How to Create Compelling Content for "Boring" Industries
Content marketing is great when you have clients that are fun and interesting and you know that anything you create for them is likely to go viral. But what about the clients you have in industries that are not quite so exciting and may be more of a struggle to create interesting content around?
You may find yourself writing a blog post or putting together a how-to guide for an industry that bores you senseless, but the vital point to remember here is that what you find highly unengaging may be immensely interesting to someone else.
There is no such thing as a boring industry. While areas such as travel, fashion, food, and culture may be top of your list of things to write about and read, there will still be people interested in other areas that don’t necessarily float your boat, like IT software, accountancy, and domestic cleaning services.
A study in 2013 carried out by Chartbeat found that the majority of readers will only get 60% of the way through a piece of content before leaving the page. This means you could have written off the other 40% and simply gone home for the day. So why is this? Do people have a short attention span or do they simply find the content too boring to get to the end of? Whatever the reason, we need to make sure that the content we create is interesting and engaging, whatever industry it is for.
Here are a few secrets to creating compelling content for industries that are less desirable than others:
Learn About Your Customers
It’s crucial that you know who you are creating content for, especially in an industry where your audience may be smaller. Carry out in-depth research into your target customer’s profile and demographic, and find out as much as you can about their needs, likes, and opinions.
Find out what interests your target audience and what types of content they are most likely to engage with. Look into which social media platforms they are most likely to use, and learn as much as possible about their hobbies, attitudes and online behaviours.
Provide Helpful Solutions
Content that is created around industry issues and problems has a very high chance of trending with your target audience. A lot of people turn to search engines to help them solve a problem, and if your content provides them with an instant solution they are likely to come straight to your site to find out more about it. You may be creating content for a cleaning company, but instead of thinking about the services they offer, think about the different tips you could give your audience to try at home for smaller cleaning jobs. They will be grateful for the advice and will likely turn to you should they ever need a bigger cleaning job.
Find out what your audience may be looking for on sites such as Twitter, Yahoo! Answers, Google Blogs, and Quora, or set up some Google Alerts to find out about real-time trending topics. This way you can implement a content strategy that focuses on providing your audience with the answers they actually want and need.
Use Humour and Opinions
If you are struggling to come up with some creative content on a slightly less appealing topic, try adding some humour and opinions to draw in your audience. The ability to make people laugh can make an industry and a brand much more accessible to online users, especially if you are happy to make fun of the industry you are actually in. The Dollar Shave Club did a fantastic job of this with this video:
Using opinions is another way to drive interest and engagement. By creating a thought-provoking piece of content, asking questions or telling a story, you can make an impression on your audience and really give them something to think about, encouraging them to visit your site again.
Try Different Content Mediums
The go-to medium for the majority of content marketing campaigns is a text-heavy blog post, and although these can be highly successful, there is a range of other content mediums that can also be utilised. Visual content is easier to digest than text and can get your point across much faster, even if it is just there to emphasise your written points.
Videos are also a great way to convey information, as are podcasts, interactive widgets, GIFs, reports, and more. Think about how your target audience will be most likely to access your content and what will make it as easy possible for them to engage with it – will they want to listen in the car? Play a game? Watch a video guiding them on a problem they have so they can pause it and copy the solution?
Measure and Adjust
There is no guarantee that your content strategy will hit the nail on the head perfectly each time, and the easiest way to work out what content works better than others is to monitor and evaluate it. Look through your monthly content output and work out what has been a hit and generated engagement, and what has fallen flat on its face.
Adjust your content strategy so that it focuses more on the types of content your audience engage with, and look at what your competitors are doing well. Keep working to make your content campaigns as relevant and engaging as possible, and don’t be afraid to try something different to really give your strategy a bit of a shake up.