Story overshadowed by visuals on most sites

The need to draw people to a compelling story through interesting visual devices is well known in the nonprofit sector, so well known that the visual attraction has often overshadowed the story.

Writing in the Spring 2013 issue of “Marketing Health Services” Susan Solomon, vice president of marketing and communications for St. Joseph Health in Irvine, Calif., argues that interesting content that can be found on a search engine is another way to draw people’s attention and then hold it with information that can be digested in small hunks.

Solomon offers the following ideas to include in an organization’s site:

  • Interviews. With these there is an added bonus in that the experts will likely link back to the organization. Also, readers trust information from experts.
  • Lists. There is no need to be as clever as David Letterman, but keep the lists short and information-rich.
  • Polls and surveys. Display results visually and publish them on the organization’s site. Then reach out to media outlets to discuss the findings.
  • React to news. Find a local angle to a story everyone is talking about (journalists do this all the time). This technique helps the content provider to be viewed as relevant and as an expert.
  • User-generated content. Ask readers to comment on or review something like a recent health seminar. Yes there’s a risk, but positive comments from unbiased readers are well worth it.