Social media and content marketing sound like a block party all year round. But what if not every industry is as colorful and inspirational as Pinterest boards? To do content marketing right, your passion has to show through. How to write great content about boring topics? What if you lack the passion or don’t know where to start?
There are some highly-regulated industries that just restrict the amount of information a person can share publicly, take for example, the financial industry and trade stock exchange. There are also industries that are hailed “boring,” examples being construction, materials supply or warehouses. How do you create content that will actually interest people?
Content marketing for “boring” industries
There are industries that sound less “sexy” than others but it doesn’t mean that they are boring. Let me put a question this way: if the industry is so boring to you that it numbs your brain, why did you get in it in the first place? Yes, sometimes we have to pick up jobs that interest us little due to financial and other factors.
However, to be really good at content marketing, you need to be passionate about your subject. You have two options here: start looking for a new job or get curious about what you’re doing.
Get in the mindset of a passionate person. Find people who love the subject you need to write about and ask them what makes it so interesting to them. What’s considered cool in this industry? What type of content would be interesting to them? What kind of headline or tip what make the stop and read an article? Are there any inside jokes people enjoy? What fields need more research? The possibilities for quality content here are endless.
For example, due to the nature of my previous work, I have to create lots of quality content around automotive industry. As a girly girl, who sees the difference between cars only in terms of whether it’s a “truck” (everything that is a little higher off the ground is a truck in my world) or a “car” (don’t remind me that there are coupes, sedans and hatchbacks), the automotive industry was a bit far from my interests.
It is easy to deem this industry “boring” and get caught up in loans, leases and disclaimers. However, I know that the auto industry evokes passion in a lot of people of both genders. Cars can be compact, efficient, utilitarian, powerful, sporty, sexy and so much more. So, instead of lease terms, I was publishing lots of sexy modified cars, tips on how to keep a car in its top shape, industry news, questions and an occasional humorous post. Instead of deeming something that doesn’t interest me as “boring,” I found a way to how to write great media content about boring (I meant to say, “uninteresting”) topics.Download Engaging Content Planner
What do you write about?
So, next time you’re scrambling for ideas, find a few people (who might very well be your co-workers who are not as gifted with a talent of word) and ask them what they would want to read on a subject. Don’t forget the 4 E’s of content marketing: entertain, educate, enrich and engage.
Entertain: everyone enjoys a good joke. Humor is a proven way to stick in your audience’s memory. Memes enjoy great popularity. Find related, non-offensive jokes and “sprinkle” your content with an occasional smile.
Educate: find out what your audience wants to learn by simply asking it through a poll or survey. Perform research to find out what informational gaps exist in an industry and fill them in with your content, so people will be coming back for more information to you.
Enrich: enrich your audience’s lives by solving their issues. Come up with “hacks” that will make their lives easier, showcase how your offering can solve their problem or help with their challenges.
Engage: If you’ve done all three of the above, the audience should be pretty engaged with your content already. To further this, ask questions and opinions. Create emotional hook that will provoke an urge to comment.
To further ease your burden of coming up with interesting ideas, don’t forget to recycle content. Take already existing content and reuse it in a different format. You can turn a blog post into an infographic, a video, a webinar, a guide, an e-book or a whitepaper. Even a checklist or a podcast or a case study will work!
What about highly-regulated industries?
Now as to content in highly-regulated industries: to play the game, know the rules. Educate yourself on what you can and cannot do online and just go with it. It’s more likely than not that you can share industry news from other sources, such as Forbes, Business Insider or industry-specific publications, because their content should adhere to the laws and regulations.
You can also publish occasional memes or funny images; again, the rule here is non-offensive. You can enrich and educate your audience with general tips, on say, how to evaluate investments, red flags when choosing attorneys or common mistakes people make when purchasing a home. All of these are not top-secret information, but just be careful with what you publish.
How to create relevant content people love
Content marketing is a very powerful tool that makes your brand memorable and passion-provoking. You can hire a writer or outsource content marketing altogether and roll out new blog post every other day, but how do you ensure that the content your brand puts out is engaging and useful? How do you create relevant content people love? You might have the highest-quality content but if the topic or the angle doesn’t interest your customers, your efforts are useless.
This is the first and most effective way that your customers will find your content useful! Of course, you have an FAQ page in place, but what about all those questions you get in email and on social media? Is your product safe and hyper-allergenic? Where do you source your materials from? Do these products go well together?
There is a huge number of possible questions regarding your products that may be little, nit-picky things that people want to know before giving you their money. Besides, creating a blog post will save you lots of time the next time someone e-mails you a question regarding your products – just insert the link to the blog post where you talk about it, instead of manually typing the answer in every time someone has this question!
Similar to the first point, educate people on the importance of your business practices. How do you ensure that your product is environmentally-safe and why does it matter? How do you ensure that you source your materials in a fair trade way? Why should people switch from conventional to organic products? How is your product different from competitors?
Some people can get very passionate about these things, and this is great. You want your marketing efforts to evoke passion. You also want to show value in choosing your products over someone else’s who shows less care in their business decisions, practices and ethics.
Check related forums
Find forums and groups relevant to your business. Examine what people are curious about, what questions they have, what needs are not being addressed and create context relevant information.
Create quality content to answer those commonly-asked questions. Bonus tip, you can now reply to those questions with a link to your blog post, driving new traffic and potential leads to your website.
What do people search for
There are quite a few tools out there that help you identify and analyze what people are searching for. Use the most frequent search terms to your advantage. Not only will this help your SEO and get you targeted traffic, it will also ensure that your blog posts are relevant and address the questions people are searching for. Imagine what a relief your blog will be to those actively seeking answers and tips.
Ask your customers directly
Once in a while, ask your followers on social media platforms what struggles they have or what they’d like to know more about. This is the best, most direct way to see what people expect from you. Create a poll with 5 – 10 possible answers that might be general topics or more specific questions and see what top 3 options are. Focus on those first.
Delight your followers with a new blog post that addresses their needs! This shows great care and diligence; and people surely appreciate it. Asking questions also boosts your engagement on social media.
Can you be human?
Another thing to remember when you struggle to find content ideas: be human. Engage in conversations. Share behind-the-scenes of your company, such as company milestones, birthday parties, Christmas decorations or photos from “Bring Your Pet to Work Day.”
Create videos that show employees and their human side, because, whether you’re in a B2C or B2B organization, people want to deal with people not corporations. Showing your human side should only help you build trust and affinity.
The one and only Gary Vaynerchuk said this: “[this] tells me more so about a specific mindset people need to get out of rather than the difficulty of creating content for your industry. If you think your industry is boring, shift your way of thinking. Immediately. You need to change your outlook in order to change your output.”
If you’re still struggling, maybe it’s time to change a job. That happens and is perfectly fine. You might not be suited well for this company or industry and there might be someone else who’d love your job. However, give these tips a try first and you might find that creating content marketing for “boring” industries is pretty rewarding.Download Engaging Content Planner