What makes a content experience effective?

Digital Proposals Microsites
Team making a business strategy

These days, with so much online pitching going online, it’s extra important to put effort into ensuring that content experiences are crafted as effectively and expertly as possible.

At Zoomforth, we’ve helped countless selling teams and organizations to build better online microsites to communicate with target audiences ranging from buying committees to potential job candidates.

Here are some of the best practices we have developed from that experience.

Make your hierarchy easily visible

Site hierarchy designer tips Left: cluttered navigation. Right: just right!

When writing for SEO, authors are commonly advised to develop their text from an outline and then order sections into H1, H2, and H3 tags according to their priority in the flow of the text. It’s not only search engines that like pages of text that are well organized into a fixed hierarchy.

When developing microsites, it’s advisable to make sure that your pages adhere to a very clear visual hierarchy. Readers tend to scan online text rather than read it linearly. Those designing online content experiences must bear in mind that readers are likely to jump to the sections that interest them and skip over the rest of the text entirely. The key to doing that? Section headings.

Use your space wisely

Developing sites according to a column layout is a great way to pack a lot of information into a short amount of pixel space — saving the recipient from having to scroll through reams of text. Nevertheless, attempting to cram too much information, or leaving empty patches, are both likely to leave an undesirable impression on the reader. Here are some ways to avoid that:

White space design tips Left: too much whitespace. Right: just right

Pay attention to your navigation bar

If you’re developing a content experience for a group of people, like a buying team, then the site navigation matters a lot more than you might think. The finance representative on the receiving team is likely interested mostly in the financials. The recruitment or HR representative wants to know about the company background. If you’re using a website as a modern upgrade on a pitch deck, then make sure that it’s easy for recipients to jump to the parts of the site that interest them.

If you don’t include a clear navigation, and spread relevant links throughout the appropriate anchor text, you risk negating a lot of the benefits that microsites have to offer over text documents or presentations. Some specific tips to make your content experience more navigable include:

Navigation bar design simple

Use the same font throughout!

Professional brands pour extensive resources into standardizing their brand. This extends to layout elements such as font types, font points, and colors. Our recommendation: borrow a page from the professionals and do the same.

Even if you don’t want to invest the time in creating formal branding guidelines and a style guide, you can still take some basic steps. These include:

Purposeless images are… purposeless

A picture speaks a thousand words. But a stock image that has absolutely no relevance to your microsite might speak … none at all.

Landing page design simple and clear Left: a non value-adding image. Right: better!

We’re all constantly being encouraged to be more visual. However, at the same time it’s important that everything you include in your content experience adds value to the reader. These days, with so many meetings and introductions happening remotely, it’s important to strive for authenticity. Stock imagery can achieve the opposite effect — sending a message to a client that your communication is a cookie-cutter formula that uses elements that you didn’t develop yourself.

Review your content experiences. If you have images that don’t add any value, you can simply replace them with text. Keep the pictures for those visuals that will really drive home a message about why your company is the obvious choice for the job/project/hire.

Make sure to also:

Pixel width for collumn design in tables Column pixel reference. Download it here.

Other tips and tricks

You should also:

Pixel width for collumn design in tables Left: stuffed above the fold content. Right: just right.

Create beautiful microsites

Follow the above guidelines to create beautiful looking microsites which will leave static resources like text documents and Powerpoints biting the dust and wondering why nobody wants to open them.

Click here to book a demo or contact us to find out more about the Zoomforth platform.

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