the reader’s time. If it doesn’t have that value, you can damage any credibility you already have.
Make sure your content supports your brand. The best way to do this is by creating a messaging architecture and then making sure each content piece reflects that brand.
Creating High-Value Content
Creating visually appealing, high-value content can be a complex and time-consuming job. That’s why so many leading brands have turned to WriterAccess for their content marketing needs. Our easy-to-use content platform connects brands with experienced writers with just a few simple clicks.
Paul D. has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist writing news stories for some of the country’s top news organizations. For the past 10 years, Paul D. has worked as a marketing and advertising expert, working with hundreds of clients. He writes clear, concise, compelling copy that converts. He has won more than 30 award for writing and journalistic excellence from NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) Emmy Awards, Associated Press, RTNDA (Radio & Televison News Directors Association), Society of Professional Journalists, and more.