Over the last few years, content marketing has found its place as an essential piece of the inbound marketing puzzle. And while writing can come easily to some of us, for others, it may be a difficult task to grasp. It may seem especially hard to those looking to extend their online presence but feel they are leaders in an extremely boring industry or do not know what to write about. But just because an industry may be perceived as “boring” doesn't mean that it can’t participate in, and reap the benefits of, good content marketing. If you feel you don’t know what to write or think you have such a boring industry that no one would want to read about it, follow along as we discuss how to write compelling content for a boring industry.
Use Your Voice and Write Like You Talk
For some blogs, the writer may have a very austere style, while others are filled with the writer’s personality which can be fun-loving and maybe even silly. Either way, it is always easier, and generally speaks best to your client demographic, when content is written in the tone of your own voice.
For example, as I am writing this, I speak it in my head ( in my own voice) and every comma is the breath I take and every sarcastic remark is punctuated in my own mind with a hope that it translates that way to the reader. This may not be the grammatically correct way to use commas, but I can fix that when I come back for the second draft. Generally speaking, I could write about a boring topic but by putting my voice and personality into it, it is more readable and adds an important piece to the content marketing strategy.
The best blogs are usually written in a way that the writer speaks every day. The phrase “write like you talk” is an important principle, because helps the writer connect with the reader on a more personal level. A good way to accomplish this is to try reading your first draft aloud. If it sounds like a conversation and injects your personal voice, you are doing it right.
Speak and Relate to Your Customers
Content marketing is all about speaking directly to clients and potential customers. So it is important to think about your client demographic before you start. When you do that, the topic should come easily.
For example, cleaning supplies may not be the most exciting of topics, but if the demographic for your organization is professional cleaners or those who may be obsessive compulsive, your blog content should speak to them. Maybe offer household cleaning tips, ways to store cleaning chemicals or even fun posts about how to clean a house in those mad-dash micro-minutes when you see a surprise visitor coming up the sidewalk towards your home. Subjects like these can relate to your company while still offering humor, insight and informational content that speaks to your ideal client. These are also the type of topics that get good feedback, links and traffic through social media sites.
Offer Helpful Advice and Humor
To continue with the example of a cleaning supply company above, the three topics suggested above not only speak to your ideal client but also offer helpful advice through humor (we know we've all done the split second clean up as the doorbell rings). For other industries with a focus on maybe gardening sheds or even cement mixers, the same advice is true. Blogs for industries that can be perceived as boring can offer advice on home cement mixing for backyard pathways or the different ways to use garden sheds (yes, some people do actually use them as man caves or hobby shops instead).
Involve Your Reading Audience
You don’t need to end every post with a question, but you should think of writing as opening a conversation with your clients. Get them involved wherever you can. At the end of a post, ask them about their own tips and tricks or to tell their funny stories about how they ran through the house shoving clothes, toys and paperwork under the beds and couches, only to realize that the car that pulled up wasn't their friend, but someone stopping in front of the house to talk on their cell and just happened to have the same color and model as the friend’s car (yes, that actually did happen to me).
Use a Shock Factor
Controversial topics, staggering statistics and “I never knew that before” topics can engage and involve readers through what we call the Shock Factor. These elements add depth to blog posts, engage readers and keep them coming back for more. For instance did you know that 61% of businesses have a business blog and that WordPress.com records a whopping 25 million blog views a month? Pretty high and shocking stats there. Did it make you say: “Hmm?” or “how about that?” Then it was worth inclusion. Similarly, you may see cement mixing as a relatively dull subject, but statistics on the amount of concrete used in a huge project or similar facts and figures can be very illuminating.
Write With Specificity
The title of this post could have been about generalized blog writing but we wanted to speak to those who feel blogging won’t work for them because of the perceived lack of excitement for their industries. We decided to write with specificity because compelling content not only interacts with a defined clientele but also shows an interest in the same concerns or problems.
Be the Expert
It’s great for some blog posts to talk about developments in your company such as your organization participating or donating in a charity run in your local area or a new giveaway you may be offering. Sometimes it’s even okay to mention your products but keep in mind that readers and clients will come to your blog because you are an expert in your field who speaks to them, not a business who’s constantly trying to pitch a product or make a sell. For compelling content, find the balance and use your blog to build a reputation as the experts in your industry and online. This will keep readers coming back for more and increase the chances of conversion from causal visitors to paying clients.
Write in an Easy-to-Digest Blog Format that Implements Visual Cues
Huge blocks of text can seem daunting and almost like a waste of time, which is why it is important to write your content in an easy to digest format. As you scour the internet, you’ll find yourself more drawn to posts with headings and subheadings that offer short paragraphs beneath them, allowing for a quick skim before actually engaging in the content. You may also be drawn to blog posts and websites with a lot of colorful and professional photos. These visual and blog formatting cues attract readers.
You've also probably bypassed the web pages and articles that were too long and offered no visual cues to what the entirety of the article was about. Remember to offer readers the easiest reading route possible and plenty of visual cues to engage them to keep them engaged. Photos can encourage social media and help in promoting your brand further.
Content has always been king but over the last few years, content marketing has found its place as an essential piece of the puzzle. Through the suggestions above, I hope that you can see that every business has the opportunity to blog and improve their content marketing efforts. Are there any content marketing strategies you've used that have helped you write for what may be considered a boring industry? I’d love to hear your comments and feedback in the comments below.