Nobody is reading our content because our industry is too boring. It can be easy to blame the topic, rather than the writing, when someone falls asleep in the middle of a piece of content. You may even think that your company can’t use content marketing because it won’t work for your less than attractive industry. But this assumption keeps you from using a valuable strategy.
For cool, naturally interesting industries, a content strategy seems to fit easily. However, among “boring” industries, chances are there are fewer companies producing content, increasing your chances of being found and seeing results faster. Sound interesting?If you think about the human aspect of content marketing, and focus on connecting with the person that is on the other side of the content you are putting out, then your content will be more interesting, even if the topic isn’t naturally the coolest kid on the block.
Here are 11 ways to spruce up your content, even for less than exciting industries.
Solve The Problem
First and foremost, help people do what they are trying to do. The whole point of content marketing is to give people useful information and resources, and not just focus on what relates to your product or service. Think about it. If your refrigerator stops running you would probably want to know what could be wrong with it or where to find an appliance repair company. People look for information when they have a problem to solve. If the content is educational and solves their problems, people are more likely to be interested in reading it.
Become A Thought Leader
Establishing your company as a thought leader will allow you to have a voice that is heard in your industry. Sharing your knowledge and expertise will attract your desired audience to you. You’ll also want to connect with other industry experts to build your network and connect with their audience. Being a thought leader also means being innovative, which definitely keeps people interested.
Part of engaging people with writing, regardless of industry, is through conversational tone. Which would you rather read? A highly technical research paper, or a blog post that feels like a conversation you might have over coffee?
There is a person behind every piece of content that is written; it should sound like it. You should also try to avoid industry jargon when possible. Someone who is not an expert in your field should be able to read it and have an understanding of what it says. Clear and straightforward is best.
People respond well to visual content. Using video marketing can help to attract your audience’s attention. 90% of users said that watching a video about a product helps them with their decision. Infographics are another good option because they make it easy to digest information.
Crack A Joke
Even if you work in a “serious” industry, your content marketing can still be fun. Don’t be afraid to crack a joke here and there in a blog post, or especially on social media. This will make your company feel relatable to your audience.
The Power Of Storytelling
Storytelling is an important way to get people’s attention, and keep it. Swiffer, the household cleaning brand, does this well with ads that show how their products work in people’s lives. My favorite is of the elderly couple, Lee and Morty. You see their personalities and relationship, and also the struggle to keep the house free of dust, which is easier when they use Swiffer dusters. Although this is more promotional in nature, it shows real people, which appeals to an audience.
Have A Personality
Again, don’t forget that you are marketing from real people to real people. Your company should have a personality that is reflected through your content. Don’t be afraid to make pop culture references, share something quirky and be original. You are trying to reach the emotional side of people. This is what will make them connect with your brand.
Use Good Examples
Especially with a complex or technical product or service, examples and analogies that help to illustrate your point are important. Think back to your buyer personas. What is their background knowledge like? What examples might resonate most with them? Sometimes people just don’t understand, and that’s why they find things boring. A good example can overcome this by simplifying a complex topic.
Answer The Right Questions
How you approach answering the right questions will make for more engaging content. If someone has a question, they are likely going to be interested in the answer. What questions are your personas asking? Forums like Quora and Reddit, or social media, can help you to understand what your audience is wondering about so you can create content that provides the answer.
Don’t Forget Formatting
Don’t underestimate the importance of how your content is formatted. People are easily overwhelmed by huge paragraphs of solid text. Content structure is a big part of the reader's experience. There should be enough white space included and use bullets, headings and images to break up paragraphs and make the information easy to scan and digest.
Think Outside Of The Box
Look for ways to branch out beyond your specific product. Take a protein powder company as an example. Sure, they want to have content about their different products so that people understand what they are buying, but they should also have content about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle that will appeal to an audience interested in those things. Don’t limit yourself to topics that only directly relate to your company.