Content is a critical part of any site’s user experience, and the primary driver that both attracts customers and keeps them engaged. Your customer support site is no exception. In today’s market, audiences are inundated with content everywhere and in many different formats.
To be effective, content must be engaging and bring facts to life through storytelling to draw in the audience. Your content should incorporate video, imagery, or personal stories which promote emotional appeal and inspire your community to seek out more content and or drive them to your conversion goals.
Overall, your content should:
Drive home your organization's core message
Evoke emotional impact
Create resonance with your customer community
Be relevant and relatable
Be sharable so that you can empower your community to take an active role in distributing
Why is engaging content critical to reaching your online support goals?
Increased Community Engagement
By producing content that provides useful information on how to use your products effectively, sharing case studies and testimonials, and empowering the community to answer questions and address concerns, you can create a positive and engaged community that promotes a broader view of your product and services that will outweigh product/service complaints.
Encouraging conversations through your community site allows you to have influence over customers who might otherwise go elsewhere to find support or log their complaints. Additionally, your organization benefits from leveraging customer engagement to gain brand mindshare.
Content that is fresh, relevant, and engaging can be a powerful tool in advancing your search rankings and search relevance. Regular updates to your content and increased engagement from users will help keep your site prominent in search results.
However, optimizing for search without any content relevance can harm your rankings. Consider your community’s needs and what they’re trying to accomplish on your site. An advanced SEO strategy should take into consideration geographic localization and voice search by optimizing content based based on how people engage with search on their phones.
When developing content, use language that answers the questions your customers might search. Think about their journey through your site and the interactions you’re trying to achieve.
Engaging content and thought leadership builds a relationship with your audience, which in turn earns trust in your brand. Your content can guide your audience from initial brand recognition and awareness to the trust and confidence they’ll have as loyal customers. Write content that connects with them at every point in the relationship with your brand.
When planning your content, consider the path from your customer’s current perception to your desired perception. Maintain transparency and accountability in your content to show you’re authentic and committed. This level of vulnerability is genuine and earns trust and respect.
Always Put Your Users First
When planning content, identify and consider all the segments of your community and focus on creating content that is useful for the segments you want to reach, instead of content that you think makes your company look good. Continuously conduct user research and review your data for trends and changes. Respond to customer feedback, particularly if they’re sharing or otherwise interacting with your community content.
Achieving a wide reach is useless if there is no depth to your content. It’s not enough to drive traffic to your support community if you don’t have engaging content to keep your customers there and get them to come back. Stand out from the content overload by continuously refining your strategy to be relevant and impactful. Use data insights, user feedback, and measurement tools to write better content.
How to define goals for your customer support content
To be successful in producing engaging customer support content, first you need to be aware of your goals. The first step is to determine what you’re trying to accomplish and be quick to surface that purpose.
Are you trying to raise awareness or educate your community?
Provide enough context to leave your users feeling informed but still interested in more. Don’t let the content feel too passive -- include opportunities for the audience to follow up on their interest.
Are you trying to inspire change, drive people to take action?
Be direct with your calls to action. Give your users a sense of urgency, clear direction on what they should do, and outline the benefits their action will garner.
Have you provided an easy-to-recall summary of your point?
Include an easy recap or emphatic statement that empowers your community to share the content and provide context for others. Give them the words to share how your content made an impact or why it matters. This can be part of your call-to-action to share, or can be incorporated as default text in your sharing tool if available.
How do you want your reader to feel after viewing your content?
Consider the emotional appeal when crafting your content and ensure the tone you deliver the content in is reflective of what you’re trying to evoke. Share your intention upfront and remind them at the end. Also be mindful of how you might unintentionally make your community feel. Does your content and writing style push any buttons or set off any triggers?
Creating engaging content on a customer support site
Define content strategy
Make sure you have a content strategy in place that captures your goals, tone and voice, audience messaging tactics, and ideas, whether you’re just getting started with or optimizing your support community. Ensure your content format is appropriate for the distribution channel. Be consistent in your tone/voice if producing content by multiple authors. Add in related content links, refer back to older posts, and follow up on new developments from older posts.
Make it relevant
Keep an eye on competitive market leaders and their content trends. Mine your data and try to personalize content to your users. Determine topics based on user trends and conversations within your support site. Have a plan for responding to crisis and current events. Your content should be a good mix of reactive (responding to trends) and proactive (setting trends).
Make content development a participatory experience
Engage with active community site moderators who pull from conversations happening in the community to draw more content. Solicit case studies and examples from your community of users. Provide a platform for user-generated content and invite your community members to knowledge share. Use surveys to solicit input from your site visitors that generate new content ideas.
Use content to improve user experience
Match your content to how your customers speak rather than matching your product or organization’s terminology. Using analytics monitor social conversations and market trends, track the gaps between the words your customers use to search or speak about your product and the words used by your organization. Ensure that you’re speaking their language and making it easier to find content on your support site. Not only will your community have a better user experience but your SEO will improve as well.
Allow content to help with site navigation
Make your content easily scannable to assist users in finding what they need quickly. Use appropriate headings to introduce content based on hierarchy. Incorporate digestible summaries to introduce longer posts or multimedia so users can scan for relevance before committing to the content. Include links to relevant posts in other parts of your digital ecosystem for more information.
If you’d like more tips on how to optimize content on your customer support site, download our ebook.