Content marketing, content marketing and more about content marketing. There are practically gazillion businesses out there who are discussing how to create a content marketing strategy from scratch, how to not make the mistakes they have made over the years, the tools you must absolutely use and more. But if you’re in the ‘boring’ industry – namely B2B (no, we did not say that!) and can’t seem to find a way to incorporate inbound marketing in your growth strategy, this post is for you.
According to Kapost, there are about 27 million content pieces being shared every day. That’s including the not-so-boring, not-boring-at-all and the boring industry. Marketers are practically trying every trick up their sleeve to acquire their business target market with content. This involves creating blog posts, social content, ebooks, case studies and more.
If you’re an avid reader, well, you’re pretty much going to have too much on your plate to consume if you combine the amount of content available on the internet today.
9 smart tips to turn your boring content into the next Harry Potter book
(nay, just saying.)
The abundance of content in the digital industry, has resulted in 54% of B2B marketers and 50% of B2C marketers reporting that their content barely gets any engagement.
And if you’re in the B2B domain or a ‘boring industry’, engagement is probably something you haven’t even heard of in a while.
So here’s taking a look at some tips that will definitely turn all your boring content into interesting reads that your readers will love you for:
1. Focus on adding value to the reader
Let’s face it, when you’re at the peak of your career, you might not seek out to reading ‘skill enhancement’ books because they are boring. But the same book becomes interesting and you even end up taking notes from it when you’re at a professional low. The reason being, the content that the book has to offer holds more value to you then.
Similarly, when creating content for your boring brand, focus first on adding value to the reader. Your sales or conversions should be an eventual action to engagement. When you tell them what’s in store for them, they are more likely to interact with your brand.
2. Cut out the business babble
We are all so groomed into writing ‘professionally’, that we end up forgetting how boring the same was when we were back in college. Or how boring it still would be, if the entire internet only spoke in one tone. This habit often results in marketers including a lot of jargon in their content pieces. The result of which is readers not really understanding what they want to say, losing interest and leaving without making an interaction.
So cut out the business babble and find ways to convey your value proposition in a way that your readers will understand. For instance, writing like you usually would talk is a great approach to let the readers know there is a person behind the piece that thinks like them, and not a bot.
In simpler words, make it easier to read, consume and remember!
3. Create segment wise content
Now your target audience might include people who love reading white papers, but it also might include those who’d prefer a listicle with just 5 points over even a 800 words write up. Creating general content is the reason why most of such business end up losing out on engagement.
Define your target market personas as specifically as possible. Shortlist the topics and the kind of content they have shown interest in across various digital channels. Out of these shortlisted topics, pick out those that you can effectively contribute on – and by effective we mean, something that you can truly add value towards.
When you create content segment wise – you’re able to put forward your value proposition in different scenarios.
For instance, our target market does include mobile apps. So we shared a post that lists down the top mobile marketing tools that an app needs to succeed in the competitive market. Who are we talking to here? Mobile app developers and marketers only.
On the other hand, if you have a fashion blog, the same post isn’t going to make any sense to you!
4. Include a little sense of humour
We get it that your industry has no scope for slapstick humour. You need to stay to-the-point, include various statistics in your posts and establish an authority in your niche for being the most informative.
But, can you read a post that practically has no expression? Just long paragraphs one after the other in the same tone, saying similar things? The answer is, no.
Including a little sense of humour in posts is always a good thing. It makes it easier for the reader to consume your piece from start till the end, instead of losing interest and yawning when he is not even halfway through it.
For instance, GetSocial wrote a post on the challenges that an indie dev faces when launching an app. Now if you go by the rules, this post is supposed to list down the ‘serious challenges’ and their solutions – one point after the other. But that’s not what they did.
The post includes infographics and graphics around indie developers to add a bit of humour to it. The graphics are of course conveying the challenges, but doesn’t it just make it a lot more easy to understand or relate to? I could imagine myself there as that sad dev trying to monetize effectively from his app. (See the entire post here)
5. Share as many examples as possible
If I ask you to complete a complex task or understand the same by saying, ‘move ABC to XYZ because DEF wants this and need to move to ABC’ – you’re actually going to think I am nuts!
One, I am not telling you why you need to do so. Two, I am not really guiding you through the process – like, if you move ABC to XYZ and DEF goes to ABC, where on earth does XYZ go? Okay, I am little confused myself here.
For instance, if I am writing a post that lists down 10 social media posts that your page must make every week, I need to back it up with examples. The reason being, reading a point that says ‘share short videos’ is less understandable than ‘here’s how XYZ has been sharing videos on their Facebook channel’.
In simpler words, create relatable examples to explain complex concepts rather than leave it to the readers to understand it themselves.
6. Tell your story via visuals
Visuals are processed 80 times faster by the human brain than textual content. So when you write a blog post on ‘how to use Buffer’, people like me would rather watch a video of the same! The reason being, it is much easier on the eyes, I can see someone else use it so I know what to do and well, it is just simpler than having to scroll through a post.
If you can’t include video content in your strategy, make it a point to include a lot of graphics, infographics, gifs and other forms of visual content to make the going easier. For instance, do you realise just how many graphics I have used in this post to keep you reading till this point?
In simpler words, create different forms of content for different channels – vary it frequently to break the monotony for a reader.
7. Make your content piece look consumable
It isn’t always about how well researched your content piece is – sometimes it is more about how well is it presented to the reader. If the reader thinks it is going to take 5 minutes for him to reach the conclusion of the post, trust us, he isn’t going to read at all or barely skim through it.
This is where a little bit of editing and formatting of the content piece comes in. We’re not asking you to cut out on all the interesting facts you researched; just nudging you to keep the following in mind:
- Write shorter paragraphs
- Include a few listicles
- Make use of heading formatting
- Ensure modest white spacing between content and graphics
- Optimize your content for mobile device readers
If you’re wondering why you need to keep a mobile device user in mind while editing and formatting your content – according to Marketing Land, 60% of the target market uses the internet on mobile devices. This means, there is a high chance your content piece is being read on a smartphone and not the conventional desktop.
8. Cover some surprising topics
Here’s the thing about boring industries – their topics can be extremely repetitive and well, boring. This is where you need to look into your target market behavioural data on the internet.
Analyse the kind of conversations they are engaging in on different digital platforms. Shortlist those that are relevant to you and you have the ability to add a fact that probably no one else has covered so far!
If we wrote a post on ‘secret hacks that HubSpot used to become a content marketing expert’ – you’re definitely going to read it till the end. But sadly, we’re still learning from them and can’t really list down their ‘hacks’.
9. Include interviews from experts
Continuing on the point above, if I could get hold of someone from HubSpot and interview them to share their best tips and tricks on content marketing on us, you will most certainly get hooked to the post.
In fact, if I announce it on social media prior, you’re actually going to end up looking forward to the interview post and visiting my blog every day to check if it got posted! Right?
So identify the industry experts that most of your readers or target market personas are following closely. This will not just help you gain your audience’s attention more effectively, but even help you learn more about what they like!
For instance, Start A Fire did an entire series on ‘How I work’ – where marketers shared their daily routines and tips that other in the field could follow. Natalie Taylor was nice enough to have me share some of my silly tips on their blog! You can read the post here – Start A Fire | How I Work | Content Marketing Tips & Advice From Vanhishikha.
This is going to be pretty short – content for marketing boring brands need not be boring itself!
So get your creative hats on or steal the sorting hat from Hogwarts. But put your best foot forward with a reader first approach in mind!