In many of my columns, I have touted the importance of persuasive, or influential, content and shared relevant theories and arguments, sprinkling in some practical tips and examples along the way. This column brings together a collection of practical tips, or recipes, for persuasive content. My goal for these recipes is to help anyone who touches content to bake in some influential goodness. Because of my background and experience, these recipes have an English-speaking American flavor, but I think they are a useful starting point for international content, as well.
1. Talk like a person.
Your content needs to sound like a human being crafted it, not like a system regurgitated it. Letting Go of the Words, by Ginny Redish, offers some great tips along these lines—such as using first person.  Read More
Want to keep your customers despite tough economic times? Don’t add yet another feature to your Web site. Stop worrying about redesigning it. Instead, take a hard look at improving your site’s content.
Why content? In this age of automation and technology, Web content is often how a company communicates with its customers. B.J. Fogg, author of Persuasive Technology, tells us that technology can be a “social actor” that “creates relationship.”  However, I believe the true social actor is the content that technology delivers. In fact, content can play the roles of many social actors. The content on a business Web site, for instance, may take the role of a sales executive, a customer service agent, a technical support assistant, and more. Because your site’s content mediates customer relationships, it offers an opportunity to deepen those relationships.
In this column, I will explore the idea of Web content as a nurturer of customer relationships and share a few examples of what this can mean. My focus is on company content that communicates to customers, because, in my opinion, that’s the content most in need of improvement. I recognize the importance of considering user-generated content and social media in customer relationships, but many companies first need to improve their core communications with customers. Read More
Think you’re not into marketing? Think again. As UX professionals, we share much in common with our close cousins, the marketers. We all seek to understand customers—needs, preferences, behaviors, attitudes, and more. We all seek to create positive touchpoints with customers and, in turn, a positive affiliation with our product or company brand. We all know the importance of communicating effectively with customers and evaluating the performance of our work.
In fact, the worlds of user experience and marketing are colliding as companies increasingly
interact with customers through various channels and media—Web, email, mobile, phone, store, print, and so on—for everything from purchasing to customer service
engage customers through a range of Web sites—traditional brochure Web sites, social networking sites, personal portals, search sites, partner Web sites, RSS feeds, and so on
seek long-term relationships with their customers
More and more, if we’re creating content for the Web or any interactive channel, we’re dealing with marketing issues. Read More