Why does corporate have to mean bad content?

So the headline is a fairly polite way in.

More impolitely, why do so many large, corporate, B2B businesses have such utterly crap content on their websites?

And why is it a given? I was speaking to someone this week who, when looking at such a website, said of the content: “…ah well you can tell that they’re a big corporate, their content is all jargony and uses lots of complex words.” Why does this have to be?

We should no longer have to assume that corporate means pages of drivel, particularly in today’s age of content marketing. To be honest, has there ever been a time when it has been wanted?

Surely you must know what I mean? Garbage like this:

“…we provide a cohesive IT consulting strategy which will enable you to gain a competitive advantage, increased business agility and maximised IT consulting efficiency.”

What?

“…we deliver best-fit solutions by leveraging a portfolio of public cloud, private cloud, dedicated servers.”

Best-fit? Leveraging a portfolio?

Now what is important to understand at this point is that each type of business should have different styles of content. So your small digital agency may well have a quirkier, light-hearted tone to that of a multinational IT firm. The latter will want less conversational and more professional.

But cutting out the buzzwords doesn’t make you any less professional. “Crikey this company has a sentence that’s just six words long and not one of them is ‘synergy’ or ‘best-of-breed!’ Let’s not do business with these bunch of mavericks.”

Relax, it’s not going to happen.

Yes, your target reader is a managing director of a fellow corporate rather than a marketing manager of a small SME. But the need for waffle doesn’t increase the higher up the career pyramid you go.

And how many of your managing directors have time to read lots of content, anyway? With more of us using smartphones and tablets to browse on-the-go, what are they going to take more notice of? Your paragraphs of guff or your competitors’ short, sharp and to-the-point copy?

Let’s take the first example above. What’s wrong with:

“…our IT consulting services are designed to be efficient. And increased efficiency will give you a competitive edge.”

It’s shorter, it’s snappier and is sure as hell a lot easier to read. But does it really do a worse job of defining the company’s services and their benefits? Is it really any less professional?

With the second example above, how about:

“Our solutions include:

  • Public cloud
  • Private cloud
  • Dedicated servers

They can be used individually or in combination, whichever is best for your business.”

Visually, breaking up your copy with bullets makes it much more digestible, whilst also catering for those that may be scanning your ‘about us’ page on an iPad in the morning commute. And note the use of the word “your.” Not only is the above still clearly detailing the products that the company offers, it’s also bringing it back to the reader; it is talking directly to them.

Make it easy for your readers. Be open. Be direct. Drop the buzzwords, get to the point and write as if you’re writing for a human being, not a robot. You won’t lose any of your professional image and you might just strike a chord with an MD who has just waded through four websites worth of tripe before coming across your well written, concise copy.

Right I’m off to leverage some tea using my state-of-the-art Chinese culinary production implement…(I’m going to make a stir-fry using my wok).

Are you sick of seeing rubbish on corporate sites? What’s the worst examples you’ve come across?

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