If you’ve spent any time researching what is needed for an effective online marketing campaign, you’ve undoubtedly heard people stressing the importance of “great content”. But, what are you to do if you work in a seemingly boring industry, like insurance or tax accounting? Are you off the hook in regards to creating interesting content? Is it simply out of reach? The answer is a resounding — no! Everyone, regardless of their industry, needs worthwhile content on their web properties.
Why Content is so Important
The reason content is given so much emphasis is because it really is everything. Your site can be well-organized, easy to navigate, attractive, etc., but if you don’t have anything worthwhile to offer your visitors, they will likely click away and never return, and they will definitely not share your pages with their friends.
Thus, without engaging content, you will never find an audience, and your online marketing efforts will remain stagnant.
So, no matter what business you are in, once you launch your online campaign, you are in the media business as well. It’s your job to provide regular information people want to read, look at, or watch. Just like any other media entity, your goal is to establish a dedicated audience who comes back day after day looking for more of your offerings.
Doing so not only satisfies your followers, but it also provides you with a loyal audience, free advertisement for your brand, and unlimited exposure as online users share your messages.
How to Make Your Industry Seem Interesting?
Yes, those who are in exciting industries, such as entertainment or travel have it a little easier when it comes to creating appealing content for their blogs and websites. However, even the most thrilling topics can seem boring if presented poorly. Similarly, the dullest subject matters can be intriguing if given the right spin. Either way, creating exceptional content requires hard work for everyone, so don’t complain too much about your industry, and instead, start thinking how you can get people’s attention.
How can you do that?
Step 1: Know Your Audience
Before you create any content, you should first pinpoint your target audience (generally, these are the people you want as your future customers). Thoroughly understanding your audience is essential if you ever hope to create great content. After all, how can you appeal to them if you don’t know who they are, what they like, and what they’re passionate about?
So, do your research, peruse social sites, ask questions, and stay in touch.
Step 2: Narrow Down Your Audience Even More
Depending on your business, you may have a large audience with consumers from a variety of backgrounds and all sorts of interests. If this is the case, consider narrowing down your audience into sub-segments.
Instead of trying to reach your entire audience with the same content (and not connecting with any of them), focus on only one segment at a time. This will allow you to provide more personalized content, which is more likely to resonate with your followers.
You may even want to set up a few different blogs or pages to cater to each group. But, remember, every demographic will respond differently to your information, so always think about their interests, wants, and the problems they need solved.
Step 3: Always Concentrate on What You Can Do for Them
Every business is boring if the content providers only talk about the company and how great it is — no one wants to read that. Why would someone come back to your site repeatedly if they never get anything out of it?
The bottom line is — if you want visitors coming back, you have to give them something. Before posting anything, always ask yourself, “What do my readers/viewers get out of this?” In other words, are you offering entertainment, insider information, how-to guides, professional advice, etc.?
If you find your content only benefits your company, you need to rework your strategy.
With a little creativity, even “boring” industries can come up with something useful to provide their audience. A great example is Lowe’s Creative Ideas site. By focusing on what consumers can do with their products (instead of just talking about what they are) Lowe’s has turned a boring topic (lumber and tools) into something attractive, which appeals to nearly every homeowner.
You can do the same type thing with your business. Just think of ways your products or services can help others and center your content on that.
Step 4: Post a Variety of Content
No matter how awesome your content, it helps to mix it up every now and then. For instance, if you usually post standard, written blogs, try throwing in a video or infograph every now and then. You’ll find your readers like the diversity, and it gives you a chance to connect with those who have different interests.
Some of the different types of content are:
- Infographics and other data visualization
- Tutorials (photo or video)
- Curated posts (links to other interesting articles, photos, blogs, etc.)
- Guest posts
- Top 10 lists (use a tool like Listly to allow others to contribute and make your lists more socially engaging)
Step 5: Get a Little Weird
As long as you’re not in a very serious profession (think undertaker), getting a little weird with your content every now and then is a good way to get people’s attention and increase your chances of going viral.
For example, almost everyone remembers seeing BlendTec’s, “Will it blend?” videos where they tried to blend various objects, including an iPhone. They effectively took a seemingly boring product — a blender — and made it fascinating for tons of people. Their iPhone video currently has over 10 million hits on YouTube!
Even if your content doesn’t go viral, you should still see it being “liked,” “tweeted,” and shared on social networks. Social media is the best way to increase awareness of your brand and reach a larger audience. Not getting much social action is a good hint your information is boring and that you need to change something.
Just as, “only boring people get bored,” the same can be said for your content — it’s only dull if you make it that way. So, stop blaming your industry on your lack of interesting content and start thinking of ways to stand out. Tell a story, be different, give something to your consumers, and above all, be creative.