First impressions are vital both on and offline. If a business is not able to engage with their audience, or that same company does something incredibly embarrassing or offensive, potential customers will lose faith in what they can offer. This is exactly why your content needs to be perfect from the moment you launch.

There’s no easing into it, or putting it off, or dismissing it as something that isn’t important. Every single blog post, video, tweet or article that you release online is gradually going to build your brand’s personality. Get it right, and you’ll reap the benefits. Get it wrong, and you will almost certainly have a hard time convincing clients to choose you over your competitors.

It’s all about quality, not quantity

Content is incredibly important, but the first mistake that businesses make is publishing copy just for the sake of it. Content needs to be helpful, and it needs to have a clear purpose. If it doesn’t do anything for your business, it’s time to get rid of it. For example, if your copy is vague, or full of language that’s hard to understand, people are unlikely to engage with it. Similarly, if your text is just a bland vehicle used for old-hat keyword-stuffing, it may as well not be there.

Customers will remember your mistakes

Creating good content involves being aware of current events and being able to use trends and news to your advantage. Yes, we’re talking about ‘newsjacking’. This can be a very effective way to add credibility to your brand and establish it as a trustworthy news source – but you do need to be sensitive in your approach, something that American clothing giant Gap learned for themselves back in 2012. The company took to Twitter to use the Hurricane Sandy hashtag (#Sandy) to tell their customers to stay safe – but then, in the next sentence, encouraged them to shop online. This immediately devalued their well wishes and led to uproar from followers, leaving those in charge of Gap’s marketing strategy more than a little red-faced.

Pushiness will put people off instantly

Customers are smart, and they don’t like being sold something in a pushy or dishonest way. They also won’t respond to regurgitated ideas’ this is where McDonald’s and Burger King went wrong a few years ago. So how do you do it right?

Victoria’s Secret share workout videos, which creates a sense of empowerment; while the make-up sample box brand Birchbox has a blog full of make-up tips and tricks to boost their customer’s confidence when using their products. By respecting your customers and creating original, organic content that a) triggers a positive emotional response and b) doesn’t oversell, you’re much more likely to find success. If you do this from the start, you’ll be able to quickly build a brand that people trust.

Plan ahead to get off to a good start

As you can see, it’s all too easy to create content that sends customers running for the hills. There’s a fine line between content that reads naturally and engages customers, and content that is simply pushing for a sale. Having a strategy in place for all of your copy – whether it’s online or in print – means that your message will be on-point from the very start of your project.

If you’re not sure where to start, Indy can help. We specialise in content consultancy and can help businesses of all sizes develop copy that will support their brand. Just get in touch today to find out more.