Content marketing is the trendiest, and the most misunderstood, form of marketing out there.
When done right, it’s an excellent way to grow your business, position yourself as an authority, and engage your customer base in an authentic way. When done wrong, mediocre content just adds to the online “white noise” and does zero for your bottom line.
For most business owners, it’s tough to create valuable, interesting, and shareable content for one simple reason – they’re in a boring industry.
If your potential customers would rather watch paint dry than read another blog post, or watch another video on your website, can your brand still benefit from strategic content marketing?
Yes, it can! All you need to is break the curse of boring, mediocre content – and these 3 strategies will help you do just that…
#1. Focus on things your customers care about
If you’re a mortgage counselor, the worst thing you can do for your content creation is to tell people about what you do. That’s not why clients pay you.
On the contrary, they give you money just so they could remain blissfully ignorant of the details! Can you see how pulling back the curtain and describing what you do to them could be counter-productive?
The problem with any other dull industry is, people need it, but they don’t want to learn about it. As frustrating as it may be, you need to embrace it, and find a workaround.
The Solution: Write about a related subject that gets your customers excited. For example, if you sell point-of-sale systems, rather than blogging or creating whiteboard videos on that topic, write about things relevant to small business owners: managing people, making more money, dealing with problems and crises, productivity, etc.
Actually, here’s another example: The Draw Shop makes whiteboard videos, and we could easily write millions of words on this topic… but instead we run a blog on marketing for small and mid-sized businesses, because that’s what you care about. Go figure!
#2. Craft peripheral content
There will always be other types of content you can create without giving in to the urge of creating yet another video or blog post called “X Tips to Succeed at Blah Blah Blah.”
Think outside the box. What other type of content could you produce that would be the most helpful, the most interesting, or the most entertaining to your readership?
The Solution: Here are just some of the ideas that make for awesome content in almost any industry…
- product reviews
- unboxing videos
- expert interviews on a relevant topic
- surveys and Q&A sessions with your readers
- engaging case studies of past customers
- announcements of local events your customers care about
- info on charitable causes they want to support
- polarizing and contrarian opinion pieces
- lists of useful tools/sites/resources
#3. Humor goes a long way
Humor can make even a boring topic seem more palatable. Anything is fair game, even puns and dad jokes – if you don’t mind a sprinkling of humor and good cheer to dilute your serious, boring message, you’re already slightly ahead of your competition.
The Solution: Tell jokes and amusing stories. Find humorous aspects in otherwise boring topics. Cultivate your unique flavor of humor and conversational style. Approach serious subjects with a bit of tongue-in-cheek.
One amazing example of a humor-based approach to content comes from Caitlin Doughty, who runs an L.A.-based death care service. Yikes! Her industry isn’t only boring, it’s also depressing. How on earth do you inject humor into it?
Well, Caitlin managed to do just that by creating vlogs on YouTube for her “Ask a Mortician” series, which is not only funny, but attracts 100-200,000 views per video. Not too shabby! If she can make death care funny, your industry could be salvaged by humor, too.
There is such a thing as a boring industry – but it doesn’t mean you can’t put out helpful and interesting content. You don’t have to build your content 100% around what your business does – that would be a recipe for disaster. These workarounds will give you a sure-fire way to avoid the trap of yawn-inducing content, and let you engage your potential customers on a whole new level.