In the marketing world, “done is better than good” is a phrase that comes up quite a bit. The idea is that marketing itself is a quantity-based industry, not necessarily a quality-based industry, and that the time it takes to perfect a marketing strategy is time that could be better spent churning out new content and new strategies.
Yet in the rush to get content published within deadlines, cybersecurity marketers often miss out on some of the smaller, simpler changes that on the surface may seem irrelevant, but in practice can make the difference between creating content that people love to read, and content that gets completely ignored.
The big picture matters
One of the most common mistakes that cybersecurity marketers make is related not to the quality of their content, but to how that content actually looks on the page. Often even the most valuable written contributions are overlooked if the layout, formatting, and design are poor. People simply won’t have the time or patience to read through content published in a way that’s displeasing to the eye, or too difficult to read and scan through with ease.
“One of the most common mistakes that #cybersecuritymarketers make is
not knowing how their #content actually looks on the page” – CLICK TO TWEET
We all know that there are only a few seconds to capture a reader’s attention before he or she is going to take off and look for answers elsewhere. Therefore, content must be ‘packaged’ in such a way that visitors feel at ease when reading it, resulting in them staying on the page longer and moving forward with subsequent actions.
What works best?
There are plenty of theories about what makes content visually appealing and easy to consume.
However, after reviewing some of the top blogs and websites online – especially those with high readership – there are a number of trends that come up:
Text is all aligned to margin – Back in school, some of us were taught to begin paragraphs by pressing “tab” and indenting the first line. With online content, that’s no longer the case. All text should be aligned to the margin. The only exception is bullet points or numbered lists, which indent naturally and draw the eye. All other content should be left justified, and no indentations.
Spacing between text is equal on each page – Proper spacing is important. Strange, unequal spacing looks sloppy and unprofessional, and quickly causes the reader to feel that quality isn’t the main focus here. Uniform spacing throughout shows an attention to detail that allows the reader to focus on the text.
Fonts are consistent in size, color, and style – Fancy formatting does no one any favors. Easy to read fonts that are consistent throughout, with headers/subheadings and body text all maintaining similar features is important for that appearance of professionalism and value.
Images are high resolution and follow a similar style/pattern – Every image you add to a service page, blog post or article helps to give it character and personality. A high resolution, high quality image is necessary, giving the reader the feeling that what they’re about to read is equally high quality.
Branding is consistent – Your website has a certain branding, a certain vibe. Some are fun while others are serious and formal. Businesses may post their content within their website, yet many do so on pages that are seemingly unconnected to the main website. The visuals – and the writing for that matter – must match the overall branding to give readers a feeling of consistency, and a feeling that they’re still in the right place.
Text is easily scannable – When it comes to online writing, it’s best to write in a way that can be easily scanned. This means using bullet points, bold subheadings, and short paragraphs. Each of these allows someone to quickly scroll down a page and find the information they’re looking for. The easier the text is to scan, the more likely a reader will invest their time in it.
“Even the best possible #cybersecuritycontent is lost if not enough
attention is given to how it’s packaged” – CLICK TO TWEET
Quality content for cybersecurity audience matters. But even the best possible content is lost if not enough attention is given to how it’s packaged. It might take a little bit of extra time to make sure that everything is where it should be, but that small amount of extra time will pay huge dividends for your readership, and your bottom line.
by Rob Cohen on February 27, 2017
As Creative Director at Penguin Strategies Rob leads Penguin's clients to marketing success by creating visually appealing content that attracts and engages users to the brand and message of each company.