Discover the dos and don’ts of writing a highly effective brand About Us that engages and converts.
A website’s About Us page is as important to a brand’s website as cheese is to macaroni. Essential. Not only does a business’s About Us page let the reader know more about your company and what it stands for but it gives a vital level of trust that is needed for your customer to answer the question “Do I actually need this?” with a big fat “YES!”.
About Us pages come in all shapes and sizes, but what are the dos and don’ts for writing the best About Us page that will make customers have no choice but to buy?
Let’s get into it.
Sorry, it’s not all about you
Ironically, the most impactful and highly converting About Us pages are not about the company in question. Instead, they focus on communicating who they are in relation to the person sitting reading their About Us page.
The thing is, all great content has the specific reader front of mind, and an About Us page is no different. After all, that’s how they discover how you as a company are able to serve their needs. What problems can you solve for them? Which of their burdens can you help with?
Ann Handley says in her best-selling book Everybody Writes that great content should follow a simple formula:
Useful x Inspired x Empathic = high-quality content
Useful refers to having clearly helping people do something that matters to them. You’ve already identified a need – that’s why your business exists, after all. Now, you need to tell people simply how you can help to serve this need. Inspired refers to being inspired by data, or creatively inspired, or indeed both. Lastly, you need to have empathy for your audience, viewing and understanding everything through their eyes.
You don’t need to rush to make them understand what you’re all about, what matters is that you get your point across and make the reader feel something by resonating with them specifically. This comes down to fully identifying and understanding your core customer, calling them out directly in what you write.
To resonate with your customer, you need to treat them like human beings. To do this, they need to feel like they are being served by human beings too. Give a taste of what your company culture is like, and what drives your business in its journey to success.
Let’s look at a couple of examples. First off, the About Us page on the Smyths site leaves a lot to be desired in this respect. It sounds generic and also looks boring, and it doesn’t capture the attention of the reader or express how Smyths serves its customers in a unique way.
Nike’s About Us page, on the other hand, knocks it out of the park. The text goes hand and hand with design, grabbing attention with bold images and videos and putting their target customer first. Their mission statement is clear from the off, and it’s a mission that clearly serves its target customer positively. It shows who Nike are as a brand through how they serve athletes and their industry, and the result is powerful.
Watch your tone
When crafting an About Us page that stops a customer in their tracks, it’s super important to write with a clear, human voice and conversational tone – one that is consistent with the text on the rest of your site. I know it’s tempting, but avoid superlatives such as ‘cutting-edge’ or ‘world-renowned’. They’re essentially meaningless, and don’t set your brand apart from the rest.
Think about every sentence you write in the About Us. Is it conveying what you want it to and giving the right impression of your brand in the mind of your customer?
Along with a clear, conversational tone that gets on your customer’s level, it helps to show your people as real people. Try using photos of your team members, along with their favourite quotes, whether they’re a cat or dog person, and so on.
You could even give the reader an ‘Easter Egg’ – that is, something they’re not expecting from an About Us page. Take Giphy’s About Us page, for example. They’ve made their team photos into (you guessed it) GIFs, which animate with something unique to that team member as the user hovers over. The result is an engaging, on-brand insight into the real human beings behind a brand name, allowing the visitor to resonate and connect with the company.
Tell a story
Since humans have existed, we’ve loved a story. Be sure to invite customers into your story as a brand. Even if you’re a start-up with a brief history, sharing your progress and backstory as a brand is vital. What got you to where you are today? What milestones have you hit?
Then you can reveal how you’ve evolved since the early days, talking about how your strategy or even way of thinking may have changed. This can help to position your brand as adaptable to change and one that has aged like a fine wine.
Then, discuss what was, in the words of Archimedes, your ‘Eureka!’ moment – the idea which formed the spark that ignited your business’ fire. You can use this idea as a pivot point when you are telling your company story on your About Us page. Every good story has an inciting incident that changes everything, so discuss a challenge you faced when setting things up, and how this challenge or discovery molded your company into what it is today.
Always think about why your customers should care about what you do, and how you can help them. This is also a great place for customer testimonials. Why not include some quotes from previous happy customers or even a video for bigger impact?
Keep it personal
About Us pages are personal to you and your brand, so the structure of the page will vary based on what you want to highlight. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to writing an About Us page, but the advice in this blog is relevant and adaptable to businesses of all shapes and sizes. The key is to speak to your target customer directly, resonating with who they are, what they need, and how you can serve them.
We hope this gave you some direction on how to tell your brand story in the best way. For more nuggets of knowledge to boost your brand, stay tuned on our blog and our social media @madebygloss